Learning How to Cross Stitch For Beginners

So you decided to start needle pointing, and now you are ready to take on the task of learning the cross stitch. The cross stitch is one of the most basic of all the techniques you will learn when you needle point, and with a little practice you will become a pro at it in no time at all.

The cross stitch refers more to the way you are going to be creating the pattern, not so much about the particular fabric you will be using. Once you learn to master this stitch, you can move on to bigger more complicated projects and more detailed stitches. Being this is the basic of all stitches, it is important you learn this cross stitch for beginners guide.

Selecting the Materials

  1. The most common type of fabric used for working on the cross stitch is called Aida fabric. For the sake of this cross stitch for beginners guide, we will assume you are using the Aida cloth. The reason you will benefit from this type of fabric is because it is loosely woven material in a grid like pattern, making it easy for beginners to line up stitches. The sizes of the fabric all relate to how many stitches you can fit into a square inch, so these range from 11, 14, 18 thru 28.
  2. As a beginner, choose the 11 or the 14, providing you larger spaces to work with.
  3. The thread you choose for the cross stitch come in a variety of hundreds of vibrant colors.
  4. While you are learning the cross stitch, it is important to choose a pattern that is not too complicated. The best pattern to choose for a beginner has between 3-7 colors maximum. basically you are going to be matching color pattern on your fabric to the embroidery floss, similar to a paint by numbers craft.
  5. Be sure that you purchase an embroidery hoop when you are getting started. This is basically a ring of wood, metal, or plastic, used to secure the cross stitch as you are working. If you want to really get off to a good start, it will benefit you to have the hoop as opposed to working with only the fabric. As you are still getting comfortable with the process, the hoop allows you to grip the fabric more easily and focus on the stitching.

Creating Your Own Pattern

  1. While your local crafting store will have a huge variety of patterns to choose from, you might want to start off with an image you already like on your computer. Choose an image with clearly defined lines and shapes.
  2. When you print out the image, use the posterize feature to change the appearance of the picture, allowing you to work more easily with this picture. Choose grayscale when printing the image.
  3. Use colored pencils or crayons to shade in the small little boxes on the image. The picture will look like it has hundreds of small dots running across the page. Color areas in the color you would like the thread to be matched to. Avoid curved lines, keep working left to right.
  4. Now that you have a pattern, it is time to learn how to get the cross stitch onto your material.

Learning the Basic Cross Stitch

For the sake of this cross stitch for beginners guide, we assume you now have your fabric and colored thread ready. The fabric size is dependent on the pattern size, so each tiny square on the fabric represents a single stitch. Simply count those spots across the pattern to get the exact size. Cut the thread, or embroidery floss, to approximately 36″ as we start. While the floss comes in strands of six, you only need one for the cross stitch. If the pattern calls for multiple threads, then separate the strand accordingly.

  1. Take the strand of the embroidery floss and thread your needle so that it creates a loop on the end. You can wet the center by adding a drop of water or simply licking it. Pull the loop through the needle and leave the two tails hanging.
  2. Now we begin the cross stitch for beginners. Count the number of spaces to the first stitch, insert your needle from the bottom and pull the thread all the way through. Leave a small bit of the loop at the bottom. Cross the thread up or down diagonally, pulling the needle through that loop to create the anchor. Regardless if you are cross stitching in this pattern “/////” or this “\\\\\”, just make certain you keep it consistent throughout the entire pattern. After each stitch, thread the strings over the loose tails in back so it is secured to the fabric. The benefit to doing this will avoid the pattern unraveling when it is pulled or tugged.
  3. Using the “X” stitching pattern, work from the center towards the outer edges until you have completed the pattern. In the event you run out of the embroidery floss before you completed, tie off the floss in a knot and cut another piece.
  4. Once the entire pattern is completed, tie the thread in a knot underneath the cross stitch. After you tie the knot, cut off any remaining thread.

This basic cross stitch for beginners guide has gone into detail about everything you will need to know before you tackle this project. It is the most basic and easiest of all the needle point stitches, so take your time and have fun. You will be a pro before your next pattern.

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