Cross Stitch Academy

Five Tips to Stitch Faster and Better

There are times when I wish I could cross stitch faster, especially when I have several great project ideas and am impatient to finish what I’m working on to start the next one.

In order to overcome that problem, I had to think of things I could do to get some speed into my fingers.

So today I’m sharing my tips to cross stitch faster.

Tip 1: Be Organized

Before you start your project, there are a few things you can do to organize your stitching kit and materials. Otherwise, you waste time looking for the right needle, thread color and so on.

Take your kit – your needles, thread, scissors and any other tools you need and keep them in one place. You don’t have to be super-neat – the point is to set up your tools so you won’t have to interrupt your stitching.

By preparing all your stuff in advance and keeping it close to you, you’ll add speed to your stitching.

Tip 2: Analyze

It may sound obvious for expert stitchers, but before you start I recommend digging out your pattern and analyzing your project. The point is to know the parts of your project and plan your approach. For example, if I have to use several different colors, I plan when I’ll switch to another color. Look at large areas using a single color. I noticed that when I stay on one color as long as I can, I save some serious time – and finish the project faster.

Tip 3: Railroading

Railroading is a technique where you keep both strands of floss parallel when stitching. You can do this by putting the larger needle underneath the floss as you’re pulling the stitch away. It’s a great time-saver because you won’t spend too much time watching your threads go separate ways and correcting the stitches. It can take a while to make a habit out of it but once you do the result will be neater, better looking stitching.

Tip 4: Partial stitches

Probably the best piece of advice is to use partial stitches whenever you can. The most popular one is the half cross stitch and the great thing about partial stitching is that you get the same effect in twice the time. The color of the stitch looks better with half cross stitches and it allows for some nice shadowing effect.

Tip 5: Tension

Finally, the speed in your fingers depends on the tension of your floss. If you’re holding the needle too tight and don’t have any flexibility in your thread, you will be putting a lot of energy into one stitch. Now, imagine that huge amount of energy for all your stitches!

Learn how to hold your needle and floss in a way that it doesn’t take much energy to pull a stitch out. You will go faster if you manage to work with relaxed arm and loose floss.

Happy (super fast) stitching!

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