• Keep your hands clean!
  • Make sure your stitches lie flat. This will prevent your thread from twisting. If it does stitch, drop the needle and allow it to hang freely - the thread will untwist.
  • Keep even tension on the stitches. Pull each stitch with the same amount of tension.
  • First stitch the design area, then the plain background.
  • First stitch the cross stitches, the the backstitches.
  • First stitch the darker colours, then the lighter.
  • When stitches of the same colour are far apart it's better to end the thread and start it again in a new area. 
  • Stab up and down. When working with your fabric in a hoop it is preferable to stab the needle vertically up and down through the fabric when making each stitch.

Add your own tips and tricks in the comments below!