Learn How to Cross Stitch Part 5: How to Backstitch

Learn How to Cross Stitch Part 5: Backstitching

 

Welcome back to our learn how to cross stitch series! In today’s post I will be teaching you how to do the backstitch, which is a basic embroidery stitch that is used in cross stitching to add a border or other details. This simple stitch can be used in almost every needle craft, and will be an essential addition to your stitching repertoire. Let’s get started!

 

(Learn better with video tutorials? Check out my Youtube video demonstrating How to Back Stitch below or on my channel E’Claire Makery!)

 

The Backstitch

Backstitches in Cross Stitch Patterns

Backstitching will appear in a pattern as lines that run along the edge of the squares that make up the cross stitch grid. Here on my Napricot cross stitch recipe, the Zs are made from backstitches.

Starting the backstitch

1. To begin the back stitch, thread your needle and insert it up through one of the corners of your Aida fabric. Pull needle through, leaving a small tail in the back to make sure the thread doesn’t come undone.

Insert needle down into fabric

2. Insert needle down into the corner right below where you inserted it up through. Pull thread through.

Starting Next Back Stitch

3. Insert needle up through the corner below where you last inserted your needle down into, and pull thread through.

Learn How to Cross Stitch: Backstitch

4. Insert needle back into the corner where you inserted it down in your last stitch, and pull thread through. You will now have two stitches completed.

Learn How to Backstitch

5. To start your next backstitches, insert your needle up through where you started your second stitch, and pull thread through.

Learn How to Backstitch

6. Insert needle back down into the corner where inserted your needle down into the last stitch. Repeat steps 5-6 till you have finished your backstitches required on the pattern. Just like that, you know how to backstitch!

 

Now that you know how to backstitch, you are ready to begin adding more details to your cross stitching. Some of my patterns that include backstitches are the Napricot, Waitermelon, and Soap Opera patterns. Backstitching can also be used to sew details onto crocheted pieces. You’ll love using this stitch!

Thank you for following along with this series! I hope it helped teach you how to cross stitch. If there are any more installments you’d like me to create for how to cross stitch, please comment below with suggestions. The next series we’ll be doing is “Learn How to Crochet” with a cake slice coaster project. You won’t want to miss it!

Happy stitching!

~Claire

 

Save it for Later!

How to Back Stitch: Learn How to Cross Stitch Part 5

Learn How to Cross Stitch: Part 4 – Danish Cross Stitch Method

Welcome back to our Learning How to Cross Stitch series! So far we’ve learned what supplies you need, how to prepare your fabric, and how to do the English Cross Stitch Method. In this post, I will be teaching you how to do the Danish Cross Stitch Method. This cross stitch method creates a complete stitch individually instead of in rows at a time. It is a great method for doing a color that only requires a few stitches, or that involves a varying pattern in one color. Let’s get started!

Learn better through videos rather than pictures? Here’s the full length video tutorial of this post!

Danish Cross Stitch Method Picture Tutorial

Start the same way that you do with the English method, by inserting the needle up through the bottom left corner of the stitch. Pull the thread through, leaving a small tail of thread in the back.

Insert needle back through the fabric into the top right corner, and pull thread through.

Next, insert needle up through bottom right corner, and pull thread through.

Insert needle through top left corner, and pull through. You’ll now have one complete stitch.

Now you’ll repeat the same process you just did. Even though you’re doing stitches individually, you still want the stitch lines to move in the same direction. To do this on your second stitch, you’ll insert your needle up through the bottom left of the next square and insert it back into the top right corner.

Next, insert needle up through the top left corner, and insert back down into bottom right corner.

Pull thread through, and now you’ll have two complete stitches. Repeat this process till you have the desired number of stitches in that color.

Now that you know how to do the Danish method of cross stitch, you are ready to do complex color work. Some  of my cross stitch recipes that are great for this method are the Let’s Get Kraken, Cinnabunny Roll, and Pizza My Heart.

The next post in our series will cover how to do a backstitch, which is how you sew straight lines onto the cross stitch design.

Happy Stitching!

~Claire

Learn How to Cross Stitch: Part 3 – English Cross Stitch Method

Welcome back to our Learning How to Cross Stitch series! So far we’ve learned what supplies we need, and how to prepare our fabric. Now it’s time for part 3 where you finally begin stitching. In this post I will be teaching you the English method of cross stitch, where one line of diagonal halves of the stitches are worked and then the other half worked back across. This method is great for working a large portion of rows that are the same color. Let’s begin!

(Learn better through video tutorials rather than pictures? Here’s the full length video of this post)

 

English Cross Stitch Method Picture Tutorial

To start, thread your needle and insert it up through the bottom left corner of one of the squares in the center of the fabric.

Pull your thread through, and leave about a half an inch of thread sticking out of the back of the fabric. Leaving this much prevents your thread from coming out when you start making the stitches. Hold this part of the thread with your finger to secure it until you’ve done a few stitches.

Then begin making the first half of the cross stitch by inserting your needle back down through the top right corner of the square. Repeat the process by inserting needle up through the bottom left corner, and back down through the top right corner.

Once you’ve made the first half of your stitches all the way across, begin making the other half by moving back across your stitches. Start this by inserting your needle up through the bottom right corner of the stitch you ended the row with.

Insert needle back down through the top left corner of the stitch, and repeat up and down diagonals across the rest of the stitches you’ve made.

A complete row of finished stitches looks like this. Notice how each of the halves in the stitches moves in the same direction. These stitches go left to right, and then right to left back over the other halves. As long as the stitches move in the same direction, you can start the row from either the right or left. You can even use this method having the row going up and down.

Once all of your stitches in the color are done or your thread is getting too short, it is time to fasten off the thread. Flip over the cross stitch to the backside, which will look like this with a row of straight lines.

Insert your needle through the back of two stitches, and pull through.

After thread is pulled through the two stitches, it will look like this. Cut the thread a 1/4″ from the stitches, and now your stitches are fastened off.

Just like that, you now know how to cross stitch using the English method! Some of my favorite cross stitch recipes of mine that utilize this technique are the Napricot, Tea-Rex, and Waitermelon. They are all available in my shop, and a great patterns to start with.

The next post in our series will cover the Danish Cross Stitch method, which is great for working individual stitches, or ones where the same color is worked in a varying pattern. You can find that next post here.

Happy stitching!

~Claire

 

Learn How to Cross Stitch: Part 2 – Preparing Fabric for Stitching

Welcome to part 2 of our Learn How to Cross Stitch series! Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, you are ready to begin cross stitching. The first step in the cross stitching process is preparing your fabric for stitching by: finding the center of your fabric and putting the embroidery hoop on.

Finding the Center of Your Fabric

Cross stitch patterns are stitched by beginning in the center of the design and working your way outward. The patterns will have arrows on the side that point you to the center of the design, so you’ll have to find the center of your fabric in order to start stitching. Here are some tips on how to find the center of your fabric:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, take your fabric and cut it to the correct size that you need for the design.

 

Next, fold your fabric horizontally (hamburger style).

 

Then unfold your fabric, and fold lengthwise (hot dog style).

 

Now you’ve created creases in the fabric. The point at where they intersect is the middle of your fabric, and where you will begin stitching.

Putting on the Embroidery Hoop

The next step for preparing your fabric is putting the embroidery hoop on. Using the embroidery hoop will help your fabric remain taught, which will help in keeping the tension of your stitches the same. Here’s how to secure the embroidery hoop:

First gather your fabric, and separate the two pieces of the embroidery hoop.

Then place the half of the hoop with the screw on it on top of the fabric, and the other half of the hoop directly beneath the top one underneath the fabric.

Next, push the top half of the hoop till both it and the fabric go over the other half, and are pushed together. In order to get the hoop over the fabric, you will have to loosen the screw on the hoop so that it can fit over it.

Once the hoops are pushed together, it will look like this from the top with the fabric crinkled on the edges. If your fabric feels to loose, pull the edges and tighten the screw so that it is secure.

The hoop will look like this from the back. Your fabric is now secured in your hoop.

 

Now that your fabric is prepared, you are ready to begin stitching! The next part in the series will show you how to do the first method of cross stitching, the English method. Click here to read that post and begin cross stitching!

Happy stitching!

~Claire

Learn How to Cross Stitch: Part 1 – Supplies

(This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full affiliate disclosure here.)

Have you wanted to learn how to cross stitch, but have never known where to get started? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog series, Learn How to Cross Stitch, I will be walking you through a step by step tutorial on how to cross stitch including: supplies needed, English and danish cross stitch methods, backstitching, and other tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.

I always encourage people to learn how to cross stitch because it is such an easy craft to learn. You use one stitching technique in a variety of ways to create beautiful pictures out of thread. Since you use one main stitch, it is a craft that is very meditative and relaxing. I’ve found cross stitching has helped reduce my anxiety, because I am able to have something to focus on and it produces wonderful results. It also is fun to see a picture emerge as you make each stitch, and it a great creative outlet! Whether you want to learn to help reduce stress or you just want to do something fun, no matter what your reasons for wanting to learn how to cross stitch, you are about to embark on a rewarding creative journey. Now let’s get started!

Supplies

No cross stitch would be possible without the proper supplies, since they are the backbone of every cross stitch you do. Supplies can range from thread to fabric, or the type of needle you use. What’s great is that these are all fairly inexpensive, so you won’t have to break your bank to get the things you need to start cross stitching! The main supplies you use are:

1. Aida Cloth – This cloth is the main fabric you will use to sew your cross stitch pattern on, and is what I use in all of my cross stitch designs. It is a specially designed mesh fabric that has a grid of holes which form tiny squares to make it easy for cross stitching. The grid sizes have a variety of different sizes depending on what count the fabric is. Count in this case refers to the number of stitches that you can do per inch (ex. 14 count Aida cloth means that there will be 14 cross stitches per 1 inch). The larger the count number, the smaller the designs will be, since there are more stitches per inch. I usually use 14 count Aida cloth for each of my cross stitch designs. However, you can use any Aida cloth count for any cross stitch design, but you will have to keep in mind that a different count will change the size. Aida cloth is reasonably priced, and you can get some here.

 

2. Needles – For cross stitching you will be using embroidery needles for making the stitches. The needles  pictured above are one size of embroidery needle you can get that is specifically used for cross stitching or tapestry needlepoint. These are fairly inexpensive to get and can be found at any craft store. You can find some inexpensive needles that work great here.

 

3. Embroidery floss – This is what all cross stitch designs are made from. DMC is the biggest supplier of embroidery floss, and is my favorite brand to use. Their floss comes in an endless variety of colors in any shade you might imagine. The large number that is on the label with the barcode, tells you which color the embroidery floss is. Patterns will list these numbers as a part of the color list, and will then match it with a symbol that represents the color in the pattern.

 

4. Scissors – You will use scissors in a variety of ways ranging from cutting thread to cutting your fabric. There are scissors specifically designed for embroidery that can make very small cuts. I use EK Success Cutter Bee Precision Scissors, which are great for precision cutting such as cutting embroidery floss. They aren’t designed for embroidery, but do the job just as well.

 

5. Embroidery Hoop – This tool is used for keeping the fabric taught, so that there aren’t any creases in your fabric when cross stitching. It is composed of two hoops where one is placed underneath the fabric, and the other is placed on top of it. You then push the top one down on the fabric over the one underneath, and tighten the screw at the top to hold it in place. These hoops can also be used to frame your completed cross stitch. I often won’t cross stitch with a hoop, because I’ve found it to be harder on my wrists. Usually I put it on once I’m done, and just use it as a frame. Hoops usually don’t run more than $2 or $3 individually, and you can find a great deal on a set here.

6. DMC color chart – This is a just for fun tool that I love having! DMC created a color card that has every thread color that they have made. For people who are designing cross stitch patterns, this comes in handy because you don’t have to go to the store or buy each thread color to know what shade it is. Sometimes I like to open it up just so I can look at all of the colors.

 

Now that you know the supplies needed for cross stitching you’re ready to learn how to do it! The next part in the series will teach you how to prepare your fabric for stitching, which you can find here.

Happy stitching!

~Claire