Tips for Cross Stitch by Machine

Floral Blooms

Counted cross stitch is an old-fashioned favorite that has stood the test of time. If you are a fan of hand cross stitch but don’t enjoy counting and stitching, you are in luck. You can get the same result on your embroidery machine!

It is surprisingly easy to make your machine embroidery cross stitch look more like it was created by hand.


Of course polyester and rayon threads are beautiful and have a nice shine but if you want to mimic the look of hand embroidery, try using a cotton thread. Cross stitch thread for hand embroidery is almost always cotton, from two- to six-strand.

You can also use a heavier machine embroidery thread weight. Standard machine embroidery thread is 40 wt. By stitching with a 30 wt. thread, which is heavier than 40 wt., it will make your cross stitch look more like it was stitched by hand.


Just because it’s stitched by machine doesn’t mean that you can’t stitch on a cross stitch fabric like Aida cloth. Aida cloth comes in sizes from six count to 22 count. The higher the number, the more holes/squares are in one inch and the smaller the Xs will be. A good place to start for machine embroidery is 14 count.

Other traditional fabric choices are wovens like linens, homespun, and Lugana. Solid and tone-on-tone quilting cottons also work fine. Always do a test stitch before starting your project.

Debbie SewBlest

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