Sewing and embroidery usually deliver magnificent artworks. They allow you to work with fabric and transform it into a beautiful garment or weave in various patterns. However, some stitches require more time than others to deliver excellent results, and they include the full coverage cross stitch. If you have not heard about the stitch, you are not alone, as what is full coverage cross stitch is among the frequently asked questions.
Making a full-coverage cross stitch is stitching a design or pattern into a fabric. The result of the style resembles a painting only that, in this case, you use a cross-stitch. You will also observe that as you practically and innovatively use texture and color, the outcome is more real-like images than just a mere sewing project. Therefore, you need to adopt an intricate use of color. Also, prepare to invest more time than usual into the stitch as it may take even years to complete.
Please note that cross-stitch patterns are available for purchase. Therefore, you can look through the options and select one that matches your cross-stitching skills. But if you still view full coverage cross-stitching as a mystery, please consider reading through this article for more clarification.
Table of Contents
How Do You Start Full Coverage In Cross Stitch?
There are easy steps to follow when doing a full coverage in cross-stitch. But first, you need to have a few supplies. They include:
- Hoop. It keeps the material taut during stitching. The hoop is available in wood or plastic. You can choose whichever pleases you as wood is lightweight whereas plastic is durable.
- Aida cloth. This cloth is excellent for beginners and cross-stitching applications as it has evenly spaced holes. You don’t have to make new holes, which helps you adhere to the grid.
- Embroidery floss. This accessory is popular among cross-stitching enthusiasts. It is a six-strand thread, and you must separate it into individual threads before you begin stitching. Also, the number of strands will depend on your fabric count. So, ensure that you study the material to determine what to use.
- Scissors. Ordinary scissors will do the job, but you will do well if you get embroidery scissors. They are sharp and smaller than other scissors.
- Tapestry needles. They are excellent for cross stitching as they have large eyes, which hold multiple embroidery floss strands. Also, embroidery floss is generally thicker than sewing thread. Therefore, you need a special needle. In addition, tapestry needles have blunt ends to ensure that they can go into the premade holes.
- Pattern. You cannot make use of the above accessories if you do not have the pattern. Therefore, get the most suitable pattern to match your project deliverables and skill level.
Once you have the above accessories, follow the following procedure to get your full coverage in cross-stitch.
Step one: Prepare the fabric.
Since a coverage cross stitch requires a long time, you need to ensure that the material is in a good state throughout. First, it would be best to prevent fabric fraying by sewing a zigzag stitch all around it. You can also consider duct tape or a fabric stiffening product.
However, duct tape may leave a sticky residue on the material. So, it would be better to use the other alternatives. Next, you need to shade the fabric grids to help you follow the pattern. You can also choose to grid with stitches or a marker pen.
Step two: Frame the fabric.
Ensure that you get a frame that will leave your fabric in and hold your full stitch coverage to display in its full size. Therefore, choose it depending on your fabric size. Also, ensure that as you get a cost-effective accessory, you factor in its quality and functionality.
Step three: Start stitching.
Experts recommend that you begin stitching from the middle whenever you are making cross stitches. However, it is pretty challenging to begin a full coverage cross stitch from the middle of the fabric.
A cross stitch pattern may be quite sophisticated, and you may not automatically tell its center. Therefore, pick a corner from which you can begin your work. The bottom or top of the design will help you follow along in a specific direction.
NB: Consider starting the full coverage cross stitch on the opposite side of your dominant hand.
Additionally, you can make your work much easier by picking out the largest color from the corner and completing it first. It will help you track your progress since you may take a while to complete the stitch. Also, have personal targets and deadlines that help you finish different pattern sections.
During the stitching process, ensure that you feed the needle with enough thread. Threading the needle over and over again is tiring. Therefore, always use floss equal to your forearm length, from your elbow to your fingertips.
This practice will help you avoid annoying thread tangles and, at the same time covering a large portion of your stitch project.
Comfortability is also a key aspect while working on a full coverage cross stitch. Make sure that the working area is well lit and spacious. Also, be organized and have everything easy to reach. On top of that, it would help if you took breaks as working all through may get you bored and tired quickly.
Step five: Choose the cross-stitching styles.
A full-coverage cross-stitching project is a large one, and you can use as many stitching styles. Various sections will require you to get creative and use a suitable technique. Therefore, do not limit yourself to one way of doing things.
Step six: Washing
By the time you are completing your project, the fabric will be dirty. Therefore, you’ll need to wash it.
However, you can keep the material clean by always washing your hands before beginning sewing. This practice will help you to maintain a relatively clean fabric throughout the project.
Another key aspect in keeping your workplace clean is taking care of new embroidery floss. Consider using floss bags to store it away from dust and other harmful elements. Also, various embroidery thread colors may appear dusty, and you can wash them before displaying the final result.
NB: Washing will not destroy the full coverage cross stitch as long as you use cold water and air dry.
How Long Does Full Coverage Cross-Stitch Take?
If you want to complete a pattern where you work on an average of 86 stitches a day at the same pace, you need an estimate of about five years, eight months, three weeks, and two days. It would be best if you do not over-commit as there is a possibility that you may get discouraged and ultimately abandon the project.
Thanks to the online completion time calculator, you can estimate how long it will take you to complete a project. It helps you plan, and it relies on the time you took to complete a previous project.
Just enter the size of an already completed piece and how long it took you to complete the pattern. Then, enter the pattern size of the current project, and you will get an estimated duration.
What Is the Difference Between Cross Stitch and Counted Cross Stitch?
A cross stitch and a counted cross stitch are generally similar. However, a counted cross stitch comes with printed material. Most people prefer having the stitch because it has no printed X’s on the thread’s peak out. On the other hand, a normal cross stitch only demands you to follow the stipulated pattern, nothing more!
We also have the stamped cross stitch. It means that you stamp the design on the Aida or linen. But you need to ensure that you follow the patterns carefully and stitch exactly over the prints.
Is Needlepoint Harder than Cross Stitch?
If you are unfamiliar with cross stitches and needlepoint methods, you will hardly notice the difference. They are hand embroidery techniques and use similar charts. Also, you can use both techniques to fill out an entire area with stitches. However, when it comes to difficulty levels, needlepoint is more challenging.
Needlepoint threads are thicker, and the fabric needs to be sturdier than in a cross-stitch where you use finer threads on a delicate or softer fabric. Also, needlepoint is a surface embroidery style that covers the top of the fabric.
Is Counted Cross Stitch Easy?
Counted cross stitch is easy and fun to work with because you are fit to start from one to six as long as you can count from one to six. Thus, the craft is easy and fun as it is enjoyable yet trouble-free. Also, counted cross-stitching is versatile as you are at liberty to get your preferred threads.
Additionally, you can buy your materials with printed charts or patterns, cotton floss, and needles. The fabric may be linen, or Aida_the most important thing is to follow the pattern.
Is Counted Cross Stitch Still Popular?
Although the counted cross stitch has been around since the middle ages, it is becoming popular in the current sewing space. You can comfortably learn the craft regardless of your skill level as a needleworker. Therefore, the art is still relevant to sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.
Nowadays, you will find these stitches in fabric patterns for wall decorations. They also make pillow tops, inserts for coasters and box tops, and greeting cards.
Is Cross Stitch Easier than Embroidery?
No. embroidery is easier compared to cross-stitch as it allows for creativity and flexibility. Also, you can use a variety of techniques, styles, and fabrics as you create the patterns. There is much control in the cross stitching process on the flip side, making it less fluid. Cross stitches also require you to follow specific patterns and thus, limiting your creativity.
Additionally, embroidery is a broader term than cross-stitching. It incorporates various decorative fabric designs_whereas; in the latter, you need to work with a specific fabric and follow the X-shaped pattern.
Where Is the Best Place to Start a Cross Stitch Pattern?
It is always best to begin a cross stitch pattern in the middle of the pattern. The practice helps you to center the design in the fabric. Also, the small arrows at the cross-stitch chart edges show the center points.
Where Do You Start On a Cross Stitch Pattern?
Take a look at the chart and find a place close to the pattern’s center. It is easier to lick off with a large color block. Therefore, consider an area with a consistent color instead of a part where it changes frequently.
Please also note that you can only begin well if you identify the center of the fabric. Then, if need be, fold the fabric in half and then half again. Then, choose the place the folds intersect and use it as the middle point.
What Does DMC Mean In Cross Stitch?
DMC is among the most famous thread or floss bands that embroiderers use in cross-stitching applications. It is available in multiple effects and colors.
How Do You Start a Cross Stitch for Beginners?
The first step in cross-stitching, especially for beginners, is to go through the pattern on the chart. This exercise helps them to internalize the design and ensure that they understand what is required. Besides, understanding your pattern will help you avoid mistakes as you know what you need to do.
Then, prepare the fabric by washing and ironing. Finally, start stitching at the middle of the fabric or from a row’s edge.
NB: Ensure that the threads are uniform and consistent. Also, consider dealing with one color at a time. Finally, be careful to keep the surface clean to get a neat and clean cross stitch.
As an amateur, you may also want to start with a simple cross-stitching project. A project with a few stitches will help you get a good grasp of what you need to learn as you hone your skills. On top of that, always highlight your progress as it helps you know what you have done and the work remaining.
Also, consider keeping the thread short as long threads tangle and may mess up your work.
Which Direction Should Half Cross Stitches Go?
The half stitch is diagonal and works in horizontal rows. They are relevant when designers want to create a sense of depth in a cross stitch pattern.
When working with a grid, a half stitch requires you to bring the needle from the fabric’s back at one and bring it up into two_up at three and down at four, then complete the row. Also, you stitch the return row in reverse and then from right to left.
On the grid, the return row will have the needle come up at eleven and down at twelve up at thirteen and down at fourteen. Complete the row and repeat the sequence until you stitch the whole area as on the chart.
Does It Matter Which Way You Cross Stitch?
The way you cross stitch does not matter as long as it lies in the same direction. However, the stitching direction is relevant when working on a row right below the already completed stitches.
Also, since there is no prescribed way to do your cross-stitch, the more you stitch, the better you will discover your rhythm and style.
Let us look at the primary techniques that you will encounter as you will cross-stitch.
The American Technique
This approach first completes the bottom half of the cross-stitch in the current row and then completes the top half of each cross-stitch during the ‘return trip.’ If you look at the fabric’s reverse side, you will see vertical lines forming a row.
The American style is suitable for the ‘stab and pokes” method using working frames. Most cross-stitch fairs also prefer it in the U.S.
The European Technique
The European method is also the Danish counted thread technique. It does not require a working frame but rather uses a sewing method. Also, you will not use the American’ stab and poke’ method.
Here, you hold the fabric in the left hand (or your dominant hand), stretch it over the index finger, and hold it down with the thumb and middle finger. Then, you stitch up at one and down at two: Bring up the needle at three and down at four. Please observe the sequence and stitch from right to left.
Below are more tips to help you with the European technique.
- The return trip should be in the same direction.
- Do not knot your starting and ending threads in the back.
- Please avoid carrying your thread a great distance from one region to the other.
- Ensure that you maintain a uniform tension.
- Adopt the railroading strategy for threads that are constantly twisting. It involves you using your index finger to flatten the thread in the stitch’s direction. Then, stab the needle between two floss strands into the fabric hole. Alternatively, you can let the needle hang down and unwind or untwist itself.
How Do You End a Cross Stitch Without a Knot?
Knots in the end tail leave lumps in the final piece. Therefore, they are not a preferred way to end your cross stitch. Instead, you need a procedure that will keep your work looking perfect. And since it is a long-term process, you need to get each stage right.
You can consider using an away knot for your work. Usually, you make the knot three to five inches away from the stitch’s starting point. Then, after you make the cross-stitch, clip the knot and thread the needle with its tail so that it is weaving through the stitches at the back’s cloth. Although the process may require some extra thread, it is worth it.
Follow the following steps to tie an away knot.
- Determine the place you will stitch next before you end with the away knot. You can consider counting the stitches in the pattern next to your last stitch. Also, if you are working with a printed cross stitch, find the next stitch section. You can use this for other embroidery projects.
- Drag the thread across the project’s back.
- Pull the needle through the front, where you will begin the next set of stitches.
- Pull the thread taut and tie a knot in front of it. Please also consider clipping the thread tail off to keep it from sticking under potential stitches.
- Ensure that the new stitches cover the thread you pull off at the back of the project. Also, after you have finished replacing the thread, snit the front knot.
The other strategy that will help you at this stage is burning the thread. The process ensures that the thread does not come out and unravel the stitches. So how do you bury the thread?
- Turn the needle horizontally right after the last stitch and pull it through four stitches.
- Snip the thread tail close enough to keep it from interfering with the next stitches.
Here’s how to end a cross stitch without a knot
What Do the Symbols Mean In Cross Stitch?
The grid on the cross-stitch chart usually corresponds to the grid that the weave creates on the fabric. Also, each color square on the chart will represent a cross-stitch. Besides that, a combination of symbols and colors in the squares will tell you what floss color is suitable.
You also need to know the following essential terms in the craft.
- Forgotten Stash. This term applies to incomplete projects or knits that you have left hanging for a long duration.
- Project Half Done. Since cross-stitch projects may take a while before they are complete, you may find yourself working on many projects simultaneously. Therefore, as a result, you will have many half-done projects.
- Project All Done. It refers to a project that you have completed, and you have the pattern well laid out on the fabric.
- UFO. These initials refer to an unfinished object. They describe a project that you have taken a long time to complete. Also, the term points to projects that you have no intention of completing as you find them difficult or boring.
- Finished object. It refers to the complete project that is ready for framing.
- Pulled From Oblivion. This cross-stitch project is one that you get back to after a considerable duration.
- Work In Progress. This term refers to a cross-stitch project that you are still working on and are yet to complete.
- Big Ass Project. This term describes a large cross stitch project; for example, you can comfortably call a full coverage cross stitch a BAP.
- Local Needle Shop. This shop is a store where cross-stitch embroiders visit to get their supplies. In addition, it is a specialized sewing shop that deals with cross-stitch accessories.
- Online Needle Shop. This term refers to an online shop where you can get your cross stitch accessories.
- DMC. You will come across this term often in your cross stitch ventures as it refers to a popular embroidery floss brand. It is a high-quality floss and a favorite for most cross stitchers. Also, it is available in multiple colors to suit your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is There a Difference Between Counted And Stamped Cross Stitch?
There are a few elements that make the crafts different. However, the primary one addresses the patterns that you will achieve. For instance, a counted cross stitch follows an external digital for your pattern.
Also, a successful project will require you to count the stitch number the pattern needs for a uniform finish. Therefore, you need to know how many stitches will get you home for every design part.
On the other hand, a stamped cross stitch requires you to follow a pattern printed or stamped on the Aida material. Therefore, you need to follow the pattern as it is. Therefore, you do not need to count the stitches.
- What Is Fabric Count In Cross-Stitch?
Fabric count describes the number of stitches or squares on every inch of the material. For example, a 14 count Aida has 14 squares or stitches for every fabric inch. This aspect also means that the higher the fabric count, the more the stitches you will have to make per fabric inch.
You will come across various sewing and embroidery techniques, accessories, and stitches in your craft. Therefore, you need to ensure that you continue reading on and practicing various sewing methods.
One of the crafts that have been relevant since its inception is the cross-stitch, and you will see it in various wall hangings and decorative fabrics. However, since it has some mystery to it, many still ask,
What Is Full Coverage Cross Stitch?
The full coverage stitch is simply a pattern or design that you weave into fabric. After you are done, it resembles a painting. The craft requires you to use color and texture to create the required designs creatively. On top of that, expect a real-like image as the outcome is usually more than just a sewing project.
Additionally, please exercise patience when working on a full coverage stitch, as it may take quite some time. However, if you put your mind and effort into it, you will be amazed at the results. All the best!