Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. Cross-stitch is often executed on easily countable evenweave fabric called aida cloth. The stitcher counts the threads in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance. This form of cross-stitch is also called counted cross-stitch in order to distinguish it from other forms of cross-stitch. Sometimes cross-stitch is done on designs printed on the fabric (stamped cross-stitch); the stitcher simply stitches over the printed pattern.
Fabrics used in cross-stitch include aida, linen, and mixed-content fabrics called 'evenweave'. All cross stitch fabrics are technically "evenweave", it refers to the fact that the fabric is woven to make sure that there are the same number of threads in an inch both left to right and top to bottom (vertically and horizontally). Fabrics are categorized by threads per inch (referred to as 'count'), which can range from 11 to 40 count. Aida fabric has a lower count because it is made with two threads grouped together for ease of stitching. Cross stitch projects are worked from a gridded pattern and can be used on any count fabric, the count of the fabric determines the size of the finished stitching.
Cross stitch basics
In this short video, I show you how to stitch the basic cross stitch. I do four diagonal stitches to the right and then I go back to the left, crossing over the stitches.
Cross Stitch tutorial
There are plenty of cross stitch tutorials on the Internet, like the one you see here.
Some of my cross stitch pieces
This is my very first cross stitch piece. Many years ago I found this little cross stitch store close to my house where they offered classes. I immediately signed up for the beginners class and this is the result.
These cute little birds were part of a kit from Dimensions. It originally came with a green plastic frame that I didn't really like. When I saw this wooden frame at an Ottawa store, I knew it was going to be perfect for my birds...
Number 1 Dad
I did this piece as a Father's Day gift for my husband. I found the pattern in a Crafting Traditions magazine.
This piece took me a good couple of months to finish. It was a kit from Dimensions that included the fabric and the threads but not the frame. The original fabric was Aida 14, which I don't like, so I replaced it for this lovely 28 count that makes the penguin stand out better.
This is just a close up of the Christmas penguin to better see the details.
As you can guess by now, I like penguins! The pattern for this cute one comes from a Crazy Cross Stitch magazine. I still have a few more from the same magazine to complete to use as Christmas decorations.
The picture does not show it but this lovely dinosaur is stitched in a bib that my daughter used for a while. The pattern comes from a Leisure Arts magazine. I like it so much that I decided to used it as the background image for the website. It is also the inspiration for the color scheme.
This duck is stitched in plastic canvas instead of fabric. It belongs to a kit that includes a sippy cup that allows to insert the embroidered piece. Of course, it can be removed to wash the cup. My son used the cup when he was a toddler.
My daughter chose this unicorn as the design for a bookmark she wanted. As the duck seen on top, it is stitched in plastic canvas instead of fabric. This way it is easier to wash. The pattern came from a Leisure Arts magazine.