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ABC Stitch


For the patterns that you linked, you would not use aida. Most times it is better to use linen or special hand died fabrics.


The patterns that you linked to are quite complex for a beginner.


I like to hold my fabric in my hand when I cross stitch. Some people use a hoop.


Some patterns I like. And on the website I've linked to, you can add all the extras that you need to complete your order.






Marilyn Leavitt Imblum


Teresa Wentzler

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I don't want to be bossy but if it has been awhile since you have done any cross stitch I would recommend something a little smaller so you can see just how long it will take you to finish your piece. I know in the past I have found things I really wanted to make, started them and had to make myself finish them because llife gets in the way.

To hold your piece you will find different sizes of hoops that will help you to keep your piece tight while working on it. When you are not working on your piece it is a good idea to remove the piece from the hoop so it does not become distorted or stained from the hoop. You can also put your piece on a frame that is the size of the piece or on a frame that can be rolled as you go. While working on your piece make sure you don't use lotion on your hands and keep your hands washed often so you don't stain you piece from these oils.

I can not give you any advice on shopping on the interent for these items because I am blessed to have several needle craft shoppes in my area. I do know that in the past I have been able to purchase my aida cloth from fabric stores such as JoAnne's.


I hope this has been a help to you and good luck with your stitching

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Go to Walmart or Michaels for supplies you can look at and choose what works for you.


On large projects you can use a big hoop or move a small one around. You will find lots of accessories everything from stretcher bars to stands, but all you really need are the right fabric, some thread, a needle, for many a good hoop and a whole lot of patience. Good eyes are always a plus. Enjoy yourself, now you've got me wanting to pick up a project. I've used stretcher bars (cheap, snap together wooden frames) in the past on big projects.

Edited by Tammyla
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It would take me literally years to finish one of those!


I used to cross-stitch a lot until I started scrapbooking. I bought my non-Aida cloth (which you would need for projects like those) at a specialty cross-stitch/embroidery shop (pre-internet days). I've seen smaller pieces at crafts stores like Michael's.


I strongly suggest going to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn's and looking at what they have. You can find some very nice patterns that would be a good way to get started again. (no country ducks! :001_smile:)


I also had a special standing frame that I used when I was doing bigger projects. It broke, though, and I haven't found another to replace it. You can buy smaller roll frames at the craft stores. That's what I prefer to use so there are no hoop marks.


Have fun!

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Yup. With stuff like that, you'll end up having to write into your will who gets to finish it.


I usually use a hoop, but if I wanted to do something that large I'd buy a free standing, rolling frame. Not that I'd do something that large in cross stitch. I'd do it in tent stitch with thicker thread.



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http://www.nordicneedle.com/ I am the poster regarding scarletquince.com Nordic needle has every type of aida you can imagine . I roll mine from left to right vertically and unroll as I work the chart straight across then roll back up and start again. The frames for a piece this size are really hard to hold in the hand for very long thus I work "in hand." Jane Greenhoff suggests this and it is easy to do. Beware the nordic needle this is a wonderful site filled with custom colored aida, silk threads, beads thousands of patterns . Just lovely and I need to finish the piece I am making before starting another...I am undertaking a piece by Gerome http://www.orientalist-art.org.uk/gerome55.html for my mothers dining room. I might lose my marbles at 40,000 stitches but what the heck she will love it. You might also try Herschnerrs online for materials as well. Jane Greenhoff's book The Cross Stitchers Bible is superb and I never could have learned to sew on linen without her. I use 18 count aida at times but mostly linen due to the feel of working with it. These are the frames I love snap them together and place your fabric on top , add the top piece as pictured and tighten-piece of cake. http://www.qsnap.com/ Herschnerr's sells floss and aida at very reasonable prices.

Edited by elizabeth
adding link for frame
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Wow. That is quite a site. I agree that those are hugely complex pieces and you might want to start with a smaller project; for one thing, you will want to practice and improve your skills before tackling something that complex and beautiful. Yes, it is possible to improve cross-stitching skills beyond making all the stitches go the same way! :001_smile:


I just hold my fabric in my hand when I am cross-stitching. I like ambitious, large patterns (though Scarlet Quince is scaring me), but I don't like hoops. Also, if you hold your fabric instead of hooping it, you can go down-and-up in one movement instead of always having to reach around to the back of the fabric, which saves a ton of time.

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I prefer a standing frame (they come as lap stands also...check out Michael's). Without a frame, I would rather simply hold the work than use a hoop (difficult on the hands and wrist). And the pp is correct, you would want to use a linen, not Aida. Aida is good for beginners, but is only good with some patterns and is difficult on the hands IMO as it is stiff and you have to pull all the way up and all the way under. With linen, you can work solely from the front by inserting the needle in and out before pulling through. If you can find a specialty shop, fairly difficult in this age of internet sales, you can look at and feel all the different materials.

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May I please make a plug to look for a guild near you? I belong to two local chapters and I must say that I have made new friends and discovered all kinds of embroidery. The guilds are for all levels, including beginners. You can make use of the expertise of the members. Guilds have stitch-ins, where you go to someone's home and just stitch and chat. You can find the local needle shops, which have much better supplies than Michaels or Joann's.


There is the Embroiderers Guild of America: http://www.egausa.org (all kinds of embroidery, including cross stitch) and there is the

American Needlepoint Guild: http://www.needlepoint.org (needlepoint only). I am active in the EGA chapter as the program chairman.


Local chapters have workshops with national embroidery teachers. There are also regional workshops and national workshops.


If you want more information, pm me.

Edited by LMA
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There is a line of cross stitching called No Count Cross Stitch. There is a picture printed on the fabric and then are blanks areas to fill in. Very similiar to a paint by number kind of thing. They are a little faster to accomplish in the beginning and will help you polish up your cross stitching skills.

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I have to tell you, those pieces make me want to cry just looking at them, thinking how long they would take and how complicated they are. If you have a way to look at the patterns, the shading involved is INSANE. I had a very dear friend who used to love stitching Teresa Wentzler designs. I have one in progress. It makes me want to curse regularly. Teresa Wentzler ahs NOTHING on those designs - they are far, for more involved. Please, for the sake of your sanity, start with something simpler (and, hopefully, smaller).


You would not want to stitch something like that on Aida, either. Trust me. It needs linen.


Another great site for stitching supplies is Wyndham Needle Works. They don't have as much as Nordic Needle, I don't think, but they have tons of different kinds of linen and fibers.


One of my very favorite designers is BrightNeedle. Also, I love Shepherd's Bush. They don't resemble those artwork pieces though.


Another fun site to look at is Hoffman Distributors. You can't order from there, but you can search through their catalog and get ideas of patterns you might like, and then order them from the internet, since it sounds like you don't have a local stitching shop. That is a bummer.


I have a lap frame, and I like it pretty well. Several of my stitching friends like Q-snap frames - you should be able to find those at Michael's, I think. Or did you say Wal-Mart is your only option? They're available online, too. They're nice because they don't hold your fabric as tightly as a regular embroidery hoop. I prefer to hold my work, honestly. That's how I learned and it's just easier for me.

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