Tiny Modernist Cross Stitch Blog

Cross Stitch Patterns for Modern Stitchers

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Cross Stitch Loop Method Tutorial

Try beginning your stitching with a Loop! This easy tip saves you time, and keeps the back of your work looking nice and tidy!

(It is also comes in handy when you are working with “confetti” stitching, where there are single cross stitches with no others around it.)


Separate ONE (1) strand of floss, twice as long as you normally use. Fold the floss in half, and thread the 2 loose ends through the eye of your needle. This should make a long tail with a “loop” on the end. Bring your needle up from the back, as you would to make the first half of your cross stitch.


Now bring your needle down through the front of the fabric to complete the first half of your ‘X’. Don’t pull the thread tight yet…turn your work over, and on the back of your fabric thread your needle through the loop. (see the photo below)

loop method


Now you can pull the thread tight (but not too tight!) to secure it in place. (see the photo below)

Then you can finish your cross stitch as usual. End your thread in the usual way of running it under several threads along the back to secure.

loop method-2


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Make your own Stitchable Paper for Cross Stitch

Turn ordinary paper into an adorable cross stitching craft!

Let’s make a stitched card- a little owl card that is stitched onto a medium-weight card stock.

Choose some plain card that’s not too thick, then follow our step-by-step guide to making it stitchable:

Step one: Begin with a scrap of aida  – use 11 count for as close a fit to our original template as possible. Using your chart and a sharp pencil, draw crosses over each block to be stitched.

Step two: Using masking tape, attach the aida scrap onto your card. Place a few layers of felt or think fabric underneath (I used a clean, folded-up towel). Using a large needle with a sharp point, punch through only the holes to be stitched.

Step three: Remove the masking tape and aida swatch to reveal your design. You’ll notice that on the front side the perforations are smooth while on the back they’re rough and raised. Be sure to cross stitch on the smooth side.

Step four: Stitch your design using a smaller needle than the one you used to punch the holes. Place your finished stitching under a heavy book to flatten if necessary.


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How many strands do I use for Cross Stitching?

Question: With the different size aida cloth, like 11-ct, 14-ct, 16ct etc., is there a rule for how many strands of thread to use when cross stitching?

Answer: YES!

6 count (or MONK Cloth): Use the full 6 Strands of Embroidery floss (or use YARN) for X-stitch and 3 Strands for Backstitch

11 count: Use 3 or 4 Strands for X-stitch, and 1 Strand for Backstitch

14 count: Use 2 Strands for X-stitch, and 1 Strand for Backstitch

16 or 18 count:  Use 1 or 2 Strands for X-stitch and 1 Strand for Backstitch

14-Count Aida with 2 Strands floss, and 1 Strand for backstitch

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DIY Tutorial- Oversize Cross Stitch Camera Pillow

Here is a super fun DIY option for showcasing your handiwork!
This is an extra-large cross stitch design- and it’s made using a normal 14-count pattern. Here is the secret:
Using 14-count Aida cloth, x-stitch your design using 4 squares of Aida cloth for every square on the pattern. (see Fig. 1 below) This will double the size of the original piece, so make sure to cut enough aida cloth! This design is usually 3″ x 4″, but stitching it this way it ended up being 6″ x 8″.

Instead of the usual 2 strands of floss for x’s- use 6 strands embroidery floss. Yep, that’s the whole string, don’t pull it apart at all- just snip it off the skein and thread your needle!
For the backstitch, I used 3 strands instead of 1. And last, but not least: you will need an embroidery needle (something with a large eye) to be able to thread all 6 strands comfortably.
A quick note: this way of stitching uses A LOT of thread…like 6 times as much as a normal piece. So when you are buying floss colors, pick up at least 2 or 3 skeins per color.
The amazing part is that this will work for ANY x-stitch pattern- you are only limited by your imagination!!
To make the pillow:
Cut a piece of fabric for the backing the same size as your aida cloth (I used small-wale black corduroy). Using a ½ inch seam, sew all the way around the pillow, leaving the a 3-4″ opening un-sewn. Turn the pillow right side out and push out the corners. Stuff the pillow with polyester fill and sew the opening shut by hand with a needle and thread.
Happy Stitching!
Cheryl @ Tiny Modernist

NOTE (as of October 1st 2012): I JUST discovered a NEW stitch- the SMYRNA stitch, which would work really well for this project! I can’t wait to try it!

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How much thread do I need for cross stitch?

QUESTION: How much thread will I need for x-stiching? I want to buy embroidery floss to complete a Tiny Modernist Cross Stitch Pattern, but I don’t know how much to buy.

ANSWER: You can calculate how much embroidery floss you need for your X-STITCH project by using the simple chart below. The numbers are based on 14-count aida cloth (and we design our patterns in 14-count!)

Use these SIMPLE tips for figuring out the correct amount of thread: 

1. Each FULL x-stitch uses about 1/2″ of thread.

2. Stitching with 2 strands x 18″ long = 36 stitches (you will get a total of 108 stitches from every 6-strand length)

3. Stitching with 3 strands x 18″ long = 36 stitches (you will get a total of 72 stitches from every 6-strand length)

I was able to stitch these and still end up with about 3″ of thread LEFT OVER after running my thread under the stitching and snipping it off.

Hopefully this helps with your CROSS STITCH projects!

Questions? Email me: cheryl@tinymodernist.com


DIY tutorial: How to block mount a cross stitch

A reader recently asked me how I mounted these modern chair cross stitch pieces. Here’s how to get the same look:


Material List:

~ Finished Cross Stitch Designs (purchase the 4 modern chairs here)

~ 6″ x 6″ Pre-made artist canvases (x 4)

~ Staple Gun



Make sure to cut your aida cloth at least 3-4″ larger than the design on each side (cut a piece about 10″ x 10″ for each chair).



Centre the design on the front of the canvas, turn everything over to the wrong side, and use a staple gun to attach all the sides of the aida cloth to the wooden stretchers, as you would stretch a canvas:


1. Put one staple in the middle of the top side, then another on the bottom side, pulling a little to make sure the cloth is tight, but not pulling your design out of shape.

2. Put another staple in the middle of the left side, then the right side, again making sure the cloth is snug but not pulling.

2. Then put staples on each side of the first staples, working towards the corners, tugging slightly as you go to make sure fabric stays nice and snug.

3. Lastly, fold the aida cloth corners so they lie flat, and put a few staples in to hold them.

4. You’re done! Just use a nail to hang them on the wall.