Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Tutorial: Basic Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is very simple! Just make an X — two stitches. Here's how to do it.
We recommend that you stitch from the top of your chart (and fabric) to the bottom, and left to right. The approach to stitching that follows works well in combination with that approach.
Cross stitch: first stitch
1. To begin a cross stitch, come up at 1, then go down at 2. (You need to anchor the floss in some way so that this first stitch won't come loose later. See any of the anchoring tutorials for how to do that.)
Cross stitch: second stitch
2. To complete the cross, come up at 3, then go down at 4.

Make all your crosses the same way. If the "zig" is underneath and the "zag" is on top, make sure the zags are always on top.
Cross stitch: another look
3. Some people form their crosses differently. Any way that gives you an X is perfectly correct, provided you do it consistently. You could come up at 4, down at 3, up at 2 and down at 1, and your stitch would look like this. (The / is now on top instead of underneath.) Just be sure that in any given piece of stitchery, that the upper stitches of all the crosses lean the same way. However, the rest of this tutorial assumes you have made your cross as in steps 1 and 2.
Cross stitch: row of stitches
4. To make a row of stitches, make the first half of all the stitches, working from left to right. Come up at 1, down at 2 up at 3, and so on.
Cross stitch: finishing a row
5. Then finish the crosses, working right to left.
Cross stitch: finished result
6. Your finished work should look like this.
Cross stitch: stitched area
7. When you stitch a solid area, each hole is shared by the corners of four stitches. They should butt together neatly. Be careful as you stitch that your needle slides past the stitches already in place. Avoid splitting floss (this looks bad as well as being very difficult to remove if you find you've made a mistake).
Cross stitch: stitch tension
8. Be careful not to pull your stitches too tight, or leave them too loose. The stitches should lie flat and straight, without any extra floss that can be pushed off the diagonal or gaps under them. They should not distort the fabric. The four crosses that share a hole should fill it nicely. If there's a lot of air in the middle, the stitches are too tight.
If you are brand-new to stitching, don't worry about points 7 and 8 too much at first. They are fine points. Your work will look pretty good if all you do is form your crosses consistently. These other things will come with a little practice.

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