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Cross Stitch Instructional Videos

Take a look at our latest instructional videos:


Bead Buddy

Good morning this is Nikki from Cross Stitch Supplies - it's such a beautiful day in Cape Town today that I decided to do my video outside.
Today I'm going to explain the product Bead Buddies. What I came up with - I got very frustrated with having packet of beads, you know, they are so fragile, you open the packet and they go flying everywhere! So I came up with this - Which is a little box that holds your beads and it attaches right to your project as you're working.
So it's got two little magnets and you put it on the front like that and then it attaches and it won't go anywhere. Then all you do is you open it up - and it's sticky inside - and you just pour in the project beads that you are using like that. And it won't go flying everywhere!
I'm working on Joan Elliot's Sweetpea Fairy at the moment so these are the beads that I will need.. and the last one.... And you can see I poured them into different areas of the Bead Buddy and they don't go anywhere, so they are stuck right there. But there are not stuck with any sticky residue that you are left with on the bead. So as you are stitching you can just use your needle and you can just pick up a bead and off you go!
So that's how the bead buddy works. Have a lovely day!

Fractional Stitches / Stitching Technique

Hi, this is Nikki Loans from Cross Stitch Supplies and today I'm doing a video on fractional stitches.

I know that this is a bit of a tricky one for most people, so I thought I'd give you a few close up shots. 

I'll show you on Aida and on Evenweave. So have a look at this chart and you can see that there are some very interesting stitches over there. Those are called fractional stitches and it's where you've got two different colours in one block. So what that means is that there are two half stitches - let me show you what it looks like........

Over here I've done a little half stitch in the green and now I'm going to go up to that and do the other half stitch in the pink. Just like that. And over there there's another half stitch in green and I'm going to do another half stitch in pink. This is on linen so because it's over two threads it's actually easier to do fractional stitching. I'm just going to cross them with the pink - but you can decide what colour you' re going to cross them with or you can leave them uncrossed and you're just going to have to back stitch over it with whatever the chart will show you.

And there we have some fractional stitches. The green over there and the pink goes up to the line where it's crossed.

Now I'm going to show you on Aida - this is slightly different. Here we have some Aida. Now with Aida it's a little tricky because your half stitch has got to go into the middle of that block so you've got to look very carefully and kind of wiggle your needle around until it finds the middle and then you push it through and this is where your size 28 needles come in handy! So there' I'm just going to cross it - and that's a fractional stitch.

I'm just going to do it once more. Wiggle your needle and it finds the centre, push it through and then you cross it.

Sometimes fractional stitches are called quarter stitches which would just be this - that's a quarter stitch and sometimes they're called three-quarter stitches which is what this is - as you can see it takes up three-quarters of the block and that takes up one-quarter of the block. 

And those are fractional stitches. Have a lovely day!


Cross Stitch Lacing Tutorial - Part 1

Hi, I'm Nikki from Cross Stitch Supplies, and today I'm going to do the first in a series of

tutorials on how to lace your projects for framing.
So now we are going to talk about the preparation you need to do.
I suggest that you build up a good relationship with your framer so that they can work with you to do this.
So what I've done is I've gone to my framer with my work and I've asked her to measure and to cut the perfect 
size of backboard for me to lace onto it.  You need something firm and something with a little bit of depth
so you can get your pins in properly.
You will need pins with big fat heads so we don't hurt our fingers, a pen, a nice long ruler, scissors, 
cotton fabric, and tapestry needles that the cotton can go through.
You need to draw a line from each corner to mark the exact centre.  If you dont have ruler long enough ask
your framers because they will be able to do it for you.
Now you have the exact centre.
Now we find the centre of our work. So we're going to fold it in half one way -
and we are gong to fold it in half the other way, to find our centre point.  Make sure it's exact because this is going
to be our anchor point for the entire project.
The first thing we need to do is connect the centre of our project with the centre of our board which we marked
with the ruler. So we are going to insert a pin through the centre of where those lines meet, like that. 
Make sure it goes all the way through because we don't want it to shift at all.
So we are going to take our pins and put them in the centre - you just need to eyeball, it doesn't need to be exact.
Centre of each side - top and bottom.  And this is why you need some depth to your board so that it actually goes in.
You may decide to use more pins depending on the size of the project, or less pins if your project is small.
Cross Stitch Lacing Tutorial - Part 2


Hi, I'm Nikki from Cross Stitch Supplies.

So now that we've pinned it we can turn our work over - keep that centre pin in and try to push it all the way through.
And flip over your work. Now we're going to take our cotton and this is when we need to learn how to do a slip knot.

We're going to make a loop, twist it and pull the thread through the loop.
It's a knot that shifts as you pull it. You don't want it too tight otherwise you can't lock it and you don't want it too loose 
otherwise it will just slip out. So first we need to anchor our thread onto our fabric. We are going to pull it through like
that until we have a little tail and then we're going to do our slip knot like that and we're going to pass our needle through
the slip knot.

Now this is the most important part - we need to lock that thread in place. We're going to pull it through and there - where it
pulls through the other side, it's locked. You can tighten it if you want. Now we are going to continue lacing from the bottom - leave
two or three cm's space and push it through. The same at the bottom. Now we need to attach a piece again - make another
slip knot. The end goes through there and we tighten it. Now we are going to pull the top thread on each leg - you can see
I'm giving it tension but not too much that it distorts the fabric.

So I pull it and them I'm holding it there and then I pull the next one and I keep doing that all the way along.

Once you get a knot just wiggle it through. Now we've got the tension we want, pull that up and I'm just going to tie it off.
No fancy knot or anything. Lots of knots so they don't slip out. Now we can see that it's tensioned we can go and cut off the
extra bits if we want to.
Now that we've lace one whole side, we've rotated our project and we're going to fold over the top like that. Make a neat
corner and we're going to lace through two layers there. Pull it through and do our slip knot. And we're going to fold over
this side as well. Through two layers. And now we start again.

The last one! Trying to keep as much tension in the last one as possible. And now we can take the pins out.

Turn it over and take out the pin in the middle and there we have our finished product.


Q Snap Instructional Video

Hi. I'm Nikki from Cross Stitch Supplies.

I'm here just to give you an instructional video with some tips and tricks on Q-snaps.

These are Q-snaps - they are the next generation of hoop. So as you can see they are rectangular 
or square so you're not left with round unsightly hoop marks that are a little hard to get out. When you buy
your Q-snaps, they come like this and you have to assemble them. They come in different sizes - 
6x6, 8x8, 11x11, 11x17, 17x17 - and they are measured in inches not centimeters so that's a bit bigger than 
you would think. 

Just going to show you how to put them together. You have to assemble them like this - best to do it on a flat surface. 
These are the 17x17 inch ones - the biggest you get. So there's our frame snapped together - very easy. 
Now we're going to put our project on. Lay your project over the top and then you're going to push the clamps on.
I like to use a little bit of fabric between my project and the clamp so this is just think tracksuit fabric that I've cut and I 
just put it there and I just push these over the top, like that. Q snaps don't damage your fabric in anyway.
That's always good to know. There we go. Now as you can see this is still quite loose so I'm just going to roll them to the 
outside which gives nice tension. One tip that I've learned is that you can't put Q-snaps over beads because they will crush the beads. But sometimes your project is bigger than the Q-snaps that you have, so what I usually do is I just, once I've stitched an area I just fold up that area and I don't need to put the Q-snaps clamp on - I'm just going to fold it up carefully like that. My clamp doesn't go on and then I just use my Q-snaps garter which just tucks everything in nicely and holds it all together and I can just carry on stitching and I still have enough tension to carry on stitching on the other end.

Now, the way that you take Q-snaps off is very simple. They don't clamp off, they're a little bit tight, but as you can see there is no ending on the frame itself so you are just going to slide it off. Like that. And then you're not left with any damaged ends. 

So let me explain some other products that we have to go with your Q-snaps - We have Q-snaps garters which tuck everything  in nicely with the Q-snaps underneath. Just make sure that your hands are nice and clean so that it doesn't leave any marks on your fabric. And then we also have the zippy cover - your project fits in there without any problems. Just tucks in there.
Zips up on two sides - easy in and easy out. They are lovely because you can fit in all your patterns , your projects. So if you are going anywhere it's the easiest because you can just pick it up and go and you can take it with you and
it will keep everything nice and neat.


Explaining the Differences Between Various Cross Stitch Fabrics

Hi, this is Nikki from crossstichsupplies.co.za and I'm here with a few pieces of fabric

to show you the differences between them.

Here we have Aida which is what we usually get in SA. It's made up of little squares
with big holes. Here's a close up view for you. And that's what we typically get but with 
crossstitchsupplies.co.za we've decided to bring you some even weaves. 
Even weaves are slightly smaller fibres so you stitch over two but your stitches end up the same 
size as with the Aida. Let me show you. It's much smoother. This is Joblin 28 count. It's much softer, 
it's got a lot more cotton in it, so it takes the dye in a very blended way. I'ts very soft and very beautiful.

And then we have 28 count Opal Lugana. The difference between this and Joblin is that this has got the 
sparkle thread woven through it. So you can see that it picks up that little bit of shimmer. And that's why 
it's a little bit more expensive. It is a slightly stiffer fabric than the Joblin but it holds your stitches
very nicely, very neatly. It's very easy to stitch on as is the Joblin.

Thank you very much.


Loop Start Technique and Railroading Stitch Technique Instructional Video

Hi, this is Nikki Loans from Cross Stitch Supplies and I'm here to give you some basic tips and tricks and technique about cross-stitch.

So first we're going to talk about thread and how to separate them, and how to get the best, neatest stitches that you can.

So I'm going to cut my thread about 50cm long, and I'm just going to pull one thread out and the way that I do that is I just grab the one 
and hold the rest, and I pull down. And then it dangles so all the twists come out and this I pull down again and then I set it aside.
I'm only going to use one thread, and I fold it in half and I make a loop and thread my needle.

And there you can see it's got a loop at the end - this is called the loop method of starting. So, I'm just going to go over here
and make sure I start in the right place. I'm going to come up where I want to start my stitch and I'm going to leave a tail and I push it through the other side, flip it over and there's my loop. And I'm just going to stick my needle through that loop and pull gently.
And there you can see it catches underneath and it won't pull through - that is the neatest way to start.

Now, when you stitch, you want your threads, the 2 threads, to lie parallel to each other so that you get the best coverage and the neatest stitches. And the way you do that, and it's called railroading, is to stick your needle between the two threads and you're going to separate them and then you go down into the hole. And that ensures that your threads are perfectly parallel. It can be a bit time consuming but it gets the best results. So here we go again, up through the hole, split the two threads and down through the hole. Lets do it once more.........
spilt them with your needle and go down in the middle.

There we go, nice neat stitches and that's called railroading!


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