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Cross stitch techniques: English method and Danish method

Cross stitch techniques: English method and Danish method

with 8 Comments

If you’ve ever wondered why there seems to be different ways of forming a cross stitch, then this tutorial should help! This video will discuss the English method and the Danish method of forming stitches. I’ve had several comments in my beginners playlist of tutorial videos on YouTube that people weren’t sure if doing half the stitch first and then coming back was correct, or forming the stitch fully before moving onto the next cross stitch. Neither one is better than the other, and many stitchers (myself included) use both cross stitch techniques when stitching. It’s all about experimenting with both, and seeing which one works best for you most of the time. Do try moving vertically as well, sometimes stitchers find they prefer working up and down across a pattern (rather than horizontally as I’m showing in the video below).


English method

  • Completing each cross at once
  • This method is ideal for doing when you’re using the parking method of working across your pattern
  • The English method also often the easier method to use when handling confetti stitches (random scattered stitches of one colour across your pattern)


Danish method

  • Doing one half of the stitch in one direction, then coming back to do the other half of the stitch
  • This method is ideal for working in big blocks of colour, as you can go in one direction then back (ending up at the beginning of the next row or column)
  • The Danish method is perfect if you like using the sewing method, or sewing in hand without a hoop or a frame

When forming your cross stitch, it doesn’t matter which direction you go in first, as long as your top stitch is always going the same direction.


Links mentioned in the video



free cross stitch patterns

Cross stitch techniques: English method and Danish method
Article Name
Cross stitch techniques: English method and Danish method
Which cross stitch technique should you use? This video will discuss the English method and the Danish method of forming a cross stitch.
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
Publisher Logo

8 Responses

  1. Kristin
    | Reply

    This fascinates me. For one, I had no idea anyone did it any differently THAN the “Danish method”- nor did I know that this “method” had a name! To work each cross stitch individually to me would be madness- very time consuming and tedious. The “parking” thing- also did not know it had it’s own name either. I often make use of that parking trick, there are so many methods, tips, tricks Ive used through the years, never learning it from anything but just using one’s own head & common sense when working a project, & I assumed everyone else worked the same as I!

    I am glad I found this site, thank you. I am in US. It seems to me only the elderly people work cross stitches these days here, and from what I gather, the crafts such as this are more popular and enjoyed in UK and Japan more than in America. I don’t know it for a fact but it seems that way to me.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha actually the English method isn’t really much slower than the Danish method, and you do need to stitch in that style for confetti stitches, etc (random stitches of a colour scattered across an area). And I know it seems like cross stitchers are mainly an older crowd, but lots of people in the US and elsewhere are younger and love it — they’re just into stitching very different patterns than the traditional ones (like Julie Jackson’s Subversive Cross Stitch designs are very popular among the younger crowd). I’m glad you enjoy the site Kristin, thanks for the feedback. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Murray
    | Reply

    I use the Danish method but don’t do parking, just end of start a fresh. I like my backs to look reasonably neat too. This has been interesting to see that I thought I was doing it the English way but obviously not. Thank you for the tutorial.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha that’s funny, I guess the old adage is true that you learn something new every day! Glad you enjoyed the tutorial Elizabeth, happy stitching! 🙂

  3. Chris Arlington
    | Reply

    In general I use the Danish method. If I work vertically I use the English method. If I use overdyed or variegated I use the English method. I’m picky about my backs, so I am not fond of parking. What can I say?

    nglish method. For variegated threads I use the

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha perfect, whatever works best for you Chrissie! I don’t like parking either, it makes me nuts. 🙂

  4. Audrey Archer
    | Reply

    I generally use the Danish method, unless I am working with specialty threads – i.e., “variations”, “variegated”, “hand-dyed”, “space-dyed”, etc. But when using the English method, to keep the back “tidy”, I used to carry my needle across the back across the top & bottom, but that uses a LOT of thread; now I start every stitch coming up in the bottom left, stitch to top right, then carry on back to bottom right, stitch to top left, carry on back to bottom right again, which is the bottom left of the next stitch. The back ends up looking like this : |/|/|

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Nice, that sounds like a good method you’re doing Audrey! I may end up doing a separate mini-tutorial on using variegated threads, as doing the Danish method with them can end up with some “interesting” effects. 🙂

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