Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guitar Strings Tutorial

As you may know, I had the honor and privilege of pattern testing The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Summer Sampler. I hope you have signed up for it, because it is adorable and you are in for a treat. I can't even begin to pick which square (out of 25! Wow!) is my favorite. The whole sampler is just that cute. :) 

The purpose of this post, though, isn't to gush on and on about how cute the Summer Sampler is (because believe me, I could, it is just that cute). The Pumpkins asked me if I would share with you the way I did the guitar strings on this square.

Normally when I backstitch, I don't carry my floss over more than six stitches. (I think that is the general rule of thumb for backstitching unless a pattern specifies otherwise.)  In fact, I prefer to backstitch over one stitch. But when I tried that on this cute little guitar, the strings more or less disappeared. And when I broke the backstitch down into even parts (going over five stitches, three times per string), it looked too segmented. So I tried three long stitches, and it worked out perfectly!

To keep my strands from getting twisted, I used the railroad method. This tutorial by is fabulous if you aren't familiar with the technique. (Some people use a laying tool, but I don't have one.) Railroading is something I almost always use for cross stitch, but seldom need for backstitch. But with stitches this long, it was important that I keep the threads from twisting. Just take your time and you shouldn't have any issues. You may need to try more than once--I know I did!--but it's worth it. And if you use the loop method to anchor your floss, you won't even have to worry about covering the tail.

I wouldn't recommend long stitches like this on something that gets a lot of use, like a dishtowel. But if your sampler isn't going to be handled, this is a fun way to experiment with backstitch.

Happy Stitching!


La Marïmantah! said...

Me encanta! Tienes mucho arte!!

Level 1 Homemaker said...

Thanks for this! I have cross-stitched for more than 20 years but have never seen any rule of thumb for back-stitching, let alone heard of the railroading technique! I can't wait to do the guitar--I might even do it first. :D

beadgirl said...

What a cute guitar! And the long stitches make it perfect. The railroading tip is a good one; I don't have a laying tool either, but I have used needlepoint needles, pins, and a size 0000 knitting needle instead.

Margarita Law said...

Wow! Those are adorable. I really love cross stitching and those shown above are so cute. The guitar is so lovely as well.