Choosing Fabric

Aida ClothAida cloth

When selecting the fabric on which to create your masterpiece, the sky’s the limit!  There are colors and sizes galore available.  When you look at a pattern, you will see a stitch count.  This number and a little bit of math will help you determine the size of the finished project. The “standard” size of Aida is 14 count. This means that there are 14 blocks per inch.  This is a great starter size.  If you take the stitch count and divide by 14, you will have the size of the finished design.  As the numbers of the count increase, the size of the blocks decrease.  For example, a 22-count may require a magnifying glass to see the 22 blocks per inch!


I love working on evenweave.  Instead of stitching on blocks in the fabric, you stitch over two threads.  I wouldn’t recommend using evenweave until you get the hang of working on Aida.  The fabric is identified as 28 or 36.  This is because you are working over threads.  So a 28-count is equivalent to a 14-count Aida and a 36-count is equivalent to an 18-count Aida.


I am not a fan of using linen; however, I have seen some fabulous designs stitched on it.  Linen follows the same identification system as the evenweave.  The difference is that the strands on the linen are not even throughout the fabric.  Therefore, one stitch may be smaller than another depending on how the width of the strands at any given point.

Have fun not only choosing the fabric, but also choosing the color.  Even if you opt to stitch from a kit, you can forego the enclosed fabric (often white 14-count Aida) and choose whatever seems like it will be fun to stitch.  Leave me a comment if you have any questions or stories to share!

What is the difference between counted cross stitch and needlepoint?

For those of you who watched “The Brady Bunch”, do you remember that Carol frequently carried a canvas around with needle and yarn attached?  She could start and stop her needlepoint at any time.  This is because the design was printed on the canvas.  All she needed to do was to stitch the color she saw.  Counted cross stitch requires a little more concentration.


cross stitch materials

Counted cross stitch is done on fabric in which there are squares.  There is no design printed on it.  You follow a pattern which is made up of symbols. Each symbol represents one stich of a designated color.  Each stitch is an X. The thread used is referred to as floss.  DMC floss comes in a 6 strand skein.  Typically, two strands are used for stitching.

Needlepoint is done on a stiffer canvas. The pattern is printed on the canvas.  Unlike the X stitched in a counted cross stitch design, needlepoint uses only 1/2 an X.  Stitches are made with yarn instead of floss.