Cross Stitch Fundamentals: Stitch Your Own Hoop Art | Dana Batho | Skillshare

Cross Stitch Fundamentals: Stitch Your Own Hoop Art

Dana Batho, Peacock & Fig Cross Stitch & Embroidery

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9 Lessons (1h 2m)
    • 1. Class Overview

      1:18
    • 2. Materials

      8:05
    • 3. Preparing to Stitch

      6:16
    • 4. Pattern Basics

      8:08
    • 5. Hooping Your Fabric

      6:54
    • 6. Anchoring Your Thread

      10:04
    • 7. Stitching a Cross Stitch

      9:32
    • 8. Following Your Pattern

      10:49
    • 9. Final Words

      0:30
13 students are watching this class

About This Class

Ever wanted to learn how to cross stitch in one easy class, without bouncing around to a bunch of different individual tutorials? Learn how to stitch up this lovely cross stitch "Love" hoop with Dana Batho of Peacock & Fig.

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You'll learn fundamental skills such as selecting your materials, preparing to stitch and how to read your pattern. You'll also learn three methods to anchor your floss, how to make the basic cross stitch, and tips and tricks along the way.

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Whether you want to get stitchy yourself, or you have a friend you'd love to introduce to this lovely relaxing hobby, this class will teach you everything you need to know to make this pretty cross stitch hoop. The PDF pattern is included in the class. 

Transcripts

1. Class Overview: [MUSIC] Hi there. I'm Dana Batho, and I'm the owner and designer of Peacock and Fig. In this class, you'll be learning how to create this lovely crossed-stitch the two project. It's using only full cross stitches and four colors, so it's perfect for beginner stitchers. The skills you'll learn in this class are important because they're the foundational techniques you'll need to enjoy a lifetime of stitching. Cross stitch is perfect for relaxation and it's a quiet hobby you can take anywhere. I'll teach you everything you need to know to complete this project. Including what materials you'll need. Basics like how to prep your materials. How to anchor your threat in cross stitch. How to follow your cross stitch pattern. How to make the stitches. Tips and tricks along the way. [MUSIC]. By the end of the class you'll have all the foundational knowledge you'll need to tackle other cross stitch projects with confidence. I hope you enjoy the class. We've got lots to cover. Let's jump straight into the materials list and let's get started. [MUSIC] 2. Materials: In this video, I'm going to be teaching you the materials that you're going to be needing to stitch up your little project. First up is your fabric. This is what's called Aida fabric. You can see it's got a beautiful texture to it. This is what's called Fiddler's Cloth or Fiddler's Aida. Some of the examples here, it can come in a couple of different varieties. You can see this one sort of a more of a smoother color. This one's got more flex in it. This is the one I'm going to be using here. So it's got a really nice rustic look to it, which is why I thought it would be pretty for this project. But what you can also use is just plain white. That's totally fine to use as well. So you can see Aida fabric that's got quite distinct holes. It's got a nice texture to it, but the holes are actually really easy to see. This is what's called 14 count, which is here on the package, 14 count. The count is how many stitches per inch you're going to be getting. So if you're stitching across, your going to get 14 stitches to the inch. The one I'm going to be using right now is 16 count just because that's what I happen to have in stock, in my little stash of fabrics. So it's going to be just very slightly smaller than the 14 count because there's going to be more stitches per inch. Next up you're going to be needing tapestry needles. Tapestry needles are a little bit different than embroidery needles and that they're blunt, these are by John James. There's a lot of different companies that do tapestry needles, this are just the ones I happen to have. You can see there's a couple of different styles, here we've got Petite, which are a bit shorter in the body in the shaft of the needle, and then we've got the regular length ones here. You can also see there's different sizes, size 22, size 24, size 26. Basically the smaller the number, the bigger the eye of the needle, and the bigger the shaft of the needle, so you can see that there. For 14 and 16 count fabric, I tend to use size 24, size 26. It depends on which one I happen to grab. A lot of my needles are all mixed up, so sometimes I don't even know which one I've actually grabbed. I've also got a blog post about different needles you can use for cross stitch is actually quite a big variety. I will be linking that into the resources section below this tutorial. So if you do want some more information about different varieties of cross stitch needles and please do check that out. Next up, obviously you're going to need some embroidery scissors. This is a really nice set that I got. It comes with a bigger scissor as well for cutting fabric. So you don't have to go all fancy, you can get anything that you like, even just like little snips or anything like that you can get from a [inaudible] store. What I would recommend though is keeping them for threads and fabric only, don't let other people in your house use them for paper or in a kitchen, things like that. The reason is paper and things other than textiles will actually doll the blades a lot faster, make sure you tell your family if they take your sewing scissors, you're going to hurt them, and they should probably rethink their life decisions. These are, like I said, they were part of a set, you can get them from most craft shops, whatever you like, it's fine. I prefer this style because the point is really sharp. So it's easy to get into little nooks and crannies when you're trying to snip stitches out, such an embroidery scissors. I've actually got quite a nice collection of them choose. So you might find you start collecting scissors or fancy needles or things like that. Next up is your embroidery floss, these are sold in scans. They're basically each, I think believes eight meters or 8.7 yards per scan. They're coming like so long scans. These ones I've actually just wound around plastic Bob pins is to make them easier for me to handle. So you can see I've got the floss numbers here. I've got 310, 747, 3845, and 844. So these are by a company called DMC. They are made in France, this company is the best known in the world, it's the most readily available anywhere in the world as well. Depending on where you are in the world will determine how much she paid for them. The price varies quite wildly depending on where you are. But they are very, very nice Floss. They're color fast as well, so if you're washing your project afterwards, you don't really have to worry about the threads bleeding die. I've never had these threads bleed die ever. But it doesn't hurt to double-check that as well. Especially deeper colors like reds, there are going to be the most likely to bleed. But I've been using DMC for years and I've never had them bleed once. They are really nice software cotton and they've got a really nice silky sheen to them. As you can see, there are different number of strands was actually six strands in each. So I'm going to be showing you in the next video how to actually separate these strands out. Because for cross, you do need to separate the individual strands out. But that will be in the next video. Next up you're going to be needing an embroidery hoop. So this one is a four-inch hoop. It's really cute, as you can see. It's got four-inches here on the little tag. There's a whole bunch of different hoops and frames you can get, you can get these plastic ones are called Q snaps. It's basically like a someone's like plastic plumbing pipe that's been linked together and then just like little clips that clip your fabric onto it. I don't personally like you snaps, I find them really bulky and heavy to use. I prefer a hoop. You can also get really big wooden frames are called scroll-bar frames to hold your projects, especially a bigger project. They're really handy for bigger projects, but for this one, you're just going to need a little four-inch hoop. You can use a bigger hoop if you want, but I wouldn't go smaller, otherwise, your project won't fit in it. You can actually use this for framing and finishing at the end as well. You're also going to be needing your printed pattern. So as you can see here, I've got the four pages, there is a cover page as well. I didn't print it for this demonstration, but you can print that or not if you like. I will be going over what all of these pages mean and how to read your pattern in an upcoming video. So don't worry about that too much, but do make sure your pattern is printed because it's going to make it a lot easier for you to follow along. You can use this on your digital device as well, you can download the PDF and then open this page onto your Kindle or tablet or something like that, that works easily as well, and then you can just zoom in and zoom out to see the different symbols and the colors and what not. But, yeah, most people prefer printed pattern, especially when they're starting then they can mark off on the pattern where they've stitched in, where they haven't done it, just makes it a little easier to follow. To finish up this project, you're also going to be needing some straight pins and also some felt for backing. You can see here I've got a piece that's four inches by four inches because that's the same size as my hoop. So that way it's going to fit perfectly. You can use any color felt to you like, same with your sewing thread that you're going to need, you can use any color. I personally match them. I just happen to have white because that was what I managed to get at the fabric store. But whatever color you like is fine, and that's it. In the next video, I'm going to be teaching you how to start preparing to stitch. How exciting? I'll see you in the next video. 3. Preparing to Stitch: All right. In this video, I'm going to be teaching you how to prepare to stitch. This section is going to cover cutting the right length of your embroidery floss, how to separate out your strands and how to thread your needle. As you can see here, I've got a skein of DMC's Coloris range. They have about 20 of these different variegated ones, they're really pretty. But as you can see, it's got the number label down here and then little end coming out. If you are going to be stitching straight from the skein and not wanting them onto bobbins like I do, then you're going to be wanting to gently pull from this end here, from the numbered label end, and that way it's going not to tangle up as you pull your strands out. But the reason you want to cut your floss to the right length is because if it's too long, what's going to happen is as you're stitching, your floss rubs against the fabric and it will start to get roughed up. It's just the way it is. As it passes through it starts to rough up the floss slightly. The longer your floss is, the more chances it has to get roughed up, which causes knots and tangles and it makes you absolutely bananas, so you don't want your floss to be super long. You also don't want it to be super short because then you're just going to have to keep rethreading your needle all the time. What I do, whether you're coming from the skein directly or from your from your bobbin is I grab at my fingertips, just grab the end, and i straighten my arm out, fully straightened out, and go right to my elbow, and that's about the right length. Between 12 and 18 inches is roughly the right length, and then I snip it there, and that's it. Once you have your strand here, again, this is made up of six strands of floss. For this pattern, you're going to be using two strands of floss, and I will show you where that's actually indicated on the pattern in the next video. But what you're going to do, is you're going to tap the ends, and it splits out the floss a little bit. You grab one, just pull it very gently and you're going to want to keep your fingers not hard obviously, but just enough to keep it from knotting. You're just going to do this really gently. You're going to pull it, you can see it's bunching up my hands, but I'm doing it really gently so it's not nodding. You pull it out really gently and then lay it down. Make sure you keep your ends facing the same way, so if you're pulling from this end then just keep your end this way. I'll show you why in a moment. That's your one strand. Because this one wants two strands. On 14 count and 16 count fabric, it's average to use two strands. It provides good coverage without being too bulky because you still want to be able to see the X of the stitch. You don't want it to look like a lump of floss basically. Some people do like the look of three strands, but I prefer two personally, I like actually being able to see the X shape. Again, you're pulling really gently, letting that unspool. Run this through your fingers a few times just to unkink it a little bit. This was the beginning end here. You're going to put both your beginning ends together. The reason you want to keep them going the same direction is because the floss itself actually does have a grain to it. It's twisted in a certain way, so if you have them one facing one way and when facing the other way, it can just create a few knots and it doesn't lie through your fabric quite as nicely. It's not a massive deal, so don't panic if you've gotten them back to front. Usually, most people won't even notice, but it is just something to be aware of that the floss actually does have a grain. Again, stroking it through, getting rid of any kinks and putting those two strands together. The next thing up obviously is threading your needle. There's a couple of different ways you can do this. I've got a blog post on a review of different kinds of needle threaders. If you do want to use a needle threader whether you've got bad eyesight and it just easier for you to use a threader or maybe your dexterity isn't so great, or you just find it easier using a needle threader please do check out the resources list below, and there is that blog post indicated in our second video that goes with it. That can be really helpful. There's actually a lot of different kinds of needle threaders, which is cool. But it can be confusing when you're not sure which one is best for you. I'm going to show you how I thread my needle, so this is what I do for embroidery needles, tapestry needles, whatever I'm using. I hold my floss and you can see it's flat. It's got the two strands nicely side-by-side. Actually fold the floss over the eye of the needle, and then I squish my fingers together quite tightly, not crazy tight. You don't have to go out of control, and then I pull the eye of the needle out. Move your fingers apart just, I'm see tiny little nub enough of your loop of your thread there. Then you just push the eye of your needle over top of that. It might take a few goals. You might need to keep doing it a couple of times to get it to work. You can see it's caught there. Then you just pull it out. There you go, your needle is threaded. I usually let the tail distangle a third of the way down your thread. I'm going to show you in an upcoming video about how to actually anchor your thread in cross stitch. There's a couple of different ways to do it. But in the next video, I'm actually going to be showing you how to read your cross stitch patterns so you understand what all the symbols are and how to follow your pattern. I will see you in the next video. 4. Pattern Basics: In this video I'm going to be teaching you how to read your pattern. I'm going to talk about the parts of your pattern and also how that relates to your actual fabric. The first thing is the cover image. I haven't printed the cover page for this, but you totally can, if you like, you don't actually need it in order to follow your pattern though. Sometimes it is helpful having it printed because then you can just look at it and see what it's supposed to look like in the end in case you get a bit lost in the pattern itself. Also, obviously you're going to have your color page. You can see this one's got the Key. Each of these symbols represents one color, so in this case, DMC 310 is black. It's a color number you'll get to know very well. So 310, so anywhere that's got the A symbol is going to be stitched in black. Same with 747 is really light blue. This one here, 844 is the charcoal brown, and 3845 is brighter blue here. You can switch any of these colors out for anything you might already have. Like say if you have a different shade of blue or you want to do these in greens or whatever you like. You can totally switch these out. What you can do is actually just keep the symbols the same for the pattern and then just scratch out the color number and write down your own color number onto the printed pattern, and that way you're not going to lose track of which one you're using where, especially in a more complicated pattern. This one's only four colors, so it's a little bit easier. But yeah, especially in more complicated pattern if you're wanting to switch colors out, I'd definitely mark it down somewhere as to which one you've substituted for which. Search your color version of the pattern here. Most people prefer to use the color one they just find it easier to follow because the colors are similar to the actual floss colors, and next up we have a black and white one. If you are colorblind or you have issues reading color, or maybe your printer doesn't like printing color pages. This is another option as well. Same thing, it's exactly the same pattern. It's just missing the color blocks behind each grid square, so you can see A is still black, B is still the light blue, and so on. It's exactly the same pattern as your color one, it's just printed without color on the actual pattern itself. You can see one exception is these very fine red lines. They are hard to see on the pattern, but I'll explain what those mean in a moment. Here we have your color key, so it depends on the pattern and the manufacturer and which software they used to generate the patterns. This layout can look different depending on which pattern you buy from which company, but they're all going to have relatively the same information. Again, they're going to have your color key with your symbols, and then which symbols match which colors. They're going to usually have the floss color name, which is helpful and also how many strands you're going to need. In this case, they're all two strands, there aren't any special comments. Sometimes for certain ones you're going to use one strand, one color, maybe three strands of another. Also, on this section in my patterns anyway, you'll find extra symbols. If there's beads used, you'll see a little annotation of what the beads symbol looks like in the pattern or french knots, things like that. But this is pretty basic standard pattern that you're going to find in any good professional quality across each pattern. Also, I've noted here that the pattern requires one skein of floss per color or less. Because it's a small pattern, you're not even going to need a full skein for any of these, so if you've got leftovers and stuff like that this little pattern is great for using up leftover floss. The last thing I have in the pattern is a thread sorter. This can be really handy if you don't have these bobbins or you don't want to use them, or you want to cut your floss and then have somewhere to stick it. What I do is when I've cut floss and I have leftovers or I'm not using that color again for a while. I'll actually just rewind it back onto the bobbin like that. Just rewind it back on it. Sometimes you get a little sticky up in bits and whatever. Doesn't look the most beautiful, but it works and keeps on my floss altogether. But for some people they don't like doing that, so what they can do is use something like a thread sorter. All of my patterns come with a thread sorter. What you can do is you can cut this section out, so just obviously the printed section with the chart. You can either stick it onto card or just leave it as is. You can punch holes in the end here, and then loop your extra floss through once you've cut it. For example, say you've got this floss here. It's already been cut, so what you can do is you can leave it like this. You've trimmed all these up. I would keep them all together. I wouldn't cut these into individual strips unless you really want to, and then you can loop it through your hole. You basically make a little slip knot, and that way your threads are all altogether for your project. This can be quite handy depending on how you like to work. Reading your chart. I would like the color ones, so it's easiest to see. As you can see here, the chart is a grid. Each 10th column and each 10th row is darker. That helps you with counting. It helps you make less mistakes. Each one of these squares represents one square on your fabric. As you can see, when you see your fabric, you'll understand more. It's a bit tricky to see with this texture, but all the little holes are obviously all in little squares. Each one of those little fabric squares, each one of those little blocks represents one block, one grid square on your fabric. The only exception to that is if you're using fabric that's linen or what's called evenweave. It's a higher thread count fabric. It comes in a lot of variety of different colors like this is an evenweave. It's actually 32 count. We've got sparkly Linen. You can get so much variety. It's awesome. Excuse the siren. I live right next to a fire station. This is also evenweave, so you can see the fabric holes are a lot finer on evenweave and linen than they are on the Aida. That's why I always recommend Aida for beginner stitchers. Lots of more experienced stitchers prefer Aida as well. It's a lot easier to see the holes. But if you're using the more finer fabric, usually one grid square on your pattern will be two holes on this. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about that cause I don't want to confuse you but just so you know, for the most part, one grid square is one stitch unless you're using the finer fabric, and this one is one of my new patterns I just released in the Adulting 101 Collection, and I did it on this is 32 count, Murano Lugana's. This is actually stitched over to, so I don't think I can quite get enough detail on the camera, so instead of over everyone hole, it's over every two holes for a stitch, so that's that. But for you, for a beginner, or if you just want to keep your sanity and not worry about using the fancier fabrics, Aida is perfectly fine and that's why I like this feathers cloth. It stitches up really pretty and it's one of my favorite fabrics actually to use. 5. Hooping Your Fabric: What you're going to be doing as well. Once you got a grid square equals one square on your fabric, you're going to be wind to find the center of your fabric. On your pattern, your center is indicated. It didn't quite print. I think my printer is running out of ink a little bit. You'll definitely see it on the PDF. There's a red line going down the center of the pattern here. The horizontal line prints a bit better, and there's a red line here. Right where that matches, right where they meet, that's the center of your pattern. Because this pattern is open, there's just a little bit of stitching in the middle and around here. It's not full coverage. Full coverage means the whole thing would be covered in stitching. This is just these four colors. If you want to stitch the rest of it in white or another color, go for it. But it's going to take a lot longer than just doing this. Because it's not full coverage, I would recommend starting in the center of your pattern. I will be showing you that once we actually start the pattern. But for now, to find the center of your fabric, the easiest way is to fold it. So you don't have to crease it. Obviously, you don't want to put the creases in your fabric. So I use straight pins. And then you can use an eyeball and see roughly where the center is. What I do is I pin the top edge along one row. [inaudible] a little bit. So that's my center row there, center column. Then the same again, horizontally. Find roughly where your center is going to be, and pin it. So where these two rows and columns meet, that's the center. If you want to move your pins closer to mark that, totally fine. I'm just going to follow along this row here, so there. It is obviously easier on a smaller piece of fabric too. All right. There you go. Then straight down, there. Get in there. Here we go. So where the two pin's cross, that's the center of your fabric. When you're loading your fabric into your hoop, and I'll show you how to do that right now. You're going to make sure your fabric is centered. Particularly, if you're doing a bigger project and say it's horizontal in shape, but this one is round or square, I guess. If it's horizontal in shape, you definitely want to double-check, and make sure your fabric is oriented horizontally when you start stitching. Because if you've got it oriented the other way around, you're going to run out of fabric, and you're going to cry. I've actually seen that happen a couple of times in some stitching groups, and it's just awful. Especially, these huge pattern's done like months of work on them, and then they basically have to pin it and start over again. It's really quite sad. So do double-check and make sure you've found the center. If you're not using a square piece of fabric, make sure it's oriented the right way for your pattern. This one, because the hoop is actually the right size for this pattern, you're not going to have to move your hoop around. Then it's another reason to get it perfectly centered. Because then you can stitch it straight into the hoop and then do your framing. You can see I'm just getting some light behind it so I can see roughly it's centered in the hoop. You're getting the one that's solid, the one that doesn't have the bolt on it, that goes underneath. That's centered. You are going to loosen the bolt off, quite loosely. [inaudible] can sometimes be quite stiff to work with, so please don't worry about it too much. It's normal for [inaudible] , because it's just a thicker fabric. So don't worry about it if it's a little bit stiff to move up. You just push it down. Keep loosening your bolt off if you need to. Then once it's roughly centered, I'm just going to pull it down, and start getting it to close up. This one is a little bit tricky, the fabric would stiff. Here we go. Keep pushing it down. Keep making sure your fabric is flat and your hoop. Keep pulling edge. We basically want it to be drum tight. It doesn't have to be absolutely insanely tight. Some people prefer that, but you don't want to break your hoop body. You don't want to put so much tension on it, [inaudible] she break the bolt. You can see I'm just pulling it to flatten out any little bubbled areas. I'm trying to get that as centered as possible. You can see we can pull it this way, and then pull it this way to move the fabric to more being in the center. Once it is all relatively tight and flat, you are ready to go. Obviously, you can leave these pins in before you start stitching so that you know exactly where your center is of your fabric versus where the center is of your pattern. You can totally get a highlighter. If you're new to cross stitch, I would actually recommend getting a highlighter or pen or something like that, so you can actually mark where the center is a lot more vividly on the pattern. Then you can actually highlight your stitches as you go as well, and that will help you follow the patterns. Now that you know how to find your way around the pattern, how to get your fabric all nicely centered into your hoop; in the next video is going to show you several methods for anchoring your floss in cross stitch methods. Because believe it or not, there actually are a couple of ways you can do this. 6. Anchoring Your Thread: In this little tutorial, I'm going to be teaching you how to anchor your thread. First thing up, is I've actually switched to a white fabric. This is going to make it a little bit easier for me to demonstrate this tutorial and the next one of how to actually do your stitch. First thing we're going to do is thread the needle as I showed you in the last video. I'm going to be teaching you three different techniques. The first two are ones that I use pretty frequently. One of them more than the other. The last one is one I use most frequently, I'm going to say that with the last [inaudible] was really super cool. The first one is going to be knots. Obviously, most people know how to do a knot, but just in case like this is how I do knot and it's really simple and fast. What I do is I get my thread, as you can see, and then I wrap it around, you can see I've made kind of an x, that actually put my thumb right at the x and then I push, not super hard but fairly firmly. I push and roll the thread off of my index finger. You can see it's made a little spinny thing. Then I just gently pull that down into a knot. It's got a little bit messy, but that's okay. If you end up with a knot that's really big or messy, it's gotten a little bit weird, it's called funny. I wouldn't use a knot that big because that will show from the front as a big lump. It's one of the disadvantages of using knots. That's one of the reasons why a lot of more experienced stitchers would tell you not to use knots, again, I've rolled it off my finger and I'm pulling. It got much better. Much smaller now, it just looped, but it's actually a really quite small knot. A lot of experienced stitchers will tell you never, ever use knots under pain of deaths because they think that it does create a lump from the back when you're framing. If you're fabrics is quite thick like Ada is, and it's not that big of a deal. Also as you're stitching and your needle is going back down through the same hole, sometimes if there is a knot behind it, your needle will get caught on it and it gets stuck and it can pull the knot out and things like that, but not very valid way of anchoring your thread and I do use them as well. I'm just going to show you here. It come up from the back obviously, and then just slight tug. You don't want to really hall on a knot because you do want it to be small enough that it's not going to be really noticeable from the front. Like you can see, I'm actually pressing against the back of the fabric and you can't see a lump there at all, where the knot is because it's such a small knot, but if you pull on it too hard, it's just pop through to the front. Obviously, you don't want to be doing that, you don't want to pop your knot through to the front, but it's just enough to anchor. Then you do a couple of stitches and it will anchor it even more. I'm going to cut that off. I do use knots myself, don't let people tell you that you're never allowed to use them because it's not true. If you're doing a project for a craft fair or some like that, sometimes they have rules about whether you can use knots. I have never entered into craft fair, I wouldn't know personally? I've heard that can happen. That was knots. The next one I'm going to be teaching you is called the pin stitch. This is a little bit more complicated, but it is pretty cool. That's why I want to teach it to you. You can do this either from the back or the front. I'm going to show it to you from the front just for ease of demonstration. I hope you can see this. You can see with Ada fabric, it's got the holes, obviously. Then it's got these usually two or three strands of fabric going vertically and enter through strands of fabric going horizontally. Where they cross in the middle, it feels like a little lump of fabric with a little block. Even though you're tapestry needle is bending, you still can pierce those blocks. With a pin stitch, what you're doing is you're not going into the little individual holes, where you're normally supposed to actually going into the center of that fabric block. You're going to put your needle tip down in the center or closest to the center. It doesn't have to be the center. Sometimes you can work with a little bit because the blocks aren't really meant to be pierced. We'll go down. We'll leave a bit of a tail like maybe an inch or so. Hang on to that. Then you're going to take your needle tip and you're going to come up very close to where you went down, not coming out the same hole could obviously, you'll just pop your thread out, coming up very close to that, in the same block. I'm trying to get a bit closer so you can see the focus. You're coming up very close to it, and again, you're holding the tail down with your finger, your thumb, you don't want it to pop out. There you've made one down, one up. You're going to go back down again in the same first hole that you made. This is basically what anchors your thread in the place. Sometimes too, you can actually work your fingers and your fabric and it will disappear into the fabric. That's your basic pin stitch. Then if you are going to start doing your actual stitch around that, you're going to do your pin stitch, in the block that you're about to stitch over. You do your cross one way and your cross the other way. I'll be going over this actual stitch in more detail in the next video, but that's just an example like that. You can trim this off now, this is why having a sharp library scissors the really pointy ones is very helpful. You can get very close without sniffing other threads. You got your pin stitches basically completely hidden, which is super cool. The next one I'm going to teach you is my favorite, it's called the loop method. I'm going to get one strand for this one. The trick with a loop method, earlier I said to measure your floss from your fingertips to your elbow. For the loop method, if you're going to be using the loop method, you're going to want to double that length. You're going to put your two ends together. Ensure all nice and lined up, nice and pretty, carefully. Just gently stroke down, get the floss align nicely next to each other. Then you're going to thread your needle with the loop end, your thread. You're going to want these tails to be shorter than the loop. They want the loop to be the longest part for when you're starting off. The loop method is super cool. You can do this again from the front to the back. I'm up. Maybe leave about an inch or two inches. You can grab it with your finger if you'd like to. Again, you're going to do the first arm of your cross. Then what you're going to do is you're going to take the tip of your needle and you're going to grab that loop. You put it through the loop. You're basically creating a slipknot. You pull very gently, perfect. Then you would continue with the other arm of your stitch. That's how you would start with the loop method. Loop method is super handy. I really like it. It's so easy to use. The one caveat with the loop method though, is it only works if you have a pattern requiring two strands, four strands, six strands, anything that is divisible by two. The reason is obviously you're getting one strand and folding in half, creating two. If you're a pattern is saying that you need one strand, say, or three strands, obviously, you can't make a loop and end up with one strand or make a loop and end up with three strands because it's not an even number. It has to be an even number for this to work. If you're using 14 count fabric or 16 count fabric, which case, most patterns will tell you to use two strands. Then you can definitely use the loop method, and it is genius. Most people who learn the loop method just absolutely love it. In the next video, I'm going to be going into a little bit more detail about the actual cross stitch. I'm going to try and get a little bit closer so you can see how to form that, and tell you the two ways that you can use to actually form a cross stitch. 7. Stitching a Cross Stitch: In this tutorial, I'm going to be showing you exactly how to form the cross stitch. There's two different ways to form your cross stitch. I know it looks just like an X and Z, and you are like, "How can there be two ways?" There is, and it's actually really cool. I'm going to show you. It is literally just across. That's why a lot of people really like cross stitch, because it is such a simple stitch. What I'm going to be doing is showing you two different ways to do it. Let's, for example, pretend that this is the center of my fabric, which is pretty close. I've actually just put a little knot in my thread just for this demonstration. I am using the white fabric again just to show you. So you can see a little bit more contrast between the fabric and the thread. So on your pattern, when you're starting your stitches, obviously you're going to be finding the center. We're going to pretend that we're doing this little one right there, that little lonely one all by its lonesome sitting off to the sides. This is black. I'm actually using the dark brown for this one just for the demonstration. But you're going to be coming across and going up. You can see there's one stitch here, three next to it, two next to it, one next to it. I'm going to show you the two different ways of doing this. You're going to come up, you're going to go across. That's in focus. Cross and drop down. This is why eta fabric is so nice because you can see the holes really easily. It is very handy and it's also easier for getting your needle the pop-up through the back. You come up and then go down. That's literally it. That's the cross stitch. This is what's called an English cross stitch. I told you there were two different ways. This is English one. I know it's very fancy. I'm going to do a couple more and I'll keep showing you a few tips as we go. As I said, just did that little one there. We're going to do this one next to it and the two above it. As you can see, there's two different colors here. Ones are the dark brown and then the A's are the black. Again, I'm using the dark brown for edges for this demonstration. I'm doing the one next to it. Again, dropping down and then coming up and dropping down again. There you go, second stitch. As you can see, it doesn't really matter which direction you come up from. Like obviously right now, I'm wanting my first stitch to go this way. But if I come up this whole I'm going to pop out the stitch that I just went down that same hole. Obviously you have to come up at the opposite end of that first arm, that first stitch, first arm of the X. To come up with diagonal opposite side. Go up, you go down. From here, I could either come up from the bottom and go up and across, or I could come up from the top and go down. Totally personal preference. It's totally up to you. You'll find as you start doing this, you'll get sort of more into a rhythm of it. One thing I will point out though, it is best to always keep your top stitches and thus your arm such as going in the same order. If you're going to go this way first, go this way second. Or if you want to do this way first and angle this way second. Always try to do it the same way. The reason is your top stitches actually create almost a texture on your fabric. You know when you rub velvet and it changes colors because the texture changed? That's exactly what happens if your top stitches are all going in different directions. It actually does change how you view the color. It makes it look a little rougher. It makes it doesn't look quite as smooth and finished, if that makes sense. It is always a good idea to try and get your tops to just always facing the same way. Like if you forget, it's fine. It's just eventually, you're going to start getting into the habit of doing that anyway. Alright, so, about one there and one more on the top. Another English one is just doing. English stitches, just doing it by itself. You're doing the full cross and then moving on to the next. This is very handy when you have a bunch of scattered individual stitches across an area. That's very handy way of doing your stitches. The next one we're going to do, I'm going to show you the next method. So I put this down for a second. We've just done this little L shape up here. Then we're going to go down the bottom of this column here. We're going to be doing almost like a random L-shape. As you can see, you've got your ten. Every tenth column or row is mark darker. That does make it easier for counting. If you have like a huge string of them, you can just count like in blocks of ten and then count the extras. In this case we're going to do one stitch at the top here, and then two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. So it's going to be nine stitches going down this column. When you're first starting across it, make sure you're double-checking your counting. You're always going to make mistakes, that's fine. I'll cover that in the next video a little bit more. But yeah, make sure your double-check your counting and your placement and that will really help you reduce the amount of mistakes you make. But yeah, mistakes are all part of it. This is called the Danish cross stitch, where you're forming a half of the stitch in a sequence. You can do this in a row or a column or kind of a funky L shape or something like that. You're basically just doing half of the stitch first. So again, we're doing nine stitches. This is a quite a fast way of stitching too. Because when you come back, you don't have to count. Because obviously you've already counted on the way down. I do believe the Danish method also uses slightly less loss, but I wouldn't worry too much about that. How many have I got here? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One more, nine. I'm just going to double check, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. So now what we're going to do is come back up. Exactly the same thing as before. Except instead of doing each stitch individually, you're doing a whole bunch all at once. In there. Most people find they end up doing a mix of English and Danish. You don't, honestly, you don't have to remember the names. It's kind of cool that they have names. But if you don't have to worry about the names of any of these techniques or what not. But most people find, depending on the pattern, they do a mix of both of these types of stitches. You can travel around your project however you like. I tend to work in what's called cross-country stitching, which is doing big blocks of one color first and then moving on to the next color. I find that easier and that's what I actually recommend for beginners as well, is working in big blocks of color. Makes it much less likely you're going to make mistakes. That's it. Not cute. In the next video, I'm going to be giving you a bit more information about how to actually travel across your pattern, changing colors, all that kind of stuff. Next video, I'm going to be teaching you a few extra tips and tricks and get you on your way of working on your big project. I would love to see pictures of your first stitches if this is your first time doing cross stitch. So please post them in the class project gallery. You can click the your project tab below to upload them. Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know. I'll see you in the next video. 8. Following Your Pattern: [MUSIC] So I have some more tips for you about how to follow your pattern. Like I said, counting is really, really important. Counter cross stitch, it's one of those things you're always going to make mistakes. It's one of those things that always happens to everybody. Actually, when you make a mistake in cross stitch, it's called the frog coming to visit because when you rip out your stitches to backtrack from your mistake, you have to ribbit, ribbit out. So it sounds like a frog coming. A really easy way to unpick mistakes is simply to drop your needle, so take your needle off your thread, and then use the back end of your needle and simply unpick the stitches that you just did, that you realize was a mistake. Obviously, if it's further back and you don't want to unpick the whole thing, you might need to start cutting out threads. You're going to have to be careful obviously with threads coming loose, if you do that. So that is a little bit trickier to cut your threads out than to just pull them out and then redo them. But like I said, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes, it's just you're tired and you miscount, sometimes it's a really complicated pattern, you miscount, sometimes you've had a few too many glasses of wine and you miscount, it happens. Actually, I designed a stitching planner, like a project tracker type thing, and just for humors sake, I actually put in a little section for you can track like how many glasses of wine you had per project, how many times you swore, how many frogs came to visit, so that can be a fun way to see the humor in the fact that you're going to make mistakes all the time. It totally happens. Another thing I want to point out too is with switching colors, so obviously this pattern has four colors in it, has two colors in the love letter here, and it has three colors in these little floral, banner, leafy things here. So for switching colors, you're going to be doing the exact same thing. You're going to anchor your thread. Obviously, you're going to want to tie off your last thread and I will show you actually how I end my threads in cross stitch. You can use another knot, totally fine. Like I said, sometimes they will get caught on your needle as you're coming through. If you've got like six stitches butted up next to each other, they can get caught. So I'm just going to finish this stitch here. What I usually do when I'm finishing my stitches from finishing up a thread, because I run it under a couple of stitches. Pull, then run back the other direction, and that anchors your thread. In that way, like when you wash your project at the end, there will be a tutorial linked at the end for washing your project. So you can go to the resources section and see that, you can learn how to wash your project. No matter how much you wash your hands, your hands have natural oils on them and they will get onto the floss and the fabric. So if you wash your projects when you're finished with them, then it helps prevent them from deteriorating faster. They'll start to go yellow and brittle, and things like that after a couple of years. Depends on your own natural chemistry as well. So for switching colors, that's how you would end your thread, and then again, you re-thread your needle with your other color and you'd start again. Same thing if you run out of thread of the same color and you need more, you just cut your thread off. One thing to note too, is like don't stitch right up until the last inch of your thread because you're going to go crazy trying to finish it off. Do leave an inch or two at least so it's easier for you to finish off your thread at the back. One question that a lot of new stitches have too, is how far can you travel across the back? Say if you're stitching your black or say you're stitching your sort of charcoal gray here, and then the same color as over here. Is it okay to just carry the thread across the back, from say, there to there? Some stitchers have rules where it's like I won't travel more than three stitches, or something like that. I don't really have any rules like that, it's just to me depends on the project. If your fabric's thicker, you're not going to see fab threads crossing across the back as easily, if say, you're working on a really fine, lightweight, white fabric and you've got a dark thread crossing the back. Obviously, you're not going to want to do that because you'll see it from the front. If you're working on something like a bookmark, that's not going to be lined and then you're going to be able to touch the back and use it daily. I wouldn't have any really long runs, simply because those threads can get caught. For me, usually around about an inch within an inch, two inches, I will travel across the back depending on the project. Any more than that, I will actually cut the thread and start again, whether it's with your loop method or not. However, you feel like anchoring your thread, whatever floats your boat that day. What I'm going to do is, I'm actually going to keep going with this project. I'm going to stitch this all up. Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know, I'm absolutely happy to help you out. So I'm going to keep going with the black, and then I'm going to keep going and then am going to start with the darker charcoal color. For most beginners, they find it easier to work in one color first and do as much of that as they can, and then switch to another color because that way it all nests on each other. Especially when you're counting, you're not going to make any big mistakes, say, from trying to do this section first with this darker line here, and then count 28 stitches or whatever, up and over to this one and then start doing that. The chances you're going to make a mistake counting between there and there is pretty high, whereas if it's only a couple of stitches, you're much less likely to make a mistake. So I tend to recommend to beginner stitchers to cluster their stitching together, like do one big chunk at a time. If you have to use another color, that's fine. Do another big chunk, and then just make sure it's all accurate as you're going and that way everything is going to fit together perfectly when you're finished. So yes, so I'm going to keep stitching this and at the end I will come back and show you how it looks finished. Then I will talk some more about how you're going to be finishing your project. So as you can see I finished it up now. So I've done all four colors. The darker charcoal at the top of the calligraphy is a little bit less visible, but that's okay. It's meant to be kind of subtle. Again, you can switch these out for any colors that you like, whether you want to change out the blues to more greens, or do like a bright pink or something for the calligraphy. Totally up to you. It's your project. Some extra tips as you're working through this in case you haven't started working across full pattern yet. If your floss is twists, usually most people find when they stitch their finger actually slightly twists the needle a little bit so you'll find your floss actually getting a bit twisted. What you can do, is just gently let go of your needle and just drop the needle down from your piece and it will actually unspin on its own, or you can do it by hand as well. You can unwind your floss. You basically want it to be as parallel as possible just because then the coverage is better on the fabric. It's a little bit wider, so it covers up the fabric a little bit better, and it looks nicer. Another tip is, if you're worrying about your back and whatever in case you've heard like the old wives tale of, "All the back has to be is neat as a thread", don't even worry about it. It's fine. Like I said, there's only a few times we had to worry about what the back is going to be like, in the sense that if it's a bookmark or something where it's going to get actually touched and used a lot and, your fingers or whatever may get caught on stuff or if it's a really delicate, translucent fabric and you can see stitches crossing at the back. Other than that, don't even worry about it, it's fine. It's your project, you can do whatever you want with it. So if somebody tries to tell you like, "Oh, the project has to be as good in the back as the front." Tell them no. It was actually created during the Victorian era as a way to basically suck the joy out of a nice, enjoyable, relaxing hobby. That's totally not true in the slightest. Also, if you're finding it hard to actually guide your needle through your fabric, say you're having a hard time trying to find the right hole, what you can do is put your fingers at the back, actually put your needle up against your finger and feel where the next hole is. So that can really help as well. You can use the tips of these fingers as well. You can actually feel along and you'll feel the needle just pop out in the right hole. It does take a little bit of practice. I've seen people where they've actually try to flip every time they come up and I'm like, "Oh my God, no, please, don't do that." It's a really hard way of doing it and it'll take you forever. Just basically drag the tip of your needle across the back of your fabric, and then you'll feel it dropping into the holes and eventually it'll pop out at the right place. So for finishing this, like I said before, you'll be wanting to wash this if possible. Again, there's the link in the resources for the washing tutorial. For finishing this hoop, please go to video eight, title, "Finishing your Hoop" in my Hand Embroidery Fundamentals Class. It's a really cute little project about stitching your own floral monogram hoop. So please go to that tutorial and that will teach you how to finish off the back of the hoop with your felt. Then I'm going to show you a picture of what this one looks like when it's all finished and stuff at the back. So yes, that will basically tuck all of this in, and then you'll end up with your felt on the back so it'll be nice and finished. Then you can add a nice little bow here or a ribbon or something and hang it with. So please do post pictures of your WIPs which is our "Works in Progress." It's a little expression you'll hear in a lot of cross stitching groups in the class project gallery below, as well as pictures of your finished piece. Again, if you have questions, please do let me know and I'd be happy to help you out, and I hope you've enjoyed making your first little cross stitch project. [MUSIC] 9. Final Words: I hope you enjoyed learning how to create this cute cross the tomb project. If this was your first cross stitch project, Congratulations. I'd love to see your work and see how it came out. So please post photos of your hope in the class Project Gallery below. I adore seeing everybody's finished projects. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and happy stitching.