7 days of stitches: cross stitch

It’s time for the 4th part of the 7 days of stitches series introducing the stitch with the 4 corners *drum roll*: the CROSS STITCH. I mean, this stitch is probably the one stitch that almost everybody has stitched once in their life at school. It is also the term many people say when they actually mean embroidery.

Interestingly there is often a distinction made between counted cross stitch and embroidery in general. Counted cross stitch is when you follow a chart of squares to make each stitch. It is similar to pixel art – there are really pixelated pictures like old game boy pixels and high-resolution pictures with thousands of pixels/stitches involved that look very realistic.

Cross stitches can be used outside of counted embroidery, too. That is why I show you two ways of making them. The first steps show a stand alone cross stitch. The second set of steps shows how to do the counted version.

How to embroider the cross stitch

1// single cross stitch version: Imagine a square, then stick the needle in the bottom right corner and pull it out at the bottom left corner.

how to embroider the cross stitch

2// single version: Stick the needle in the top right corner and pull through.

how to embroider the cross stitch

3// single version: finished

how to embroider the cross stitch

1// counted cross stitch version: This is usually made with a countable fabric like Aida or even weave fabric. Learn more about it here.  Stick the needle in the bottom right corner, then pull up in the top right corner.

how to embroider the cross stitch

2// counted version: Repeat step 1 until you reach the number of squares you want to cover.

how to embroider the cross stitch

3// counted version: Now it’s time to go backwards. Stick the needle in the bottom left corner and pull it up at the top left.

how to embroider the cross stitch

4// counted version: Repeat step 3 until you have covered all previous stitches.

how to embroider the cross stitch
how to embroider the cross stitch

Good to know

For counted cross stitch it is important, that you always have the upper legs/arms of the stitches lean in the same direction. In the picture above you can see that all upper legs/arms go from bottom left to top right. The next row must be the same, so be aware of this. Legs that lean in another direction reflect the light differently and it will show in your embroidery piece. This is mostly an issue when you turn your work every now and then so the previously right slanting stitches become left slanting and vice versa.


Do you want more tips and tricks on hand embroidery?

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