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Who Else Wants to Cross Stitch on Plastic Canvas?

Aug 18, 2007
If you haven't tried cross stitching on plastic canvas, you should. With plastic canvas, you can create unique cross stitch projects that you can't create with fabric. For instance, because the plastic is firm, you can even create stunning three-dimensional projects.

Plastic canvas is great for projects such as:
* Bookmarks
* Bracelets
* Tissue box covers
* Christmas ornaments
* Children's projects
* Coasters
* Baskets.

Plastic canvas is tough, so it will last and, therefore, is perfect for seasonal decorations. It's also terrific 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'll also find canvases in a variety of shapes and colors. You can even find plastic canvas in very bright colors that are ideal for children's projects and holiday ornaments. When deciding which color canvas to buy, pick 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:

* You need to keep your floss smooth and untangled. Stop every few stitches and smooth out the floss to prevent problems from developing.

* Trim your canvas before you begin stitching so the edges are smooth. If you don't have enough material, apply 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 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.

* When stitching on plastic canvas, you also may want to use one less strand than you normally use when stitching on cloth. Most patterns, however, will tell you specifically how many strands you should use.

* To end the floss, use a long piece and weave it securely under the stitches to prevent it from working loose.

With plastic canvas, you can create unique and unusual projects. Take time to explore some patterns and then let your creativity free. You'll quickly join the many stitchers who love working with plastic canvas.
About the Author
John Wigham has been a professional author and editor for 20 years and is a co-founder of Patterns Patch an online cross stitch club dedicated to counted cross stitch. The website has a small team of writers who are devoted to our cross stitch club and enjoy writing about their hobby.
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