cross stitch techniques


Here’s a recent FO (finished object), with a front and back comparison pic. I nearly always stitch in rows, which I did for this. The black outline I did stitch by stitch. I stitch in up/down rows for two reasons - it’s economical on thread and it makes your stitching neat and even all over.

canttakeallthesemugglesus  asked:

I'm wanting to learn how to do embroidery, are there any websites you would recommend? Also: materials that I should possibly invest in? I've seen WIPs that have what looks like pencil marks on the fabric they're working on?

What a great question! My go-to website for new embroiderers is always Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread ( She posts great how-to stitch videos and has tons and tons of good blog posts full of advice for the new needleworker and inspiration for the experienced needleworker.

As for materials, there are so many different kinds of things you can get, but you really only need the following items:

  • A needle. It can be blunt (a tapestry needle) or pointy (an embroidery needle), depending on what you’re using for your…
  • Fabric. Fabric for counted thread embroidery (like cross stitch or needlepoint) has holes in it, so you know exactly where to put your stitches. Fabric for surface embroidery is often just plain cotton or linen fabric without holes. If you want to try cross stitch or another counted technique, look for Aida fabric at your local craft store; if you want to try surface embroidery, get yourself some non-knit, woven cotton or linen twill fabric.
  • Thread. There are SO MANY kinds of thread that you can use for embroidery! A good place to begin is with DMC cotton thread. It’s inexpensive and comes in more than 450 colors. It comes in 8-meter skeins that have six strands, so you can stitch with one strand or two strands of thread, or even mix one strand of one color and one strand of another to make your own combinations.
  • Small scissors. Cut your thread off of the skein, cut the end of your used-up thread off your fabric, whatever you need to cut. You don’t need fancy scissors, though. A small pair of orange folding Fiskars scissors is like US$6 at a craft store. 
  • Something to embroider. Counted thread embroidery is usually done from a pattern that’s printed in a book or a leaflet, not on the fabric; while surface embroidery is usually stitched over a pattern that is transferred directly to the fabric. If you find a counted thread pattern that you like (pixel art is very good for this), then go for it! If you look and look and can’t find anything you like, or if you have an idea for your own pattern, feel free to come up with your own design!

This is enough stuff to get you started with embroidery. It should cost you less than US$20 at a Jo-Anns or a Michaels; they ALWAYS have coupons, too, so you can usually get stuff for much cheaper than its marked price.

As you progress, you might find that you want frames and stands to hold your work while you work on it; lights to help you see your embroidery better; fancy silk or metallic threads to work with; scissors in whimsical shapes, like storks or scrolls or roses; a comfy chair; fun friends to spend the day stitching with; or anything else that would help your stitching experience to be more pleasurable. But all of that stuff is completely optional when you’re just starting out. 

I hope this helps you out - and that you share your embroider with us in the future!