Scarlet Quince News July 2006
Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince   Scarlet Quince News
July 2006
Dear stitching friends,
We just received an email from a member who (good news) just found a trove of finished but unframed cross stitch pieces her mother made, which are (bad news) badly stained with nicotine. Does anyone have experience removing nicotine stains from needlework? Please let us know, if you do. Even information about what not to bother with is helpful!
One of our new patterns this month is Silver, by Albert Moore. It was suggested by Ann in Belgium, and she has received a complimentary copy of the pattern for being the first to suggest that picture. Thanks, Ann!

Silver -
Albert Moore
We have made a few improvements to our pattern searching functionality. You can now search on pattern IDs as well as parts of the artist's name or painting title. Keywords also match a little more loosely -- for example, if you search for "iris", you will find all patterns that contain either "iris" or "irises" in the title. We trust this will be helpful. We do plan to expand search to cover all text on our site, sometime in the next few months, and this will allow you to search for information in the tips or top questions.
Stitch Count vs Fabric Thread Count

We seem to have created some confusion by talking about fabric stitch count and saying that we recommend at least 16- or 18-count fabric. There are really two different things. Fabric has a thread count -- that's just the number of threads per inch. For aida, it's usually 10 to 18. For linen, it's commonly 32, although there are other linen thread counts. Your stitch count, which is the number of stitches you make per inch, depends on how many threads you cross with each stitch. If you stitch over one (usual on aida), the stitch count and the fabric's thread count are the same. If you stitch over two (usual on linen), your stitch count is half of the fabric's thread count.

The point of our recommendation about stitch count is really to have your stitches cover the fabric. If you use two strands of floss, and stitch over one on 16- or 18-count aida, you will get good coverage. Similarly, if you stitch over two on 32- to 36-count linen.

However, there are some tricks you can use to make larger or smaller stitches and still get good coverage! Suppose you have a piece of 28-count fabric. You can't stitch over one with two strands of floss - the fabric is too fine to pack that much floss between threads. Instead, stitch blends one color at a time. Make all the /// stitches using one strand of the first color, then come back and make the \\\ stitches with one strand of the second color. (It sounds like more work but except for threading two needles, it really isn't!)

On the other hand, suppose you want to use 10-count aida. If you use 2 stands of floss, there will be a lot of gaps where the fabric shows. But with 4 strands of floss (2 of each color for blends), it's difficult to keep the threads untwisted. You can use the same one-color-at-a-time technique, but with 3 strands of each color. (Please note that our larger patterns will not fit on a single piece of 10-count fabric -- a secondary reason we recommend the higher stitch counts.)

When stitching with one color at a time, you may find it helpful to mark your progress on the chart with two colors of highlighters, one for half-done stitches and a second for completed stitches.
New patterns! Click any picture for a closer look.

Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California - Albert Bierstadt

Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth - Martin Johnson Heade

Flaming June - Lord Frederic Leighton

Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California
Albert Bierstadt
Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth - Martin Johnson Heade Flaming June
Lord Frederic Leighton
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