How To Cross Stitch – Part Two: Creating X's
If you need information on cross stitch fabric or threading a needle, check out How To Cross Stitch - Part One: Fabric and Threading a Needle.
This post will cover starting a thread, creating x's with the thread, and ending the thread.
In all my examples, I will be showing how to cross stitch over one square on aida and over two threads on linen. I recommend aida for beginners because it is easier to tell what hole your thread needs to go through to create the x's.
With your needle threaded. Poke it through a hole in the fabric where you would like one corner of a stitched x to be.
Pull the needle and the thread through the hole until there is only about a half an inch of thread left on the back side of the fabric.
Now think about what three holes are left that will create the corners of your stitched x. Poke your needle through the hole from the front of the fabric that is the one diagonal from the hole we just pulled the thread through. This diagonal stitch we are creating in this step is called the first leg of a stitch. The direction of the leg of the stitch does not matter as long as all the first legs are oriented the same way, and all the second legs are oriented the same way.
Pull the thread enough so the first leg of the stitch is flat on the fabric, but don't pull it too much or you'll pull the whole thread out of the fabric.
*On the linen, we are stitching over two threads, so when determining what holes make the corner of our x, we need two horizontal or vertical (or both) threads of linen between each hole that we use to create the x.
Linen - notice the number of linen threads between the two holes that we pulled our embroidery floss through. Also notice that I created the first leg in the opposite direction as my aida example - this is just to show that the direction of the legs does not matter as long as they are all the same in a piece.
Now, poke the needle through from the back of the fabric to the front in one of the two remaining holes that will create our x. We still need to secure the loose tail of thread in the back to prevent us from pulling our thread out of the fabric, so as you are pulling the needle and the thread through the fabric, catch the tail of the floss that is on the back side of the fabric under the length of thread we are pulling. Once we do this a couple times with different sections of the thread, the thread should be securely held on the fabric.
Back side of aida
Back side of linen. I am holding the tail of the thread to make sure it gets caught under my thread.
Last, poke the needle through the last hole needed to create the x from the front to the back and pull. You now have your first completed x!
Completed first x on aida
Five x's completed on linen
When following a pattern and creating the x's, you can either complete each x before moving to the next, or complete the first leg of a row or column of x's before completing the second leg. Most stitchers will complete the first leg of a row or column of stitches and then finish those stitches with the second leg - I find that method much faster, and it saves embroidery floss, but do what works best for you.
Stitching multiple of the first leg of stitches on aida
Stitching multiple of the first leg of stitches on linen
Once you are done with a length of floss because you no longer need the color you are working on, you need to move to a different part of the pattern with the color, or the thread is getting to short to comfortably stitch with, simply run the thread through some stitches in the back of the piece to secure it.
Once is the thread is secure, simply snip it with some scissors.
You now know how to make x's on fabric for cross stitch. To learn how to calculate the size of fabric you need for a project or learn how to read a chart, check out How to Cross Stitch - Part Three: Fabric Size and Chart Reading.
As always, thank you so much for reading!
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