How to Make a Quarter Stitch

You will easily master the quarter stitch after doing a few. Still, if you have never done stitching, you may want to avoid a pattern that contains many partial stitches since they can be hard to count. See my how-to page on making a cross stitch row.

Designers use partial stitches to smooth edges and round corners. They may be stitched alone along the outer edge of a design or combined within a body of full cross stitches.

How they are represented varies from one designer to another, and some details of how they are constructed may be left up to you.

Always review the entire pattern and instructions before beginning. As long as you make them consistent throughout the entire project, you have a little leeway.

They can be found listed like other categories of embroidery stitches, similar to backstitches and straight stitches, on the color key or legend for your project.

The legend will specify the number of strands to work with and the direction of each stitch, and each floss color will be represented by a different symbol.

Remember that partial stitches can slant in any direction, so adapt the following instructions to fit your needs.

On your pattern, the symbol for a full cross stitch may look like this.

Symbol for full cross stitch

A Quarter stitch for that same color will look like one of these.

Possible quarter stitch symbol placements

The square is divided by a slanted line. A smaller version of the symbol occupies the quadrant to be stitched.

The one I have embroidered below would be represented this way.

Quarter stitch sample symbol
First step of quarter stitch
Second step of quarter stitch

1. In this example, locate the lower left corner and bring the needle up through the fabric.

2. Crossing diagonally, insert the needle half a stitch from the origin point, pulling the floss completely through to the back.

Final step in quarter stitch

3. Your stitch is finished.

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