What Is a Cross-Stitch?


Quick Answer

A cross-stitch is an X-shaped stitch commonly used in embroidery. Cross-stitching is one of the simplest embroidery methods to learn, and it is employed to create a design on a fabric. Designs are created following a grid in which each square is one stitch in the even-weave fabric.

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What Is a Cross-Stitch?
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Full Answer

Variations of the cross-stitch allow for versatility in the creation of a design. Aside from the full X-shaped cross-stitch, there is a diagonal stitch that goes from one corner of the stitch square to the opposite corner. The half stitch can be done in either direction, allowing for variance in the design. A quarter stitch is half the length of a half stitch, and it runs from one of the four corners of the stitch square to its center. It is often used to add detail to the design or to complete a three-quarter stitch, which combines a half-stitch with a perpendicular quarter stitch.

A back stitch is a straight stitch running horizontally, vertically or diagonally, and it is used to create lettering or the outlines of shapes. The last type of stitch used in cross-stitch embroidery is called a French knot. French knots are used as a group to create texture or separately to represent specific elements, such as eyes of figures or the centers of flowers.

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