You all are so inspiring! I'm working on my first two projects, finishing up the olive branch runner and I just started a Pascha basket cover. I'm having trouble with keeping my stitches going in the same direction (especially when I'm turning the hoop to get a better needle angle). I know it would look a lot more pleasing if I kept them the same and wondered if any of you had any tricks of the trade you could share. It might just be something I'll get over time and practice but it's worth a try!
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Before I start stitching, I stitch a little mark in the upper left of my cloth so that I always have a way to orient myself to which way is up. I try really hard not to turn the hoop while I'm stitching. I also use a fairly large hoop (10") and re-position my cloth frequently so I'm not stitching too close to the edge. I hope all of that makes sense!
I struggle with this too! I've found its more noticeable on all over designs vs borders so on borders I'll try to keep each side consistent but not the overall piece. I like the idea of the light play effect!
I'm not super experienced but something I'm doing now is trying to always keep the fabric oriented in the same direction. How about marking your pattern with arrows to orient it and using thread to put some temporary markings/basting or Xs to mark the top of the fabric?
I don't worry about this too much, especially because I work a lot of border designs and I just change the direction of my stitches on each side to make it easier to stitch. In fact, historically, sometimes the direction of the stitches was changed intentionally to give a different light play effect on the embroidery. In general, I work my left-to-right slant of the cross stitch first across the row/area and then I come back and work the right to left slant of the cross stitch second. Hope that helps!