Cross-stitch is a counted-thread embroidery technique that makes a geometric pattern.
Cross Stitch and Tools
Tools required for cross stitching: a needle, a hoop or a frame, thread and a chart with the pattern to be stitched. This must-have a sufficient number of coloured cells so that it does not get too crowded while stitching. Most charts have only symbols denoting different colours used for specific areas in the design. Some newer charts may either have one colour per square or multiple squares representing the same colour. It takes some time getting used to reading these charts but once you get going it’s easy! Charts are available in books, magazines and online sources such as Etsy, Pinterest Aida fabric which has a premarked grid is also available in different sizes. The smallest ones are 6 squares per inch and the bigger ones have 11 to 12 squares per inch.
Cross Stitch Tutorials & How is it done?
I’ll explain using one of the simplest designs – ‘HELLO’ for my first tutorial! First, you need to iron your fabric so that it’s all creased up. On the back of the fabric, there will be a grid either made of white lines or black dots. This helps you count how many squares go into each inch of height and width of your design. For most projects, this is 14 count Aida cloth which has 14 spaces per inch both horizontally and vertically (counting both sides). Other types also have the number of squares per inch mentioned. I will be using a 14 count Aida cloth for this tutorial and a 5-inch square piece that has (5*14) 70 squares in height and width.
This is the fabric with white grid lines on it: Now, you must take any cross-stitch chart, look at the bottom right for what fabric count it’s meant for and how big the design should ideally come out when finished (most charts show this). You may need to adjust your fabric size accordingly if your finished design does not match up with what was specified in the chart. For my HELLO sample, it specifies 20 counts even weave fabric which would give me around 3 inches of finished work but since I’m using a 14 count Aida cloth, my design size will be reduced to (3*14) 42 squares.
Now that you know how big your fabric should be, cut it to size and then place it in the hoop/frame. If you’re using a hoop, just stretch the fabric around the inner hoop and then tighten the screw at the top. If you’re using a frame instead, then use the tabs on the sides to secure the fabric before tightening the screws.
The next step is to find the centre of your design by folding the fabric in half both horizontally and vertically and then marking with a pin or pen. Now comes the fun part – transferring that design onto your fabric! There are various ways of doing this but I’ll be explaining the simplest way. Place your fabric with the front side facing you and then place the chart above it so that they are aligned properly. Now, put some graphite paper or carbon paper on top of your chart (the side without the lines) and then trace the design using a pen/pencil/marker. This will leave dark marks on your fabric which makes it easy to see where exactly to stitch once you get started!