I’ve never been one for the parking technique.
The idea of having lots of different threads and cottons lying loose at the front of my aida, while convenient, to me, isn’t very practical. Perhaps it’s my OCD tendencies that require me to have complete order with my sewing, or maybe it’s just the fact I came across the idea too late to get my head around it!
I have, however, over the recent months been contemplating how I seem to be quite a slow stitcher and, when you’re on a tight deadline, this is far from ideal.
I’m not sure if anybody else uses more of a ‘blocking’ technique, but I’ve come to use this of late and it seems to be making me stitch faster and neater than I think I’ve ever done before.
Choose a colour close to the central point that seems to cover a large surface area of the pattern and work out in sections.
Keep doing so, working out towards the edges of the pattern, selecting colours and shapes that will help you to pick out the design of the piece, while ticking off a decent number of stitches.
When you can make out the pattern and you have done as much outlining and blocking, as I like to call it, then start to work back in towards the centre to fill in the shading.
The only thing I will say about this technique is that you MUST be careful with your counting. One mistake on the inside of your pattern could dictate the rest of the design, which means either a lot of reworking or a lot of unpicking, depending how strict a stitcher you are on yourself.
I started this Christmas train tree decoration last night and have perhaps spent about 2-3hours on it thus far. It’s on a plastic piece of aida, which I’m using for the very first time, too, but still the results seem to be heading in the right direction.
I’m not saying I’ll be setting any world records for the fastest stitcher any time soon, but the more cards I can make this Christmas, the bigger contribution I can make to charity.