Organize your Cross Stitch Materials
Begin by measuring your fabric to the appropriate size. You
must first figure out the stitch count of your design
horizontally and vertically. Most patterns will supply this
information in the directions. For example, if your stitch
count on your pattern is 140 (vertical) X 112 (horizontal) you
would divide each of these number by the count of the fabric
you have chosen. Letís assume you have chosen a 14 count Aida
cloth (which means there are 14 stitches or squares per inch).
You would divide each stitch count by 14. Donít forget to add
another 4 to 6 inches to each measurement for framing.
140/14 = 10 inches + 6 inches (for framing) =16 inches
112/14 = 8 inches + 6 inches (for framing) =14 inches
(you would cut your material 16 inches vertically and 14
When using a linen or Jobelan or any fabric with an even
stitch count of 20 or above you will generally be stitching
over two threads. For example, if your linen has a count of
32, you will cut that in half for your calculations (32/2).
So, a 32 count fabric would become a 16 count fabric when
stitched over two threads. (32/2=16)
Cuts of fabric. There are different cuts of fabric. Among
these are fat quarters, fat halves, and full yards. If you
were to take a yard of fabric and lay it out flat and cut it
into 4 equal parts vertically and horizontally, one of the
four pieces would be considered a fat quarter. A fat half is
that same fabric cut horizontally right down the middle to
make two halves. Of course, a full yard is the whole piece of
fabric. Most patterns will fit onto a fat quarter of fabric.
Be sure to double check your math before cutting. Once youíve
cut it, itís too late. There is no taping it back together.
Next, use masking tape to tape the edges of your material to
prevent fraying. You can also serge the edges of your fabric
with a sewing machine. There are also products on the market
that can be applied to the edges of your fabric to stop
fraying like Fray Stop. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Then, organize all of your floss colors in one floss container
in numerical order for easy access. Keep any other material
you will need to complete your project in the container as
well, like beads and specialty threads, extra needles, etc. Be
sure to check how many skeins of each color you will need so
you donít run out. This information should be provided in the
directions or in the color chart. I like to keep my floss on
reusable plastic bobbins with a number tag. Some people like
to use small bags to hold their floss called Floss Away.