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Fractional Stitches in Cross Stitch

Fractional stitches in cross stitch can be very confusing but are infact quite simple to do. The first step to creating them successfully is being able to identify them.

They are listed as ¼, ½ and ¾ stitches. The most common ones are ½ and ¾ stitches.

Identify them as follows: (the solid lines are called back stitches)

This is what they look like once stitched on Aida:

This is what they look like once stitched on Linens or Lugana:

Here is how they are stitched:

  • The first stitch (the least common one) is the quarter stitch. These are easier to work on evenweave as opposed to Aida as the middle hole in the evenweave can be used to complete the stitch:
  • Come up in the first hole and go down a quarter way in in order to create a quarter leg of an X

  • Half Stitches are simply – HALF A CROSS STITCH. This is the simplest fractional stitch as it’s the first leg of the cross stitch. The only anomaly to watch out for here is whether its done in 1 strand or 2 strands. Sometimes, in order to create depth, the designer will chart the stitch with the use of 1 strand even though the balance of the design is charted in 2 strands. This normally happens in order to create a background OR foreground like sky or water. In short, it is a tent stitch /
  • The Three Quarter Stitch: This can be stitched as another quarter stitch with a backstitch line separating the two, but more commonly you could use a three quarter stitch. Work the quarter stitch in the required corner, then add a half stitch on top. Some people like to do the half stitch first and then "tie it down" with the quarter stitch. Neither method is incorrect. By using the color of the foreground object for the three quarter stitch it makes the tiny quarter stitch less significant and "pushes it" into the background.

More often than not, you will find that the designer designed backstitches to run through the ¾ stitches. Always stitch the ¾ stitch in the direction of the backstitch.

Sometimes the ¾ stitch will be done in the SAME colour for both parts of it but most times it will be done in 2 different colours.

Note, as with normal cross stitch, the backstitch gets done last as it lays on top of the stitches in order to better define the objects making up the picture.

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