Starting in the middle is the typical way to start cross stitch. The most obvious reason to start in the middle is that you can be sure not to run out of fabric. And you will have plenty of room for your design. There is also less risk of finishing your work off-center.
Starting your cross stitch in the middle has its benefits. When you start in the middle, your design center is also at the center of your fabric. You also get to start at the best and most exciting parts of your pattern. But even if starting in the middle is the easiest method to do for most people, you should begin to stitch where you think would work best for you.
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How do you center cross stitch?
If your pattern has a small and simple design, it will be easier for you to start at the center. The best thing about starting your cross stitch in the middle is that you do not need to count.
Starting your cross stitch at the center is probably the most convenient method to do. You can follow these very easy steps to begin.
- Look for the center of your actual pattern (digital or printed). You can find that most patterns indicate the location of the center. If not, it is still easy to find it on your own. Divide the rows and columns in half; the point where they meet is your center.
- Make sure that your fabric has a 2 to 3 inches margin based on your pattern measurements. Allotting this amount can ensure that you will have enough fabric for framing. You will also have allowances for when edges get a little frayed as you work.
- To find the center of your fabric, start by laying your fabric flat on the table. Fold the fabric in half from the bottom up. After folding your fabric into two, fold it in half again by turning the left side to the right.
- The point where the folds meet is the center of your fabric. Mark the center of your material lightly with a pencil. Do not worry about pencil markings because they should come off after washing.
- The spot you marked is where you will stitch your first cross stitch from your pattern.
Now, you are ready to take that first tiny stitch that will be the base of your artwork. But before you do, here are a few tips from experienced cross stitchers to help you make your stitching journey a breeze.
- When you are working with a cross stitch mini kit or small card, you can fold the fabric into four and finger press to find the center of your fabric.
- Aside from using a pencil to mark the center of the fabric, you can also use a pin or temporarily sew a piece of thread as a mark.
- Before stitching, make sure your fabric is facing the right way. For example, when your cross stitch design is on a landscape orientation, it is longer horizontally than it is tall. Make sure that your cross stitch has the proper orientation before stitching. You will save hours not wasted on unraveling your mistakes.
- Before you start stitching, make a copy of your pattern so that you can mark and highlight the parts you have finished. You can keep your original copy clean, so you can still use it in the future.
- After you have found the center of your fabric, you can decide which way your next stitches go. You can go towards the right or left or go up or down. A useful tip would be to go towards the area where you will use more of a single color.
- You can also use gridding on your fabric with a pencil or erasable pens to guide you in your stitching process.
Does it matter which way you cross stitch?
For some who have been doing cross stitch for a long time, it does not matter how you start your cross stitch. You only have to finish the design right, and be happy in the process of doing your cross stitch.
When you are finally ready to start your cross stitch, where do you start? At the bottom left, the upper left, the center, or the fabric’s lower or upper right?
The right location where you begin your cross stitch only depends on you. The design definitely should be centered, but where you start to stitch should only be up to you and not because of the norm.
Here are a few reasons why some cross stitchers prefer certain places to start instead of the fabric’s center.
- Most of the time, the pattern dictates where you start your first stitch. For cross stitch patterns with more than a few pages, it can be more convenient to start from the fabric’s upper left corner. You will be sure to have a smooth transition of finishing one page to the next. A full-coverage pattern will benefit more by starting cross stitch in this manner.
- The design can determine the starting location. For one-page or small cross stitch projects, it would be best to start from the fabric’s center. When the pattern is a long one, it may be good to start stitching from top to bottom. Each design has its own best place to begin stitching.
- Some people start their first stitch in the area with more prominent colors and then fill in the smaller areas with colors.
- Some stitchers start from any corner where they feel comfortable stitching from. Reasons can be based on which hand used for stitching is more dominant. Right-handed stitchers will feel more comfortable starting stitching from the left. Left-handed stitchers, on the other hand, will sew better coming from the right.
Where do you start when cross stitching?
You can start cross stitching anywhere in your pattern. But it would help if you assign a specific location to start your stitch, so it would also be easier to keep track of your stitches based on your pattern. Most people start at the center of the fabric and the close second is at the top left corner.
With cross stitch, there is no wrong way. How you go about starting your pattern is your choice.
From the Center
If you start from the center, you can be sure that you will not run out of fabric as you go along. There is less chance of unraveling your almost finished work because your stitches veered towards one side. Another benefit of starting at the middle of your fabric is you can choose any way to proceed from that point.
Starting your stitch at the center is ideal for small designs or single-page patterns.
From the Top Left Corner
Starting on the top left corner is the best method to choose when working on a pattern with multiple pages. It will be easier to see your progress as you finish each page consecutively.
When you start from the top left corner, your hand is never on your work, so there will be less oil from your hand. The risk of and the loosening of stitches is reduced.
To know where to place your first stitch using this method, measure the same distance from your fabric’s top and left side. Put a mark where the two lines meet. If you need allowance for framing, you can measure around 2 to 3 inches from your fabric’s top and left side.
If you have a full-coverage pattern, you can start your stitch on your fabric’s marked area. Then, continue stitching horizontally or vertically, whichever has more stitches in a row.
From the Top Center
Starting from the top center is ideal when your pattern is designed around an oval shape. The design is usually at the center and has more vertical stitches than horizontal.
To start with your cross stitch, find the center of the fabric. Then, count up to find the top stitch of the design at the middle column and start stitching from there.
From the Bottom Right
You can also start your stitches from the bottom right. But this is the least recommended method.
To know where to place your first stitch using this method, measure similar distances from your fabric’s bottom and right side.
Even if this is not the best choice, you can go and make your first stitch at the bottom right if it feels comfortable for you.
The drawbacks of starting from the bottom right are running the risk of having small amounts of oil or dust from your hands onto your fabric. Because your hand may often brush over finished areas of your work, this may also cause the threads to loosen up.
Where you start your first stitch on your cross stitch mostly depends on what kind of pattern you are making. Before you drop your needle for your first stitch, look closely at your pattern first to help you decide which method will give you the best benefits.