Cross Stitch Techniques

How to Stitch

If you're new to cross stitching, here are the basic techniques you'll need to get started.

Preparing the fabric

If your fabric is not secure and tight in the hoop you can end up with warped stitches.

Start by cutting your fabric to the appropriate size for your project. It's important to leave enough excess fabric around the edges to fit comfortably in the hoop, we recommend at least 2 inches on each side.

Loosen the screw on the embroidery hoop and separate the two pieces. Place the inner hoop on a flat surface with the screw facing up. Place your fabric over the inner hoop, making sure it's centered and straight.

Place the outer hoop on top of the fabric and inner hoop, with the screw facing down. Gently press down on the outer hoop, making sure the fabric is taut and wrinkle-free.

Tighten the screw on the hoop with your fingers, making sure the fabric remains taut. Be careful not to over-tighten the screw, as this can warp the shape of the hoop or damage the fabric. As you stitch the fabric may become loose, this is fine and you can simply tighten with the screw when required.

Threading a Needle

Threading a needle for cross stitching can be a bit tricky, as the floss is made up of six strands that need to be separated. Begin by cutting a length of floss about the length of your forearm and separating out the number of strands specified in the pattern. Then thread one end of the threads through the eye of the needle. Pull the thread through a couple of inches and you're ready to stitch.

Starting and Ending a Thread

To start a thread, knot the end of the floss and bring the needle up through the back of the fabric.

To end a thread, weave the needle under several completed stitches on the back of the fabric and cut off the excess.

Creating a Cross Stitch

To create a cross stitch, begin by bringing the needle up through the bottom left hole of a square on the fabric, then bring it down through the top right hole of the same square. Next, bring the needle up through the bottom right hole and down through the top left hole. This will create an X-shaped stitch.

Creating Different Types of Stitches

While the basic X-shaped cross stitch is the most common stitch used in cross stitching, there are several other stitches that can be used to create different textures and effects.

These include the half stitch, the backstitch, and the French knot. Each of these stitches has its own technique, but they can all be used to create beautiful and intricate designs.

Best Practices

There is no right or wrong when it comes to cross stitching but to get the best outcome make sure your stitches all go in the same direction, either bottom left to top right or bottom right to top left.