The quality of our stitches is important to the look of our finished cross stitch project. Here are the steps you need to follow to make your stitches beautiful.
1. Most of us do our projects on Aida cloth which has definite holes for our stitches. However, there are fine threads between these holes, and we must be sure our needle goes into the intended hole instead of between the fine threads. If we’re not careful about this, our stitches will not look even.
2. Another thing we should avoid is “laying” the floss behind the finished stitch as we move on to the next stitch. The holes intended for each stitch must be left open to get an even-looking stitch and also to leave the hole open for another stitch using the same hole. We can do this by making sure we pull our thread in a direction that keeps the hole open instead of laying it behind the hole and closing it (while moving to another stitch). We must also do this when we finish off the floss and are securing it on the back side.
The way to do this is never move up and left of your finished stitch. If you need or want to move in that direction, instead of stitching the last stitch of the cross stitch in the usual way, stitch it in the opposite direction (top to bottom instead of bottom to top). The hole will then be left open for another stitch using the same hole. Also do the “top to bottom” when there are no stitches below the area you are working on to secure your piece of floss when you are finished with it. By doing this you can secure your floss in the finished stitches above your last stitch and keep the hole open.
3. We must also be watchful for twisted floss. Your stitch will not look smooth if the floss is twisted, and on a larger thread-count fabric, will not completely cover the cloth. You can remedy this by either letting your floss hang down with your needle and unwind itself, or you can “railroad” your floss by putting your needle between the two strands as you pull the thread through.