CROSS STITCH KITS- How to Stitch a Cross Stitch

How to Cross Stitch?  Cross Stitch for beginners and Cross Stitch for the avid enthusiast, the technique is the same. Cross stitch is one of the most popular forms of stitching with cross stitch kits available in counted and printed form for the beginner and the experienced.

All cross stitch kits come supplied with the essentials: fabric, all threads required, needle, chart, instructions and how to stitch guides, and a design image.

Cross Stitch uses stranded cotton threads on Aida or Evenweave fabric. Stranded Thread is composed of six strands that are twisted together and easy to divide and separate.

Separating Threads - Many cross stitch designs stitched on 14 count Aida call for only two strands of thread, 11 count Aida calls for three stands of thread, so you will need to divide and separate your 6 strand thread twists accordingly.

Refer to your design chart to see how many strands (or plies) split from the 6 strands the design specifies.

Stitch using a length of thread approximately 50cm (18”). To separate the thread into individual strands, pull one strand up and out slowly until it is completely separated from the remaining strands. Continue to pull out the number of strands you need to stitch with.  To rejoin the threads, hold them together at one end then gently smooth them together.

Prepare Fabric -Find the centre of your fabric. Fold your fabric in half and then in half again, where the two folds intersect is the middle point.

Place your fabric into an embroidery hoop or stitching frame, to keep it taught and avoid distortion whilst stitching

Reading the Design Chart and Information -Your design chart contains all the information you need to stitch your design. A thread colour key shows the symbols that correspond to each colour.

The squares on the design chart correspond to the squares on the fabric. Every square on the design chart that requires a stitch will contain a symbol or colour. It is important that you centre your design. It is easiest to start stitching from the centre of the design, but choose a section where you feel most comfortable.

Design Charts - Where the square on your Design Chart contains a symbol taking up the full square, a full cross stitch is required. The second most common stitch is the backstitch. Backstitches are generally used as outlining or lettering. When a square contains a straight line or dotted line that join two corners, a backstitch is required.

Less common stitches are half stitches, quarter stitches and three quarter stitches, also referred to as fractional stitches – these are most commonly used on evenweave fabrics.

STITCHING  - Thread your needle with the required amount of strands only. Cross stitch is usually worked in horizontal rows from left to right. Stitch a row horizontally in half cross stitch, and then back over the row of stitched to make a full cross.

Pull the threaded needle up onto the front side of the fabric, leaving a 2.5cm (1”) end of thread on the back. Hold the end of thread against the back of the fabric in the direction you plan to stitch and work the first 4 to 5 stitches over it to secure it into place.  Check the back to confirm that your stitches are covering the thread.

To end a thread, run your threaded needle under the last few stitches on the back of the fabric, then cut off the end of the thread.

Re-thread the needle and secure by running it under several stitches on the back, and continue stitching.

Ensure that your thread lies flat. If your thread becomes twisted while stitching, allow the needle to hang freely on the thread and it will untwist.