Hand embroidery projects take a lot of time. However, their result is quite breathtaking. One such project is full coverage cross stitch. Depending on the size of the fabric you are working on, you are likely to take years working on a single project.
What is Full Coverage Cross Stitch?
Full coverage cross stitch is stitching a pattern onto a large fabric. The final result resembles a painting. Its creative and realistic use of color and texture makes it appear like a real-life image rather than a sewing project.
Those who accept the courage to get into full coverage cross-stitching, are willing to spend the much time it takes to complete a single project. For many cross stitch enthusiasts, a full coverage cross stitch project takes tens of hours or months and for others years to complete.
To complete a full coverage cross stitch, you only need your cross stitching skills. Stitching Xs on a hooped Aida fabric and following a pattern. The correct and intricate use of color and, the complete use of the available space leads to an intricate result.
Full coverage cross stitch patterns are easily available to buy. Look for one that you can easily build with your cross-stitching skills.
How To Make A Full Coverage Cross Stitch?
Step 1. To make a full coverage cross stitch you need to have all the materials you need at hand. You will need to first identify a pattern that you can use to make your full coverage cross stitch project.
Depending on the pattern you choose, you will need different colored embroidery threads, an Aida fabric fit for your large cross stitch pattern, an embroidery hoop or frame that will fit the fabric you choose, and needles.
You can also make your pattern for a full coverage cross stitch. You can use embroidery software or try to come up with something personalized that you can sew.
As your project will take a long time to complete, you also need a needle and embroidery organizer.
Step 2. Prepare your fabric. Since you will take a long time working on your full coverage cross stitch, you need to keep your fabric in good shape. The first thing you consider is preventing fraying on the fabric you are working on. You can do this by sewing a zigzag stitch all around the fabric. Or, you can spray a stiffening product or use duct tape around the fabric. Duct tape leaves a sticky residue on your fabric. It is the last option to consider to prevent fraying.
If you need to, you may also shade grids on your fabric. Grid 10 by 10 boxes on your fabric so that it can be easier to follow your pattern and key. Besides gridding with a marking pen, you can also grid with stitches. Make your equidistant grid stitches all around your fabric before you start cross-stitching. These stitches are clear sectional marks that you can follow easily as you cross-stitch.
Step 3. Frame your fabric. Depending on the size of your fabric, you need a frame that is as big or bigger than your fabric. When working on a full coverage stitch, you need a frame that you will leave the fabric in. You will also need a frame that will hold your full stitch coverage to display it in its full size. There are many types of frames you can use. Look for a cost-effective but functional frame for your cross-stitching.
Step 4. Start stitching. When it comes to cross-stitching, many recommend that you start from the middle. For a full coverage cross stitch, it is difficult to start from the middle of your fabric. This is because it is difficult to tell the exact center of the pattern that you may be following.
As a result, it is best if you picked a corner from which you will start your stitching. You can start from either corner on the top or the bottom of the pattern. In this way, you can follow along on your pattern easily and in a particular direction.
The best part to start your full coverage cross stitch is on the opposite side of your dominant hand.
For the best results or the easiest method, pick the largest color from the corner you decide to start from. Stitch that color until you are finished for that section before you pick the next color on the pattern. In this way, you can easily observe your progress.
Full stitch coverage takes a long time to complete. You can divide your project into phases. Give yourself a target for how long you will take to finish different sections of the pattern you are working on.
Always make sure that you have sufficient thread in your needle. You don’t want to keep threading your needle. It tires you out quickly. Always use floss that is equal to the length of your forearm, from your fingertips to your elbow. This amount of thread won’t tangle easily and will cover a large area on your full coverage cross stitch project.
When you start stitching, you need to remember to get comfortable. Make sure that you have a proper working space. Also, make sure that you have a comfortable seat and that your working space is well lit.
Being organized goes a long way in ensuring that you have a successful stitching session. Have everything you need ready and easy to reach.
When working on your full coverage stitches, make sure that you take as many breaks as possible. Working continuously will have you get tired and bored of the project quickly. You can have other similar smaller projects that you work on when you take your break. They will help you get more creative and relaxed when you resume working on your project.
Step 5. There are different types of stitches you can use for cross-stitching. For a full coverage cross stitching, you have a large project to work on. You can use as many different types of stitches as you know for the different sections of your project.
You can use Danish or English stitches for your full coverage cross-stitching project. You can even mix them up or use them differently for the different parts of the project.
Step 6. Washing. When you have finished stitching your full coverage cross stitch, you will need to wash it. Since it takes too much time to finish a project, the fabric will have to be dirty by then. When carrying out this project, try your best to keep it as clean as possible. One of the ways to do this is to wash your hands before you begin sewing every time.
Further, take care of your unused embroidery floss. Make sure to store it properly. You can use floss bags to keep your floss away from dust and other extremities that may harm them. In a place that it won’t get dust on. Different color embroidery threads will look dusty and need washing before you can display your final project.
Washing will not destroy your full coverage cross stitch. Wash in cold water and air dry your project to prevent shrinking.
How To Make Your Cross Stitch Design?
Rather than buying or getting a free pattern for your full coverage cross stitch, you can make your own. You can either make your pattern by hand, or by software. When you are making your design manually, you need an image from a photo or elsewhere. Then trace the image onto a transfer paper. Transfer the image onto the fabric and shade or mark grids of different colors on the fabric.
There are different types of software that you can use to make a cross stitch pattern. You can also use free cross stitch pattern generators, although this option provides only a limited range of patterns you can use. Using software helps you to save time when coming up with a cross stitch pattern. Also, make sure to use images that don’t have copyright issues.
How To Frame A Cross Stitch?
Once you have washed, dried, and ironed your full coverage cross stitch project you have to frame it. Framing protects your work and enhances its appeal. You can buy a frame for your project from the same shop that sells your sewing supplies.
Remove the glass covering of your frame and place your frame on a thin piece of thin cardboard. Draw the inside of the frame on the cardboard and set it aside. Place your cross stitch onto the cardboard with the cardboard extending at least an inch on either side of the full coverage cross stitch.
Start with the long sides and sew the full coverage stitch over the cardboard. Before you proceed to the shorter sides, make sure that the full coverage cross stitch sits proportionately on the cardboard. If it does, go on sewing.
Place your project on the clean frame glass. Then place the frame on the glass and project. Make sure they all fit into the frame perfectly. You can now hang your finished and framed full coverage cross stitch.