Xs sampler

Choosing your first cross-stitch project is a special moment and can also set you up for long term addiction success with your new hobby. Or it can be a massive disappointment.

Part of being successful with your first project is finding a pattern that matches your skill level and also sparks joy and excitement. Let’s help you find that perfect first project to kickstart your stitching adventure!

Since online shopping became a thing, there are literally hundreds of thousands of cross stitch patterns to choose from. It can be overwhelming and thrilling, especially when you find niche patterns for your own interest. And it can be very tempting to buy alllll the patterns.

This post can help you to not clutter up your hard drive with patterns that you think you might do one day, but when you actually look at them, they’re overwhelming.

We think it’s important to start small, get the satisfaction of completing a few projects, and then work up to more. So the steps below can help you start in the right place for you.

Understanding Your Skill Level

Starting your cross-stitch journey begins with understanding where you stand as a beginner.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have even threaded a needle before! Just be honest with yourself about what feels comfortable – you’re the only one who’ll know if you’re stitching a kit that the package says is aimed at 12 year olds. Who cares, if you love it and it makes you happy?

If you’re completely new, look for patterns labeled ‘beginner’ or ‘easy’. Not every designed does that (we don’t) so that’s not always accurate. But if they are labelled that way, they’ll likely be simpler designs with fewer color changes and only full cross stitches, making them more manageable and enjoyable as you learn the basics.

Because the best project for you is one that feels doable but also a little bit exciting.

Pattern Complexity and Size

Picking the right pattern is like choosing the perfect book to read. For your first cross-stitch project, consider something not too complex.

Smaller patterns with less intricate details are ideal as they’re less overwhelming and quicker to finish.

Think of it as a short, sweet story versus a long novel. A small, simple design gives you the satisfaction of completing a project and boosts your confidence for more challenging ones in the future.

Theme and Interest

Albo half moonChoosing a pattern that you love is key.

Whether it’s a favorite flower, a beloved animal, a favorite star ship or a meaningful quote, choose a design that excites you. This personal connection keeps you motivated and makes the stitching process more enjoyable.

Your first project is a tiny piece of art with your commitment in every stitch, and it reflects your interests and personality.

Resource Availability

A cross-stitch kit can be a great starting point because it includes a small piece of fabric, a needle, and just the threads you need to stitch that design. It simplifies the process, allowing you to focus solely on stitching.

But, there’s also a great thrill in hitting your local craft supply shop to select your threads (so many pretties!) and choose your fabric and buy your needles.

Plus, our local craft shop has a really limited range of kits. You can buy beautiful ones online but that can take a while to make its way through the postal system to you. So unless you lucked out and found a kit you love, do consider buying a simple pattern. They usually have a list of the thread colors you’ll need.

Then all you need is a piece of Aida cloth, a needle and perhaps a hoop of some kind. We’ll get to that later. If you’re stitching a small piece, you can do without a hoop.

Time Commitment

Assess how much time you can dedicate to your project. Smaller designs usually take less time and are rewarding for beginners. It’s important to choose a project that fits into your schedule without feeling rushed.

Warning: this is addictive (in the most positive way). So maybe line up some great shows to binge while you stitch, or those audio books you’ve been meaning to get to.

So, choose a project that speaks to you, take it one stitch at a time, and watch your masterpiece come to life!

The next post in this series will help you understand Aida fabric – what it is, why you need it, how to choose the right one, and more.


Our Free Printable Cross Stitch Ruler

Our Free Printable Cross Stitch Ruler

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