FAQ About NeedleworkWritten by Katrina Renouf
How should I anchor my floss at beginning?
Though some people will tell you otherwise, never use knots in needlework. It tends to cause a bulge on front of fabric when piece is mounted. To start, hold end of floss on reverse side and stitch over it with first couple stitches. To finish off a strand run needle under a few stitches on back. Avoid anchoring colored threads under white threads since color tends to show through to front. Trim tails.
The technique I use is one that I learned from my aunt. Start by separating one long strand of floss and doubling it over on itself so it forms a loop at one end. Thread two raw ends through needle. Begin by taking your needle up through fabric. Make your first stitch, and go down through fabric. Take your needle through loop. The thread is now anchored securely, and looks neater on back.
I have finished a piece of cross-stitch work and now I cannot get creases from hoop out. I do not need to wash it how can I get them out?
You can damped it and iron it, BUT floss colors might run beads might melt or crease might not come out all together. Before trying this be sure to take some strands of floss and put them on a sample of cloth and dampen them to see if color runs. When you iron, use a cool iron on back of design, and put a towel on both sides, never put an iron directly on stitches! Alternatively you could go to your dry cleaners and ask them if them could help with a light steam iron, but know if colors can run.
The best way to get them out is to avoid getting them in first place. I would suggest that you take fabric out of hoop every time you stop sewing, and move it to a slightly different place each time. Another option is to place a piece of plastic wrap between top hoop and fabric before stitching. Then all you just cut out a hole for stitching. This keeps hoop from touching fabric.
Keeping Your Needlework CleanWritten by Katrina Renouf
The best way to clean your needlework is to keep it clean from beginning; this doesnít always happen (as I very well know). I can give you some tips on how to make this more likely to happen, and also how to get out those inevitable stains.
One of first things you can do to prevent stains is to set colors in your fabric and floss. It isnít always necessary to wash your fabric first, but a good thing to do is to put it in a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts cold water. This ensures that colors wonít run. I have never heard of this shrinking fabric either, so donít worry about that, just make sure you always use cold water. Itís always a good idea to set colors in regular cotton threads, especially darker ones. You can use that same solution to set colors in your threads, just soak them for about 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse in cold water for a few minutes or until water runs clear. Just dry them on a towel overnight, and theyíll be ready to use in morning.
Naturally best way to prevent stains while stitching is to make sure that your hands are clean. You should also avoid using hand lotion since most lotions contain an oil product which ca result in greasy spots on your needlework. Hoops are also notorious for leaving dirty marks. I suggest using tissue paper with a small open area for section being stitched. Also, removing hoop when you are not stitching can cut down on marks dramatically. A third major way to stain your fabric is by having someone else spill something on it or otherwise stain it while youíre not around. People with children know how easy that can happen. The best solution for this is to store your projects in plastic zipper bags. They now make them with small holes in them to allow them to breath. Make sure that you roll your fabric instead of folding it. The creases caused by folding tend to collect dirt, and are difficult to get out even if theyíre ironed.
Now, to discuss inevitable, No matter what we do to prevent them, stains do happen. Make sure you deal with stain as soon as it happens, letting it sit until piece is done will make it more difficult to get stain out. One tip I have heard is that you should always use a pure soap, like Ivory, and not detergent or WoolLite, since they can have dyes or bleach in them. I have divided up following paragraphs into most common stains, and ways I have heard to get them out.