XYZZX Creations is the home of Joan Beiriger's counted cross-stitch and blackwork needlework designs.
Joan specializes in counted cross-stitch flowers, dinosaurs, and landmarks (including San Francisco).

Blackwork Instructions

1. Zigzag or whip stitch the edges of the fabric to keep it from raveling.

2. Look at the chart for the number of threads to use for each type of stitch. Usually two strands are used for chain stitch and one strand for backstitch.

3. To find the center of the fabric, fold lengthwise and press along the fold with fingers. Do the same crosswise. The center is where the two folds intersect.

4. Each square on the chart represents one stitch. Note: If the fabric is 28 count, stitch over two threads of fabric for each square on the chart.

5. Mark the top of the fabric with an permanent marker so that you don't get mixed up when stitching.

6. Find the nearest heavy line to the intersection of the two arrows and begin to stitch using the chain stitch. Hold the thread behind the fabric until it is secure with three or four stitches. Finish the thread by running the needle through three or four finished stitches on the back. Cut the thread close to the fabric. Do not knot the thread.

7. Stitch the entire outline with a chain stitch before filling in with the backstitch pattern as shown on the chart.

8. Stitch on beads or any French knots last so that the thread does not catch on them while you are stitching the design.

Click here for instructions on how to do different types of stitches.

XYZZX Creations - Dept. Needlecraft - 5222 Roxanne Ct - Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 443-5769; e-mail: