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March 27, 2020
Following on from last year's post on must-have beginner supplies for cross stitch, I now wanted to write about the essential items for the advanced cross stitchers out there! These are the tools that are going to make intricate needlework a whole lot easier and quicker. Maybe you've fallen in love with cross stitch and are now looking to take your stitching experience to a whole new level!...
It might sound obvious, but if your favourite place for stitching lacks natural light, reinforcing your light source is an easy win on your eyes. But before buying anything, think carefully about what your requirements are. If you travel a lot, do you need something portable? Depending on your comfiest stitchy spot, you might prefer a floor or desk lamp. It's also important to choose a cool light, to make sure your thread colours aren't altered so look specifically for daylight bulbs.
You'll find lots of great options online so take a look and consider exactly when and where you want to use it to make sure you find the best lamp for cross-stitching for you. You might even be able to find one with a magnifying glass too!
A grime guard is designed to protect and keep your fabric clean while you're stitching. By handling the fabric day in day out, you could transfer everyday grime onto your beautiful cross stitch piece which wouldn't necessarily be noticeable at first but once a project is complete and ready to be framed, you're going to want it to be as clean and perfect as possible to show off all your hard work! The grime guard is essentially a stretchy fabric cover that fits your frame and can be popped on and off easily. They work best with Q-snap frames and can be found in all kinds of sizes and fun designs.
For larger projects, it also keeps excess fabric out of the way. There are lots of video tutorials on how to make a grime guard online, so take a look and try making your own one - it's a great way to use up old bits of fabric you've got lying around the house! You can even match the grime guard fabric to the theme of your project like these examples!
You'll wonder how you ever lived without a cross stitch stand for large projects. Holding your work in place, your stand is like a 3rd pair of hands, helping you avoid neck, back and wrist pain. A stand can also help keep your fabric taut so that your stitches are more consistent and make stitching overall more of a pleasure!
Floor stands come in all shapes and sizes; free-standing ones, ones that clip onto tables and even lap stands. Just think about what suits your needs best. You can also get a cross stitch stand with light already built-in!
Frames help to keep your cross stitch in place and provide even tension to make your work look professional. Usually, in hoop, square or rectangular form, the best ones are adjustable, as they save money in the long run (one frame fits all projects!)
When choosing your frame, make sure you get something strong and sturdy as it needs to offer even tension across the material to avoid clumping or sagging. If you like to stitch on the move, choose something portable so it's easy to travel with. Also consider the size of the frame when in use and any project bag you might be using.
Last but not least are some of the smaller tools that will help speed up your projects. Needle threaders are inexpensive and worth their weight in gold, saving your patience when you drop the thread for the hundredth time!
You could try thread conditioner too which puts a protective layer on your thread, creating a defence from future mildew, UV damage and mould. It also releases static electricity which means less tangling.
And of course, there's the essential stork scissors and magnetic needle minders!
If you're already committed to cross stitching, investing in some, or all, of these tools, will make your needlework life easier, meaning you're free to enjoy the pastime even more!
Shop our cross stitch kits and supplies here.
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