Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Floss Coverage Examples

We usually recommend stitching our patterns on 16- or 18-count fabric with 2 strands of floss, but there are many other choices which can work. If you have trouble seeing small stitches, you might prefer 14-count or 11-count. Low thread count fabric will also make a small pattern come out larger. Conversely, high thread count fabric makes patterns come out smaller. Depending on the thread count fabric you choose, you may need to make some adjustments to the number of strands of floss you use to get good fabric coverage and good blending for the blended symbols.

Here are some examples of cross stitching with solid colors and blends on different types of fabrics, in various thread counts and with various numbers of strands of floss. The stitching was done with reasonable care to get the strands lying parallel and not twisted. Better results could be obtained by being very, very careful but these pictures show the results that an average stitcher can probably get. We’ve included pictures both of good fabric coverage and poor, and good blending and poor. These pictures illustrate the results you can expect for various fabric and floss choices.

The pictures below are approximately life-size (on a 96-dpi display). Click any picture for a larger view with more detail. Unless otherwise noted, all fabric used for the examples is white. Each patch is 2 rows of 6 solid magenta stitches, then 2 rows of a magenta-brown blend, then 2 rows of solid brown stitches.
Example of 11-count aida stitched with 2 strands
11-count aida stitched over 1 using 2 strands of floss
(11 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is only fair and the x’s are obvious. This will not create the effect of a painting but it is fine for samplers or anywhere a traditional cross stitch look is desired. The white fabric showing through makes all the colors paler than they should be when viewed from a distance.
Example of 11-count aida stitched with 4 strands
11-count aida stitched over 1 using 4 strands of floss
(11 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is very good and the blending works well, though it is trickier to keep 4 strands untwisted than 2. (You could use 3 strands on 11-count if there are no blended colors. Blends require equal numbers of strands of each color.)
Example of 14-count aida stitched with 2 strands
14-count aida stitched over 1 using 2 strands of floss
(14 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is pretty good. The fabric does show through around each stitch but it’s minimal and the blending effect is very good. 14-count is a reasonable choice for Scarlet Quince patterns if your eyesight doesn’t permit working at higher thread counts.
Example of 14/28-count penelope stitched with 6 strands as needlepoint
14/28-count penelope canvas stitched over 2 (gros point) using 6 strands of floss
(14 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is excellent. The blending effect is very good. It’s very tricky managing a 6-strand blend, but this may get easier with practice. If you prefer to needlepoint to cross stitch, this is a good choice.
Example of 32-count linen stitched with 2 strands
32-count linen stitched over 2 using 2 strands of floss
(16 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is very good. The blending effect is excellent. (The fabric color is medium brown.)
Example of 18-count aida stitched with 2 strands
18-count aida stitched over 1 using 2 strands of floss
(18 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is very good to excellent. The blending effect is excellent.
Example of 22-count hardanger cloth or aida  stitched with 2 strands
22-count hardanger cloth stitched over 1 using 2 strands of floss
(22 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is excellent. The blending effect is excellent. (This type of cloth is sometimes labelled as aida.)
Example of 25-count evenweave stitched with 2 strands
25-count evenweave stitched over 1 using 2 strands of floss
(25 stitches per inch). Fabric coverage is excellent — the stitches are densely packed in fact. The blending effect is excellent. (The fabric color is ecru.)
Example of 25-count evenweave stitched with 1 strand
25-count evenweave stitched over 1 using 1 strand of floss
(25 stitches per inch). To make blends using 1 strand, stitch one leg of the cross with one color, then stitch the other leg with the other color. Fabric coverage is good. The blending effect fails. The sample on the left had the brown in the blend stitched second and it is really all that shows. Using the lighter color on top (the sample on the right) works a little better but the blend is still skewed to the top color. (The fabric color is ecru.)
Example of 28-count Monaco stitched with 1 strand
28-count Monaco stitched over 1 using 1 strand of floss
(28 stitches per inch). Again, to make blends using 1 strand, stitch one leg of the cross with one color, then stitch the other leg with the other color. Fabric coverage is excellent. The blending effect is pretty good but it’s probably best to use the lighter color on top. (It’s strange that the blending works better than on the 25-count fabric but apparently the improved coverage helps.)
Example of 32-count linen stitched with 1 strand
32-count linen stitched over 1 using 1 strand of floss
(32 stitches per inch). Again, to make blends using 1 strand, stitch one leg of the cross with one color, then stitch the other leg with the other color. Fabric coverage is excellent. The blending effect fails completely. (The fabric color is medium brown.)

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