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

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!