Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Stitch Tutorial: Cross Stitch

For some time I have been promising more tutorials, and I'm ashamed to say I simply haven't had the time. Anyway, I'm hoping this will be the start of better things and that it's the start of actually managing my tutorial challenge!

I've decided on a simple start for my first ever stitch tutorial focusing on how to stitch a cross stitch.

Cross stitch is often used in embroidery as a filling stitch. It is one of the easiest stitches, and has the advantage of either being worked as a single stitch or in rows. Some patterns also require half and quarter stitches. It is normally used on aida fabric, but can be used on evenweave or linen. Normally 2 strands of a 6 stranded embroidery cotton is used. On aida, it is normally stitched over one thread, however on finer evenweave fabrics (e.g. 28count and smaller) it is often stitched over 2 threads. Always embroider cross stitches in the same direction to create an even finish. It is advisable to use an embroidery hoop or frame to maintain an even fabric tension, although it is not essential. (I tend to prefer not to use one when stitching on aida).

Single Cross Stitch

Starting at the reverse of the fabric, bring the thread up at A and diagonally down at B. Then bring the needle through at C and back down at D to complete the stitch.

 Row of Cross Stitch

To stitch a row quickly, first stitch one half of each cross and on the return stitch the second. Create the first half of the stitch by coming up at A and down at B. Then stitch the first half of the second stitch by coming up at A1 and back down at B1. Repeat until the end of the row. On the last stitch of the row, after going down at B bring the thread to the right side of the fabric at C and down at D, to create the first cross. Then return to the right of the fabric at C1 and back down at D1, repeating until the row is completed.

Half Cross Stitch

These stitches are often used in charts to create finer detail. First stitch a half cross stitch, bring the thread from the reverse of the Aida at A and back Down at B. Then stitch a small diagonal stitch that finishes at the middle of the first stitch by coming up at C and down at D.
Quarter Cross Stitch

A quarter cross is used least commonly, normally when very fine detail is required. It involves one small diagonal stitch from on corner of the cross to the middle. Bring the thread to the right side of the fabric at the corner of the stitch at A, and return to the reverse of the fabric in the centre at B.

Enjoy practising! if you want some ideas and inspiration then head over to my Free Cross Stitch Charts or to my Free Project Tutorials.