Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is an old fashioned way of passing time. However it also doubles as a cheap way to decorate the home.

There is a plethora of tutorials online concerning cross stitch methods and materials. For a beginner it can seem daunting and some of the more complex stitches can seem down right scary. However cross stitch is a relaxing way to spend the evening. It keeps your hands busy. And more importantly, it means you aren’t just watching Netflix, you’re being productive as well.

This article isn’t a tutorial, it’s more of a reference for places you can go for other tutorials. But more importantly it is a post that talks about some cheats, hacks and cheap sources of materials.

Planning Ahead

cross stitch materialsAs I am based in Australia, the materials will be based on what I have been able to source locally. Due to the simplicity of the materials used for cross stitch, they are relatively easy to find. Though they won’t be in your local Woolworths a trip to Spotlight or Lincraft will give you what you need. There are cheaper alternatives, though often these take longer to receive.

  1. The first thing to know is that you can’t use a regular sewing needle for cross stitch. You need a blunt needle (tapestry needle) (especially if you are using AIDA cloth).
  2. The second is that each bundle of embroidery floss contains 6 threads that are wrapped around each other. So you are actually getting 3x the length of the bundle.
  3. Third, invest in an embroidery hoop, you don’t always need it if you are using AIDA cloth, but it is handy to have and makes life easier.
  4. Fourth is the pattern, but I will address that later on.

Now that we know what resources we need, it’s time to start accumulating them before we get started.

Material Sources

  • Wish has cheaper materials. You get what you pay for here, however you can’t argue with the price.
  • Spotlight and Lincraft will have the materials you need if you are in a pinch, but if you can, support a local business.
  • Craft Boutique can be a little pricey, but they have fast delivery times
  • Needle craft, again is quite pricey compared to the free pattern downloads. However the diversity in their collection is amazing, and the quality of their products unparalleled.
  • Sewitall has a massive range of fabrics for those that like to get their own patterns and materials together themselves.
  • I am a sucker for Morris and Sons textile heritage selection. I haven’t shopped with them before, it’s just one of those websites that’s nice to browse for ideas.
  • The Crewel Gobelin has an amazing range of designs for the more advanced stitchers – there is no way in hell that I am that confident yet. But one day…

Cross Stitch Tutorials

A lot of the tutorials online can seem tedious and boring, especially some of the older videos on YouTube. I find the best way to approach a tutorial is via pictures such as the ones on Kattuna. They are easy to follow, which is what counts. Or if you prefer doing some reading, try sites like Threaded Needle, which contain pdf’s to follow.

Cross Stitch Patterns

what a cross stitch pattern looks likeThe best part about cross stitch is finding the right pattern and making it. These can range from quirky patterns on etsy, which come as downloadable pdfs. Too full patterns found at the shops listed above. All the way to the free patterns, which can be found on pinterest or from a simple google search.

For those of you that are more adventurous, creative and a little tech savvy there are also free programs, like Cstitch which allow you to make your own patterns by importing jpegs.

The Uses of Cross Stitch

Cross stitch isn’t like sewing, it doesn’t have any real practical use. However completed cross stitches can be used both as a decoration for your own home or gifted to people. Often the effort spent on the cross stitch will make the gift that much more personal.

Happy stitching!