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Learn To Cross Stitch

About 30 years ago (could it have been that long???), I was all over cross stitch!  My bridesmaids received personalized cross stitch Precious Moments bridesmaids in embroidery hoops as gifts. I actually get a chuckle out of that now:)

I made a beautiful cross stitch picture of a group of row houses with a half-ring of dark tree branches surrounding the houses for my parents at Christmas time. It is still hanging in their home and looks like a painting from a distance.  That was the proudest piece I made!

This list could go on forever!

On this page are the basics to learn cross stitch, a fun and relaxing needlework craft!

What is cross stitch?

Cross stitch is the oldest form of embroidery, dating back to the middle ages.

Historically, cross stitch samplers were made by young girls who would learn how to cross stitch and would record the alphabet or other patterns that she would use later in her sewing.  

The sampler would be samples of her stitching that she could refer back to later.

Just a note here…the earliest cross stitch sampler made in the US was done by Loara Standish, the daughter of Captain Myles Standish and is dated circa 1653. It can be seen at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

What are the types of cross stitch?

There are two types of cross stitch.  One is counted cross stitch, and the other is stamped or printed cross stitch.

Cross stitch is a type of embroidery, where X-shaped stitches are hand sewn with embroidery floss on a piece of even weave fabric, such as linen or an easily counted fabric called Aida cloth. 

Aida cloth is great for counted cross stitch since the weave of the fabric has a very visible grid of squares with holes for the needle at each corner.

The number of threads per inch of the cloth determines the size of the finished cross stitched piece.

Another type of cross stitching can be done on pre printed designs on the fabric.  This is called stamped cross stitch or printed cross stitch and is how I began my cross stitch work.

IMHO, counted cross stitch, done on the woven fabric with no pre printed design, is much more fun!

Cross stitch stitches

Although the most common cross stitch stitches are X’s, there are many more.  These stitches are used in both counted cross stitch and stamped cross stitch, also known as printed cross stitch.

There is a very useful page with videos and written directions showing the various cross stitch stitches on our website.

These stitches include the Algerian eye stitch, the basket stitch, chain stitch and many more.

There are even instructions showing how to cross stitch from left to right and from right to left!

Cross stitch patterns

So many creative cross stitch patterns can be found on the internet, in books and in stores. It is even possible to create your own cross stitch patterns or create a pattern from a photo using cross stitch and needlework generators!

Check out our page with many free cross stitch patterns that everyone will enjoy!

Learning to read a cross stitch pattern is not difficult at all.  The counted cross stitch patterns have grids to show each woven block where the stitches are to be sewn.

The cross stitch patterns all have a system showing the various colors of embroidery floss to be used for each stitch.  By finding the stitch in the middle of the pattern and matching it with the middle of the fabric, the first stitch can be made in order to follow the cross stitch pattern. This system is easy and efficient!

There is so much on this site to help get started on cross stitch, patterns to follow, and cross stitch tips!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest Cross Stitch Page for many more ideas!

To learn more about cross stitch, scroll down the page.  I hope you enjoy this needlework as much as I do!

Learn To Cross Stitch

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Cross Stitch Pullover Bib Project

Cross Stitch Pullover Bib Project

Baby cross stitch pullover bibs are thoughtful practical baby shower gifts for the mom-to-be or for the mom of a newborn. Or for your own baby.

Cross stitch bibs are a great way to create a soft, durable and personalized item for a lucky baby or toddler you love! 
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More Categories Below

Click the links below to find more projects in those categories.

Cross Stitch Basics

For the beginner, basic guides to cross stitching from needles to thread to helpful tips.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced technique and how to for cross stitching.

Alphabet Patterns & Text Generators (FREE)

Click to find a list of cross-stitch alphabet patterns & text generators for use in needlework patterns. Perfect for personalizing gifts or stitching favorite quotes.

Cross Stitch Calculators

Cross stitch calculators to help stitchers with fabric sizing, stitch size, conversions, and number of floss strands to use.

Cross Stitch Notions and Tools

Learn about the tools, notions and other items used in cross stitching.

Cross Stitch Tutorials

Learn how to cross stitch with tutorials and lessons

Cross Stitch Software

Software, shareware and video for cross stitching.

Cross Stitching for Left-Handers

Information on how to cross stitch for left-handed individual.

Embellishment Ideas

Want to add pizazz to your needlework projects. Try these embellishments!

Finishing Ideas & Techniques

Discover the many exciting and unique techniques for finishing cross stitch, including framing cross stitch and finishing the back of your cross stitch.

Free Cross Stitch Patterns

Links to websites with free cross stitch patterns.

Glossary of Terms

A glossary of cross stitch terms and cross stitch fabric.

Perforated Paper

Ideas, hints and suggestions for using perforated paper in cross stitching.

Stitch Glossary

Learn how to do all types of cross-stitch stitches with illustrations and videos.

Tips and Hints

Cross stitching tips, hints, words of wisdom.

Washing, Blocking & Care

Learn how to care for your heirlooms, including instructions on blocking a project.

Waste Canvas & Cross Stitching

Learn all about the use of waste canvas in cross stitching.




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Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

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