Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cross STITCH 101, 102, .......essential NOTIONS- Tammy 4 all seasons. UPDATE

UPDATE as of Nov 30th ...necessary tools..take peak towards the bottom..

Cross Stitchers unite.....Many have been writing in the past year for some blog hop
ideas surrounding the topic of  cross stitching. So here we are....We announced Tammy 4 all Seasons,  that Mary will be cheering us on with....whereby you will be working with 1 of 4 patterns that Brooke Nolan designed along the Vintage theme....

Link here to see the post for Tammy 4 all seasons

On Monday, I will be showing you  the last of 4 seasons -Vintage Winter Cross Stitch, she is just finishing this up...

So by late tomorrow, I will send out all your FREE choice and you will be on your way...Reminder those who want all 4 patterns, will only pay $10.00 US. Once the blog hop is launched in January, all patterns will be 10.00 each, This is the same with Cori's Pinnies...( same deal)

As I have cross stitched for decades...WE did not have teaching videos in fact I would have been hard pressed to come up with any how to anything...I  learned by doing....

But you won't have to do that....I am going to share with  you a few things that have worked for me...


YOU will need a pattern...duh....lol
needles -I like Clover....
sharp little scissors
little white beads and beading needle ( this is the very fine needle to put your beads on) summer pattern needs beads for bathing cap, but you can also just cross stitch using white threads.

DMC 1764-10/12 Beading Hand Needles, 6-Pack, Size 10/12

DMC threads
fabric be it aida cloth or monaco by DMC or any other fabric you are comfortable with...
readers if needed.
Stick with Me pattern holder.... * optional but my oh my it speeds your stitching up by 50%

1.  Choose your pattern, I am beginning Brookes Vintage Fall today.... ( completed Spring and Summer) I printed off my pattern, because I like to see it up close and personal. I pulled out all my DMC threads that I will need....

2. I take all of my DMC skeins and rewind them on these plastic bobbins...
I add the colour slipper onto my bobbins - this works for me...
I purchased large rings and each project I add a piece of  card stock with
the name of the project and cut a hole and place on the ring...

So I don't get confused which project I am working on and great
for later when I am looking for colours....I cut out the piece of the pattern
with all the coloured symbols and keep that with each circle of floss.
( picture below on my frame) 

( I used to work from the skeins and got frustrated when I would lose
the wee slippers  (what I call them) with the numbered floss on them...
Well this solution works, you could always make them out of card stock too. 

3. Now choose your frame.....as the Stitching piece is around 5 x6 inches, 
an 11 x 11 inch frame by YARN TREE, Q-SNAPS is  perfect for 
this size pattern.... It is actually my preferred frame size for a lot of my stitchings..
it will be your fav too. By the way I cut my fabric pieces 14 x14. I like having just a tad
extra so your fabric is plenty large enough to centre for the panel cut for the Tammy bag. 

I know some have circle frames, and they are ok, but I don't like that they leave marks
on your fabrics and no matter how much you press them they are harder to rid of
next to just using a Q-Snap frame...

 4. Always stitch from the centre, fold your fabric piece in 4, pinch the centre...that is your first
stitch...or count to the left where your first stitch should go....

5. YOU all have your own method of seeing your pattern to follow...
I used to place in on a frame and sit it on the arm of my chair, 
problem with this, is I would count wrong and end up pulling out stitches
because I would lose my place... and I would get dizzy back and forth, back and forth..
You get it right? lol

6.SOLUTION. I found some amazing magnets ( strong enough to hold 8 folds and fabric)
and with a self covered buttons provided a perfect solution to read my pattern..
I fold it to just the area I am working...it makes it sooooo much easier to follow
and I do not have to mark off my stitches as I go, because I can clearly see them

I have these available ...they are $5.50 a piece and shipping...
Let me just say, once you have one, you will wonder why you did not think
of this yourself.....STICK WITH ME, is what I call them...
A new bunch of magnets will be here any day so let me know
your colour preference... They are industrial strength and I had
to purchase quite a few for a minimum order. 

They also hold your needle on top..that is a BONUS! 
I have made  quite a few in any colour you like...

7. Kate ( video lady below)  and I agree with this one thing...threading the needle...I only do this for the first stitch... fold one strand in half and use your loop to anchor your first stitch....For all the other x-stitches I use 2 strands of threads...DMC has 6 strands, I cut 18 inches no longer than that, separate 2 threads, then separate those 2 threads and bring them together and then thread your needle...This helps to keep your threads nice and flat..if they are twisted you won't have a nice x stitch.. ( will show you a photo of that tomorrow)

I love CLOVERS gold eye embroidery needles 3-9....I  have tried hundreds, these are the best for me...and likely for you too....

Once you have done a few stitches and you are ready for stitching with 2 separate strands of floss, turn your frame underneath and slip stitch your thread around a couple other stitches to anchor it....flip back to the front, and begin counting and stitches...

8. I only do half stitches to the right , maybe 10 and then I go backwards and cross them to the left...
repeat....as you go along...this works for me..

8. As Brooke's VINTAGE patterns have wee samples of stitching projects, take your time and do one at a time...sit back and admire...YOU ARE A CROSS STITCHER. ( in the making)

9. For those who are just beginning, Aida cloth is a perfect choice number 14 HOLES PER INCH....Kate will explain that on her video...I love MONACO linen like -that DMC has...it has 9 holes in a square where you will be crossing your stitches...it is pretty easy to follow once you have made your first CROSS STITCH.  They call this 28 count...but it is really 14, as the cross stitch is exactly the same size..Ivory's and tea stains are good ones to start with....

10. For those who are having a hard time seeing the holes...READERS.COM have 600 pairs of glasses for just this type of project... these are called CLOVER.

They are affordable and by golly, I can stitch 50% faster with them then without them..
This is my newest pair....

11. and for those looking for great lighting...I cannot tell you enough how my BEAM N READ makes for ease of stitching..... I will try to get a better photo up later....BUT THIS one notion
makes my life so much easier, especially when cross stitching...

HERE is a link to some valuable CROSS STITCHING tuts from DMC....

stitch guide to how to cross stitch

Now sit back and enjoy our sweet KATE.....she has a wealth of knowledge to share...

Proud to introduce....Kate from Bothy Threads.....

If you are not sure of something....drop us a line..we will help you....

Now get stitching.....that is what I am doing for the rest of the afternoon... I will be as busy as a

UPDATE...a look at all of my tools and some stitching techniques...

I am back...and I am really excited about returning to cross stitching...
with adding it to quilting and sewing projects, well can I just say 
we will all keep you stitching for a very long time...
All the while I was away, I had my little tote with all these
necessary tools..

Let's review my list...could be yours too....

Beam N Read
q-snap ( frame 11 x11) perfect size
stick with me pattern holders
monaco fabric ( dmc)
embroidery needles
dmc floss, bobbins and ring..
SCISSORS small...( forgot to add them to photo) 

I don't go anywhere without all these necessary tools..
As I keep repeating over and over we are only good as our tools..

MOST VALUABLE tools here beside the obvious..Pattern and chart..

STICK WITH ME Pattern holder..
Beam n Read

In the past I did not have these 3....I never felt like I needed them...
But as I got older and somewhat wiser.... these are a sweet BONUS to my 
stitching world....

READERS, even though I do not need glasses to read...
I chose 2.50 readers for cross stitching and it has actually speed up my stitching by
75 % ...NO way would I even tackle any stitching now without them....
If any of you are saying you can do cross stitching anymore..

Stick with me Pattern HOLDER....welllll in the past I had purchased
so many stands, to  hold my patterns, I used markers to cross off each stitch..
( that can slow you down) and still I would lose my spot....I also would get
frustrated as no stand ever stayed still on the arm of a chair...
NOW with these pretty amazing magnets....they will hold your pattern
with 8 folds.. I found the most powerful magnets that exist
and they are also wonderful for holding your needles too..

This way I am not marking my pattern, I am no longer losing my spot..
I am certainly not losing my needles anymore either......I cannot believe
I did not think of this before... You just fold your chart only to the area 
you are working on....an extra stick with me...can hold your stitching chart too....

BEAM N READ it is not one of the best...
IT IS the BEST...another tool I have purchased in the past
that never provided the light and battery life this has...
Do you yourself a FAVOUR....get one...
especially if you will be revisiting cross stitching again...

The rest of the tools are nice to have too, besides my wee NOVA scissors
that are not in this pic....this seam ripper is just beautiful....

cannot forget some small scissors...

You cannot lose your spot when you are just working in small sections....

I use 2 threads.....I always cross my stitch from left to right...
I will do a row and then go back and cross my stitches....
This way if you do make a mistake, you are only taking out half stitches..
Took me years to figure that one out lol..

YOU see those empty spots....well that is different coloured floss...
I will do up all one colour first, then I will go to the next colour and on and on...
I always find my centre of my fabric, and I always begin my stitching on the left
side...I don't think there is any wrong way of doing it...I just have always started
from centre left...

I have completed all 3 of 4 of Brooks Patterns...Just began 
the Winter one last evening....
Do I have a favourite....ALLLLLL OF THEM...

Pssttttt hint....there will be more charts coming in 2015....! 

Ok, must run...GREY CUP Football finals is today
and my man has put a request for WINGS and BEER...

Honey garlic is marinating and my wings are already in the oven...
Our home smells very MANLY and I will be sitting by him
Who is playing ....? HAVE NO IDEA..but I know they are Canadian TEAMS ....


  1. Very useful tips, especially for beginners. Kate's video would have been so useful when I first taught myself how to cross stitch some 30 years ago. Can't wait to get started.

  2. Dear Madam Samm I would love some of those magnets as I recently made a lovely little flying squirrel pattern from Wild Olive to sit on stitching and hold the needle but the magnet wasn't strong enough - sob. So I would love to order 2 pieces please. Can you let me know how to pay etc. Thanks so much. Karen ( the Mother )

  3. Great post...this video would have been sew very useful way back when I began struggling through my first how-to book. I am sew excited to be stitching such awesome patterns with everyone!

  4. As most of the embroidery shops are gone since some years ago here in Sweden I had to order the embroidery fabric from UK. And as the DMC yarns were half price I have ordered the yarns from UK. I can get the DMC yarns in Sweden from an internet shop, but the price for the DMC yarn is about 2 dollars for one skein. I will start with spring, but ordered enough fabric to sew all the seasons Tammy. I have embroidered a lot when I was young, but it is long time ago, so this will be a new start for me.

  5. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
    During the hop I have seen this Beam n Read again and again, to bad that I
    can't purcase it here in Germany yet, I can feel how I MUST have one :-)
    Happy stitching mdm Samm.

  6. Thanks for the great tips! I've got half a swimsuit finished...whoohoo! I won't show you how many practice pieces I did to get this started. They don't look so good! LOL

  7. Thanks for all the tips Mdm Samm...this is all new to me...hopefully I will be able to get to JoAnn fabrics and get what I need. Bruce is doing well...haven't left him by himself yet. I'm waiting to see Winter tomorrow... but I am thinking of getting all 4 seasons, they are sooo cute. I will let you know. I will be learning from the best!! hugs

  8. Hi and thanks for the great tips, I too would love to order some of the magnets. Will you ship to Australia?

  9. Cross Stitching is the best! Glad to see you are doing it. :) I remember you telling me once that you were working on Mirabilia's Elizabeth. Did you ever finish her?

  10. Great video! I loved to cross stitch but haven't for years. Looking forward to starting again.

  11. It's been years...but I'm taking my cross stitch out of the "vault". I love how Disney brings things back from the "Vault" LOL!
    Fall is my season too....could it be the coffee? ;-)

  12. Can you tell me how to sign up for this Blog Hop?

  13. so looking forward to this hop ... cross stitch is my first love since high school. Your tips and tricks are simply wonderful and I thank you for sharing!!

  14. I am so looking forward to this! I have yet to try Monaco. Your readers are super cute. Looking forward to start stitching! ;)

  15. Hoping to get all my supplies ordered offline this week! Thanks so much for all the helpful tips,I am sure I will need each and every one. Are you offering the magnets for sale in your shop? I would love to purchase a couple already made up.

  16. I will also be picking up threads this week, but I would Love a Magnet, any color Madame will do. Just em me how to pay for it. I would also like to purchase all the patterns for the 10. I have my Spring one you emailed to me. This is sew exciting!! Thank~You!!
    Huggs, Nancy

  17. Great tips and the video will be very helpful for anyone who has not yet tried cross stitching and even experienced stitchers could pick up a tip or two. I haven't cross-stitched in a few decades and am self taught. One of Kate's videos showed me how to properly do a 3/4 stitch. Of course, I was doing it wrong. LOL

  18. Wow all of those years of cross stitching and I have now learned how to anchor the first stitch :) I always just left a little tail and tied a knot. Enjoyed learning something new. I watched the video using the one strand , folded which becomes like 2 strands, I am a little confused with your #7 using 2 strands of thread for everything else. Could you explain that a little more. As much as I would like to join in the hop I am not able to, so I will just pull out some old projects and stitch in the background as I have time. Cheering you all on from the sidelines once again. The season designs are adorable. Thank you. Janita

  19. Samm, thank U so much for all the tips. I must admit I am quite scared to begin, never did one x-stitch before, and now the other lady has already done half of her bikini!!! Gosh, I really should give it a serious try... Smile

  20. Samm, I did not receive my bikini x-stitch pattern ..... the pinnies for summer yes, but nothing else... Hugs

  21. I know the winter design will be as fabulous as the others are. Spring is my favorite time of year.. that is why I chose it. Once I receive the pattern, I will begin my cross stitch. maybe we can all catch up to that other lady. lol

  22. Great video for basic instructions Samm - not sure I could do it with either hand like she does though. :) I'm looking forward to seeing what Winter looks like and then beginning my stitching! blessings, marlene

  23. Isn't life wonderful these days with all of these great videos? I can't wait to see projects from this hop. Those magnets are a great idea. It would be handy to have them strong enough to hold a needle. I have never tried that sort of hooping. I have always used the circular ones, but I don't have many problems as long as I remove the piece when I am finished stitching it for the day.

  24. Thanks for the refresher course and video. I haven't cross stitched in about 30 years!

  25. Have tried cross stitch, just not my cup of tea. I do love it though and can appreciate the work as my sis cross stitches. So I will enjoy seeing everyone's Tammy for All Seasons and all the creativity that I just know the ladies will add in.

  26. I did find the video useful and will look for more videos on YouTube, I had the same question as Janita, when the 1 strand becomes folded it becomes 2 strands, is it still considered a 1 strand? I'm going to go go look for Aida cloth tomorrow, I know a lot of the neighbor ladies cross stitch, but I am unsure of what they use, in fact that is one sewing thing they do here and really beautiful gold things.

  27. Great information Samm - I'm almost ready to get started on mine. Just need a couple of things and I'll be set! blessings, marlene

  28. Thank you so much for the extra tips, I got my "cloth" and I am very excited about getting started.

  29. Thank you very much about this trick of using a magnet to keep the pattern right on the fabric! This is the kind that makes me wonder why I have not thought about it myself. :-)


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