Tools Tips

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How do I keep from losing my place in counted cross stitch?

Keep Track of Rows

Use the long magnets that come with a magnet board to keep your place on a pattern. This way, you won't have to spend valuable time remembering where you left off between stitching sessions.

What size needle should I use?

Needle Size

As a general rule of thumb, the size of the needle used is determined by the fabric count. A needle should pass through the fabric without distorting the threads of the fabric.

How can I stitch quicker?

Ready With a Needle

You can never have too many needles. Keep several with each project to avoid wasting time searching for them.

How do I store needles between stitching sessions?

Leaving Needles in Fabric

It's very easy to get into the bad habit of threading the needle into the fabric when ending a stitching session. Always store a needle properly or it can leave a permanent stain or large holes in the fabric. There are plenty of needle minders on the market today... these handy little magnets (that are both pretty and functional) can be attached to the edge of your fabric and when you are done for the day you just leave your needle 'parked' there. It's all ready for you the next time and it can't do any damage to your fabric.

How can I keep my work clean?


If you have difficulty with keeping your needlework clean, cotton gloves may help. If you cut the fingers off you will have the use of your sensitive fingertips, while still keeping your palms covered. Fingerless craft gloves are another option, and are especially useful for arthritic hands.

When should I replace my needles?

Replacing Needles

Needles can lose their finish over time and damage fabric. Experiment with the different finishes available to find the one that lasts longest and works best for you. Don't hesitate to throw out wornout needles that are loosing their finish and/or are bent. Needles are inexpensive and the better needles you use the easier it will be on your hands and your finished piece!

How do I hold my fabric while stitching?

Hoop Size

When ever possible use a hoop or frame large enough to fit the entire finished project inside. When this is not possible use a piece of muslin or other uncolored fabric (I use old white dishtowels torn into strips) and place it between your fabric and the hoop to preven the hoop/frame resting directly on to your finished work.

Should I leave my fabric in a hoop?

Remove Hoops/Frames

Always remove your stitching from your hoop or Q-Snap when you have completed stitching for the time being. If the fabric is mounted on a frame, loosen the knobs when done for the day. This will prevent the fabric from stretching and/or being creased.

How do I keep from losing my place in counted cross stitch?

Using Magnetic Boards

A magnetic board is a large, thin piece of metal with some magnets. Place the pattern on the metal and use the magnets to hold it in place.

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Guru Spotlight
Heidi Splete