Stitches and Techniques

Common Stitches in Cross Stitch

Think of each block of aida as a square; in that square is where you’ll work. Your cross stitch will fit in that square, your half stitch will fit in that square, and for a ¼ you don’t really need the whole square, so you’re going to stick your needle into the center of it.

Cross Stitch

The most common stitch while cross stitching is the cross stitch, this stitch looks like an X when is completed. To make accurate and good looking stitches, make sure all of your stitches go the same way as shown above; notice all bottom stitches go from bottom left to top right, and all top stitches go from top left to bottom right.

Half Stitches

Sometimes you’ll get a ‘half stitch’ that is when you make the beginning of a cross stitch, but you don’t cross over it. Make sure when doing half stitches that you make them go the same direction as your finished cross stitches!

Fraction Stitch

Now these look weird, and can sometimes be difficult to do. A ¼ is used for artistic effect and fine definition. Sometimes a cross stitch or a half stitch may be too big, that’s when you’d use this. If you notice you only go halfway in your square.

Here is a great resource for using 1/4 vs 3/4 stitch.

Back Stitch

Back stitch is commonly referred to as the outline of your pattern. Usually when looking at a pattern it’ll be a thicker line so you can easily differentiate where to backstitch. Back stitching is commonly done with one thread.

Anchoring a short tail

  1. Take a separate piece of floss, 8 inches long, fold it in half, and thread the two open end strands through the needle. Creating a loop at the opposite end of the floss.

  2. Slip the threaded needle under the stitches, starting right by the tail. Leave an inch of the loop sticking out.

  3. Slip the tail through the loop.

  4. Pull the looped floss the rest of the way through. The loop will pull your tail with it, tucking it nicely under the stitches.

Provided by u/XenaWolf

Tips & Techniques for Stitching

Starting and Finishing Stitches

Loop Start

Waste Knot

Bury the Thread - for starting and finishing


Laying the floss strands side-by-side helps your work look clean and professional.

Step by Step Guide

Railroad Stitching - video


Scarlet Quince

Advanced Cross Stitch

French Knots

French Knots - video

Fool-Proof French Knots

French Knots & Colonial Knots - video

Back Stitching

Reversible Back Stitching / Blackwork

Specialty Floss

5 Tips for Metallic Floss


How to Add Beads to Cross Stitch

Peacock & Fig - video

More Stitching How To's

Over 2 Stitching evenweave and linen

Pin Stitch: for Confetti/ one stitch: linen or aida

Step by Step Diagrams Ways to start and finish

Glossary of Stitches Many types of embroidery stitches

Gridding your fabric *Tip - Never use pencil to grid your fabric. It can be almost impossible to remove.