Freeform Cross stitch

Freeform Cross stitch

Freeform cross stitch sampleNormally cross stitch is worked on the weave of the fabric neatly in rows along the lines of the thread. Each stitch is supposed to sit in the group not calling attention to itself. Cross stitch is supposed to be of even tension and uniform with each bar crossing in the same direction. However cross stitch has a wild cousin as Freeform cross stitch is loose informal, breaking the rules with an anything goes approach to life.

Freeform cross stitch is a quick easy stitch to work. You can not go wrong. This stitch is simply crossed stitches worked in a free form manner. You can let your needle wander where you choose and work Freeform cross stitch close together or sprinkle them across an area to create a sparse fill.

To add variety to this stitch use different coloured threads. Or you can use threads with different thickness, different texture and different fibers. Novelty threads can be used too! If you are in the mood for bling use a metallic thread and sprinkle beads in among the stitches to add more life. Free form cross stitch is not only fun but can deliver a contemporary twist to your work.

Fabric Postcard Dueling fiddlersFreeform Cross stitch can also add energy to a piece. In this fabric postcard “Dueling Fiddlers” I added freeform cross stitch in the back ground to give a sense of the music. If you want to read more about this piece you can here. 

Freeform Cross stitch sampleTo sketch and ‘draw’ with your thread you can  combine freeform cross stitch with straight stitches and re-create the marks you might make with a pencil.

Freeform cross stitch sample

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My book for creative stitchers

Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery book coverIf you enjoy my site you will get real value from my book  Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned embroiderer, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery gives you techniques to encourage a fresh and creative embroidery style. Discover play points in your embroidery. Explore variations in height and width, stacking stitches, or using repetitions of the same stitch to create areas of texture and shape. All these techniques and more will give you creative variations. I have included numerous demonstrations of small tweaks that create big effects to send you down your own creative path.


  1. I worked cross stitch for so long that people said the back of mine looked as good as the front. But as much as I love the grid (and if you remember my TAST work, you know I do), I tired of doing the same stitch on it. THIS version, yes, I could really enjoy freeform cross stitch!

    Triche Osborne

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