How to start
I have only ever started directly in the middle of the pattern. The pattern for " a world of their own" suggest starting upper left corner and work across to the right. .. doing one page at a time. How do I know where to start in the left corner??
Posted by: rn1517 on 05/04/19
I am only a "returning beginner", and I have only started in the center, but I believe I read somewhere that you still must find the center and count the stitches up and left to your starting point. I am sure the many experts here may have an easier way for you to find the starting point. I would hesitate to try it my way for fear I would miscount (especially if it is a big piece) and be off in counting. The guru's will be here to help you out!! Good luck!
by: mer55 on 05/04/19
Sorry, this is long, but I hope it helps. I start all my big ones from the top left.

You will need to find the center, first. Then count up to the top and left.
1) Find center
2) Carefully follow over on the fabric to the left side and put a mark with a vanishing pen or light pencil
3) Carefully follow over to the top and put a mark
4) With different color vanishing pen, start making marks towards the top left corner from the center on the ten count marks (remember that the center is rarely right on a ten mark line)
5) Remember to mark the 'zero' start point on top left
6) If the actual first stitch starts one count in from the zero line (many do) remember to start there, not on the zero line
7) If the project is large, you can grid with either pencil, vanishing pens, or thread, and you already have your ten stitch marks from the top and left to the middle (I use thread and grid as I go) or you can stitch by diagonal parking without gridding (use YouTube to find examples)
by: denise.debolt on 05/04/19
I'm sorry, Denise, but that is way to complicated for someone who has never done gridding before. You do not need to do the gridding, m1517.
1) You simply fold your fabric in half, and then in half again, to find the center of your fabric, as you have done before.
2) If you have numerous pages to your pattern, lay them all out on a table in the proper order so you can see the entire pattern at once. Match the 4 arrows on the design to find the center, as you have always done. Mark it with a pencil.
3) Once you have found the center of your pattern, count up from the center to the top edge of the design. Mark it with a pencil, also.
4) Now go back to your fabric, and count up from the center to the top in the same manner. Mark it with a pin.
5) Go back to your pattern, to the pencil mark you made at the top, and count over from there to the left corner.
6) Now do the same on your fabric, counting from the pin over to the left corner. That is your starting point.

I never work one page whole at a time. I work across and down at the same time, expanding the design as I go. If it is easier for you, use a colored felt tip pen to mark off your stitches as you go. I don't do that, either. And I don't mark off the 10 x 10 grids as some stitchers do. That is all personal choice. Good luck!
by: susiebelle7 on 05/04/19
Well, sorry, susiebelle! I didn't think it was too complicated. It's all personal preference, anyway. And you can start any pattern in the center, if you prefer. I was just trying to help.
by: denise.debolt on 05/04/19
Easier yet:
If you know your design size, find the center of your fabric, fold in half crossways, then again lengthwise. Stick a straight pin at that point.
Unfold the fabric, & measure half the distance up, stick a pin, then go back to the center, measure half the distance to the bottom. Now if you measure from pin to pin, it should measure the total height of your piece.
Now do the same from the center to the sides, & you will get the width. Follow the lines up & you will get the upper left hand corner starting place.
As long as you have the extra fabric left for the framing, you don't have to be real accurate.
Once you do this a few times, it will come very easily, & be second nature for you. You could make your own shortcuts too.
It's just all what you feel comfortable with, as there is no right or wrong way, everyone will tell you what works best for them.
by: nita7 on 05/04/19
Just because the pattern "suggests" starting at the upper left doesn't mean that you HAVE to do that. Start stitching wherever you want. On my last large project I started at the bottom and worked my way up. That was easier because there was lots of color at the bottom and a lot of same colors (for sky) near the top.

Regardless of where you start I strongly recommend that you grid your fabric. I do that for everything. I mostly do small pieces (80x 80 or less). Once I grid I usually start near the top middle. Keeps me centered.
by: NANCYE G on 05/04/19
Wouldn't it be easier to measure and cut the fabric to measurements giving 3" border all around the finished project size. Measure from upper left corner 3 in. to right and 3 in. down? Isn't that your starting spot?
by: VCESS on 05/04/19
Yes, VCESS, that is exactly right!
by: susiebelle7 on 05/04/19
If I am going to find where to begin a project in the Upper left corner, I need to know how many inches I have decided to have for the EXTRA material for mounting and framing. Bear with me......
1) COMPLETED pattern size:14 inches wide x16 inches

2) I decide I want 3 inches of EXTRA fabric on EACH side
For mounting, matting, and framing. So I need to
purchase a piece of fabric that is 6 inches wider
(3 inches for left side + 3 inches for right side)
which means the WIDTH of fabric must be 20 inches
WIDE. 14 inches + 6 inches = 20 inches wide
Now I do the same for the HEIGHT of fabric I need to
add 6 inches extra, so I add 3 inches to the top
of fabric and 3 inches to bottom of fabric. So I need to
Purchase my piece of fabric that is 20 inches wide x
22 inches HIGH ( 3 inches for top, 3 inches for bottom) So I order fabric that is 20 inches wide x 22 inches high.

3) Lay the correct size fabric out on flat surface, then
measure the fabric so you make sure that it lays out straight and flat. Now you MUST measure your fabric to make sure your fabric is correctly oriented! With there being only a 2 inch difference between the width and height of your fabric, you want to make sure your fabric is facing you as 20 inches WIDE x 22 inches HIGH! Now re-measure again to be sure.
MEASURE TWICE, is really nice!

Mark (with erasable marker or pencil the upper Left and right corners of the fabric ( I use a pencil to make small
Arrows pointing up with the letters L and R for the corners) to keep my fabric oriented in the correct position.

FINALLY...How to find where you put the first stitch of your project starting in the UPPER LEFT CORNER!

Ok...How Many inches of EXTRA fabric did you decide you
Wanted for mounting and framing?
Answer: 3 inches on each side

So, take your straight edge ruler and on the upper LEFT Side EDGE of your fabric, Measure IN 3 inches and make a pencil mark.
Now Measure 3 inches DOWN from the TOP left corner EDGE of your fabric; where this 3- inch mark from the Top meets the mark you made from the upper LEFT SIDE edge of the fabric, is where your FIRST upper left corner stitch will be! Do NOT forget to re-measure your 3 inch measurements.

What if you decide you want 5 extra inches of fabric for mounting and framing? Figure out what size fabric to purchase, orient your fabric correctly, then measure 5 inches IN from top left EDGE of fabric, then measure down 5 inches from TOP edge of fabric, where the two marks meet, that is where you place your first upper left stitch.
by: Bermuda on 05/04/19
A good beginning is important...but, holy cow! You guys are thorough! LOL

I start in the center, no matter how large the project is...I fold into quarters, mark with a pin. Imagine all the fun I've been missing? LOL I begin gridding from center, stitching from center...I miss out on everything! But I'm a simple kind of kid! 😊
by: VCESS on 05/04/19