Benefits of Adopting Cross-Stitch as a Hobby
Many people possess various hobbies to pass their leisure time or just to have some fun on their own. Some hobbies can be very useful and have a great impact on your brain.
Adopting a creative hobby can stimulate your brain cells and keep you sharp. Hobbies such as painting, sculpting, singing, poetry, pottery and stitching or knitting are very creative and can be very beneficial for a number of reasons.
Especially for those who are in their middle or old age will have reduced risks of developing dementia because engaging the mind in these activities can help preserve memories.
Different social activities can also be adopted as a hobby which can also be very beneficial. Joining a book club, watching movies, going to concerts, and spending time with friends or traveling are all different social activities that can be taken as a hobby.
Today, we will be talking about cross stitch and why it is such a great hobby. Anyone can become addicted to cross stitch once they start practicing! Yes, it is THAT good.
Did you know that the art or craft of cross stitch is one of the most popular and oldest hobbies in the world? It is very simple and easy to learn.
Cross stitch is a basic embroidery stitch in which you make a little 'x' with the thread. These stitches can be used to create various lovely designs and images. Let us talk about some of the benefits you will derive by taking cross stitch as a hobby.
Benefit 1: Cross stitch as a relaxing hobby
Doing cross stitch at the end of the day or during your free time can serve as a great way to relax and calm down from the daily stressful life.
Benefit 2: Cross stitch can be done pretty much anywhere and anytime
It is definitely a portable hobby because all the embroidery supplies and kit can be carried anywhere in any sort of a bag such as a Ziploc, toe bag or even a hand carrier. You can stitch anywhere i.e. on the subway, while waiting at the reception, while watching TV or listening to your favorite music.
Benefit 3: Cross Stitch is a cheap hobby
It is an inexpensive way to spend your leisure time because one kit will last you for weeks or months that does not even cost much. Hence, it is a cheap but calming and productive activity.
Benefit 4: Cross stitch can be made into gifts for beloved friends and family
Cross stitching is an excellent way to create an inexpensive and hand-made gift for family or friends. Whether it is the holiday season, birthdays or any other occasion, you can create personalized frames, handkerchiefs, bookmarks, mugs etc. as gifts. This will make the gift very special because it shows you put in effort and commitment for the other person.
Benefit 5: Cross Stich is Artistic
Who says you need paints and color to be artistic? Cross stitch is an artistic hobby, you can literally create anything you want! The needle on the cloth works as pen on canvas. Colorful threads add life to your imagination.
The Best Free Resources for Getting Started With cross-stitch
As a beginner with an interest in cross-stitch, did you ever look at other hobbyist projects and wished you were that talented?
There are many people who have a keen desire to master their cross-stitch hobby and for good enough reason too. It is not just a skill that can be acquired with practice, but if you learn the technique you could be very soon picking up varied stitching projects as this is one of the very simple but elegant stitches for beginners to try.
If you've just looked at a cross-stitch design and thought how you too could manage to make a similar one, then we have some free resources here that you could use and bring your creation to life.
Beginner's guide to cross-stitch
For those of you who've taken you cross-stitching and worked into inspired patterns, there will surely come a time when you could actually design one of your own masterpiece creations. But first, you need to know in details about the materials needed to start stitching.
Basic material for cross-stitch
For a beginner's cross-stitch project there are only a few materials that are enough for you to start. To work on a simple stitch project all you need is a stitch fabric, embroidery floss, tapestry needles and scissors, and you should be good to go.
A beginner's cross-stitch fabric should be woven with grid holes spaced evenly. It will help you to gauge the stitch gaps as well as keep a count. The 14-count Aida cloth is the most popular with a 14-hole to the inch.
Stranded embroidery cotton is used to perform the cross-stitch design. The divisible thread is made of six strands. Pull out one or use all six together - it's your choice.
Apart from that, a blunt tapestry needle is best for the purpose as it allows the thread to easily pass back and forth though the holes.
Among the other equipment required is a pair of scissors specialized for thread cutting. A wooden hoop to hold your fabric while you stitch and a bag to store all your project materials is one place are the two other tools you could keep in your cross-stitch hobby arsenal.
Know more about the basics of materials needed for the hobby ( http://www.nordicneedle.net/guides/stitching-techniques-guides/cross-stitch/teaching-cross-stitch/)
Learning how to cross-stitch
A full cross-stitch can be done in two ways. Beginners can attempt single stitches or either a horizontal or vertical row. Whichever way you choose to stitch first end the 'X' of each stitch properly every time. At first, start from the lower left-hand corner to the upper right-hand corner.
Then come to the lower right-hand corner to the upper left-hand corner. Make a note here that the top stitch of any single 'X' should the same direction consistently on your fabric.
The method of creating a cross-stitch differs as well. Some countries prefer to finish one 'X' at a time and go to the next, whereas there are still others in which one-half of the stitches are completed in one direction and then again come back to work on the complete pattern.
Eventually, as a cross-stitch hobby you could choose any technique you find useful, but make sure ultimately all patterns must be uniform.
Try an excellent cross-stitch pattern maker ( https://mymodernmet.com/free-cross-stitch-pattern-maker/ )that converts your desired image to a graphic design which you can easily download for free and use it transform a virtual pattern to a stitched master creation.
Backstitch learning first
Backstitch is a utility skill that is a beginner's great guide to cross-stitching. The backstitch pattern is at the core of any cross-stitch pattern.
Give your images an outline that defines the expressions making patterns look closer to the original. As the stitch defines the designs you work with, many hobbyists tend to leave the simple stitch to be performed after completing the cross-stitch portion.
Usually, one backstitch is good enough for design outlining. In very rare cases (as the design demands), backstitches can extend more than two holes.
What beginners must understand about cross-stitch?
Often, those starting with a cross-stitch hobby tend to overlook their basic techniques. "How do I start with the thread?" Most beginners stumble in the very start.
The first tip is not to use knots in your thread. Instead, you could use a stitching action to tie a knot to the thread in a loop, securing it to the back. As you gain experience, may be you could do away with the knot. Else, you could leave the loose ends of the thread as is and then weave these to secure.
Another vital aspect is to cover the tension. Never pull it tight as you may not secure the design. This is one skill that you will gain with experience.
How to wash a cross-stitch?
At the end of a stitching project, you would want to clean the cloth that is subjected to so many external dirt and dust. You would also want the sebum from your hands to not give the cloth a yellowish tinge over time. Hence, even before you start admiring your creation, it is imperative that you safeguard the fabric so that it doesn't quite deteriorate easily.
To protect the fabric and the hard work you did, the best thing is to wash them properly before framing the material.
Learn how to wash your cross-stitch embroidery ( https://youtu.be/eTdFSraP1jM ), thoroughly without causing any harm to the material. Beginner hobbyist could wash them at first and then finish the left-over detailing and also to progress with more advanced skills as well.
Beauty of the 'back' - does it matter?
Finally, don't worry about the material back as cross-stitch projects; especially for beginners, there is no need for the fabric back to look the same as front. If you're using a sheer fabric to perform your stitches, it may be seen from the front.
The whole aspect of a cross-stitch hobby is to relax and enjoy the process. As you start building your skills you'll find these links very useful.
Peacock & Fig ( https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB_9bybEUBGIvFHnA1LEgut94eeVLezNs ) - Explore these beginner tutorial videos to cross-stitch craftsmanship. From choosing materials to working on your hobby - get all comprehensive insights in one place.
Cross Stitch Design for Beginners ( https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Stitch-Beginners-Patterns-Explained-ebook/dp/B012IV173W ) - Know which patterns and fabric to choose. Understand the basic things regarding cross stitch.
More places for inspiration are: