How To Cross Stitch

Getting Started with cross stitching

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced stitcher, you’ve come to the right place for expert cross stitch advice. There’s a wealth of stitching knowledge here, all at the click of a button. Have a browse and learn something new today!

Follow these guidelines and you'll soon be stitching your first design:


Q: I want to backstitch round a simple floral design, but black seems to look too harsh - what shade should I use?

Black thread CAN look very severe when added as backstitch to delicate designs. Try using a darker colour of the shade already used in the design. For example, if your flower is in shades of pink, choose a very dark pink to use as the outlining colour. You should find that this gives the stitching a much softer finish.

I tried designing a picture recently, but found that the colours looked darker when stitched on the fabric than they did in the shop.

Threads do tend to look just a touch darker when worked as cross stitch than on the skein. This is because the top arm of the cross stitch creates just a very slight shadow on the lower stitch, making the finished colour darker. Although this shouldn't make a lot of difference to the finished design it is worth bearing in mind when you first choose your threads.

Cross Stitch TV

making up

It’s always fun to try new ways of making up your cross stitch into different finishes. As well as giving you a chance to expand your skills, this means that you won’t run out of walls to show off your framed designs! Many stitchers can find it a bit scary branching out into cushions, doorstop and the like, or even going the extra mile and perfecting specialist finishes like biscornus and scissor keepers. But don’t worry – our step-by-step guides will show you how simple it is to master these techniques. We’ve also shared some handy tips to make your whole stitching experience that little bit easier.

Hannah Bells Editor of The world of Cross Stitching


Knots can cause problems when you are stitching, suddenly appearing in your thread. In fact, they are not actually proper knots but just very tightly twisted thread. If one appears, take your needle and insert it into one of the loops of the knot and pull gently. You should find that this releases the 'knot' and you can carry on stitching.
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