Cross Stitch For Beginners: Securing the edges, finding the centre of the fabric and preparing the thread

Cross stitch is one of those great crafts that’s easy to learn and eminently addictive. Once you get started, you’ll come to love the rhythm of stitching and the endless creative possibilities cross stitching offers.

There are a couple of skills that cross stitch for beginners need to master and are crucial to every project you will do. These 3 tasks are set out below, mastering these skills will make every project more enjoyable.

Cross Stitch For Beginners: Securing The Edges

To prevent the cross stitch fabric from fraying, you should secure or finish the edges as part of the preparation process. There are are variety of ways this can be done:

  • Use zigzag stitch with a sewing machine on the raw edges of the fabric.
  • Apply a commercial liquid designed specifically to stop fraying along the raw edges of your fabric.
  • Put sticking tape, such as masking tape, around the raw edges of your fabric. This should only be used if you will be cutting off the taped edges once your project is complete.

Cross Stitch For Beginners: Finding The Centre Of The Fabric

Ideally, you should start your cross stitch design in the centre of the cloth because it is normally the best place to start cross stitching. On the chart included with your cross stitch pattern, the centre which is usually marked with arrows at the top, bottom and sides. One simple way to find the centre of the fabric is to fold the fabric in quarters. You should mark this point with a pin, needle or loosely-sewn ‘T’ stitch. This centre mark should coincide with the centre of the instructional chart.

Cross Stitch For Beginners: Preparing The Thread

The majority of thread used in cross stitching is generally made of cotton and is in strands. This cross stitch thread, also known as floss, is made up of six individual strands. Each stitch in cross stitch can be made up of usually one, two or three threads. You will be guided by the instructions on the correct number of strands to use for the various stitches. Following the pattern instructions, seperate your chosen starting floss colour into the appropriate number of strands ready for stitching. The key on the instructional chart indicates the thread colour to use for each symbol on the chart.

Recommended Reading

Looking for a good book to read? If your looking for a great reference book to help you out with answers to your cross stitching questions, or maybe your just looking for a present to give that loved one who is mad about cross stitch. Then head over to our books page where we have compiled a list of great books that no serious cross stitcher should be without.

Last edited by EasyCrossStitchPatterns on