As a beginner with an interest in cross-stitch, did you ever look at other hobbyist projects and wished you were that talented? There are many people who have a keen desire to master their cross-stitch hobby and for good enough reason too. It is not just a skill that can be acquired with practice, but if you learn the technique you could be very soon picking up varied stitching projects as this is one of the very simple but elegant stitches for beginners to try.
If you’ve just looked at a cross-stitch design and thought how you too could manage to make a similar one, then we have some free resources here that you could use and bring your creation to life.
Beginner’s guide to cross-stitch
For those of you who’ve taken you cross-stitching and worked into inspired patterns, there will surely come a time when you could actually design one of your own masterpiece creations. But first, you need to know in detail about the materials needed to start stitching.
Basic materials for cross-stitch
For a beginner’s cross-stitch project there are only a few materials that are enough for you to start. To work on a simple stitch project all you need is a stitched fabric, embroidery floss, tapestry needles, and scissors, and you should be good to go.
A beginner’s cross-stitch fabric should be woven with grid holes spaced evenly. It will help you to gauge the stitch gaps as well as keep a count. The 14-count Aida cloth is the most popular with a 14-hole to the inch.
Stranded embroidery cotton is used to perform the cross-stitch design. The divisible thread is made of six strands. Pull out one or use all six together – it’s your choice.
Apart from that, a blunt tapestry needle is best for the purpose as it allows the thread to easily pass back and forth through the holes.
Among the other equipment required is a pair of scissors specialized for thread cutting. A wooden hoop to hold your fabric while you stitch and a bag to store all your project materials is one place are the two other tools you could keep in your cross-stitch hobby arsenal. Know more about the basics of materials needed for the hobby here.
Learning how to cross-stitch
A full cross-stitch can be done in two ways. Beginners can attempt single stitches or either a horizontal or vertical row. Whichever way you choose to stitch the first end the ‘X’ of each stitch properly every time. At first, start from the lower left-hand corner to the upper right-hand corner. Then come to the lower right-hand corner to the upper left-hand corner. Make a note here that the top stitch of any single ‘X’ should the same direction consistently on your fabric.
The method of creating a cross-stitch differs as well. Some countries prefer to finish one ‘X’ at a time and go to the next, whereas there are still others in which one-half of the stitches are completed in one direction and then again come back to work on the complete pattern. Eventually, as a cross-stitch hobby you could choose any technique you find useful, but make sure ultimately all patterns must be uniform.
Try an excellent cross-stitch pattern maker that converts your desired image to a graphic design that you can easily download for free and use it to transform a virtual pattern to a stitched master creation.
Backstitch learning first
Backstitch is a utility skill that is a beginner’s great guide to cross-stitching. The backstitch pattern is at the core of any cross-stitch pattern. Give your images an outline that defines the expressions making patterns look closer to the original. As the stitch defines the designs you work with, many hobbyists tend to leave the simple stitch to be performed after completing the cross-stitch portion.
Usually, one backstitch is good enough for design outlining. In very rare cases (as the design demands), backstitches can extend more than two holes.
What beginners must understand about cross-stitch?
Often, those starting with a cross-stitch hobby tend to overlook their basic techniques. “How do I start with the thread?” Most beginners stumble at the very start. The first tip is not to use knots in your thread. Instead, you could use a stitching action to tie a knot to the thread in a loop, securing it to the back. As you gain experience, maybe you could do away with the knot. Else, you could leave the loose ends of the thread as is and then weave these to secure.
Another vital aspect is to cover tension. Never pull it tight as you may not secure the design. This is one skill that you will gain with experience.
How to wash a cross-stitch?
At the end of a stitching project, you would want to clean the cloth that is subjected to so many external dirt and dust. You would also want the sebum from your hands to not give the cloth a yellowish tinge over time. Hence, even before you start admiring your creation, it is imperative that you safeguard the fabric so that it doesn’t quite deteriorate easily.
To protect the fabric and the hard work you did, the best thing is to wash them properly before framing the material. Learn how to wash your cross-stitch embroidery, thoroughly without causing any harm to the material. Beginner hobbyists could wash them at first and then finish the left-over detailing and also to progress with more advanced skills as well.
The beauty of the ‘back’ – does it matter?
Finally, don’t worry about the material back as cross-stitch projects; especially for beginners, there is no need for the fabric back to look the same as front. If you’re using a sheer fabric to perform your stitches, it may be seen from the front.
The whole aspect of a cross-stitch hobby is to relax and enjoy the process. As you start building your skills you’ll find these links very useful.
Peacock & Fig – Explore these beginner tutorial videos to cross-stitch craftsmanship. From choosing materials to working on your hobby – get all comprehensive insights in one place.
More places for inspiration are – TheseWingLoftBlog.com, Hookabee.com,