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Backstitch for Cross stitch and Blackwork

Backstitch is used for outlining designs, for lettering and for working the Blackwork designs used in a number of the DoodleCraft kits. When working on Aida fabric use the natural holes within the fabric to guide your stitches.

How to make a stitch:

  1. Bring the needle up at point 1.
  2. The design you are working will determine the angle of the next stitch, if the line of stitching is running straight then take the needle down at point 2, up at point 3 and then back down at point 2.
  3. If the line of stitching runs diagonally to the left then take the needle down at point 4, up at point 5 and then back down at point 4.
  4. If the line of stitching runs diagonally to the right then take the needle down at point 6, up at point 7 and then back down at point 6.
  5. If the line of stitching is vertical then take the needle down at point 8, up at point 9 and then back down at point 8.
  6. Follow your design chart closely to achieve the required effect.

Cross Stitch

To make a stitch:

Bring the needle up at point 1 which is the lower left hole of one square of the fabric.

Now take the needle down at point 2, which is the upper right hole of the square you are working.

Bring your needle back up at point 3 which is the bottom right hole.

Now take the needle down at point 4 which is the top left hole of the square, this completes one cross stitch.

To work a row of stitches of the same colour:

  1. Bring the needle up at point 1 which is the lower left hole of one square of the fabric.
  2. Now take the needle down at point 2, which is the upper right hole of the square you are working.
  3. Bring your needle back up at point 3 which is the bottom right hole.
  4. Now take the needle down at point 4.
  5. Bring the needle up at 5 and down at 6 and then up at 7 and down at 8.

The return row is stitched right to left to make the crosses, bring up the needle at 9 and down at 6, up at 7 and down at 4, and finally up at 3 and down at 0.

When following a cross stitch chart work the stitches in this way for the number of squares with the same symbol/colour that are shown on the chart.

TIPS:

  • It is important for the final finish of your project that you make sure all your stitches are crossed in the same direction.
  • Keep your tension on the stitches even while you are stitching the design so that the final piece is flat.
  • Work the design area first and any plain background last.
  • Work any dark colours first, and the lighter ones last.
  • When you are stitching make sure that your thread and therefore your stitches are lying flat. If you find your thread becomes twisted then drop the needle and allow the needle to hang freely which will allow the thread to untwist by itself.
  • Only carry thread across the back of your work to another area if the jump is short and the thread is a light colour otherwise the thread will be seen through the front of the design.

 

Finding the Centre of the Fabric

Cross stitch is always started from the centre of the fabric, if you start stitching from the centre you know that your design will fit onto the fabric properly.

To find the centre of your fabric follow these steps:

Finding the Centre of the Chart

Once you have found the centre of your fabric you will need to find the centre of your design, this is marked on the chart with a red horizontal line and a red vertical line. Where these two lines cross in the middle is the centre of the design.

Have a look at the stitches that are at the centre of your chart and start working the ones closest to the centre of the chart onto your fabric.

Tent Stitch

Tent stitch is used in all the DoodleCraft Design Tapestry/Needlepoint kits.

It is a small, diagonal stitch that crosses over the intersection of one horizontal (weft) and one vertical (warp) thread of the canvas forming a slanted stitch at a 45-degree angle. It is also known as Needlepoint stitch and is one of the most basic and versatile stitches used in Needlepoint and other Canvas work embroidery.

There are three Tent Stitch variants but the DoodleCraft designs use only Continental Tent Stitch.

  1. Follow the direction of the arrows in the diagram above, bringing your needle up at position 1 and taking it back down through the canvas in the direction of the arrow. Bring the needle back up at position 2 and back down through the canvas in the direction of arrow 2.
  2. The second row of stitches flow in the opposite direction and the third row flow the same way as the first.
  3. Use this technique for all stitches throughout your design.
  4. Now follow the chart working the stitches in this way for each number of squares with the same symbol/colour.