Pride Month Patch Tutorial: Pride Text

Six digitally-created versions of cross stitch pride patches, arranged in two rows of three, against a background of a textured partially-translucent aromantic pride flag. Text between the two rows reads Aro Pride Patches in black type. Patches include a rectangular patch in aroflux zigzag stripes, an idemromantic heart, an aro flag text patch reading "aro", a square in quoiromantic stripes, an arrow design in allo-aro colours and a second arrow in nebularomantic colours.

Last June, I broadened my tutorial series with heart patches that suit a range of LGBTQIA+ and queer identities. This year, I thought I’d continue this (short) tradition by going literal: three, four, five, six, seven and ten-stripe text pride patches that say … well, pride!

Four finished and one incomplete cross stitch patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. All feature the word "pride" sewn in the colours of the transgender (navy background with blue/white/pink border), rainbow (white background with white border), allo-aro (purple background with mottled pink/grey/mauve border), nebularomantic (mint background with darker mint border) and cross apothiromantic (yellow background, raw aida showing at the edges) pride flags. Each letter is outlined in backstitch and every patch but the apothoiromantic one is finished with a buttonhole stitch edging.

You’ll need familiarity with cross stitch (full crosses and fractional stitches) and backstitch to make unedged patches, along with a buttonhole/closed blanket stitch to make the edged patches shown above. The first instalment of this patch tutorial series demonstrates cross and blanket/buttonhole stitch, while the second covers backstitch.

For additional information on the stitching process for text patches, please see part one of this miniseries. Beginners should also read last year’s tutorial for an overview of materials, finishes, treatments and fabric/edging modifications.

Notes on Pattern Structure

All patterns comprise block-style letters that can be evenly divided to fit flags with three, four, five, six, seven and ten horizontal stripes. They can also be adapted for flags with two, twelve and fourteen horizontal stripes.

Full coloured blocks indicate a full cross stitch.

Letter outlines indicate backstitch.

Blocks divided on the diagonal, each half a different colour, indicate quarter stitches. Please see my first text tutorial for further information on backstitching outlines and placing quarter/fractional stitches.

Space for edging your patch is not shown in the patterns below. You’ll need to allow additional blocks for this when cutting your swatch, depending on how narrow or thick you like your edges.

Five and Ten Stripe / Ten Block Patterns (Upper Case)

The upper case five and ten stripe “pride” patterns fit a rectangle 38 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 41 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the dark green/green/white/grey/black aromantic pride flag, with a dark violet background. Pattern is set on a light grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in white-grey.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the black/grey/white/light violet/violet/green/light green/white/grey/black aspec pride flag, with a dark purple background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in white-green.

These patterns can be used for many aromantic and asexual spectrum flags, many aro-ace flags, some gay and lesbian flags, the bisexual flag and the transgender flag.

Five and Ten Stripe / Ten Block Patterns (Lower Case)

The lower case five and ten stripe “pride” patterns fit a rectangle 46 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 49 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in lower-case pixel-art-style lettering, striped in the colours of the blue/pink/white/pink/blue transgender pride flag, with a dark violet background. Pattern is set on a light grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light purple.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in lower-case pixel-art-style lettering, striped in the colours of the pink/orange/light green/green/mint/light pink/coral/pink/purple/dark purple aroace flux pride flag, with a dark violet background. Pattern is set on a light grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light purple.

These patterns can be used for many aromantic and asexual spectrum flags, many aro-ace flags, some gay and lesbian flags, the bisexual flag and the transgender flag.

These are the only pride text patterns that don’t require fractional stitches to sew as shown.

Three, Four and Six Stripe / Twelve Block Patterns

The upper case three, four and six stripe “pride” patterns fit a rectangle 51 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 54 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of pink/yellow/cyan pansexual pride flag, with a black purple background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in lemon.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the yellow/white/purple/black nonbinary pride flag, with a dark purple background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in lilac.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple gay/queer/LGBTQIA+ rainbow pride flag, with a dark blue-purple background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in aqua.

These patterns can be used for the rainbow flag, the pansexual and polysexual flags, the genderqueer flag, many aromantic and asexual spectrum flags, some aro-ace flags and the non-binary flag.

They can also be adapted for horizontal twelve-stripe flags.

Seven Stripe / Fourteen Block Pattern

The upper case seven block “pride” pattern fits a rectangle 51 stitches wide and 18 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 54 x 21 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the maroon/coral/pink/white/dark cyan/blue/navy nebularomantic pride flag, with a light mint background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in teal.

This pattern can be used for the agender flag, some aromantic and asexual spectrum flags, many combined aro-ace flags, many gay and lesbian flags and a wide variety of gender-related flags.

It can also be adapted for horizontal fourteen-stripe flags.

Five Stripe / Ten Block A-Spectrum Patterns

The upper case five stripe “pride” patterns fit a rectangle 38 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 41 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the green/white/black/white/green apothiaromantic pride flag, with a light grey background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in dark green. An upright cross is laid over the letters R, I and D in black.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the white/green/light grey demiromantic pride flag, with a maroon background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light green. A black triangle is laid over the letter P.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the grass green/grey/white/light grey/green arojump pride flag, with a black background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light grey-green. A grass green and light green spike extend from the base and top of the I, meeting over the middle white stripe.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the light green/white/green arospike pride flag, with a dark green background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light pink. Pink spikes extend outward, covering the I, from the middle white stripe.

These patterns feature flags with unique additional elements. Because of the difficulty in fitting a rectangular design inside small sections of cross-stitch text, I couldn’t create these without fractional stitches. Please keep reading for tips on sewing these specific designs.

Four Stripe / Twelve Block A-Spectrum Patterns

The upper case four stripe “pride” patterns fit a rectangle 51 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 54 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the black/grey/white/green aegoromantic pride flag, with a dark violet background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light violet. A triangle in reverse colours--green/white/grey/black--is overlaid across the text.
Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the dark grey/green/cyan/light grey demiquoi pride flag, with a dark teal background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in light green. A sideways black triangle is laid over the P.

These patterns feature flags with unique additional elements. Because of the difficulty in fitting a rectangular design inside small sections of cross-stitch text, I couldn’t create these without fractional stitches. Please keep reading for tips on sewing these specific designs.

No Stripe / Twelve Block Intersex Pattern

The upper case intersex “pride” pattern fits a rectangle 51 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 54 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering in the yellow of the intersex pride flag, with a dark violet background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in lemon. A bright purple ring is laid over the I and the closest sides of the R and D.

These patterns feature flags with unique additional elements. Because of the difficulty in fitting a rectangular design inside small sections of cross-stitch text, I couldn’t create these without fractional stitches. Please keep reading for tips on sewing this specific design.

Six Stripe / Twelve Block No Police At Pride Pattern

The upper case six stripe “no police at pride” pattern fits a rectangle 87 stitches wide and 32 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 90 x 35 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text "no police" on the top line and "at pride" on the bottom. All text is in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple gay/queer/LGBTQIA+ rainbow pride flag, with a black background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in aqua. A small heart, striped in the colours of the blue/pink/white/pink/blue trans flag and outlined with darker pink, sits between the "at" and "pride".

This can be adapted for three and four stripe flags using the twelve block “pride” patterns above as a template. (It can also fit twelve-stripe pride flags.) The ten block heart can only fit flags using a five or ten stripe base.

Fractional Stitches

If you’re sewing simple stripe patterns, all fractional stitches around the edges of letters are intersected by diagonal sections of outline/backstitching. You can follow my original text patch tutorial, showing each quarter stitch tucked underneath the diagonal section of backstitch.

Leaving off fractional stitches can create a squared, pixellated look, but some letters may look odd or misshapen. Alternatively, if your flag allows, stick to sewing the lower-case five/ten stripe patterns:

A finished patch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with the pixel-art-style lower-case letters "pride" cross stitched in the colours of the blue/pink/white/pink/blue transgender pride flag on a navy background. The letters are outlined in bright blue floss. The patch is edged with a mottled blue, white and pink aqua buttonhole stitch.
A version of the lower-case “pride” patch with the lower-case “d” swapped out for an upper-case “D”.

People who prefer capital letters but loathe fractional stitches may swap letters in the lower-case pattern with the capital letters from my five-stripe aromantic alphabet. As shown above, the upper-case letters are the same height and width of their lower-case variations and can be exchanged without changing patch dimensions.

When sewing the a-spec-specific (aego, apothi, demi, jump and spike) or intersex patterns, you’ll also need to sew fractional stitches inside the letters to create diagonal lines (triangles, crosses and spikes) or curves (circular and ring shapes).

The easiest way is similar to the backstitch outline method, resulting in one colour having a noticeable border formed by a diagonal line of half stitches. I sew a traditional three-quarter stitch in one colour (one half stitch across the block, one quarter stitch finishing in the centre of the block) and a quarter stitch in the second. If you don’t mind only one colour having a clean diagonal edge, this technique avoids placing an additional half stitch.

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, showing examples of fractional cross stitches. One side shows a block of stitches, divided in half by a yellow line; the other shows two large examples of fractional stitches, one above and one below the yellow line. The stitch above the line shows a modified three-quarter stitch with a half and quarter stitch sewn in red and a quarter stitch in purple, the stitch block showing green and black stitches sewn in this style. The stitch below the line shows a traditional three-quarter stitch with both the half and quarter stitches sewn in red and purple, the stitch block showing coral and black stitches shown in this style.
Two examples of fractional stitches divided by a yellow line of backstitch. Top: a modified three-quarter stitch, showing a black diagonal line where a black triangle meets a green block of stitches. Bottom: a traditional three-quarter stitch, where both the black triangle and a coral block of stitches meet with two diagonal lines of colour side-by-side.

The slightly more difficult way is the traditional/standard three-quarter stitch method, with two three-quarter stitches meeting each other to form a single cross. The diagonal half stitch is placed in both colours, each colour paired with a quarter stitch. Traditional three-quarter stitches are harder to execute neatly with thick, fluffier floss, but they give both sections of colour a clean edge.

Apothiromantic Patch Example

The cross apothi pattern is the most difficult to sew, as two sections along the “R” feature divided crosses further divided by a backstitched outline. (I couldn’t preserve the shapes of the “R” and the cross any other way!) For this pattern, I recommend quality floss: thinner strands are easier to place as separate stitches. I use my eBay flosses for pattern tests, but the thicker strands left me struggling to keep my stitches neat.

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with parts of the letters "p", "r", "i" and "d" sewn in the first three stripes of the cross apothiromantic flag (dark green, white and black). Parts of an upward-reaching cross extend out from the "i" (the center of the to-be-sewn word "pride"). The photo shows a needle, threaded with green, coming up from a left-hand square in the aida and descending into the middle of a half stitch in black.

As with my other text patches, I first fill the letters, only excluding blocks on the pattern intersected by a diagonal outline. All other fractional stitches are sewn as described above. This means sewing the upper sections of the cross, as well as the lower part on the base of the “D”, while leaving blank most covering the base of the “R”.

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with the rough shapes of the letters forming the word "pride" in the colours of the cross apothiromantic flag (dark green, white, black, white, red). An angled cross sewn in black extends out from the centre "i", its diagonal edges sewn with black three-quarter stitches meeting green, red and white quarter stitches.
The word “pride” roughed out in cross stitch with empty blocks left at the top of the “P”, on the sides of the “D” and “E”, and on much of the “R”.

I then fill in the background, again leaving those blocks to be divided by the letter outlining:

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with the rough shapes of the letters forming the word "pride" in the colours of the cross apothiromantic flag (dark green, white, black, white, red). An angled cross sewn in black extends out from the centre "i", its diagonal edges sewn with black three-quarter stitches meeting green, red and white quarter stitches. The background is filled in with gold; empty blocks of aida sit around the top of the P, much of the R and the top and bottom of the D where fractional stitches will be placed.

Next I sew the backstitched outline around each letter, diagonally crossing the empty blocks:

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with the rough shapes of the letters forming the word "pride" in the colours of the cross apothiromantic flag (dark green, white, black, white, red). An angled cross sewn in black extends out from the centre "i", its diagonal edges sewn with black three-quarter stitches meeting green, red and white quarter stitches. The background is filled in with gold; empty blocks of aida sit around the top of the P, much of the R and the top and bottom of the D, cut across diagonally by a darker gold backstitch outline.
A darker gold outline is backstitched around the outside and inside of the letters, diagonal lines of backstitch crossing the blank blocks.

To complete the patch body, I fill the missing quarter stitches with the letters’ flag-stripe colours and the background colour, treating diagonal sections of outline as a single half stitch.

A white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with letters forming the word "pride" sewn in the colours of the cross apothiromantic flag (dark green, white, black, white, red). An angled cross sewn in black extends out from the centre "i", its diagonal edges sewn with black three-quarter stitches meeting green, red and white quarter stitches. The background is filled in with gold and the letters outlined with darker gold. To suggest curves, the outline diagonally crosses several squares with one side filled in with the background colour and the other filled with the flag colours.

As the black cross covers the red-and-white angled leg of the “R”, I’m stuck with two stitches divided by a gold outline half stitch and further quartered on one side by the black cross. (On the pattern, this is represented by blocks divided by a dark green line: half grey, a quarter black, a quarter white or red.) These divided quarter stitches can be sewn similarly to the fractional stitches shown above: as a quarter stitch in two colours or a quarter stitch with two colours and a divided half stitch.

A narrow white aida swatch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, showing four examples of fractional cross stitches. Example one: a modified three-quarter stitch with a quarter and half stitch sewn in green and a quarter stitch sewn in peach. Example two: a traditional three-quarter stitch with a half stitch and a quarter stitch sewn in both green and peach. Example three: a three quarter stitch with a half and quarter stitch sewn in green and a quarter stitch sewn in black and peach. Example four: a three quarter stitch sewn in green and a three quarter stitch split in half with one side sewn in peach and the other black.
Four types of fractional cross stitches. From left to right: three-quarter green stitch with coral quarter stitch; three-quarter green and coral stitches; three-quarter green and divided-quarter black and coral stitch; and three-quarter green and divided-quarter-and-half black and coral stitches.

This is fiddly work (and far from good design). I unpicked my stitches several times to prevent one colour from covering the other (and even then my finished result is … questionable). You may want to practice on aida scraps, sew this pattern on 11-count aida … or throw your hands up to the heavens and use my pattern for a freehand embroidery piece. Satin stitch is more forgiving in the quest to reproduce odd shapes and angles!

The final step is to trim, treat and edge your patch, as demonstrated here and here. I prefer a buttonhole stitch as it looks closer to a machine-sewn patch, but you can also edge your patches with an over stitch, an open blanket stitch, decorative backstitching or simply treating the edges of your aida to prevent fraying.

Four cross stitch patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. All feature the word "pride" sewn in the colours of the transgender (navy background with blue/white/pink border), rainbow (white background with white border), allo-aro (purple background with mottled pink/grey/mauve border) and nebularomantic (mint background with darker mint border) pride flags. Each letter is outlined in backstitch and every patch is finished with a buttonhole stitch edging.

Modifications: Reduced Background

It occurred to me that I could sew the text patches with the edging starting beside the text like my shaped allo-aro arrow patch. This means cutting out the two rows of stitches above and below, and the two columns of stitches to the left and right, of the text. By only sewing the background sections between the letters, I saved some effort while still ending with a fully-finished, buttonhole-stitched patch:

Cross stitch patch pattern with the text pride in upper-case block lettering, striped in the colours of the red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple gay/queer/LGBTQIA+ rainbow pride flag, with a white background. Pattern is set on a grey grid. Letters are outlined, indicating backstitch, in black.

This technique looks better when using the same colour for the background and edging. A thicker, bolder outline around the text also helps neaten the meeting sections of cross-stitched letters and buttonhole-stitched border. Instead of sewing the backstitch outline after the background, I now sew it after the edging, so the backstitching and filling in of fractional stitches become the final steps in finishing the patch. This keeps the outline from being caught underneath the buttonhole stitching (as demonstrated in my heart patch tutorial).

A finished patch, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket, with the block upper-case letters "pride" cross stitched in the colours of the red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple LGBTQIA+/queer/rainbow pride flag on a white background. The letters are outlined in thick black floss. The patch is edged with white buttonhole stitch.

You can work patches in the usual order–letters, background, outline, fractional stitches, border–and go over the outline a second time to cover any pulled-in sections, but this doesn’t save time from sewing the standard pattern.

Any text pattern can be similarly modified by removing the background stitches outside the rectangle formed by the uppermost, lowermost, leftmost and rightmost edges of the text.

That’s it for my second Pride Month patch tutorial! Unfortunately, there are flags this tutorial can’t encompass: flags with unique symbols or design elements, vertical stripes and eight, nine, eleven or thirteen horizontal stripes. Due to time constraints, I focused on more common stripe-counts and simpler designs.

If you’re unsure how your flag may look when using these patterns, or you just want some inspiration, you can check out my pride month block text image/sticker series on Aro Arrows. All images are based on my cross-stitch patterns!

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