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New / Latest Patterns

Below in each category you will find our patterns
in easy to browse galleries.  If you are looking for a 
particular pattern name or subject it would be best to
go to our Artecy Shop and use the search field at the
top left hand column.

Animals
Antique Prints
Artecy Mini Stitches
Asian Patterns
Australian
Baby / Children
Blackwork
Celtic Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch Alphabets
Cross Stitch Bookmarks
Cross Stitch Borders
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Cross Stitch Samplers
Cushions
Cute and Country
Fantasy & Mystical
Flowers & Plants
Holidays & Celebrations
Landmarks
Landscapes
Large Cross Stitch
Miscellaneous
 
Native American
Nautical
One & Few Colours
Paintings
Patriotic
Sara Moon
Sew Little Stitches
Spiritual
Sports
Transportation
Victorian
William Morris

 
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Basic Cross Stitch Instructions


Below you will find cross stitch information, instructions and tips to help you complete our patterns.

Fabrics
Cottons
Needles
Stitching Tools
Stitching Instructions

 

Fabrics

Aida Cloth
- Aida cloth is the most common fabric used for cross stitch. It can be purchased from your local craft shops or online stores.

- It comes in various stitch counts. 14 count is the most popular. 14 count means there is 14 stitches per inch of fabric. Other popular sizes are 16 and 18 count. One square is equal to one stitch on the pattern.  16 or 18 count generally give a more neater finish as sometimes with using 14 count especially with dark cottons such as black, you can see the fabric between the stitches.

- Our patterns can be stitched on any size aida cloth. The higher the aida count the smaller the completed pattern will be but as the stitch count becomes higher it can make it more difficult to stitch especially if you have poor eyesight as the holes are not as defined.

- We recommend to stitch on white or off white aida for all of our patterns unless stated otherwise on the pattern. Occasionally we will suggest black if there is alot of black background to save you stitching it but this can be harder to stitch on, especially at night.

- You can purchase premade aida items for bookmarks, coasters, paperweights and many others items for our small patterns and bookmarks. If you search in a search engine for premade cross stitch or stitchables you should will find them.

Evenweave and Linens
- Stitching on linens is harder for beginners as unlike aida cloth the stitch placement is not as easily defined.
- For even weave and linen fabric the main difference to aida is instead of stitching over one thread you stitch over two.
- The most common evenweave sizes are 28 count (equivalent to 14 count aida) and 32 count (equivalent to 16 count aida)
- These fabrics give a more rustic and professional look than aida cloth and are generally more durable so are good for items which will require alot of washing such as tablecloths, napkins etc.

Waste Canvas
- Waste canvas is a useful material used to stitch designs onto fabric that does not have a weave. You can stitch on any items such as towels, clothing etc.
- It is available in various different counts.
- Cut the Waste Canvas at least 2 inches (5cm) larger than the completed design size.
- Line up the Canvas threads with the grain of the fabric.
- Tack around the edge of the waste canvas onto your fabric to hold it into place.
- Stitch the design working each stitch individually through the waste canvas and your fabric. Aim for the centre of the hole in each waste canvas square to keep the stitches tidy and to help in the removal of the waste canvas.
- When stitching is complete remove tacking stitches around the edge of the waster canvas and trim the waste canvas to around an inch from the design.
- Slightly dampen the waste canvas with cold water using a damp paper towel.
- With a pair of tweezers pull the waste canvas threads out one at a time varying the direction from left to right and top to bottom to avoid distortion of the fabric.
- What you are left with is your design stitched onto your garment. You must use colourfast cottons such as DMC, Anchor and Madeira to avoid the cottons running in the wash. Wash garment in normal wash but where ever possible turn garment inside out to iron so you do not iron directly over the stitching or place a tea towel or handkerchief over the stitching to iron.

How to determine how much fabric you need for a design.

 To determine finished size, divide stitch count by Aida count or cloth you are using for e.g.100w x 100h stitches on 14 count would be 7"wide x 7"high. Times inches by 2.5 for cm.

Also allow at least 3inches (7.5cm) around each side of your work to assist in framing. So if your pattern is 100w x 100h stitches and you are stitching on 14 count your would need to measure and cut a piece of aida 10" x 10" (25cm x 25cm) to complete your work.

It is a good idea to purchase your cloth by the metre if you plan to do alot of patterns than you can just cut the aida to size for your patterns at home.

There is a free fabric calculator you can find on this page if you need help. http://www.findstitch.com/resources/

Cottons
- We use only DMC cottons in all of our patterns as these are the most popular brand used.
- We suggest using two strands of floss for all of our patterns except where backstitching is used, then we suggest only using one strand of floss.
- Trying to keep your threads from getting tangled or lost can be annoying so it is a good idea to set yourself up with a system for organising and storing your floss. There are plenty of organiser systems you can find in craft stores. I store my large supply of different cottons in a pocket storage system by LoRan. However when I start a new project I make up my own kit to store the cottons needed for a project. To organise the cottons I will cut a piece of thick cardboard into a rectangle shape and down one side I will use a one hole punch to make holes down one side. I will then write the number for the cotton next to each hole.
- I then cut the six stranded cotton into one metre lengths. I fold this in half and insert the loop up through the hole bring the tail around through the loop to hold onto the card.
- This makes it really easy to separate the cottons as I get my needle and separate one strand of cotton and pull to remove from the card.
-To estimate how much DMC floss you will need generally 30 stitches uses 1 metre of 1 strand of floss. DMC stranded floss is usually sold in 8 metre lengths with 6 strands. Therefore you get approx 1440 stitches (6 x 8 x 30) from one lot of floss. On our  charts we give you a list showing how much floss you need to buy. You will have cotton left over which you can use on other projects.
- I do have people ask if they can replace DMC cottons into another like Anchor for my patterns. I have only created the patterns using DMC cottons so I cannot guarantee the outcome if you use different cottons. However below are links to where you can find conversions charts.
http://yarntree.com/index.htm
http://www.findstitch.com/resources/

Also DMC have discontinued some colours. Although we do not use any of the discontinued colours in our patterns created after 2005, some of our very old pre 2005 patterns may contain these colours so below are their replacements as per DMC. These very old patterns are only found in the members area and have never been offered for sale at the Artecy Shop.

DMC 504 is replaced by 3813
DMC 731 is replaced by 732
DMC 776 is replaced by 3326
DMC 781 is replaced by 782
DMC 806 is replaced by 3760
DMC 971 is replaced by 740
DMC 3773 is replaced by 407

 Needles

- The needles you use for cross stitch are blunt ended tapestry needles. If you have alot of quarter stitches it can help to switch to a sharp ended needle for these if you have problems splitting the fabric.
- Needles are usually nickel plated and some stitchers may have allergies to these so you can switch to gold plated needles.
- When you have finished stitching it is best to store your needle in the very corner of your fabric in case you do not stitch on the project for a long time as it may leave rust marks and this way they would be hidden inside the framing.
- If you have trouble threading your cottons onto the needles you can purchase needle threaders from a craft store to help you.
- Needles come in various sizes. Below is a grid to help you work out the needle needed.
 
Tapestry Needle size Aida count Evenweave count
18 6 -
20 8 -
22 11 22,25,27
24 14 28
26 16 32
28 18 36,55

Stitching Tools

- Frames and Hoops are not essential to use. I prefer stitching without them especially on larger projects. They do help to keep your fabric taut, however if you stitch without them and your fabric becomes a little distorted this is corrected in the finished framing process.
As I am not an expert in this area here are some links to give you more information on frames and hoops.
http://www.cross-stitching.com/kh_page.asp?id=152

http://crossstitch.about.com/od/basicsupplypreparation/ss/fabricinhoop.htm

- If you have difficulty reading patterns or seeing the holes in the aida when stitching there are lamps and magnifying products available on the market to assist you.

Here are some links to companies which sell cross stitch accessories. You can find others in our cross stitch links page.
http://www.sewandso.co.uk/cat29.html

http://www.wimblebees.com/h_A__Accessories.htm
http://www.stitchez.com/

Stitching Instructions

- The best way to start is to make yourself up a kit. Print the pattern you are wanting. Look at the distribution list to see what cottons and how much to purchase. Purchase the fabric if you do not have a stash of it and purchase a needle if you do not have one. 

- Then cut the fabric to size (to work out the size see the fabric section above). Cut the cottons into metre lengths and store them on a card  (described in cottons as above).

- In a plastic zip lock bag you can then store the fabric, cottons, needle and pattern so they are ready to use and go with you wherever you wish to stitch.

- You may need to wash the Aida cloth to avoid it shrinking if you are wanting the design for a cushion cover, etc. If fraying around the edges does occur you can put masking tape on the edges or overlock them.

- To start stitching you should always start in the middle of your pattern and on the middle of the fabric this will make sure your pattern in centred on your fabric.

- To find the middle of the fabric, first fold it in half horizontally and then in half vertically. Where the cross meets in the centre is the centre of your fabric. If you have stitched before or your prefer to start on page 1, from the top left corner of your fabric, measure across 3 inches and down 3 inches and that will be your starting point, if it is a fully stitched design. If the background is removed from the design then from this starting point you will have to count over to the first stitch on the pattern. 

- Each square on the cross stitch pattern chart represents a square on the Aida cloth. On our patterns to find the centre of the pattern it is just a matter of laying out the pattern in order and locating the arrows at the top and left hand side of the patterns, they are determined by dividing the stitch numbers wide and high in half. Where the two points meet that is the centre.

- To put our patterns together look in the top and bottom corners. The page numbers in brackets () show which page number it joins up to. Page 1 always starts at the top left hand side of the pattern. 

- With larger patterns you do have quite a few pages. I prefer to start on the page in the middle of the pattern and stitch that whole page before I move onto an adjoining page. I find this easier. It is totally up to you what you prefer in organising and stitching your patterns. 

We try to make our patterns as easy to read as possible.  Alot of people do photocopy patterns at a larger size to make them easy on the eyes or they make a photocopy just to use as a personal use only working copy, which we are fine with. I use a lamp with a magnifier on it to see the pattern easily, best investment I have ever made, as when I get a chance, I mostly stitch at night.

You will notice alot of colour changes with these style of patterns. We suggest to make it a little less daunting for you to just concentrate on 1 page at a time and each 10 x 10 square at a time. Stitch all the stitches of the same colour in that 10 x 10 square or nearby before changing to the next colour. As the pattern is totally filled you will not see your cotton travelling behind the fabric a small distance. If you are stitching one stitch at a time of each colour this would be very annoying. Note if you stitch in blocks or sections like this you can sometimes see the lines between each section, especially if you leave a project for awhile, so it is recommended to stitch a few colours to the left, right up and below, just so you do not have straight square blocks of stitches.

Many customers also stitch these in a cross country style so they stitch as many stitches as they can of the one colour in the same area, before changing colours. Some use highlighters on the pattern to mark stitches done if you have trouble following the stitches you have completed. I personally use a yellow highlighter on the pattern to mark the stitches of one colour I am going to stitch on a page and then after I complete those stitches I uses a blue highlighter to go over the yellow ones stitched and then I know I have completed them. Then I move onto the next symbol and colour. Just using highlighters seems to help break up all the symbols and make them easier to see.

- Make sure your hands are clean before you start to avoid marking the fabric.

- Thread one strand of floss through needle until ends are even, do not use knots to secure. Always use two strands of floss per stitch. Use 1 strand of floss for back stitching unless instructions on a pattern state otherwise.

- Begin stitching by inserting needle from back of Aida cloth at starting point (as shown below) leaving a small "tail" at the back. Hold that "tail" in a way that your next few stitches will cross over it to secure. End the same thread by weaving it under 3 or 4 stitches at the back and cut excess cotton off to keep neat. Make sure all your stitches are done in the same direction to keep the pattern even (as below). For the next stitches you can then start and finish by weaving it under 3 or 4 stitches at the back.

-Every 8-10 stitches you should drop your needle to let the floss untwist. 

- Don't worry about how the back of the pattern will look at the end, it can look quite messy. One of the most annoying things about large patterns is having to change colours often. Some people only stitch one row at a time and change colours as they go. I find this frustrating and too time consuming so I stitch one page at a time but if there is alot of one colour I will start off with that and I stitch big blocks of colours at the same time so I can change my needle less. It is ok to run your cotton under a few stitches at the back to get to a different area but it is best not to do this behind blank cloth which will not be stitched on as your cottons can show through, especially dark cottons.

- Make sure you sit in a comfortable place to stitch that is well lit to avoid strain on your joints and eyesight. It is an addictive hobby once you get started and you can find yourself stitching for many hours straight.

-These counted cross stitch instructions should help you complete our cross stitch patterns, yet if you need any further instructions or information please contact us and we will help as best we can.

Most of our patterns only use straight cross stitch, especially our large patterns but some of our smaller patterns may also use quarter stitch and back stitch so I have included pictures below.

If you are looking for information on cleaning and framing your cross stitch once completed please click here.


                  Single stitch         Row of stitches in same colour
 

Quarter stitch

 

Back Stitch

Blackwork - Holbein Stitch


 


NEW!!  Artecy Cross Stitch has another new website for the fantastic new craft of Pixelhobby We can convert most of our cross stitch patterns over to Pixelhobby format, best of all it takes you much less time to complete Pixelhobby than cross stitch and there is no counting, or threading needles involved. Click on the banner above to see what it's all about.

 

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