Cross stitch is a form of hand embroidery. It is a counted thread embroidery technique. It is also considered one of the easiest forms of embroidery. It is an X-shaped stitch made on a piece of fabric with even and open weaving. Many cross-stitch patterns are sold as kits. However, many sewers prefer to make their patterns.
Instead of relying on the purchased cross stitch kits, you need to find out what materials you need to make a cross stitch pattern on your own.
What Materials Do You Need For Cross Stitch?
To make a cross-stitch embroidery, you need basic sewing skills first, before you decide on other supplies.
You will need an Aida or linen fabric which is the best for counted stitch embroidery.
Tapestry needles, since they aren’t too sharp they will not damage the fabric.
You need a pattern that will be the final embroidery design on your fabric, a hoop, scissors, and embroidery threads.
With these materials, you can now start on your cross stitch experiment. Take your time to come up with perfect cross-stitches that properly use different colored embroidery threads. And transfer your embroidery design from paper to your fabric.
1. Aida Fabric
Aida fabric is made specifically for cross-stitching. Preferably, you should use a white Aida fabric for your cross-stitching embroidery.
The Aida fabric is made up of grids. These grids are made of squares with tiny holes in the corners. It is in these holes that you will make your X cross-stitches. This means that you don’t have to make any new holes in your fabric. Making your work much easier.
Aida cloth is graded on counts. A count is the number of stitches per inch. The larger the count, the smaller the stitches on the fabric. Higher count fabrics are used by experienced cross-stitching hand embroiderers. While lower count fabrics are suitable for beginners.
For example, the 14 count Aida fabric is the most commonly used fabric for cross-stitching. The 6 count is the most used by beginners.
Other fabrics used for cross stitching are linen and Evenweave. A linen cross stitch embroidery is more elegant than an Aida embroidery.
2. Embroidery Needles
When hand embroidering with cross-stitch, always use embroidery or tapestry needles. The significant features that make them ideal for this task are their large eye and blunt tips. The blunt tips ensure that your needle only goes through the holes in the fabric. And, doesn’t make holes on its own. The large needle eye makes it possible for you to use up to six strands of embroidery thread if you like.
Embroidery needles are also graded. The larger the needle the lower the number grade. Thus a number 24 needle is larger than a number 26 needle. Further, the larger the needle, the more strands of thread it will hold.
You will choose the needle to use depending on the count of the fabric you are cross-stitching. The lower the count on the fabric, the larger the needle you need for your hand embroidery. The larger the needle, the more strands of embroidery thread you can use.
Embroidery needles are sold in cases. You can store them in the case you bought it in or you can buy needle minders to make sure that your needles don’t get lost when they are not in use. They also ensure that they stay sharp and that they don’t rust when in use.
3. Embroidery Thread
Embroidery thread is also known as embroidery floss. Embroidery is a six-strand thread used for embroidery. It is available in a range of colors. When buying embroidery thread for your cross-stitch experiment, make sure to buy high-quality thread whose colors don’t run.
It is possible to separate the strands that make up the thread. Different count Aida fabric or embroidery needles can comfortably handle up to a certain number of thread strands. Before you start your cross-stitch, decide how many strands of thread you want to use. Separate the strands you need, and cut off the length you require.
The finer the Aida fabric, the fewer the strands of thread you need. Normally, when you are cross stitching, you will only need two strands of embroidery thread. Embroidery thread is easily available in all sewing and craft shops.
Embroidery thread is available in hundreds of colors providing you with a variety of colors to choose from to bring to life your cross-stitch pattern.
4. Embroidery Pattern
The embroidery pattern is the design you will be stitching on the fabric. You can come up with your patterns or you can buy embroidery patterns wherever they are sold. If you decide to buy, you have at your disposal hundreds of designs. These designs range from beginner to complex so that you can choose patterns depending on your skill level.
Cross-stitch designs are made up of color patterns, black and white patterns, and symbols. When you buy a design, you need to be able to read it. Often, the design chart comes with a key to explain the pattern. This is especially if you use a black and white design. The key informs you of the colors to use on your cross-stitch.
You can also find patterns that you can stitch in the many cross-stitch magazines available in the market. Make sure you have all the materials you need to turn your pattern into cross-stitch embroidery.
5. Embroidery Hoop
Like in machine embroidery, you will need an embroidery hoop to make the best cross stitching for your hand embroidery. There are many types of embroidery hoops that you can use for cross-stitching.
You need hoops that correspond to the size of your project. When cutting your fabric for cross stitching, always cut two inches more than you need. This ensures that when you hoop your fabric, you have some extra fabric hanging off the hoop.
Embroidery hoops are made of wood or plastic. They are made in a ring shape that consists of two layers. Loosen the screw off one of the rings, lay your fabric onto the ring and place the other on top of it and tighten the screw.
Hoops hold your fabric taut. Ensuring that you can see the fabric clearly so that you make your stitches on the holes on the fabric.
6. Embroidery Scissors
An important tool that you need while cross-stitching is embroidery scissors or just some sharp scissors. Ensure that you have two pairs of scissors. Dedicate one pair of scissors to cut only the cross-stitching fabric, while the other pair exclusively cuts your embroidery threads.
Make sure that the embroidery scissors are sharp and short so that you cut as close as possible to the fabric. Also, sharp scissors will cut the threads clearly to ensure that they don’t fray.
Embroidery scissors have sharp ends that you can use to snip off stitches when you make errors in the cross-stitching process.
Embroidery scissors used in cross-stitching need to be sharp enough for accurate and precise cuts. Small scissors are much better for cross-stitching as they are easy to manipulate into the thin cross-stitches in the Aida or linen fabric.
How To Sew Cross Stitch?
To begin cross-stitching, you need to have the right fabric. Get an Aida or linen fabric on which you will hand embroider with cross-stitching. If you are a beginner, use an Aida 14 fabric and for experienced embroiderers, you can use Aida 6.
You now need to have the embroidery thread that you will use to embroider. You can pick as many colors of thread to use. When you have your fabric and thread ready, you now need an image that you will cross stitch onto the fabric.
Find an easy design and trace it onto your fabric. Limit the details of the design and just create an outline. Then, make a key to show the different colors that different sections of the design will have.
Thread your needle and start making your X stitches in the chosen colors of your design. Do this all over the design, ensuring that you follow the color key you have provided.
How To Cross Stitch Faster?
The best way to increase your speed in cross-stitching is to practice. With consistent practice, you can improve your skills. With better hand embroidery skills, you will finish your cross stitch projects faster than expected.
To increase your cross stitching speed, use a hoop. A hoop holds your fabric taut and in position at all times. This allows you to use both hands if you like. It also eliminates the need to keep moving the fabric around when you are working on it as you can see clearly at all times.
Make sure that you are comfortable. Most cross stitching will take a long time to complete. It is important to keep your workspace comfortable. Make sure you have a good chair to sit on while working. Also, ensure you have proper lighting and if you like, you can create a playlist of your favorite songs to listen to as you sew.