If you want to learn a new craft, cross stitch is always a good start.
The projects can be completed just anywhere. You can make them while lying by your pool, watching TV or on a bus. It’s one of the easiest craft to learn, especially for beginners.
You can create big or smaller projects, modern or more traditional. The tools and patterns out there are endless. Learning to cross stitch doesn’t have to be scary or difficult.
If you know how to make a few basic stitches, then you will be on your path to a bright crafting future. If you’re interested in mastering cross stitch for beginners, read on.
Is Cross Stitch Easy?
Cross stitch is a shape of calculated thread embroidery that has been present for ages.
It’s one of the simplest forms of hand embroidery to master. Cross stitch represents X-formed stitches made on fabric with an open and even weave like linen or Aida.
You can make modern or traditional designs or something in between. Cross stitch projects are usually sold as knits. However, you can also buy basic tools and create your masterpiece.
Cross Stitch for Beginners Tips
Making cross stitches is so easy that you will master this craft in record time. To speed up your learning process, I have listed a few tips to follow.
- Aim for an easy tension on your stitches. Avoid pulling them very tight that they wrap the fabric or leaving them so loose that they gap. Your stitches are supposed to remain flat against the material without dragging against it.
- Avoid making lengthy jumps over the back of the material with your thread. They might appear through on the front. When moving to another spot that is more than a couple of stitches away, end your thread. Then, start again in the new area.
- Purchase all your tools for a project at the beginning. Thread arrives in dye lots that can differ a bit between batches.
- As you work, your thread will tend to get twisted. This is why it’s important to let the needle and thread hang freely to unwind every once in a while.
- Instead of stressing over the details, enjoy the work. Cross stitch is a rewarding and fun practice. Just like any craft, it requires focus and patience so be patient.
Cross Stitch for Beginners Free Patterns
As I said at the beginning of this article, cross stitch is super fun, rewarding, relaxing and easy to learn. If you’re interested in learning a few free patterns, keep on reading.
A cross stitch represents an x-formed embroidery pattern from which the term ‘cross stitch embroidery’ is derived. It’s simple to complete and easy for beginners.
All you need to do is stitch two half stitches over each other. This stitch is the starting point for all cross stitch. It’s the most commonly utilized and popular among beginners.
It’s the pattern with cross-stitch. You will probably base all other patterns on this one. You will apply and subtract to make other patterns and stitches. You can utilize it on different fabric.
However, it’s mostly used on Aida cloth which comes in different sizes. If you’re a beginner, a big weave of this material is the best. You can also utilize plastic canvas for training.
Please, don’t restrict yourself to just fabric with this stitch but experiment with unusual ideas including meeting for screen doors, wicker chairs or tennis rackets.
The cross stitch is constructed of two half stitches. They’re also stitched separately in some projects. And they can be utilized at occasions to make a sense of depth in a pattern.
A half stitch is utilized in many outlining designs and creating certain forms. It’s also used a lot to create circles and corners. Simply one over can be utilized as a backstitch.
Instead of diagonal, a backstitch will move up and down. Half stitches are utilized for extra detail such as making spirals, rounded corners on flowers and eyes.
A half stitch can add a beautiful flow to rounded patterns. They’re utilized to make circles where simply a regular stitch would make a box.
The quarter stitch looks like a half stitch. However, it’s created into the centre of an Aida fabric square. This type of stitch is utilized to make the petite cross stitch.
Although it seems like a simple stitch, it’s a bit hard to get it correct. It can be hard to get it even. Please, try this stitch for a few times as a practice.
It’s utilized a lot to provide the project with better curves. It’s hard for beginners but once you master it, you can make more texture, turns, and twists with the floss.
The three-quarter stitch is made of a quarter stitch and a half stitch. These stitches are utilized to create extra detail in cross stitch designs.
This stitch can be a bit difficult and complex, to begin with. It requires focus, patience, and practice to get it right. It’s also utilized as an outline stitch to create curves.
You will notice this stitch in projects for faces and making spirals for pumpkins and flowers. It’s another stitch that adds depth to projects and ensures that the piece doesn’t appear blocked.
It’s recommended to train on a larger piece of Aida fabric before using this complex but beautiful stitch on linen. And please, stay patient. Good things take time.
This type of stitch is utilized to create lines around the cross stitch and to stitch working and letters. You will notice that some designs are made completely of backstitch.
Blackwork embroidery utilizes variations of this stitch to make intricate designs, usually utilizing a single colour or black. This stitch is one of the easiest to make and master.
It’s usually utilized to add an extra definition to designs. It’s also often utilized to outline a stitching piece to reveal what the pattern is. It can also be utilized for facial expressions.
Once you master these five easy stitches, you can say that you have mastered the basics of cross stitch. These stitches are your bricks to make your cross stitch house.
Cross Stitch for Beginners
Now that you’re familiar with a few basic stitches, let’s move to the more serious stuff. This step-by-step guide is the only guide you need to master cross stitch for beginners.
Step 1: Read Your Cross Stitch Chart
A cross stitch chart informs you of everything you need to know about where to start and what colour to use. The grid on this chart corresponds to the grid made by the weave of the material and each coloured square on your char is a cross-stitch.
A mixture of symbols and colours in the squares tell you which floss colour to utilize. Use the chart to map the characters to the floss colours.
When you start a new project, it’s smart to begin stitching in the centre of the design. This way, you can be sure that your design is placed in the centre of the material.
Small points at the corners of a cross-stitch chart indicate the middle points. View your cross stitch chart and look for a spot close to the middle, to begin with.
It can be simpler to start with a larger block of colour instead of part of the pattern that switches colour often.
Step 2: Prep Your Fabric
Cross stitch can be made on different fabrics the most commonly used are linen and Aida. They’re both woven fabrics with a tendency to fry when sliced.
Before you begin stitching, it’s recommended to bind the corners, especially if you’re completing a big project that will need a lot of handling.
To reduce fraying, stitch the edges with a serger or a zig-zag stitch. If you’re not into stitching edges, you can also keep them together with masking tape.
Step 3: Locate the Middle of Your Fabric
To locate the middle of your fabric, fold it in half one way. Then, fold it in half the other way.
Pinch and crease the middle point to mark it. You can put a pin in the middle or create a small stitch to additionally mark the middle point.
Step 4: Utilizing a Frame or Hoop
There are many styles of embroidery frames and hoops available.
Whether you utilize one or not it’s up to you. Beginners may find it simpler to place their material in an embroidery hoop.
To utilize one, first, loosen the screw and separate the two rounds. Put the round without the screw flat on a work surface or table.
Lay the material over the hoop. Make sure that the middle of the material is in the middle of your hoop. Put the other round over the material.
Push it down so the material is sandwiched between the hoops. Pull the material taut as you tighten the screw. Don’t pull the material too tight.
Otherwise, it will distort the weave of the material.
Step 5: Prep Your Thread
Select the colour of thread you’re beginning with and slice a length about 18 inches long. If you go over this length, your thread will probably get knotted when you work.
Most embroidery thread is created of 6 strands twisted together. According to the fabric you’re utilizing, you will usually stitch with a single or two strands at a time.
To pull out a strand, keep the floss with one hand and pinch the end of one strand with the other. Slowly and gently pull the strand up and out until it’s completely separated.
Pull one strand at a time only. Otherwise, you may cause the thread to knot.
Step 6: Thread Your Needle
Cross stitch is usually done utilizing a round-end tapestry needle. However, the size of your needle is up to the fabric that you’re using.
If you’re making a knit, utilize the needle that arrived with it. If not, please check this step-by-step guide on how to choose a needle for cross stitch.
Thread the needle the same way you would thread a needle for hand sewing but without the knot in the tail end. You will stitch over the end as you work to secure it without a knot.
Utilizing knots isn’t recommended in cross-stitch. It’s a general rule that you should avoid utilizing knots when cross-stitching because they may leave lumps in the completed piece.
Step 7: Make a Line of Cross Stitches
This craft is usually completed in lines going from left to right. Please, check your cross stitch guideline to determine where you want to start stitching.
Begin from the backside of your material. Bring the needle up through a hole toward the front, leaving about an inch of floss at the back.
The tail will be covered with your stitches as you work to secure it.
The next step is passing the needle via a hole diagonally across from where you began to make a slanted half cross stitch. Make sure to keep the tail at the back of the material.
Begin your other half cross stitch by bringing your needle back up via the hole that is right below the one you last utilized. Flip the material over to the back before you pull this stitch tight.
Make sure that the tail is trapped by the stitch. Keep on stitching along the line to create a series of half cross stitches. Then, make a series of half cross stitches in the opposite direction.
Step 8: Ending Your Thread
Make individual stitches and continue stitching until you get to the end of your thread. Or until you run out of stitches in the pattern.
On the backside of the material, pass the thread under at least 3 finished stitches to secure the thread. Then, trim the remaining thread.
Hopefully, my short but detailed guide on a cross-stitch for beginners can help you learn the basics of this fun craft. Please, share your thoughts and tips in the comments.