Cross Stitch: Rainbow Block 1

cross stitch rainbow colours

I pulled out some cross stitch projects recently and remembered how much I LOVE it! I find it very relaxing to stitch those precise little crosses and end up with a picture.

My brain started ticking…

Cross stitch… quilt along… St Patrick’s Day… rainbows… yes, my brain jumps here and there!

But I put all those thoughts together and decided to create some mini cross stitch charts based on quilt blocks – combining two crafts I love! With St Patrick’s Day coming soon and my well-known love of rainbows (see this rainbow crochet and this rainbow crochet), I decided to use rainbow colours for my stitching.

I couldn’t stop at one chart though! I’m going to share a series of rainbow blocks – nine altogether – over the next couple of weeks. All of them will use the same colours and can be stitched as individual mini projects or put together into a larger project. I’m so excited about these!

rainbow embroidery thread DMC

Here are the rainbow colours I’ve chosen to work with. They are all DMC thread – my favourite for stranded embroidery cotton. But I’ve included the Anchor colour numbers in my list below in case that’s your preference.

Red: DMC – 321 (Anchor – 9046)

Orange: DMC – 740 (Anchor – 316)

Yellow: DMC – 743 (Anchor – 302)

Green: DMC – 704 (Anchor – 256)

Blue: DMC – 799 (Anchor – 136)

Indigo: DMC – 311  (Anchor – 148)

Violet: DMC – 550 (Anchor – 102)

Cross Stitch: Rainbow Block 1 - free chart

Rainbow Block 1

This first block is rainbow stripes. The finished block is 26 stitches square and I have stitched mine on 16 count Aida cloth. Aida cloth is a special type of cloth with very even threads that form perfect squares with easy to see holes for stitching cross stitch. It is available in various “counts” or sizes, which refers to how thick the threads are. The larger the count number that smaller the cross stitches will be, so beginners often start on 12 count Aida cloth which has nice big squares and is easier to work with. You could also buy beautiful linen especially for cross stitching and hardinger work that has very even threads.

I’m planning to stitch all nine of my rainbow blocks for display in a frame so I have stitched this one in the middle of my fabric. I’ve started with fabric that is approximately 30cm square so there will be plenty of room for all of the blocks. I have stitched my sample with two strands of thread. If you use Aida in count 14 or 12, you might prefer to use three strands of thread at a time. It really is up to you and what you think looks best so stitch a few stitches and see what you think.

Cross Stitch Tips

  • I find it easier to find the middle of my fabric and start stitching near the middle of the design. See my tip below for finding the middle of your fabric to start your cross stitch.
  • Putting your fabric in a hoop can make it easier to stitch.
  • Avoid knots on the back of your work if you can – click here to learn how to start stitching without a knot.
  • Work each colour block – this means you don’t have to change colours all the time.
  • Avoid skipping too far across stitches on the back of your work – it leaves loops that you might catch with your needle later and cause your work to pucker.
  • Work all your stitches the same way so they look uniform. On my work all the bottom stitches of the crosses go from bottom left to top right, then all the upper stitches go from top left to bottom right.
  • It’s all about counting the stitches – each little square on the chart is one cross stitch.

cross stitch chart rainbow block 1

Enjoy Stitching! Look out for more charts soon.

free craft tip 12 cross stitch

More Blocks in this series – click on the pictures to see the charts:

rainbow block 2-001 cross stitch rainbow block 3 Rainbow Cross Stitch Block 4 cross stitch rainbow block 5 Cross Stitch Rainbow Block 6 Cross Stitch Rainbow Block 7 Free Chart

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  1. denise says

    I love cross stitch and really excited about the colors you have chosen for this block. This is my
    first time to this site and I love it.

    Thank you for all the great information

    • says

      Thank you for taking a moment to comment, Denise! Lovely to see you here!
      I’m madly stitching so I can share the rest of these rainbow blocks very soon…

  2. Haley says

    I’m planning on using these blocks to cross stitch a blanket. It should keep me busy for a few…years, I reckon. Thank you for these :)

  3. says

    Thanks for the pretty cross stitch blocks. I hope to make some of these to sew onto a couple of walker bags I sew for World of Charity Stitching. I hope to use two of them for each bag. We donate all our gifts to enior care facilities and we make quilts and other items for children and seniors.

  4. BJ Brock says

    16 count only comes in 16 count…it refers to the number of squares in 1 inch…not the thickness of the thread.

    The counts for Aida are 6, 11, 14, 16, 18 and hardangar 22. There is no 12 count that we know of

    • says

      Thanks for more details on this, BJ. You sound like you do a lot of cross stitch.

      I looked back through my stash and found that my 12 count fabric is waste canvas rather than Aida – similar but different!

  5. Eman says

    Thank you so much for sharing all your beautiful patterns. I love all those colors you used and the harmony between them. Thank you more for giving the colors numbers as most people do not do that and leave us – non professional – disappointed.

  6. says

    great cross stitch design and colors. I was wondering what do you do with already embroidered fabric? To you make it in a pillow cover, wall hanging?

    Lovely work!

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