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Learn counted cross stitch in only 5 minutes. It is fun and easy to do.
Tags:how to cross stitch,crafts,cross,needle,needlework,sewing,stitch
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Counting cross stitch is probably the most popular form of hand and needle work. Cross stitch transfers a design from a pattern on to even-weave fabric. Each symbol on the pattern represents one X on your fabric. The shape of the symbol tells you the color. For the chart we are working on, each square symbol will be an X stitched in blue. The symbol “5” will be an X stitched in yellow, and so on.
Embroidery floss is made up of six individual strands of thread. Cut a link for floss about 18 inches in length then pull out individual threads one at a time. This will make your stitches lay neater on your fabric.
Cross stitch uses a tapestry needle. A tapestry needle has a large eye so it is easier to thread. It also has a blunt tip.
To thread your needle, you can use a needle threader or you can pinch the thread over the eye of the needle to make it easier to thread.
To start stitching, bring the needle up from the back of the fabric, leaving a one-inch tail on the back.
Stitch one diagonal of the X. Stitch over the tail of thread on the back for the first few stitches. Never use knots on the back of your fabric. Continue to stitch just half of the X for the entire row. When you reach the end of the row, work back completing the X. It does not matter which direction the top of the X slants, but you want all of your stitches to slant in the same direction; otherwise, your stitching will appear uneven.
If we were stitching on 14-count Aida, which is a good fabric to begin on, we would use two threads. To make it more visible for our video, we are going to use six strands of floss on six count fabric. The count of the fabric simply means how many stitches there are in one inch. Our website has a cross-stitch calculator that will help you determine the number of threads to stitch with, and the size of the tapestry needle to use. The store where you purchase your materials will also be happy to help you with this.
When you have completed all the Xs on the first row, simply drop down one row and stitch the next row. Again, just stitch one half of the X for each stitch on the row, then incomplete the X on your way back. When you have completed an area or have run out of thread, you will need to end off. Turn your piece over, and run the needle under four or five stitches end from the tail. You never use knots on the back of your stitching.
Your stitches will be more even if you use some type of hoop or frame to hold your fabric. We are using a Q-Snap Frame, but you can also use a school frame or a plastic embroidery hoop.
You will find that it is easier to stitch the rows from the top to bottom. Sometimes, when you move to a different color or area, you will need to count to find where you start stitching. This is easy to do. Start stitching the new area the same as before. Bring your needle up from the back of the fabric, leaving a once inch tail which you stitch over to secure the thread.
Stitch half of the X on row then work back to complete the Xs on that row. Your stitches should lay flat on the fabric without distorting the fabric. It is easy to pull your thread too tightly. Stitch a row with less tension to see if the stitches look better. If you run out of thread before you complete an area, just run your needle under a few stitches on the back to end off.
To start stitching again, you do not have to catch the tail like we have shown before. All you need to do is run your needle under few stitches on the back of the fabric similar to how we ended off and continue stitching. Keeping your stitching neat on the back will help when you try to frame or finish your project.
In addition to the regular cross stitch, many designs will call for back stitching
Back stitching is a running stitch used to outline the color or to make lines. Back stitching is always done last. On art design, the strings for balloons and their words are done in back stitch. Usually, back stitching is done with half the strands that you used to make the Xs.
Start by anchoring your thread as before. When you back stitch, you make a stitch for each time the pattern crosses over an intersection of the grid on the graph. Usually, you will not skip over more than two spaces, but that depends upon your pattern.
I hope you found this video helpful. A printed version of this lesson is available on our website. Be sure to visit your local needle work store. They love stitching and we will be happy to answer any questions. They can also help you find that perfect project to get started stitching.