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Cross It Off & Back Up

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Spring Butterfly, Just CrossStitch, April 2013
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Black & White Bookend, Just CrossStitch June 2013
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Blackwork Bookmarks, Just CrossStitch June 2009
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Vintage Redwork, Just CrossStitch February 2013

The most basic stitch in cross stitch is the -- cross stitch. It's a simple X that can create anything and everything from a bold, graphic border to an elegant, beautifully shaded landscape. It's really amazing what we can craft using these tiny two-step stitches. They're the first stitch most stitchers learn to make; they can sometimes be the most frustrating when working on a large project, but also the most rewarding.

The next step that most stitchers learn is the backstitch. Again, it's a simple stitch that can form everything from the outline of a motif to an entire design of redwork- and blackwork-style designs. The simplicity of the backstitch often makes it a stitch that most people never consider much, but a few tips will ensure that your projects showcase your stitches perfectly.

To the right are a few projects that showcase cross stitches and backstitches at their best.

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