Stitch Cross Stitch an introduction by StitchMeGifts

Santa Claus Cross stitch pattern

Lets learn to stitch cross stitch, cross stitch is a hobby that appeals to people of every age and it’s been around for centuries in one form or another.

One of the earliest uses is the sampler that children would work on by candlelight in the 17th century. Imagine how difficult that must have been, to stitch religious phrases at night!

Christmas-Owl-cross-stitch-patternThese days, the material we use is linen and various sizes of Aida which are easier to count for less experienced stitchers but in the past threads, which were sometimes silk, if you were lucky, were hand dyed using plants as the source of the color. That’s why, when you see samplers in museums or stately homes, they’re usually in dark corners, to protect them from fading in the light.

Learning to stitch cross stitch is very easy and means exactly what it says. There is one stitch going diagonally up and one crossing it diagonally going down. As long as you can count and can see where colors change on a chart then you will find cross stitching easy.

Stitch cross Stitch the easy way

Christmas-tree-presents-Cross-Stitch-PatternMost people start by using a chart and that’s a good idea if you’re thinking of buying a kit for a child for Christmas. You will get the material, often in a large size like 11 count Aida, as well as a needle, the thread and a pattern. The best kits or download-from-the-internet patterns have several different charts so that you can see which colours are used where. There is then usually a black and white chart showing the symbols which are also given alongside a list of recommended colors.

Of course, you don’t have to use those colors if you already have others in your workbox but it can be helpful if you’re a new cross stitcher to use the chart colors. The picture on the kit packet is usually a good indication of how the finished cross stitch will look.

Sometimes people are put off by the thought of back stitching around the design but this is a really good idea because it makes the colors pop and gives the cross stitch work a professional look.

Owl sitting on a mushroom cross stitch patternBackstitching just means stitching a line around the design, often in black but sometimes in other colors as well. All the colors you need are usually already in the kit or are recommended on the download chart.

We love to use glitter thread to complete our cross stitching. It can turn an ordinary Christmas or birthday card into a lovely gift to treasure. Our particular favorite threads are all made in Japan. They’re Glitter Superior Threads, Gutermann holographic threads and Madeira Spectra threads and they look fabulous used to backstitch.

You can get all these threads either from a specialist thread merchant like Barnyarns of Ripon, North Yorkshire, in the UK, from a local haberdasher or an internet stockist.

Many cross stitchers like to show their work on Pinterest and there are lots of internet groups for people who share the same hobby to make new friends. Some of the groups are hosted by cross stitch magazines and others by designers.

Cross stitch Christmas and birthday cards

Blackwork Hearts-Cross-Stitch-PatternOne of the most rewarding ways to show off your cross stitch is to create Christmas and birthday cards. Your local craft shop will stock many different aperture cards in a range of colors and aperture shapes, so that when your design is ready you can use double sided tape to stick the fabric in place so that you can send it off as a gift.

If you prefer to do larger pieces of work then you can either try to frame it yourself, using one of the many internet help guides, or you can take it to a professional framer.

But whatever you choose to do, have fun learning to stitch cross stitch!

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