Like in every other aspect of life, the cross-stitch community has its language. There are words, phrases, and abbreviations that only cross-stitch embroiderers understand.
This inside language describes lots of things about a cross-stitch project.
If you are not a cross-stitch embroiderer you will find it hard to understand what the words mean.
What Is FFO In Cross Stitch?
FFO in cross-stitch means a finally finished object. This describes a cross-stitch project that you have just finished working on. The object should also be framed for display and preservation.
FFO may also mean a finally framed object.
Cross-stitch embroiderers use the term FFO to describe a cross-stitch project they have recently finished working on. For a full coverage cross-stitch project, FFO can be used to describe it when it is washed, dried, and framed.
How To Make A Fully Finished Cross-Stitch Object?
Step 1. Prepare your materials. For a successful FFO cross-stitch project, you need to have the right tools and materials. The first thing you need is Aida fabric. The Aida fabric is the most commonly used fabric for cross-stitch. You can also use linen or Evenweave fabric. Wash and dry your fabric before you start your project.
When you have the fabric, you need your cross-stitch pattern. The pattern is a digital or physical design that you will cross-stitch onto the fabric. The pattern consists of a key made with symbols to represent the colors of thread that you will use on different parts of the cross-stitch project.
You also need to buy embroidery floss and embroidery needles. Your embroidery needles need to be the right needle for the fabric count you have chosen. Your embroidery floss also needs to be high-quality and in colors that correspond to the pattern you have.
You also need a hoop. An embroidery hoop is an important tool for cross-stitching. It holds your fabric taut and ensures that you can see the holes that your stitches need to pass through clearly.
When you have all your tools and materials ready, you can now start your cross-stitch project. But before that, make sure to wash your hands. Working with dirty hands will cause your project to get dirty quickly.
Step 2. Thread your embroidery needles with at least two strands of embroidery floss. Pick the color of floss that your project needs you to start with. Cut a length equal to your forearm and thread your needle.
When you thread your needle, don’t make a knot at the end of the thread. You will make an anchor stitch for your cross-stitch with your first several stitches.
Step 3. Start your cross-stitch project. Cross-stitch projects start at the middle of the hooped fabric. Check out your fabric and mark the center point from where you will start your stitching.
Cross-stitch also involves counting stitches on your fabric. You can grid your fabric to make it easier to see your stitches to increase your cross-stitching speed.
Before you start cross-stitching, make sure that you have studied and understood your pattern. Make sure you know which colors to start with and how many stitches you need for each color before changing your threads.
Also, make sure you have as many needles as the colors in your pattern. Thread all your needles in advance to help you save time as you move from one thread color to another on your cross-stitch project.
Step 4. Bring your needle up from the bottom side at the center of your fabric. Make a diagonal stitch for your base stitches as you take your needle back down. In cross-stitch, the stitches are made in rows from left to right.
As you go back up, make sure that you place the tail end of your floss on the fabric and sew through it. Do this for a few initial stitches to make a strong anchor stitch for your stitches.
When you have finished the base stitches, go back over them and make the top stitches to form the X stitch that indicates a cross-stitch.
Continue making your X stitches from the center of the fabric. When you need to change colors on your fabric according to your pattern, secure the current thread by sewing it under already existing X stitches.
When you start with the new thread, make sure to make a strong anchor stitch that holds the thread in place. Continue making your cross-stitches and changing your threads according to your pattern until you finish your project.
Step 5. When you have finished your cross-stitch project, you need to wash it. Depending on the size and the time you took to complete your project, your fabric will have gotten dirty. You cannot frame a dirty cross-stitch project.
Wash the dirty cross-stitch project in cold water and wash it by hand. Also, use a mild washing soap to wash it. Then leave it to air-dry.
You can iron your clean cross-stitch product. Place it on a clean cloth or towel. Then cover it with an ironing cloth and press it. Use medium heat and press to clear any wrinkles on the fabric.
If you have any threads hanging on the top or bottom side of the cross-stitch project, cut them with scissors. Cut them as close as possible to the Aida fabric so that the stitches stay firm and don’t unravel.
Step 6. Frame your now complete cross-stitch project. You will need a frame that is equal to or slightly larger than the size of your fabric or project. Make sure that your projects don’t have any wrinkles on them before you frame them. You can spray wrinkle remover if the ironing didn’t clear them.
Remove the backside of your frame so that you have the base and the glass separate. Mostly, the base of the frame is cardboard. You can sew your cross-stitch onto the cardboard backing of the frame. Then, put the cardboard with the project back in the frame.
If you don’t have enough space to sew your project onto the frame, you can glue your project onto the cardboard and then frame it.
You now have your FFO cross stitch project.
Cross-Stitch Terms That You Need To Know
Finished Object. This means that you have finished stitching your project. It is now ready for framing. Before it becomes an FFO.
WIP. This stands for work in progress. It describes the cross-stitch project that you may still be working on.
PAD. Project All Done.
BAP. Big Ass Project. You can use this to describe a large cross-stitch project you are working on. If you are working on a full coverage cross-stitch project, you can describe it as a BAP.
Forgotten Stash. These are kits or incomplete projects that have been left over a long period.
PHD. Projects half done. In cross-stitch, it is possible to have so many projects going on at the same time. As a result, you may leave many of them half done as you work on others.
PFO. Pulled From Oblivion. This is a cross-stitch project you get back to after some considerable amount of time has passed.
UFO. Unfinished Object. This is a project that you have taken too much time to complete or that you don’t have an intention to complete. It may have become difficult or boring.
LNS. Local Needle Shop. This is a shop that cross-stitch embroiderers can visit to get their cross-stitch supplies. It is a specialized sewing shop rather than a supermarket.
ONS. Online Needle Shop. This is an online shop where you can get all your cross-stitch supplies.
DMC. This is a common term used in cross-stitch. DMC is a popular embroidery floss brand. It is a high-quality floss that is popular and most commonly used by cross-stitchers. It is available in a range of colors that you may need.
What Is Fabric Count In Cross-Stitch?
Cross-stitch fabrics such as Aida are woven with the same number of threads all around. This creates the even-sized squares that cross-stitchers follow to make their same size X cross-stitches.
Fabric count refers to the number of squares or stitches on every inch of the fabric. A 14 count Aida which is the most used cross-stitch fabric, has 14 squares or stitches for every inch of the fabric. This means that, the higher the count, the higher the stitches you have or will make on an inch of the fabric.
If you want to make a large cross-stitch project, you need to use a low-count fabric. The higher the fabric count, the smaller the project.
When you know your fabric count, you know the type of embroidery needle you need to use for your fabric. The lower the fabric count, the larger the embroidery needle you need to use. The higher the fabric count the smaller the needle you will use for your project.
The larger the needle the more strands of embroidery floss you can use. While a smaller embroidery needle will only hold a few strands.