Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My first tutorial :: Cross stitching on linen

Hello my lovelies
well this is exciting ..... my first ever tutorial

Ive been asked lots of questions about cross stitching on linen recently
and as you know its something that I REALLY love to do
So, I thought it was about time that I make a little tutorial
Its very simple really ..... once you know how
This technique can be used on any non-even weave fabric
 which is actually most fabrics

Im no expert, let me just start by saying that
 Ive never been to classes
Self ~ Taught ~ Sally ..... that's me
So what Im about to explain is my way and probably not the correct or proper way!

You'll need .....

♥ A cross stitch pattern
♥ Fabric that youd like to cross stitch onto
♥ Waste canvas 
 Embroidery frame or hoop
 Embroidery threads
 Cross stitch needle
 Spray water bottle

Waste canvas ~
 I used 14 count but there are many counts
 just Google it, I got mine from Ebay.    
When choosing your waste canvas all you have to remember
 is that the higher the count number the smaller the stitches will be

♥  Find a cross stitch design that youd like to stitch
 Im making an initial bookmark for a gift
 and am using Alicia Paulsons amazing book Embroidery companion
which I absolutely adore and use often
Alicia has such a pretty cross stitch alphabet which Ill be using

 ♥ Cut a piece of waste canvas that will be big enough for your design
I would say to always cut bigger than you think youll need
 theres nothing worse than happily cross stitching away
 when you realise that you're running out of space

♥ Tack your waste canvas to the right side of the fabric that you will be stitching onto
 allowing enough fabric all around so that it will fit into the embroidery hoop
 the tacking stitches don't have to be neat as they will be unpicked later
 just a few running stitches around the edge to hold it firmly in place. 
Try and get the waste canvas as straight as you can with the weave of the fabric

♥ Place the whole thing into the embroidery hoop or frame
 pull it evenly, you need it nice and taught, like a little fabric drum. 
I've recently found these frames and have been converted
they are so easy to use and they allow for a nice even tension.
The one I used here is the smallest one which is 6" x 6"

♥ Work out the rough centre of both your waste canvas and your cross stitch design
 I always like to start somewhere near the centre
 this makes sure that your design will fit onto the waste canvas

♥ Start stitching, I used 2 strands of DMC embroidery thread
 I like to separate the two strands and then put them back together and smooth them down
this gives a smoother finish. 
For my design I missed a hole, you can see it clearly here
you can make your stitches smaller by not missing any holes

♥ If you are part way through the design and need to change colour
 just pull the thread out of the way
 and make a little stitch to stop it from becoming tangled
you can then pull the thread out when you are ready to use that colour again

♥ Sometimes the thread may end up in one area
 and your next bit of stitching is over the other side
 if this is the case
 I thread the thread back through a few stitches on the back of the work
 to wherever you need it to be
this is especially a good idea if your thread is dark or your fabric pale
 so that it doesn’t show through to the front of the finished work

When you've completely finished working with a colour
 just thread it back and forth a few times
 under some stitches on the back to secure it

♥ After youve stitched your design
remove your frame or hoop
 and snip the tacking stitches that are holding your waste canvas in place
 and then VERY carefully trim some of the excess waste canvas away from the design
dont go too close to the cross stitches
 (I have done this before and snipped them ..... this made me say a rude word)

♥ Spritz the waste canvas with water, and leave it to soak in for a few minutes
Using your tweezers carefully pull ONE strand at a time 
(yes just one, dont be tempted to tug more than one in the beggining
I like to remove all of the threads in one direction first
 and then it makes it easier to remove the threads in the other direction
 you can usually remove these threads two or three at a time, but go carefully

 ♥ Lay a fluffy towel, doubled up on your ironing board 
and lay your design right side down onto the towel and press gently with a warm iron

Ta ..... Dah!

Now you can do what ever you like with your lovely stitching
 mines going to become a simple bookmark
 for my sister~in~law, to go with her book voucher
If anyone would like to me to write a tutorial for it
 Id be very happy to do that

 I may have waffled WAY too much here
 but I figured
 too much info is better than not enough
especially if your just starting out

Thank you for such lovely comments on my last post
it was so nice to find out your favourites
I'm so lucky that you come here to visit me
thank you

Guess what?
My blog will be THREE on Saturday
I cant believe it, I really cant
So to celebrate Ill be having a giveaway to say 
Thank You
to YOU my lovely readers

 See you then! 
 BIG love

 x Jooles x

P.S It's absolute mayhem here ..... 
there are three carpenters downstairs
and half a kitchen roof off!
I'm hiding upstairs
with supplies!


  1. This is brilliant, thank you so much for taking the time to do it. I have often wondered how you have achieved this look and am excited to have a play! Thank you!

  2. Well now misses this is one amazing first tutorial!! I must say it is one that has come at the perfect time for me and it is so very informative and very clear. Thank you for sharing this wonderful book with us and also the square frame. I have looked at them before and will definitely invest in one now. All I need to do now is to learn how to cross stitch and then hopefully I can start practicing this. An amazing tutorial, thank you!!! Enjoy your week lovely xoxo

  3. Thanks for posting such a great tutorial....I have often wondered how this was achieved. Thanks.

  4. Love this! I bought some waste canvas after leaving you a comment asking how you embroider onto your quilts etc, but have yet to have a go with it. Thank you so much for this tutorial!

  5. This is a great tutorial, clear and easy to follow. It's a bit of work to write these. Good luck with all the mayhem about you.

  6. Congratulations on your blog anniversary! I am so thrilled that you did a tutorial. This is perfect timing too, because I was going to starting to try and find out how you do all the lovely cross stitching on linen. Your tutorial was very clear also. (even for a beginner like me) I hope that there will be more lovely tutorials in the future. Hope your house comes together for you soon! Thanks again

  7. Hi, What a great tutorial! Thank you so much. I thought your hottie cover was brilliant & wondered if you could give a tutorial on how you made it, if you have time that is! Thanks Claire x

  8. Thank you for this great tutorial. Can´t wait to give it a try.
    And thanks for the Alicia Paulson book tip.

  9. that is veeeeeery clever!!! congratulations! thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Absolutely wonderful tutorial, Jooles! So clear and easy to read and understand (even for a numpty like me!), it's like having you sitting next to me! (Well, it's obviously much more fun actually having you next to me, because we both know that means tea and cake are nearby, too...)
    Now I'm off to eBay to get me some waste canvas! Cxxx

  11. Great tutorial Jooles, thank you for sharing!! Sarah xo

  12. Really, really great tutorial Jooles. There was a lot I didn't know, like smriti zing the waste canvas, I pulled mine out dry! Thanks.

  13. What a fab tutorial Jooles, Chloe and I will definitely be giving this a go. You have worded it perfectly, so even a novice like me can understand it! I think I have been a visitor for about two of your three blogging years, if only I had found you sooner :0) xxx

  14. A wonderful tutorial Jooles, clear and easy to follow. I've never used waste canvas before and I can see that it has endless possibilities. Hope you're coping with the kitchen mayhem, better get the Baileys out if it's getting a bit much! :o)
    Jane x

  15. Looking good! Very clear and well written.
    I hope your kitchen will be finished soon so you can have your house back... ;-)
    Love from Mirjam.

  16. So that's how you do it! It's pretty clever that :-) Thanks for sharing Jooles x

  17. This was posted just in time!! I have a par of linen pants that crease so badly, I was going to throw the out. I would never have thought of using them for cross stitch. Lots of fabric there and it is an oatmeal colour so it will be great as a background for so many pieces. I already have the waste canvas so I am ready to go.
    Thank you so much for the great tutorial.

  18. thank you so much. i was just about to buy the dmc soluble canvas. you saved my bucks.

  19. A great tutorial - thank you! I am very tempted to go back to cross stitch! :)

  20. Thanks for explaining very nicely stepwise... I am beginner and want to cross stich on my daughter's t shirt.

  21. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I am trying this out at the moment so hopefully it all turns out x

  22. I know that this is probably a stupid question, but can you use a piece of regular scrap aida as waste canvas to cross stitch on linens, shirts, etc? Or would you not be able to pull the threads out once you were finished.


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