Step 3: Find the center of your fabric
To find the center of your fabric, fold it in half one way and then fold it in half the other way. Pinch and crease the center
point to mark it. You can place a pin in the center or make a small stitch to further mark the center point.
Step 4: Using a hoop or frame
There are lots of different styles of embroidery hoops and frames available. Whether you use one or not is up to you. Beginning stitchers may find it easier to put their fabric in an embroidery hoop.
To use a hoop, first loosen the screw and separate the two rounds. Place the round without the screw flat on a table or work surface. Lay the fabric over the hoop making sure the center of the fabric is in the center of the hoop. Place the other round over the fabric and press it down so the fabric is sandwiched between the two hoops. Gently pull the fabric taut as you tighten the screw on the hoop. Don’t pull the fabric too tight or it will distort the weave of the fabric.
Step 5: Prepare your thread
Pick the color of floss you are starting with and cut a length about 18 inches long. If you go much longer than this, the thread is more likely to get knotted when you stitch.
Most embroidery floss is made up of six strands of thread twisted together. Depending on the fabric you are using, you will
typically stitch with only one or two strands at a time.
To separate out a strand, hold the floss with one hand and pinch the end of one strand with the other. Gently and slowly pull the strand up and out until it is separated from the remaining strands. Only pull one strand at a time. Pulling multiple strands may cause the floss to knot.
Step 6: Thread your needle
Cross stitch is typically done using a round-end tapestry needle. The size you use depends on your fabric. If you are stitching a kit, use the needle that came with it. If not, see this article on choosing a needle for cross stitch.
Thread your needle just as you would a needle for hand sewing. Don’t make a knot in the tail end. You will stitch over the tail as you work to secure it without needing a knot. As a general rule, you want to avoid using knots when cross stitching because they can leave lumps in the final piece.
Step 7: Making a row of cross stitches
Cross stitch is generally worked in rows going from left to right. Refer to your stitching chart to figure out where you want to begin stitching.
Starting from the back side of the fabric, bring your needle up through a hole toward the front, leaving about an inch of thread at the back. You will cover the tail with your stitches as you work to secure it.
Next pass your needle through a hole diagonally across from where you started to make a slanted half cross stitch (/). Be sure to hold on to the tail at the back of the fabric so it doesn’t slip through.