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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What's the best way to add my initials and the date to my projects?

Discreetly. Choose a medium to light color from the design or one that is compatible with the design. Look for "nooks and crannies" near the bottom of the design to tuck in your initials and year. I have seen some clever arrangement of letters (monograms) used to sign needlework. Play with a bit of graph paper and see what you can invent, but keep it relatively small. The smallest alphabet that is still legible is a "two-high" backstitch alphabet (see below).

2. What is a scroll frame? How is it used?

Scroll frames roll two opposite sides of your fabric (think of ancient scrolls that predate books) and allow you to stitch without wrinkling the fabric.

Attach the fabric according to manufacturer's instructions to one scroll bar at a time and roll it up with the front of the fabric protected inside the roll. When both scroll bars have fabric on them, attach the spacers (bars that hold the scroll bars apart) and then mount the scroll frame into its stand, or balance it against the edge of a table. Some stitchers use clamps or stands so that the frame doesn’t have to be held and both hands can work the needle.

Right-handed stitchers put their right hand under the fabric and use their left hand on top of the fabric, passing the needle back and forth.

3. Can I legally share a chart with a friend when I'm done with it?

If you like the design and friend, buy a new copy just for your friend. The designer will be encouraged to continue and your friend will know you really care.

From a legal standpoint, you buy the rights to personal use only when you purchase a design with a copyright on it (a "C" in a circle with a date and a name). You should not sell the design you stitch from the pattern without permission, nor should you copy the chart for a friend. It is permitted to make a working copy for yourself and many stitchers do. This way the original is preserved and the copy gets all dog-eared, highlighted, coffee-stained, folded, and generally used up.

4. I love playing with different fibers, but how do I know how many strands to use?

That depends on what technique is being used. If you are cross-stitching, use enough strands to mostly cover the fabric. Too few strands look thin and spidery, too many look chunky. For satin stitching (as in hardanger klosters) use enough strands to cover the fabric fully but not so many that you distort the fabric.

The best guide when cross-stitching on linen is to match the thickness of the linen itself. Pull one strand from the edge of the fabric and compare strands of the fiber you want to use until a similar thickness is achieved.

5. Can I submit a design for possible publication in The Cross Stitcher magazine?

For more information, please visit our Submissions Guidelines page by clicking here.

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