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Miscellaneous Tips


I usually use only a small amount of metallic thread in my designs; but many stitchers prefer to add extra dazzle to their stitching. Metallics are a great way to express your stitching individuality, and with a little patience and practice, metallic threads are very easy to use.

  • Blending Filament®: This unusual fiber comes in myriad shades, and adds drama and sparkle to a stitched piece. It is very lightweight and extremely flexible, which makes it suitable for use with cross stitch.
  • Blending filament is very versatile, and I've experimented with it quite a bit. I've used it in the same needle along with the floss, and stitched normally. I've applied it to cross stitches, where I've stitched over the top legs of the completed stitches. I've also separated the two plies of the filament, discarded the heavier strand, and used only the "sparkly" strand to stitch on top of completed cross stitches. All three methods seem to work just fine. I had the most difficulty with the first method, as the filament tends to stretch as it catches and drags through the fabric holes. You will need to experiment until you find the method that works best for you.

  • Cord: Heavier than blending filament, cords come in different weights and colors, and can be used very effectively for different special effects. The main thing to remember is that cords do not make "sharp" bends gracefully, and therefore are used most often in my designs in surface applications, where they are couched (tacked with tiny stitches) to the fabric surface, or used as decorative straight stitches.

Want to learn more about metallics?


I love glass beads. That's probably why I use them in my designs whenever I get the chance. They add texture, sparkle, color, plus a certain elegance unachievable by other means. And...they're easy to use!

I usually recommend that beads be attached to a stitched piece last to avoid damage (they are glass and will shatter). If attached before stitching is completed, beads will snag your floss, (which I find quite annoying). Also, if beads are attached last, there will usually be a place to anchor your floss in the surrounding completed cross stitching: an important consideration when beads are placed individually here and there.

I have found that beads (both petite and seed sizes) attached to fabric with a full cross stitch will stay put, will not turn on their sides, and will stand up to regular wear and tear quite nicely. The technique is simple: Anchor the floss on back of fabric, bring beading needle (threaded with one strand of floss) up through fabric as if you are making the first (or bottom) leg of a full cross stitch. Pass the needle through the hole of the bead, and take needle down through fabric, which will complete the first leg of the full cross stitch. Next, bring needle up through fabric where you would begin the second (or top) leg of the stitch, go through the hole of the bead in the opposite direction you came through it the first time, then take the needle back down through the fabric, finishing the full cross stitch. The bead should now be securely attached.


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