Etsy is an excellent source for amazeballs cross stitch patterns. But most are sold one at a time. Where can a beginner cross stitcher get a big collection of cross stitch patterns without breaking the bank?
These are the BEST cross stitch books for beginners. These are all books that I own and have stitched from.
Watch this video for peeks at the table of contents and additional pages.
Cross Stitch to Calm by Leah Lintz
Stitch and De-stress with 40 Simple Patterns
The patterns in this cross stitch book are organized into categories:
These patterns are simple, and most use only one or two colors, making up lines, geometric shapes and silhouettes. Great for that meditative stitching that you can do without thinking.
This book also has pretty thorough instructions for learning to stitch on both aida and linen, with graphics for fractional stitches and back stitch. Although, I didn’t see any fractional stitches in any of the patterns in the book.
Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson
50 F*cking Clever Designs for Your Sassy Side
This cross stitch book opens with an introduction to what subversive cross stitch is, and how it came to be.
While there is a brief section for tools and techniques with recommendations for finishing, I don’t recommend this book for learning how to cross stitch. There aren’t enough picture or graphics to learn from.
The designs are simple, made up almost entirely of whole cross stitch and a little back stitch sprinkled in a few of the patterns. Perfect for beginners!
An experienced stitcher could probably finish each of these easy cross stitch patterns in an hour or two.
If you’re looking for a quick, cathartic stitch that may or may not contain an F-bomb, this is the book for you.
Star Trek Cross Stitch by John Lohman
Explore strange new worlds of crafting with 30 Projects and 8 Bonus Patterns
The Star Trek cross stitch book patterns are arranged by difficulty:
This book starts with a very brief introduction boasting that “you should be able to complete any of the projects in the book for under twenty dollars.” Depending on the materials you use, that’s probably accurate.
You will not learn how to cross stitch in this book. The “materials” and “getting started” sections are more like refreshers and don’t have any pictures or graphics.
The patterns feature motifs from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, with quotes and pictures from scenes from the shows and the movies.
Some of the bonus patterns include a hand towel with Next Gen characters, and a Borg Cube Christmas ornament. (Check out the video above to get a peek.)
Do-It-Yourself Stitch People by Elizabeth Dabczynski-Bean
Thousands of Combinations for Customizable Cross-Stitch Character Designs
This book seems really overwhelming at first, so why am I recommending it for beginners? It’s a fantastic place to start creating your own patterns.
You can learn to cross stitch from this book – and other stitches, too! It includes thorough tutorials with pictures including outline how to not only cross stitch, but how to start in the center of your project, how to tie off the ends of the threads, plus fractional stitches, back stitches, and a few others.
Stitch People pattern topics are organized into categories by topic and depicted with colors and symbols:
- Women’s Hairstyles
- Women’s Clothing Styles
- Men’s Hairstyles
- Men’s Clothing Styles
- Children’s Patterns
- Cats & Dogs & More
The premise is simple: you start with a person in mind. Choose a face, hairstyle, and some clothes, then choose clothes with adjustable heights and sizes for children v. adults, and add pets and accessories. (Kinda like how I cook – assembly only.)
You can choose solid-color clothes without buttons to avoid backstitch, french knots, or other challenging stitches
There are literally hundreds of examples of faces and shoes and pets to choose from in this cross stitch book.
And several sheets of blank graph paper are provided to get started on your own designs.
Make sure to read the “how to use this book” section on page 9. It tells you how to get access to bonus patterns like specific dog breeds and new sports equipment for your custom patterns.
Check Your Local Library
Some of these and other cross stitch books may be available to borrow for free from your local library. And some libraries have stacks of magazines to browse, too!