• Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +1
  • Pinterest
  • Blog
  • E-mail
  • RSS
  • Favorites

Cross Stitch Beginner Guide to Basic Embroidery Stitches

Any cross stitch beginner can quickly master the basic stitches found in counted cross stitch instructions.

The simple x stitch forms the base of the entire design. Other stitches form accents.

If you think about a pixilated graphic, that's the same concept of small squares making up a design. But stitching with thread has been around a lot longer than computer screens!

Basic X Stitch

Make two diagonal lines to form an X.

Be consistent about which diagonal is on the bottom and which is on top. If you do one backwards, your finished work won't have a smooth finish.

cross stitch basic x stitch

You can do a whole row of bottom diagonals then come back and cross the tops. That's it! You know know how to cross stitch.

cross stitch row

Other Stitches

Half Cross Stitch
Just do the bottom diagonal. This effect is sometimes used for shading because it allows more of the fabric to show.
3/4 Cross Stitch
Make the bottom diagonal. Make half of the top diagonal, ending where it crosses the bottom diagonal. This three quarter stitch is sometimes used to round corners.
Backstitch or Outline Stitch
Make a straight stitch. Move a square ahead then stitch back to continue making a straight line. This stitch is used for outlining.
Notice that the opposite side is showing than what you might call the right side in crewelwork. In the diagram below, it's up at 1, down 2, up 3, and down 4.
French Knot
This is a crewelwork stitch sometimes used to add detail in cross stitch patterns.
cross stitch stitches

Materials to Get Started

There are only a few cross stitch supplies required to get started. Aida cloth is easiest for cross stitch beginners because it's slightly stiff and has the squares clearly visible. On other evenweave fabrics and linens, cross stitches are usually worked over two threads. If the fabric is flimsy, you might need a cross stitch frame to hold it smooth as you work.

Like This Page?

Facebook Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Here you can learn some new skills and share your ideas about your favorite ways to embroider.

Read about me.

We have hundreds of visitors every day from around the world.


Related Cross Stitch Links