Cross Stitch Glossary of Stitches
Just starting out on your magical journey to cross stitching paradise? Here is a quick look at some of the basic cross stitches, and a few of the more intricate ones as well.
Assisi- This stitch work is what you might refer to as the opposite effect. Instead of stitching in the pictures, Assisi stitching fills in the background, and leaves the images blank or unstitched.
Back stitch- The backstitch is often used to accent a specific area or in lettering. The backstitch is a horizontal or vertical stitch done in a row. First you place the needle through a hole to the backside. Instead of coming through the next hole to the front, however, you will skip this next hole, and come through the second hole from the starting hole. Once brought to the front, bring the needle through the hole that you skipped originally, to form one back stitch. For consecutive backstitches, bring the needle to the front in the next empty hole and to the back through the last occupied hole in the row.
Cross stitch ("X" stitch)- This is the basic cross stitch from which the art got its name. Run the needle through a hole, and bring it out to the back through the hole diagonal to it. To finish the cross stitch, run the needle through the hole next to the original hole, and out again to the back through the diagonal hole. If done correctly, this will form a diagonal cross, the cross stitch. The cross stitch can be done one cross at a time or in blocks. Blocks require the stitcher to stitch a row or a block of half stitches in one direction and then turn around and finish off the crosses in the block.
Counted cross stitch- Counted cross stitch is a form of cross stitching by which the stitcher transfers the design by counting out squares on their cloth to determine the corresponding square from the chart or graph.
Double cross stitch- The result of this stitch is a starburst, and quite beautiful. A regular cross stitch is done, and then a "+" is added on top of the "X" of the cross stitch.
Half stitch (aka fractional stitch)- Half stitch is one half of the whole cross stitch. Two of these stitches in opposite directions would create a cross stitch. Many patterns call for the half stitch, especially around the boarder of a design, or when shading.
Holbein (a.k.a. double running stitch)- Stitch a row of running stitches, and then double back and fill in the spaces.
Overcast stitching- This is a regular whipstitch that people use around the boarder of their needlework to keep the ends from fraying. You can also apply masking tape for the same results.
Quarter stitch (another fractional stitch)- As the name suggests, a quarter stitch is one quarter of a cross stitch. Four of these would need to be combined to get one cross stitch. The way to do a quarter stitch, when using an aida, is to bring the needle from one corner of the square, to the center of the square. This would be considered one complete quarter stitch.
Running stitch- This is used to divide the cloth into smaller, more manageable areas. A running stitch is simply a horizontal or vertical line dissecting an area of the cloth. These stitches can be cut and removed when sections are completed.
Three quarter stitch (another fractional stitch)- You can guess what this one is about. The three quarter stitch is three quarters of an entire cross stitch. The finished stitch looks like a sideways plus sign.
Less common stitches include:
Celtic- We'll go into depth about the Celtic stitch in a later article.
Wedding- Wedding stitch will be covered further along, as well.
Rice- This is a wider stitch and therefore seems richer at times because more of the stitching from the reverse side is able to show through. Someone with an artistic flair can really have a good time altering this technique to fit individual projects.
Bargello- One of the most attractive stitches out there, Bargello creates geometric and zigzag patterns using vertical stitches. This particular handiwork is extremely durable, and is often used for chair covers and other such hardwearing items. Also known as Florentine. This refers both to the craft itself and to the type of stitch.
Tent Stitch- This is a stitch from a fresh new angle. Rather than horizontal or vertical lines, the tent stitch creates stitches on the diagonal forming a 45-degree angle. Some varieties include the basket tent or the continental tent stitches.
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| September 21, 2018
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