Making Sense of Fractional Stitches in Cross Stitch

You may have come across fractional stitches in a cross stitch pattern and you’re wondering how to do them and what the difference is from the basic cross stitch. Fractional stitches are very simple to remember once you learn them! This post will show you the 3 different types and explain them in a way that they’ll be easy to remember.

This post is part of a series of posts about cross stitch. If you’re just getting started, check out this post: Beginner’s Guide To Cross Stitching.

Full Cross Stitch

cross stitch

First, let’s look at the basic, full cross stitch. This stitch is comprised of 2 stitches crossing over one another at a diagonal. When worked on Aida fabric, the stitches cross over one square of the fabric.

Think of the holes around the square as “points”. This stitch uses 4/4 points around the square.

Fractional Stitches In Cross Stitch

1/2 Stitch

1/2 stitch - fractional stitches in cross stitch

The first fractional stitch we’ll go over is the 1/2 stitch. This stitch is just one diagonal stitch across one square of Aida fabric. It touches 2 of the 4 points, which makes it a half stitch.

1/4 Stitch

1/4 stitch

This stitch is half of a 1/2 stitch, making it a 1/4 stitch. This stitch starts in one hole of the Aida fabric, but instead of crossing over the square, it ends in the center of the square. Quarter stitches can be worked from any side of the square. This stitch only ends up touching 1 point of the 4.

3/4 Stitch

3/4 stitch

The last kind of fractional stitch in cross stitch is the 3/4 stitch. This is a combinations of a 1/4 stitch and a 1/2 stitch. The 1/4 stitch is usually worked first and then the half stitch is worked last. As you can see, this stitch only touches 3 points of the square.

And those are all of the different ones! I hoped this quick tutorial on fractional stitches helped you! I find it easiest to think of them with the points of a square because I think they are easier to remember that way.

If you’re ready to learn more stitches, check out this tutorial on how to do a backstitch.

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