If you have no idea what cross stitching is, it’s a type of needlework that uses small x-shaped stitches to create intricate works of art. It has been around for ages, and it is one of the easiest forms of hand embroidery to learn.
Want to try it but don’t know where to start from? This article is here to help you.
Materials you need for cross stitch
If you are new to cross stitch you might wonder what are the best supplies for cross stitch. Below is a list of the essential things you need to cross stitch:
- Cross Stitch Fabric (most projects are made on Aida or Evenweave Linen fabric)
- A Cross Stitch Pattern (you can check Pinterest for ideas)
- An Embroidery Needle (the size will depend on the fabric, but 24 should be OK)
- Embroidery Floss (after you select the pattern you want to copy, you can check the color codes that you will need to use for that project)
- Embroidery Hoop (this is optional, but the hoop helps to keep the fabric stretched and you finish stitching you will have your work directly framed in the hoop)
First important tip is: start in the middle of your fabric! It’s easier and this way you make sure you have plenty of room for your work. You can quickly find the center by folding your fabric two times double.
Then thread your needle just as you would a needle for hand sewing. Don’t make a knot in the tail end. You will stitch over the tail as you work to secure it without needing a knot. Another important thing is to aim for an even tension on your stitches. Don’t pull too hard as they will warp the fabric, and don’t leave them to loose so they will look sloppy.
One annoying thing about cross stitching is that the embroidery floss tends to get twisted as you stitch. Every once in a while, let your needle hang freely to let the thread unwind.
Also very important: do not forget the backside of your project. Don’t make it look too messy just because no one is going to look at it. Avoid making long jumps because they might show through the openings on the front. When you have to skip more then 4 blank pixels, I recommend that you secure your floss and start with a new thread.
And finally, be consistent in your stitching. The first line of your cross should always be leaning in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you start your cross stitch going ‘////’ or ‘\\\\’ as long as you are consistent with this pattern over the entirety of your project.
How to make a basic cross stitch
Our golden tip for making perfect cross stitches is to start making all the first legs of your cross stitches as per your cross stitch pattern.
After that you can easily stitch the second leg without having to look at your pattern.
Cross stitching projects for beginners
Years ago, I found this cute Garfield pattern online and decided to give it a try. This was my first cross stitching project and it came out really nice. I bought the materials I needed and just went for it! I found out that cross stitching is actually quite relaxing.
Then, years later, as a gift to my boyfriend, I decided to do a cute little panda (as his nickname used to be ‘Panda’).
For this one I bought a kit with all the materials included. I didn’t have time to finish the background of this one, as I had to give this on a specific date, but I think it still looks cute anyways!
Over time cross stitch hasn’t really had the recognition it deserves. It is actually quite fun, relaxing and a bit of a secret talent to have. There is no such as getting bored when you can take your little cross stitch kit with you wherever you go.
Fear not, because all though a finished cross stitch project looks super fancy and detailed, it is actually really easy to pick up. Give it a try and be surprised!