Learn to Cross Stitch: Five Basic Stitches in Cross Stitch

Learn the Basic Stitches Used in Cross Stitch Embroidery

Learning to cross stitch doesn't have to be intimidating. If you know how to accomplish five basic stitches then you will be on your way to a bright and stitchy future. These five easy stitches are the basis for all other stitches you will learn. Once you have these stitches down you can build up and try more intermediate stitches. While these beginning stitches may seem like no brainers, but if you master them, you will have a beautiful end product. Let's see what are the five main...MORE stitches to learn. 

  • 01 of 05

    Cross Stitch

    Graphic © 2007 Connie G. Barwick
    Cross Stitch. Graphic © Connie G. Barwick

    A cross stitch is an x-shaped embroidery stitch from which the name of Cross Stitch Embroidery is derived.It is easily accomplished by stitching two half stitches over each other.This stitch is the basis for all cross stitch. You will see it the most and it is the most commonly used. This is THE stitch with cross stitch. You will base all other stitches on this first one. You will add and subtract to create other stitches and patterns. 

    See Also -
    Stitch Your First Cross Stitch
    Stitch a Row of...MORE Cross Stitch
    Suggested Practice Pattern - Acorns Away Cross Stitch Pattern

  • 02 of 05

    Half Stitch

    Graphic © 2007 Connie G. Barwick
    Half Stitch. Graphic © Connie G. Barwick

    The cross stitch is made up of two half stitches. Half stitches are also stitched individually in some Cross Stitch projects, used at times to create a sense of depth in a Cross Stitch pattern.A half stitch is used a lot in outlining designs and making specific shapes. A half stitch is used a lot to make corners and circles. 

    See Also for other examples and stitches that build on hal stitch 
    Stitch a Row of Half Stitch
    Compare Tent Stitch and Half Stitch
    Suggested Practice Pattern - Bunnies Squared...MORE Pattern (Replace some or all of the cross stitch with half stitch.)

  • 03 of 05

    Quarter Stitch

    Graphic © 2007 Connie G. Barwick
    Quarter Stitch. Graphic © Connie G. Barwick

     The quarter stitch resembles a half stitch, but it is stitched into the center of an Aida fabric square. Quarter stitches are used to create petite cross stitch. While this may seem like an easy stitch, it is a little difficult to get it spot on. It can be difficult to get it exactly even. Try this stitch a couple of times as practice. It is used quite a bit to give the project better curves.  

    See Also -
    Find the Center of an Aida Square
    All-Purpose Magnifier
    Suggested Practice Pattern - Happy...MORE Halloween Saying

  • 04 of 05

    Three-Quarter Stitch

    Graphic © 2007 Connie G. Barwick
    Three-Quarter Stitch. Graphic © Connie G. Barwick

    The three-quarter stitch is composed of a half stitch and a quarter stitch. Three-quarter stitches are used to create more detail in Cross Stitch designs.This one can be a bit complicated to start out with. It takes some practice to get it just right. It is also used as an outline stitch to make curves. 

    See Also -
    Three-Quarter Stitch Tutorial
    Suggested Practice Pattern -Three Pumpkins and a Squash

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Back Stitch

    Graphic © 2007 Connie G. Barwick
    Back Stitch. Graphic © Connie G. Barwick

    Back Stitch is used to make lines around cross stitch and to stitch letters and wording. Some designs that are composed entirely of back stitch. Black work embroidery uses variations of the back stitch to create intricate designs, typically using black or a single color.Back stitches are the easiest of all stitches and used to add more definition to a design. It is used a lot to outline a piece of stitching to show what the pattern really is. It is used for facial expressions and lettering. Back...MORE stitches are great for lettering and making the project a little more defined. It will give the project a bit more dimension. It makes the pattern more concrete. It is fun to add contrasting colors for projects that include clothing or flowers. While this is a simple stitch, learning black work is complicated. 

    See Also -
    Six Back Stitch Lessons
    Running Stitch
    Suggested Practice Patterns -Simple Back Stitch Patterns

See, those stitches weren't so hard! You have mastered the essentials of cross stitch. These five basic stitches will help you move on to move complicated stitches and elaborate patterns and designs. You have the bricks to build a cross stitch house!