Stitchery Crossover Terms

Throughout the Stitchery Crossover courses from Hummingbird Highway, I may use words or phrases that are unfamiliar to you or that may be specific to this course. Don't know what I'm talking about? This is your go-to space to find out more.

A quilting method where cut fabric shapes are sewn onto a base fabric to create a larger motif such as a flower or geometric pattern.

In a quilt. When the batting fibers migrate through the quilt top or backing over time and use. Bearding is more likely to happen when the quilt top or backing material is a lower thread count.

Charted Embroidery
A decorative hand stitching technique done on a base or ground fabric such as aida, evenweave, or linen fabric that is created by following a chart or graph. Stitches are hand sewn in the base fabric using colored floss, perle cotton, or thread to create an overall pattern or design. Also gridded embroidery, charted stitching.

Counted Cross Stitch
The process of sewing by hand, pairs of straight stitches that each form an X. Changing thread colors as the stitches following a grid or chart creates a variety of designs. The base fabric is usually evenweave, linen, or aida fabric.

Double Back Stitch
One straight stitch placed on top of another. The purpose is to secure the tread without adding the bulk of a knot.

A loosely-woven cloth made from cotton and other natural fibers used for counted embroidery, cross stitch, or other forms of counted, charted, or decorative embroidery. Evenweave cloth comes in a variety of colors and is often identified by thread count.

Fat Quarter
A common measure for a small piece of quilt fabric, usually 18x21" in the US. The width of quilting fabric as it comes off the bolt is approximately 42-44", therefore one quarter yard of fabric measures 9" (1/4 of 36") by 42-44" (the width of fabric as it comes off the bolt). A Fat Quarter is twice the yardage and half the width, so it's still a quarter yard of fabric but the wider/shorter rectangular cut can be more convenient for some purposes.

Six-stranded cotton thread in a variety of colors. Strands can be separated and used one, two, or three (or more) stands at a time to create hand-sewn designs on fabric.

Fractional Stitches
Also Partial Stitches. In Cross Stitch, miniature stitches using 1/4 of the space reserved for a full Cross Stitch. A fractional or partial stitch usually allows two different colors in the space for one full stitch of one color.

As in fabric hand. A description of the stiffness or pliability of the fabric. For example, this fabric has a soft hand means that it's smooth and pliable. A fabric that has a stiff hand is less pliable.

In-the-Ditch Quilting
Stitching directly along the seams of a quilt.

A decorative fabric craft item consisting of three layers - a patterned stitched/sewn top, batting, and fabric backing - that have been sewn or 'quilted' by hand or machine to hold the layers together. A quilt may be bed-sized, table-top sized, or a variety of sizes in between.


Quilters Knot

A common method to add concentrated bulk to the very end of the thread or floss.

To make a Quilters Knot, thread the needle and hold the needle between the thumb and index finger, needle point outward.

Place the thread end (the loose end, not the needle end) on the needle to form a + sign.

While holding the thread end against the needle, wrap the thread around the end of the needle three or four times (shown on the left).

Pinch the needle with the wrapped thread firmly between the thumb and index finger, and pull the needle all the way through with your other hand.

The resulting knot at the thread end (shown on the right) is secure, and is used to anchor the thread without having a long thread tail.

Reverse Applique
A quilting technique where a fabric layer is added on top of a background or base fabric, then a shape or shapes are cut away from the top fabric layer to reveal the base fabric.

Scroll Frame
An alternative to securing stitchery fabric in a hoop. A scroll frame consists of two bars and two extenders, plus four tightening knobs. The stitchery fabric ends are wound around the bars that are then secured between the extenders. By tightening the bars between the extenders, the stitchery fabric remains taught for stitching. The resulting work space looks something like a Roman paper scroll.

Spaces (stitchery fabric)
In the context of stitchery fabric, during this course, I refer to the spaces between the fabric threads. See also, "threads." Stitchery fabric has two elements, the threads and the spaces between the threads. The spaces, represented by the boxes on the pattern chart, hold the colored floss that forms the stitching.


A hoop or frame isn't required to stitch! Some folks prefer to stitch without any additional piece of equipment to stretch and hold a section of the stitchery fabric. When no hoop or frame is present, this is referred to as stitching-in-hand.

I use this term several different ways throughout the course. Generally and perhaps most frequently, I use it to refer to the portion of the project that consists of counted embroidery worked on evenweave cloth.

Stitchery Crossover
A technique to create blocks for quilted projects that have a counted or charted embroidery center, plus at least one counted or charted stitchery border, and at least one quilt fabric border. Blocks made with this technique may be assembled into a quilt, quilted projects, or other non-quilted craft items.

Twisted strands of cotton formed into a single thread used for sewing by machine or by hand.

Thread Count
A way to measure stitchery cloth that is based on the number of threads or spaces per inch. For example, the Mia Rosa kits include 28 count Lugana cloth. 28-count cloth yields 28 stitches per inch worked over one thread or 14 stitches per inch (the thread count divided by two) if worked over two threads. The Mia Rosa stitchery project is worked two threads.

Threads (stitchery fabric)
In the context of stitchery fabric, as opposed to the thread used to sew. The woven cloth is made from threads. The  space between the threads create the space for the decorative floss. When using evenweave cloth for stitching, the pattern typically identifies the length of the stitch based on how many threads between stitches. For example, "stitchover one (or two) thread(s)." The threads in stitchery cloth are represented by the lines on the chart.


Did I miss something?
If you see a term to add to this list, send an email with the word or phrase along with the lesson it's from. It'll be added here for future course participants.