Stitch Basics

Where to start

If you need to check the thread count of a particular fabric, lay a ruler on top and, counting along the ruler using a needle, count the number of threads or blocks to 2.5cm (1 inch). Fold the fabric in four, press lightly and work a line of tacking stitches along the folds to mark the centre (remove these when the stitching is finished). Work a narrow hem around the fabric or overlock on the sewing machine to prevent fraying.

Check you have all the thread colours you need. Mount all the threads on a piece of card alongside their shade numbers. Thread your needle with the required number of strands and you are ready to go!

Working a Cross Stitch

A cross stitch has two parts and can be worked in one of two ways – a complete stitch can be worked, or a number of half stitches may be stitched in one line and then completed on the return journey. Your cross stitch may face either direction but the one essential rule is that all the top stitches should face the same direction to produce the neatest result.

Stitching on Aida

All the fabrics in the Aida family are woven with the threads grouped into bundles to form a square pattern on the fabric, which in turn creates obvious holes.

Find out more about Stitching on Aida

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