Cross stitch embroidery and variants

Cross stitch embroidery and variants

- Categories : Embroidery

Embroidery in cross stitch and variants

Traditional cross stitch

The cross stitch is one of the basic simple stitches, the secret is to make sure all the crosses go in the same direction.
It can be worked individually or in rows. Easy on Aïda or 12 count linen fabric.
Contrary to belief, cross stitch on linen is no more complicated than on Aïda. The secret is to carefully place the first stitches, making it easy to follow the line.
Cross stitch is also known as counted cross stitch or marking stitch, as it was used in days gone by for marking household linen.
Each cross on a pattern chart is usually indicated by a square.
Broderie au point de croix Maison Sajou
You will discover in our videos tips to fix your thread at the beginning without making a knot.
And also how to stop the thread, in a way to make the back of your project impeccable.

Variants of cross stitch

By variants, we mean not only stitches derived therefrom, but also related stitches.
They are all just as easy, even for beginners. Here is a quick practical resume.
On following diagrams:
If you are embroidering on Aïda, two squares on the pattern chart correspond to the distance between two holes in the fabric.
If you are embroidering on 12 count linen fabric, a square corresponds to one strand of fabric (both warp and weft).

Half cross stitch

Also sometimes called tent stitch, you only embroider one half of the whole cross,
one way or the other, according to what is indicated on the pattern chart. 
Half cross stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Upright cross stitch

Instead of sewing the stitches at an angle, you sew a first stitch vertically and the second horizontally, to obtain the equivalent of a Cretan cross.
Unlike traditional cross stitch, the upright cross stitch is sewn over two holes on Aïda or four strands on linen.
You can use upright cross stitch to create different effects, aligning them on the second row directly under the first stitches, as shown by the red crosses on our diagram. But you can also shift them to interlock them with the previous row, indicated by the blue crosses on our diagram, to obtain a brick wall effect.
Another variation which you can see in our video on linen fabric, you can stitch two rows and fill them with another upright cross stitch.
Upright cross stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Elongated cross stitch

The elongated cross stitch can be sewn height wise or width wise.
It is sewn just like a normal cross stitch but double in height or width depending on which way it has to be sewn.
It is a great filler stitch for larger projects.
Elongated cross stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Back stitch

Back stitch is a basic flat stitch, vertical or horizontal, sewn between two holes on Aïda or two strands on linen, creating a solid line.
Its origins date back to 10th century Portugal.
Combined with the half cross stitch, back stitch is often used on cross stitch pattern charts, especially for contours.
These contours soften the visual effect of the cross stitch angles.
The back stitch is also used in traditional embroidery.
Back stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Running stitch

Sometimes this stitch is wrongly considered as too simple to use in embroidery.
It is, however, extremely versatile as it can be orientated in all directions. It consist of equally size stitches spaced at regular interval.
Other than embroidery, it is also very useful in quilting and gathering and the basis of Sashiko embroidery.
Running stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Straight stitch

Straight stitch is exactly what it says. It can be worked in any direction and any size.
It can be used in cross stitch, tapestry and classic embroidery.
See the mosaic stitch below, using straight stitch.
Straight stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Star stitch

This star stitch is sewn with four long stitches and four shorter ones.
The first stitch is vertical over four holes on Aïda or eight strands on linen. The second is the same but horizontal.
The two following stitches will form a cross over two holes on Aïda and four strands of linen fabric.
Star stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Large star stitch

The large star stich is pretty much the same as above
but the first two stitches will be over eight holes on Aïda and sixteen strands of linen fabric.
As with the Rhodes stitch, the stitches lay on top of each other giving a bit of volume to the embroidery.
Large star stitch by Maison Sajou

Square eyelet stitch

The square eyelet stitch is a pulled work stitch with a number of straight stitches coming out from a central hole, forming an eyelet.
This eyelet can be made larger by pulling tightly on the floss.
If you stitch on 12 count linen, it is simpler to sew the vertical and horizontal stitches first. This makes it easier to place the diagonal stitches.
A very useful stitch which can be variable in size.
Small square eyelet stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Small round eyelet stitch

The small round eyelet stitich is sewn in the same manner as the square eyelet stitch,
the needle is brought up through a hole and down into the central hole, but the first stitch is longer, two holes on Aïda and four strands on linen.
As there are more stitches, the finished effect is circular.
The simplest way for this stitch to place the two vertical stitches and then the horizontal ones, making the slanted stitches easier to place.
Small round eyelet stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Large round eyelet stitch

A useful stitch with a larger eyelet hole which gives a great effect.
This is sewn over three holes on Aïda and 6 strands on linen fabric. The end result is an eyelet with 16 stitches.
The simplest way for this stitch to place the two vertical stitches and then the horizontal ones, making the slanted stitches easier to place.
Large round eyelet stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Mosaic stitch

The mosaic stitch consists of making square or rectangular blocks with a succession of parallel straight stitches, normally stitched at an angle.
It can be sewn from top to bottom or bottom to top, but should never be started in the middle.
It is similar to Hungarian stitch but worked diagonally rather than vertically.
Mosaic stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Smyrna stitch

The Smyrna stitch is made of two overlapping crosses – a first slanted cross is overlapped with an upright cross.
Our video show this stitch over two squares of Aïda fabric.
However, it is very flexible, the only important thing is to make sure all the stitches are of equal length.
On 12 count linen fabric, this stitch should be sewn over minimum 4 strands.

Rhodes stitch

Similar to the above methods, but the stitches lay on top of each other, giving depth to the embroidery.
Make a first slanted stitch over three holes on Aïda or six strands on linen. This can be stitched clockwise or anti-clockwise but not on the same motif.
There are many different varieties of this stitch and it can also be a great filler for large embroidery projects.
Rhodes stitch embroidery by Maison Sajou

Rice stitch

Rice stitch is composed of a cross stitch or upright cross stitch, with another diagonal stitch on the extremity of each cross.
To get the full effect, this stitch should be sewn over four holes on Aïda fabric and over 8 strands on linen fabric.
Another variety, as shown in the video, is to add further diagonal stitches for a fuller effect.

Sew cross stitch with waste canvas

With waste canvas you can sew cross stitch, or any of its variants, on fabrics or clothing where it is not possible to count the threads:
this is the weaving of waste canvas which will give you the way to follow.

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