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LoveQuiltsUK - Stitching Directions

Stitching Directions

Please read the following carefully!

Fabric - 100% COTTON AIDA (not polycotton) - 13 x 13 inches (33x33cms) - white or off-white. NOT cream as one cream square can spoil the look of a complete quilt. Please use 14, 16 or 18 count - most stitchers use 14 count. 11 count is acceptable to allow children to stitch for us. No linen or evenweave please and NO COLOURS.

We recommend Katzstitch, Kim Hubble via Facebook, Lakeside Needlecraft or Zoe's Gifts and Crafts as good sources for quality, affordable Aida.

Pattern size - Ideally around 6-7 inches (15-18cm) and centrally located on the Aida. Absolute maximum size for pattern is 9x9 inches (22cm) and it should not be smaller than 5 inches (12 cm).

(Maximum pattern dimensions in stitches are: 99 stitches (11 count), 126 stitches (14 count), 144 stitches (16 count) and 162 stitches (18 count))

Pattern choice
Good sources for legal patterns are: magazines, books, library books, official cross-stitch chart books (sometimes available to purchase on eBay). These are all legal.

We also have a number of patterns that have been charted for LoveQuilts use only with permission of the copyright holders which are listed here: LQ patterns. (Please note that you need to be a member of our Facebook group for these links to work.)

We are keen to avoid breaking copyright laws. Please read our Ethical Statement for advice on this, and a few topic areas that stitchers should avoid.

Please use 100% cotton threads for sewing your design - preferably DMC, Anchor or Madeira. Cheaper or unbranded threads found on ebay or in shops such as The Works often turn out to be polycotton and suffer from colour runs which causes problems with the laundering of the quilt. NO "Light Effects" (they melt under quilters' hot irons) and NO metallics please (they can be scratchy on delicate skin) Glow In The Dark thread (DMC E940) is OK if the pattern calls for it (eg a Space theme)

  • Cross stitch
    Split the thread and use 2 strands. Please keep your stitches going the same way throughout the design.

  • Back stitch
    Many patterns call for backstitch - 1 strand of thread is usually fine. Please keep your backstitches short - over 2 Aida holes at most, otherwise little fingers can get trapped in them!

  • Securing threads
    Please do not use any knots when starting or finishing your thread - they will work loose over time when quilts are laundered or cause a lump. Instead, pass your thread back and forward through a few stitches on the reverse of your work. When it is secure, cut the thread off short and do not leave trailing ends.

  • Embellishments
    Please do not include beads, charms or other sewn-on embellishments on your square. Besides being a choking hazard for young children, they catch on other parts of the quilt when being washed and could damage the quilt.

  • Personalisation
    Please do not include the child's name or initials in your square (unless it is the label). Occasionally a child's circumstances change and we have to rush an emergency quilt out to them. Personalised squares are difficult to use in another quilt.

  • Signing squares
    Please stitch your name and location on your work at the bottom close to your stitching. Name and Location is fine. If you live outside the UK please add your country.

    Washing squares
    All squares must be washed, dried and ironed before sending them in - even if they look clean - to make sure they are clean and to account for shrinkage. This can be done in the sink with some washing up liquid, or in the washing machine on a cool/delicates wash (put your square inside a pillowcase/net bag to protect it). Please double check that any hoop marks etc have been removed.

    Sign-up confirmation
    When signing up to stitch a square for a particular child, please choose a pattern to fit the theme required and fill out the 'Sign Up' link found on each child's page. PLEASE WAIT for a confirmation email before you start just in case two people have signed up to stitch the same pattern for that quilt. Please remember these squares have a deadline listed on the child's page. If you are unable to make the date, please let us know in good time so that we can make other arrangements. Squares received after the deadline may not make it on to the quilt and will instead be used on a future quilt.

    5 square signup maximum
    Please do not sign up for more than five squares at any one time. We do appreciate the support, but if a stitcher becomes ill or injured and is unable to complete their signups, it can make things difficult for us. Also, we would like to give as many people as possible a chance to sign up.

    We also ask stitchers to signup only once per quilt for the same reason (we sometimes make exceptions to this if a theme is particularly difficult to fill)

    Any Child Squares
    You don't need to notify us when doing these squares, just send them in any time. When you send your square(s) just enclose a note saying it is for Any Child. It is helpful if you could concentrate on the High Priority Categories which are listed on our Any Child Squares page

    Many thanks for stitching for LoveQuiltsUK and we look forward to seeing your work on a quilt soon!

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