Cross stitching without a hoop can be a bit tricky because the fabric can easily become distorted. You can make designs that are only a few stitches wide and high, such as a small flower. You can also make large, complex designs such as a detailed landscape.
Disclaimer: If you’re using a pattern, it’s best to use a hoop to make sure that your stitches are even and accurate.
Before you can cross stitch without a hoop, you’ll want to decide on your design. You need to use a fabric stabilizer, a thin piece of cloth, or a piece of paper to help keep the fabric taut and in place. Many find it helpful to use a frame or to baste the fabric to a piece of cardboard to keep the fabric in place while you are stitching.
Gather Your Materials
An embroidery needle is a type of needle specifically designed for embroidery work that is longer and thinner than a regular sewing needle, with a larger eye to accommodate thicker thread. The point of an embroidery needle is also sharper and more tapered. This helps the needle penetrate the fabric more easily.
You’ll need Embroidery floss is a type of thread made from multiple strands of cotton, silk, or rayon twisted together and used for stitching and embellishing fabric with decorative embroidery stitches.
You will also need scissors, and of course, your chosen fabric.
Use even-weave fabrics
Using even-weave fabrics is easier for cross stitching without a hoop because it provides an even grid of holes for each stitch. This ensures that the stitches are even and uniform makes it easier to keep track of the pattern.
Even-weave fabrics also tend to be more durable than other fabrics, so they can withstand the pulling of multiple stitches without fraying or tearing.
The types of even-weave fabrics we recommend are linen or aida cloth. Aida cloth is a coarse cotton-based fabric with a pattern of small holes used in cross-stitch embroidery. The most common size is 14-count (the holes are spaced 14 threads per inch). But, it is available in multiple sizes.
Make sure that the size of your fabric is also large enough for the pattern you are stitching. Once you have all of your materials ready to go, you can start stitching without a hoop!
Find the center of your fabric
Find the center of your fabric. You can do this by either folding the fabric in half twice, creating four equal quadrants, or by counting out from the edges until the center is located.
Then, you want to use a thread that matches your fabric and make a single stitch in its exact center. Use this as a marker to provide you with an area to start working from.
Tack down the fabric
Begin by tacking the fabric down with canvas clips onto a piece of foam board, scroll frame, or corkboard.
Now, thread the needle and start the stitch. Just be sure to keep your stitches even and tight so that your design will look neat and organized.
Work your way out from the center of the fabric, completing each row of stitches before moving on to the next.
Quick tip: If you need to take a break, you can use a piece of tape or a pin to hold your needle in place.
When you have completed your design, just cut the thread and tie a knot to secure it in place. You can then trim any excess fabric as needed.
Enjoy your new cross stitch creation!