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Do You Stab or Sew?

By September 14, 2009

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There are two different stitching techniques commonly used in Cross Stitch Embroidery. The first, the "stab" method, is used by most beginning stitchers. The stab method involves moving the hand back and forth from the front of the fabric to the back of the fabric. The needle is "stabbed" into the front of the fabric, left there, and then pulled through from the other side. Each stitch technique has unique characteristics.

The stab method is effective when using a hoop or frame. The stab method of stitching does not distort the fabric. It is easy to make certain that the stitch is placed properly.

The sewing method is often used by stitchers who prefer to hold the fabric in the hand instead of in a hoop. The stitcher's hand and needle stay on top of the fabric, except when securing floss. The needle scoops under the weave of the fabric. Read more about the stab and sew methods.

So, which method do you use? Vote in the Poll and let us know.

More Cross Stitch Techniques:

Railroading Stitches
Use Gridding to Keep Your Place
Use a Waste Knot


September 14, 2009 at 9:56 am
(1) Beth says:

I do both, although probably more the sewing method. Comes from doing other forms of embroidery as well, I suspect. ;)

September 14, 2009 at 9:59 am
(2) lanchid says:

I use the stab method, but my dream one day is to get a floor stand so I can do the two-handed stab. (One from the top and then from the bottom.) This is the stand I really want but first I have to convince my parents we have room for it!

September 14, 2009 at 10:34 am
(3) Bonnie says:

I use the sewing method when stitching on linen or some small projects. When I use a frame I use the stab method with one hand on top of the fabric and one hand below. I can work faster that way.

September 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm
(4) Bev M says:

I prefer to stitch in hand, so I like the sewing method. Somehow the whole thing seems more portable and more enjoyable and even faster than using a frame. However, when I do use a frame I do the two-handed stab. It took me a while to learn to do that, but when I realized my wrist and shoulder were getting sore from the constant motion of moving my hand from top to bottom of the fabric, I started forcing myself to use two hands and now I do it pretty well. I still prefer the sewing method, though!

September 18, 2009 at 9:19 pm
(5) csdiva says:

Wow, for once I’m not in the minority. I wish I could use the sewing method as it is faster, but I have to use a hoop or frame. If I just hold the fabric my left had spasms out and I can’t bend my fingers for 15 or 20 minutes.

September 19, 2009 at 9:29 am
(6) Virginia says:

“Stab” using a hoop and ‘sew’ without a hoop.

September 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm
(7) poster3 says:

I work with a Q-snap unless the project is really small so I use the stab method. I recently got a floor stand so I’ve been experimenting with two-handed stitching, but I find it hard to railroad my stitches that way. It’s also harder for me to do when using the sewing method, which is probably why I prefer the stab method.

September 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm
(8) ncxstitchingschlbusdrvr says:

It depends on the type of fabric I use for the project. I’m working on a Charles Craft afghan now so I use the stab method. I can better control the tenion. On other fabrics I use the sewing method. That’s my favorite way to stitch. I’m stitching & smiling in NC.

September 20, 2009 at 12:08 am
(9) Merly says:

I use sew method…i only use stab when making a loop, much easier.

September 20, 2009 at 8:16 am
(10) sandia says:

I use both, but prefer sewing…I have found you can use sewing method when you use Q-snap frame, if you loosen it a little!!! That’s why I love Q-snap so much. If the area is small with several color changes, I usually use “stab” method.

September 23, 2009 at 11:59 am
(11) Keli says:

I like the stab method, to me its more relaxing then the sew method. I always seem to get it too tight when sewing.

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