Of all the various hand-sewing or embroidery patterns that beginner and budding embroiderers and knitters like to master, the cross-stitch is definitely one. Cross-stitch or cross-stitches continue to be extremely popular with youngsters not only because there are near endless patterns to learn but also because mastering the style poses a challenge. The versatility of countless cross-stitch patterns and their across-the-board applications has spawned a series of industries pertaining to supplies and pattern production.
Regardless of whether you want to master cross stitching simply as a pastime or to become a thoroughbred professional, you’ll need to be organized. And that in essence implies keeping your projects as well as supplies in order so that you’ve everything at hand. However, organizing your supplies and cross-stitch projects is easier said than done as there are so many things that you’ll have to systematize.
In this review we take a close look at a few practical tools that’ll help to keep your cross-stitch supplies well-organized.
You’ll need to handle and deal with fabric or cloth pieces for cross-stitching with meticulous care. In other words, you’ll have to ensure that it stays protected from the elements as well as remain neat and clean. And the best way to make sure that your fabric stays tidy and in shipshape condition is to fold it.
Many beginner cross stitchers are at their wits’ end in folding the textiles suitably so that they remain orderly and uncluttered. One excellent way of folding your cross-stitch fabrics is draping them effectively around foam boards. Once you’ve draped the different cloth pieces on foam boards, arrange them neatly like you’d stack books.
If you want you can also place the foam boards inside a bookcase or in an open wall cabinet containing shelves. Stacking foam boards inside a mantelpiece or a cabinet will ensure that your materials not only stay well-organized but also spick-and-span. You can also place your foam boards with rolled fabrics in a large and spacious container or bin if you’re anxious about your cloths developing wrinkles.
Though you can easily fold most fabrics by ironing them, ironing out creases in cross-stitch fabrics such as Aida can be difficult. At the same time you’ll have to protect fabrics for your cross-stitch projects from sunlight, dust, dirt, bugs, and stains. Using cardboard storage tubes is definitely the easiest and the cheapest way to preserve your cross-stitch textiles.
Cardboard tubes, unlike other common means of storage allow you to roll up cloth rather than folding it. On the other hand, these tubes occupy minimal storage enabling you to put them in a corner that is cool, clean, and dust-free. You can also easily put the tubes away in a place or area where they’ll remain perfect for a long period of time.
Also you can mark the tubes mentioning vital details about the fabric stored inside since they’re made of cardboard. You can also take advantage of storage boxes made of plastic for safekeeping your cross-stitch fabrics. Storing fabrics in robust and handy plastic containers or boxes has been the traditional method for preserving cross stitch fabrics.
Apart from being completely flat which lets you place the cloths smoothly, plastic storage boxes offer other benefits as well:-
- Occupies minimal storage space
- They’re affordable
- They shield your textiles from sun-bleaching, bugs, dirt, and stains
- They’re waterproof
Storage boxes not only enable you to stockpile more fabrics than you’ll ever need but also let you know the number of leftover pieces. At the same time you can keep your fabrics rolled up rather than stacking or folding to avoid creases. Last but not the least you can store the boxes in drawers, under your bed, and inside a wardrobe.
Organizing Cross-Stitch Patterns
There are more patterns of cross-stitch available nowadays than you can imagine. However if you’re planning to put together and arrange every cross-stitch pattern you come across then it’ll be a tall order. Therefore instead of organizing the entire gamut of patterns, it is better and more sensible to save only a limited number. It may take some time for you to properly organize all your cross-stitch patterns but the endeavor will serve you well eventually. There are several easy and practical ways to keep your patterns well-ordered.
Binders, Portfolios, File Folders, and Clip Hangers
For instance you can use trouser clip hangers, binder notebooks, portfolios, page protectors, and the like. The hanging rails or bars in your wardrobe come in perfectly handy for suspending your patterns in a secure manner. All you need to do is to get hold of some costume clips for hanging your patterns as you’d your garments.
However you should take care in using clip hangers as overloading them with patterns, especially the heavier ones may prove detrimental. So it’s better to use a limited number of patterns in the beginning that’ll not overwhelm your clips. Also starting with a small collection also enables you to keep track of the samples you’ve mastered and the ones you’re left with.
Another good way of safekeeping patterns is putting them away in transparent pouches. See-through pouches allow you to store patterns more neatly and at the same time let you put away other supplies like yarns and needles. Nevertheless the best (and also the simplest) method for organizing your cross-stitch patterns is using binder notebooks, page protectors, and portfolios.
The most obvious benefit of utilizing page protectors and binders is that you can clearly see the patterns inside the transparent sheets. Not only do binders come cheap they can also keep your patterns intact for years provided you use page protectors. Storage is also not an issue as you can easily stow away the cross-stitch patterns in a filing cabinet.
And if you want to access the patterns readily then create themes that’ll enable you to effortlessly identify the binders. Besides binder notebooks, file folders also come to your aid for keeping your patterns in a planned manner.
Online storage of your cross-stitch patterns would seem obvious in this digital age but alas many cross stitchers overlook this tool. Creating and backing up transcripts of printed versions of patterns will stand you in good stead in the long run. You can rest assured that you’ll be able to make the most of digital copies way longer than patterns printed on paper.
Of course a readymade printed pattern comes in more compared to its digital counterpart but you never know if it’ll be accessible in the future. But you can take out colorful prints any time you want to if you’ve a high-quality printer.
Needless are as indispensable as floss, fabrics, and patterns for your cross-stitch projects. Tapestry needles which come in a range of sizes are ideal for producing an infinite variety of cross stitch designs. And very much like patterns and flosses, the significance of sorting out needles does not bear emphasis. Maintaining your needles for cross-stitch projects is necessary for working smoothly as well as for keeping everybody safe.
And this is exactly where a needleminder comes to the aid of cross stitchers, enabling them to keep needles close-by. Needleminders enable you to keep all your needles in one place so that you can access them when you’re cross-stitching. On the other hand, needleminders serve as a convenient and secure storage for your tapestry needles when you’re not using them.
It goes without saying that the embroidery floss forms the core of your cross stitch patterns and designs. So there’s no gainsaying the significance of organizing your floss supplies; you’ve multiple options to keep floss in seamless order. One time-honored way is coiling the flosses around bobbins or reels. Alternatively you can continue storing the floss exactly in the way you found it when you bought the package.
And when it comes to saving unique and exclusive patterns, a plain floss organizer is the way to go. As for bobbins you can go for reels made of plastic as well as ones shaped out of wood. You’ll also need to buy bobbin winders if you want to speed up the winding process.
A Tote Bag for Securing Your Cross-Stitch Supplies
Cross-stitch is definitely one of the most versatile of all the numerous stitching patterns that we have produced and perfected. The versatility of cross-stitching lies not only in that there are near countless patterns to master but also that you can carry your projects. As a matter of fact you can take your cross-stitch supplies with you and begin working in almost any setting.
You can cross stitch in a cafeteria, in a playground, in a coffee bar, and several other recreational spots. Nevertheless you will invariably need a large and sturdy carry bag or tote bag for storing and carrying cross-stitch supplies. In other words when you’re planning to travel with your cross-stitch projects, you must keep a tote or handbag handy.
The tote bag will let you put away supplies for your cross-stitch projects including but not limited to needles, fabrics, floss, and patterns. Though you can pick and choose from a variety of off-the-shelf products for carrying your supplies, you’ll be better off selecting a quality and durable piece. To put things in perspective you’ll come across quite a lot of handbags specially designed for holding and lugging cross-stitch supplies.
Make sure you choose a product that lets you keep your cross stitch tools in an orderly and systematic manner. And if you wish to hold the tote in your hand or slide it on your arm then also ensure the bag appeals to your aesthetics. At the same time see to it that the handbag is made of premium sustainable materials that’ll enable you to use it for many years.
Take into account the size of every single item of your cross-stitch provisions before you start shopping for a tote.