Cross Stitch is one of the easiest stitches to learn. It starts with a simple x-shaped stitch that is commonly embroidered with floss on an evenweave fabric. The cross stitch is repeated numerous times to create a design.
Counted cross stitch designs are made by following a grid or chart where each square that contains a symbol represents 1 stitch.
There are six basic stitches used in Cross Stitch embroidery: the full cross stitch, fractional stitches known as half cross stitch, quarter stitch, three-quarter stitch that are used to work just a portion of a cross stitch, as well as back stitch for outlines and tendrils, and the French knot for small details and accents. The stitches are described as follows, and directions for working them can be found in our online cross stitch guide.
Before starting a project, be sure to prep your thread if you are using six strand Embroidery Floss. Refer to the pattern or chart to find out how many strands are needed, and separate the six strands of floss. Regroup the strands with the necessary number of threads and start your stitching. Separating all 6 strands and regrouping helps ensure smoother stitching without twisting and knotting.
Your chosen pattern or chart contains all the information you need to stitch your design. A thread color key shows the symbols that correspond to each color. 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. It is important that you center your design. Follow the four arrows on the design, where they all intersect is the center point. It is easiest to start stitching from the center of the design, but choose a section where you feel most comfortable.
I’ve provided a pretty project for you to print and stitch. Download the PDF pattern for the Peace Label shown above, and stitch the design on CharlesCraft 14-count cream Aida using two popular DMC Embroidery Threads – embroidery floss with glittery accents stitched using Light Effects Floss.