Sewing Hints & Tips * More Hints & Tips * Mounting Cards


Aida is the most popular fabric. The weave of this cloth makes the intersections of the horizontal and vertical threads very easy to see and sew. Aida is available in a multitude of different 'counts' and colours. The 'count' is the number of threads/holes per inch - e.g. 11 count, 14 count, 16 count etc. and is often referred to as HPI. It is the count of the fabric that will determine the finished size of your design.

The picture in figure 1shows the same design worked on 4 different counts

figure 1 

Hardanger and Linen are more finely woven and generally are stitched over 2 threads (a stitch in alternate holes). If you are working on 22HPI evenweave, then it is the same as working on 11HPI material. Fractional stitches (quarter & three-quarter stitches) are easier to work on evenweaves like hardanger when you are working over 2 threads because there is a central hole available to make the stitch in (see below)


CROSS STITCH: bring the needle up at a, down at b, up at c, down at d and continue to the end of the row. Return back along the row, completing the 'crosses'. Make sure that all the stitches lie in the same direction.

Stitch Types - Cross

BACK STITCH: bring the needle up at a, then down at b, up at c then down at d then up at e and continue working either horizontally, vertically or diagonally between the holes. Gives definition to a design, and is usually worked after the cross-stitch is completed.

Stitch Types - Back

HALF CROSS: work the same as a cross-stitch but completing only half of the cross. A useful stitch for producing 'shaded' effects.

Stitch Types - Half

QUARTER CROSS: shown here in black (three-quarter stitch in red). Bring the needle up at a then down in the centre of the square at b. You will have to pierce the fabric if using Aida. Fractional stitches give a design more 'detail'.

Stitch Types - Quarter

THREE-QUARTER CROSS STITCH: work a half-stitch, bringing the needle up at a then down at b - then work a quarter stitch bringing the needle up at c then down in the centre of the square at d.

Stitch Types - Three-Quarter

STARTING TO SEW: bring the needle up in your starting position and leave approx 1" of thread at the back of the work. Hold this thread in place in the direction that you are going to sew, and over sew with the first few stitches. Snip off any remaining thread. To finish off, sew through several stitches on the back of the work - do not pull too taut, and then snip the thread quite close to the fabric. New threads can be started off in the same way, or again by sewing through several stitches on the back of the work.

Top Cross Stitch Banner Exchange

Top of Page