Before you start your cross stitch project you will need to gather some supplies. These supplies are available at your local craft store or haberdashery and of course right here at Stitchonomy! So what do you need to get started on your cross stitch project?
Cross Stitch Fabric
Cross stitch fabric is available in different sizes and colours. The most used brands are DMC and Permin.
- DMC fabric is made in France by one of the oldest embroidery and cross stitch companies in the world.
- Permin offers even more unique and vibrant colors of embroidery fabric in all different counts and is made in Denmark.
There are different types of fabric: Aida, Evenweave and Linen are the most used.
Aida is a 100% cotton fabric with a precise square weave. This fabric is great for beginners because the holes are clearly visible and the needle goes through with ease. One block on the Aida fabric corresponds to one square on the pattern. Aida is a good choice for a framed project, pillows and towels. It is also available as ribbon in various sizes, which you can add to towels, bags and clothing!
Evenweave has been used in cross stitching and embroidery work for centuries. Stitches on Evenweave are worked over two threads in each direction, instead of one. The fabric is a good option if your project contains fractional stitches. It gives a nice antique or vintage look to your cross stitch projects. It is perfect for bed linen, table cloths or napkins.
Linen is a natural fibre made from flax. Unlike evenweave, linen threads are not all of the same thickness. Stitches are usually worked over two threads. Linen has a rustic look and gives your project a unique vintage or antique vibe.
The most well-known brand of embroidery floss is DMC. It is available in 454 colours.
DMC Floss is made from 100% colorfast and fade resistant Egyptian cotton. It is made up of 6 strands, so you can customize the thickness of the threads. Stitching on 14 ct is usually done with 2 threads. If you want the project to be larger, use 11 count fabric with 3 strands of floss. If you want the project to be smaller, use 16 or 18 count fabric and 1 strand of floss. Most patterns include a thread list with the colors you will need. Stitchonomy exclusively works with DMC thread lists.
Another often used brand is Anchor. If you would like to use Stitchonomy patterns with Anchor check out the conversion chart here. Note that the colors are very similar but can be slightly different.
There are several options to snazz up your projects:
- DMC has a collection of variegated floss and metallic threads.
- You can also visit Colour and Cotton or Tamar Threads for a variety of cool hand dyed embroidery threads.
I prefer to work with a size 24 needle. Make sure it is a blunt needle as you will be guiding the needle through your fabric with your fingers and you don't want to prick them!
Make sure your scissors are sharp so it doesn't fray your threads. Use special fabric scissors to cut your embroidery fabric and use small sharp embroidery scissors to cut your threads.
Cross stitch pattern
Stitchonomy has a great collection of cross stitch patterns for both beginners and more advanced stitchers. All Stitchonomy patterns come with a reference picture, a black and white chart and a DMC thread list.
Optional tools and supplies include:
Embroidery hoops also come in different sizes and can be made of different materials such as bamboo, wood or plastic. For stitching, a smaller hoop that can be moved around the project is preferred. You do not have to stitch with a hoop, some prefer to stitch without or use other options such as Q-Snaps or a needlework stand. Hoops are also great for framing your cross stitch project. For instructions please see [Lesson 6].
A needle minder is a cross stitcher's best friend. It keeps your needle (threaded or not) safe using a small magnet. The magnet is usually covered by a nice button, cabochon or wooden pendant. Stitchonomy offers a range of handmade and lasercut needle minders.