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Tips, Hints and Fun Info

This is a Tips and other Fun Info feature on my blog.  As I am doing projects I often discover new ways of doing stitches or ways to solve problem situations.  I am going to us this page to record this info so I can retrieve it. I hope it will help others and I welcome your feedback.

May 29, 2018

I have neglected this area of my blog for way to long. I am hoping to add to it more often.

Here is a quick tip I recently learned while taking a Jennifer Riefenberg class which included working with ribbon. I have acquired a mini flat iron. One used for hair. When using Neon Rays, it will be even more beautiful and lay much better if it is ironed lightly to remove all the folds from the cards that it comes on. Some stitchers use it for other threads and when I have more information I will share.

January 2015

Well it looks like I have really neglected this page on my blog. I have certainly learned good things and made mistakes that could have been written about here. I have been stitching and posting to the mail page only.:(

Right now I am doing a small geometric canvas just for fun. The stitches are out of a small book Stitches to Go and I am not looking for the perfect stitch I am looking to see what some stitches look like so I can have a better understanding of the effects when I am looking for that perfect stitch on a painted canvas that needs a certain effect. I think it can be a big help to build your own stitch samples as a reference.  It can be as simple as small squares on a blank canvas and put in a notebook. Have some fun trying new stitches !

March 2011

While taking the Betty Chen Louis class I was reminded the importance of basting evenly when you have a long run.  I had to baste across 106 threads and up 326 threads.  Counting that many threads correctly is a challenge (especially on Congress cloth ).  I basted over/under every 5 threads.  That made counting the long sides much easier.

February 2011

My most recent project, Galaxy, reminded me that when working on a large project it is often easier to stitch with the design upside down at times.  CHART MUST ALSO BE UPSIDE DOWN 🙂

Sometimes a large project get boring when you are out in the middle….with new projects waiting in the wings.  To keep going I look at each area as a completed project.  So I get that good feeling of finishing something many times on a large project.  I do not have may UFO’s.  I know this is against the rules but I really like to finish things.  I have a drawer of finished projects that are in my “stack”.  I have no idea what I will eventually do with them all.  My kids will probably have to decide. It is the “doing”  that I love. (maybe I am adicted to the doing).

November 2010

I mentioned needle blending with my Orchid project,  I thought it would be a good technique to put in this page.Try this with a simple 4 step 2 bargello pattern. That is a stitch over four canvas threads with a move up or down of two canvas threads.

Take four values of floss (or silk), Using six ply follow this:

Row 1: Begin with the lightest or darkest value depending on what color progression you want to   achieve. Use all 6 ply of color 1

Row 2: Use 3 ply of color 1 and 3 ply of color 2

Row 3: Use 6 ply of color 2

Row 4: Use 3 ply of color 2 and 3 ply of color 3

Row 5: Use  6 ply of color 3

Row 6: Use 3 ply of color 3 and 3 ply of color 4

Row 7: Use 6 ply of color 4

You can see how this is developing. 4 original colors results in 7 value changes.  If you use only three original colors you will get 5 value changes and if you use more than 4 original colors you will get more value changes.  This is a technique that I like to use for bargello.

July 2010

Sometimes a direction in a chart will have me scratching my head as to WHY.  I sometimes think that I know a better way.  In my current project, Discovery, Jean Hilton cautions to be sure that when working with Neon Rays that they lay flat on the back as well as on the front.  Lay them on both sides !!!! I decided to do a test to see what the difference would be if I just stitched, laying only on the front or if I layed on both sides.  I should know better than to question Jeans directions.  I makes a big difference.  If the Neon Ray is not smooth on the back it comes forward twisted and is more difficult to get to cover properly on the front.

June 2010

While traveling this summer I have gotten behind with my monthly tips so I will try to catch up.  While working on my Background Sampler I was reminded that a darning stitch pattern should NOT be stopped and started in the middle of a row.  With darning patterns the thread shows underneath the holes as you stitch so if you stop in the middle and start again you leave a hole uncovered……and it is very noticeable.

May 2010

Something that I do almost without thinking is to use the length of my stretcher bars to roughly measure the length of my stitching thread.  I tend to use long lengths which is not the best idea as with some threads the texture and shine of the thread will change as the thread gets pulled through the canvas. Pearl cotten is a good example.  I MUST try to work with shorter lengths to keep the twist and shine even. I try to keep my endings and startings to a minimum……I would like to focus more on the effect on the front not worry about the back 🙂

April 2010

While working on Flying Geese I was reminded how to stitch with highlighters to find out why my counting was in error. In the center of the design there is a background area that I first thought was all the same.  When stitching I just could not get the count right on the uphill diagonals.  By taking my highlighters and using a different color for each row I discovered that the design was not the same.  I have done this in the past but had forgotten it since I haven’t used the process in a while.  I use highlighters a lot and I recommend the change of colors for each row to help determine the pattern and the stitch sequence.

March 2010

When using several values of the same color be sure to place all threads of one color back in it’s bag or tied on its card before going on to the next color.  It is SO easy to get the colors mixed us if seversl threads are laying loose on your worktable.  I use several values of the same color when doing bargello.  Not keeping the values separate has caused me a lot of “frog work” 🙂

January 2010

It has taken me a while to add to my Tips and Hints.  A very small thing that I do almost without thinking is to keep a sharp needle, size equal to the tapestry needle that I am using on my project, on the magnet on the back of my project.  I use this to end my threads.  My reason for this is that the sharp needle will pierce the threads and make a more secure ending.

February 2010

How easy it is to forget the basics….. When turning your canvas upside down so your stitching area is closer to you be sure to turn the chart upside down.  I forgot to do this in one area of my Hearts Gone Wild project and because it was only tent stitch I did not realize that I was going in the wrong direction until I had many hours invested… became a design change 🙂

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine Alvarez permalink
    November 5, 2010 12:35 pm

    Hi Jan, I want to do the ‘Let It Snowman’ at the November guild meeting, but I don’t have the magazine that the pattern and instructions are in. I want to be as best prepared as possible so can you please give me some direction on how to obtain the pattern that has to be traced on Congress cloth ? Thanks very much. christine alvarez, ANG #45631

  2. Dr. Cheryl permalink
    April 20, 2011 11:08 am

    Jan, I just discovered your blog. How wonderful! I love it! Great source for info and inspiration. Of course, we all know stitchers are SMART…we always come to the POINT! LOL Thanks!

  3. Cait Johnson permalink
    July 22, 2011 2:18 pm

    Thank you for these tips. They can be used for cross stitchers as well. I found them universal in scope.

  4. July 19, 2013 7:03 am

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group
    of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in
    the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on.
    You have done a wonderful job!

  5. August 1, 2013 10:33 am

    Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the good work.

  6. December 13, 2013 6:23 pm

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  7. December 30, 2013 7:20 pm

    Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. March 24, 2014 10:06 pm

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  9. September 28, 2015 10:00 pm

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  10. January 15, 2016 3:32 pm

    Good, I agree with your point of view

  11. August 17, 2018 12:40 pm

    I am new to Bargello. I have been trying to get a pattern through stitch but I have no idea how to get it. Do you sell your patterns? The one I want I found on Pinterest. The only thing it says under the picture is Tool Reticule Back Complete. That means nothing to me. Help!


  1. Needlepoint Tips

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