A Reader left this comment and it’s probably something others wonder, especially those who know what they’re doing (since I do not!):
Judy, I’ve noticed that you are beginning this (? and some other) projects at the bottom. Patterns sometimes instruct to start in the center. I start my projects at the top left. I wonder if you could comments on what you see or have heard as advantages or disadvantages of different starting points. Thanks!
As always, please remember that I am not an expert. I’ve actually finished ONE piece. I am self-taught and most everything I do is probably backwards from the norm.
Here’s the best explanation I can give as to where I start.
I’m assuming the reason for starting in the middle is so as to not run out of fabric by starting in the middle and not starting too far up or too far to the left but that makes no sense to me so there must be another reason. With a cross stitch calculator, no one is going to run out of fabric if you’ve calculated correctly and pay attention to what you’re doing and good grief . . if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing with cross stitch, you’ll never finish anyway. Here’s the calculator with the Grace on Thee info plugged in.
The pattern suggested 36 count linen but I’m using 32 count. I have absolutely no doubt that a 10″ square of fabric is more than enough so I can start anywhere on the chart, being mindful that I’ve left 3″ extra on all four sides, and not ever think of getting too close to an edge.
If what I’ve been told, or what the instructions say don’t make a lot of sense to me, I’m going to do what seems best in my head. Sometimes I feel brilliant and sometimes I’m left promising myself I’ll listen to the experts next time!
With cross stitching, I look at the design and look for “landmarks” or reference points. With Grace on Thee, the grass seemed like the perfect “foundation” on which to start stitching. Once the grass was done, I had reference points for where to start each urn, as well as the sides of the house. After the outline of the house is done, the rest of it is a piece of cake. The topiaries go up from the urns. The flag goes up from the left topiary. The text is easy to space above the flag and all the stars have very easy reference points – a few stitches out from the flag or the roof or the topiary and if one of the flags is a square off . . that’s not a big deal.
Another thing I do, and I’m not sure you can see it in the photo, and I may have even shared it here already, is that when I’m stitching the last row before starting to build up or down or out, I make half stitches (which are easier for me to count) until I get to the stitch that lines up with the grid marks on the chart and I make that a full “x”. That way, every 10th stitch is a full “x”. You may be able to see that using purple thread, I went up with a grid line from those full “x” stitches and that helped me line up the sides of the house and the urn positions. Once I had those things done, I went back across that row and finished all the “x” stitching.
In the end, I can’t see that it matters where you start. If you learned to start in the center of the design, that’s probably always going to be the easiest place for you to start. If you’re like me and look for the easiest way to stitch reference points first, you’ll probably start every project in a different spot.
As far as I can tell, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
I suppose, to answer the question that was asked . . I just start wherever it seems to make the most sense to me and each project will probably be in a different spot. I started the Marriage piece at the top left and worked across since it was all text and if I were writing that piece, I would have started at the top left.
For Pet All the Dogs, I’m doing three sides of the border first because the top and left borders were my beginning reference points. The bottom border area, as I see it, (because it’s different from the other three and I felt I needed at least two of those done to get an accurate placement of the bottom) is the foundation for the remaining stitching.
For Farmhouse Christmas, since it’s nine small blocks together, I started with the top left, will work across to the right and then go down.
I’m not sure this offers much help and basically, I look at each piece and decide what looks like a good starting point.
I grabbed two patterns sitting near me and want you to look at them and think about where you would start them and, if you will, share that with me, as well as why you chose that point. I’d love to hear about others’ thought process on this matter.
The first is Thomas from Not Forgotten Farm.
The second is All Bundled up by Brenda Gervais.
Later I’ll tell you where I would start these two.