Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cross Stitch on Plastic Canvas

Using plastic canvas, it's possible to create unique cross stitch projects that you simply can't create with fabric. This is because plastic canvas is much firmer than normal fabrics; you can even use it to create three-dimensional projects. So if you haven't already done so -- try it soon!
Plastic canvas is great for projects such as:
  • Bookmarks
  • Bracelets
  • Tissue box covers
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Children's projects
  • Coasters
  • Baskets.
Plastic canvas is robust, so it will last and, therefore, is perfect for seasonal decorations. It's also perfect  to use when you're creating a project you want to display or use in your everyday life, such as a tissue box cover or a bookmark. 
Plastic canvas traditionally comes in 7, 10, and 14-count. You can  also find canvases in a variety of shapes and colors, including very bright colors that are ideal for children's projects and holiday ornaments. When deciding which color canvas to buy, choose a shade that lends itself to your project.
Plastic canvas also comes in a variety of textures. Some canvases are very stiff, while others are more flexible. The type of canvas you use depends on the project you are creating. Most project instruction sheets will tell you which canvas works best.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when stitching on plastic canvas:

  • Keep your floss smooth and untangled. Stop every few stitches and smooth out the floss, allowing it to untangle by letting the needle drop from your work and letting it swing around. You can also try giving your needle a half-turn with every stitch, to prevent the tangles from forming.
  • Trim your canvas before you begin stitching so the edges are smooth. If you don't have enough material, apply adhesive tape to the edges of the plastic canvas to prevent your floss from snagging as you stitch.
  • As is true with cloth, you need to keep the tension on the floss consistent. Don't pull the floss too tight or leave it too loose. You'll  want your stitches to have a "natural" tension, which means the stitches cover the square neatly without either sagging or being tight.
  • If you have areas in your pattern that are normally not stitched but you don't want the plastic canvas to show, stitch these areas in a soft background color. Choose a color that highlights your design but doesn't overwhelm it.
  • Many stitchers like to start their floss using the loop method. The loop method creates a neat knot and is recommended for plastic canvas. You can use this method if you're stitching with an even number of strands. Simply use half as many stands as you would normally use, and then measure out twice as much floss as usual. Double the floss so that a loop appears at one end.
Thread your needle with the loose ends, and then push the needle from the back of the canvas to the front. Leave the loop loose on the back of the canvas. Make a stitch and return the needle to the back of the canvas. Push the needle through the loop, and then pull the floss so the loop closes.

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