Cross-stitch is driving me toward insanity. Tips?

  1. Since yesterday marked one year since my mom died, I decided to go through some her things that I had put away -- I came across eight half-finished cross-stitch projects.

    Now, I know for sure that one of these was meant for me (it's a butterfly, of course ) and I'm thinking she was working on this for Christmas '06.

    So...I thought I would try to finish this one myself before this Christmas. Well, easier said than done. I think I may have been a bit too ambitious; I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing and this is not what I consider an easy project.

    The only thing I really know about this craft is that you "count" the stitches in each direction, but I keep losing track of where I should be stitching and I have to take it out and start over.

    Does anyone here cross-stitch? Is there anything I should be doing, specifically, to make this easier? Any sites that might help a newbie?

    Any help is appreciated.
    Last edit by zooz on Dec 13, '07
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Grace Oz
    sorry zooz, unable to offer any suggestions. my nana used to cross stitch also, and i've always intended to make something myself. it's still on my "to do" list! lol
    good luck with it. i hope you finish it, i'm sure your mum would want you to if you can.
    is there a craft store near you where you could go and seek guidance?
    here they have spotlight, a big store for crafts, material, manchester etc etc. they hold lessons for all kinds of things including sewing of all kinds. maybe somewhere like that would be able to help you.

    let's know how you get on!
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    Some people get those magnifying lenses you can wear like glasses. They say it helps tremendously. I'm not a cross-stitcher myself though I've tried it. I gave up for the same reasons you mention!

    Also, you might want to start with one of those no-count deals with the image already imprinted on the cloth, you just have to stitch over it. Might make it easier til you get the hang of it. But take this advice with a grain of salt, since it's from someone who couldn't hack it cross-stitching...
  5. by   llg
    I think it is a wonderful idea for you to finish the project your mother started. As someone who used to cross-stitch, I suggest you do a little easy project first to get the hang of it. It's not hard, but it does take time, patience, and discipline.

    Is there a sewing store or craft store that you could go to? Or do any of your mother's friends cross stitch? It's kind'a hard to explain in words, but it is really easy to show someone the basics. If you could find someone to help you get started, it would probably make a big difference. If you don't know anyone to ask, I would suggest a craft store or fabric store. People who work in those kinds of places are usually willing to show you a thing or two to help you get started.

    You might also buy a basic book of instructions. I think that's how I learned many years ago when I was about your age.
  6. by   ertravelrn
    I think it is a wonderful idea for you to finish the projects.
    I use a magnetic ruler to place on the pattern for the line I am working on, that way it helps me to keep better track of where I am.
    You might start with a simple pattern for practice before you tackle your butterfly.
  7. by   prmenrs
    Sounds like the pieces are "counted cross-stitch".

    I found this on Google:

    I agree about finding a crafts store like Michael's to look for classes, books and other resources. Good Luck!
  8. by   zuzi
    Zooz, I cross-stitching soooooooo many years ago, ut as much as ai remember I use to sweeinf line by, onle line ent throught right and aftre come back and make the cross, and go up to another line and again bent to right and come back crossing. That was my technique in that times.... who know how you do it here may be is in another way?????

    Very nice your intention to finshed!
  9. by   zooz
    Thanks, everyone! :spin:

    I did some more digging around in my mom's stuff and found a magnifying line "thingy." (A long magnification bar with a red line running down the length.) Like etravelrn's suggestion of the ruler, I think it might help me with all those tiny lines and boxes.

    I'll head to a craft store sometime tomorrow and pick up a book and something beginner friendly. Hopefully someone there knows something about cross-stitch. The last time I went, I asked where the bobbins were for the sewing machines and I got a blank stare and a "Huh?"

    I really would like to finish the others up as well. I know a few were meant for my dad, but I am going nowhere near those (which are about two feet long and a foot wide ) until I get this one -- the smallest -- figured out.

    Thanks for the link, prmenrs! It looks like good information.
  10. by   bethin
    I was going to suggest everything everyone else already said.

    I think it's commendable that you're picking up where your mom left off. Don't put a time on your project because then you won't have time to enjoy it!

    I don't know exactly what kind of projects they are, but if it's something that can be put in a frame make sure everything you use is acid free so it doesn't fade over the years.
  11. by   muffie
    switch to decaf ?