Instructions for Cross Stitch

  1. Always begin stitching from the center of your design and work outwards.
  2. First find the center of your fabric by folding it in half lengthwise and crosswise. Mark the center point where the two fold lines meet with a pin. The arrows on your chart correspond to the fold lines on your fabric.
  3. Now find the center square at the center of your Chart. The position of the center square corresponds to the position of your pin. Begin stitching from the center point.
  4. When you look closely at your fabric you can see it is made up of small squares. Each square on your Fabric represents a Square on your Chart. You will stitch one cross stitch over each square on your fabric. The different Symbols show you the correct colour to use in each square.
  5. To begin stitching, first thread your needle with 2 (or sometimes 3) strands of cotton.
  6. When making your first few stitches remember to leave a 2 cm ‘tail’ at the back of your work. Hold this ‘tail’ so that your first few stitches are worked over it. This secures your thread evenly. Never tie a knot in your thread. Follow the Cross Stitch Instructions.
  7. Cross stitch is worked in rows of even, slanted stitches, usually from left to right laying down half the crosses, then back from right to left to complete them. Note the top stitch must always be slanted the same way. When stitching try to keep the tension of your thread even and do not pull too tight. It is often easier to sew your design using an embroidery hoop to hold the material.



An individual cross stitch is worked in the same sequence as a row of cross stitch. Bring the needle out at 1 and insert at 2, completing half the cross stitch. Then, bring it out at 3, directly below 2 and insert the needle at 4, above 1. Your individual cross stitch is complete.



Bring the needle out at 1, insert at 2 and out again at 3. Continue this process until the desired number of stitches is completed for that row. At the end of the row, work back, bringing the needle out at 4, inserting at 5 and out again at 6.


Diagram shows back
of material

To finish off your thread run the needle through the back of four or five stitches and trim the thread close to the cloth. Should work become soiled, handwash in cold water with mild soap. Rinse well and dry flat in shade. Do not wring. Press from the back with a warm iron.



Three-quarter stitch is usually combined with a quarter stitch (below). Three-quarters of the stitch is sewn in one colour and the fourth quarter is sewn is another colour.

Bring the needle out at 1 and insert at 2, making half the cross stitch. Then bring the needle out at 3, under the half stitch, and insert at 4.



Quarter stitch is rarely used on its own. It is usually combined with another quarter stitch of another colour or with a threequarter stitch of another colour (as above). In colour codes the lighter colour is usually the quarter stitch and the darker colour the three-quarter stitch producing a full cross stitch look. The
quarter stitch is always sewn first, under the three-quarter stitch.

Bring the needle out at 1 and insert at 2; making a quarter stitch.



Backstitch is often used as an outline to define a shape within the cross stitch.

Bring the needle out at 1, insert at 2 and out again at 3. Repeat the sequence. Keep the length of the backstitches consistent.



French Knots are used to create texture on the material.

Bring the needle out at 1. Hold the thread taut and wrap it around the needle twice. Make the twists against the needle. (To make larger knots increase the number of twists around the needle).

Insert the needle close to point 2 and pull through making sure the thread is still tight. Scatter knots as desired within the design area.