7 days of stitches: cross stitch

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

It’s time for the 4th part of the 7 days of stitches series introducing the stitch with the 4 corners *drum roll*: the CROSS STITCH. I mean, this stitch is probably the one stitch that almost everybody has stitched once in their life at school. It is also the term many people say when they actually mean embroidery.

Interestingly there is often a distinction made between counted cross stitch and embroidery in general. Counted cross stitch is when you follow a chart of squares to make each stitch. It is similar to pixel art – there are really pixelated pictures like old game boy pixels and high-resolution pictures with thousands of pixels/stitches involved that look very realistic.

Cross stitches can be used outside of counted embroidery, too. That is why I show you two ways of making them. The first steps show a stand alone cross stitch. The second set of steps shows how to do the counted version.

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How to embroider the cross stitch

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

1// single cross stitch version: Imagine a square, then stick the needle in the bottom right corner and pull it out at the bottom left corner.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

2// single version: Stick the needle in the top right corner and pull through.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

3// single version: finished

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

1// counted cross stitch version: This is usually made with a countable fabric like Aida or even weave fabric. Learn more about it here.  Stick the needle in the bottom right corner, then pull up in the top right corner.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

2// counted version: Repeat step 1 until you reach the number of squares you want to cover.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

3// counted version: Now it’s time to go backwards. Stick the needle in the bottom left corner and pull it up at the top left.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

4// counted version: Repeat step 3 until you have covered all previous stitches.

cross stitch - 7 days of stitches

Good to know

For counted cross stitch it is important, that you always have the upper legs/arms of the stitches lean in the same direction. In the picture above you can see that all upper legs/arms go from bottom left to top right. The next row must be the same, so be aware of this. Legs that lean in another direction reflect the light differently and it will show in your embroidery piece. This is mostly an issue when you turn your work every now and then so the previously right slanting stitches become left slanting and vice versa.


Artwork showcasing this embroidery stitch

Hallodribums – cross stitch anatomical heart kit

cross stitch heart by Hallodribums

Clementine & Thread – stitch your own person brooch

stitch your own person brooch by Clementine and Threads

Pumora – the cross stitch stash buster

chaotic cross stitch by Anne Mende

Learn more embroidery stitches

Want to learn how to embroider? Let's start today with one stitch a day!

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