Starting a full coverage cross stitch project is not for the faint of heart. It is a big commitment of time and supplies. Have you ever worked on a full coverage cross stitch project? What I've realized is there are different things to consider than when you're starting a small cross stitch project.
- What are Some Cross Stitch Methods
- What You Have to Consider Working on a Large Full Coverage Cross Stitch Project
- Where will you put the finished full coverage cross stitch piece?
- What Fabric Should I Use for My Full Coverage?
- What Count of Fabric Should I Use?
- Do I Have to Buy All of My Floss Now?
- How Do I Stitch This?
- Where Do I Buy Full Coverage Patterns?
- Full Coverage Stitch With Me Videos
- Do you have any questions about full coverage cross stitch?
What are Some Cross Stitch Methods
Cross stitch is a way to make patterns with X-shaped stitches on fabric. There are many different methods to try in your stitching. A couple different ways to make your Xs include English and Danish. In English, you stitch each X separately. In Danish, you stitch in rows. You go down a row making one leg of the X and you come back making the second leg. There are also other things to consider like stitching in a hoop or frame or in hand. You can try different ways to start your stitches like a loop start or a pin stitch. You can also choose whether or not you will be railroading your stitches.
What You Have to Consider Working on a Large Full Coverage Cross Stitch Project
If you're starting a large full coverage project, I think it's helpful to think about some of these things before hand.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are considering starting a full coverage cross stitch piece.
- Where will you put the finished full coverage cross stitch piece?
- What fabric do you want to stitch on?
- What type of floss coverage do you like?
- Will you be happy working on a cross stitch project for the long term?
Where will you put the finished full coverage cross stitch piece?
Just an assumption here, but most often you will want to display the full coverage piece on your wall.
So consider, do you have a wall where the piece will be displayed? Is there a large enough space? Will it match the rest of your design?
What Fabric Should I Use for My Full Coverage?
One thing to consider, the finished cross stitch piece will be substantial. There will be a lot of threads both front and back. You will want to use a piece of fabric that feels like it is supporting the project in a way that feels good to you.
I like stitching full coverage pieces on Aida. Aida is a stiffer fabric than linen, and I like how that works with the full coverage pieces.
What Count of Fabric Should I Use?
This is where you need to consider where you want to put your finished project.
A popular full coverage cross stitch design is A Stitching Shelf by Aimee Stewart.
That design is 725 stitches wide by 518 stitches high.
Here is the size the finished design would turn out:
On 25 count fabric (if you're stitching over 1): 29 in x 20 ⅝ in
On 18 count fabric: 40 ¼ in x 28 ¾ in
On 14 count fabric: 51 ¾ in x 37 in.
If you were to stitch this specific design on 14-count fabric - do you have a place to display a 52 in x 37 in design? That is over 4 feet by 3 feet.
Also, if you want to frame it, do you know how much it will cost to frame a design this large?
Additionally, stitching on a 14 count (versus a 25 count) will require a larger piece of fabric and more floss.
Do I Have to Buy All of My Floss Now?
I always like the idea of buying all of my floss when I start a project. I like having at least one skein of each color at my fingertips and ready to go.
If my project has big sections of one color - I like to buy all of the necessary skeins of that one color. Or if my design has a large design element like a person wearing a dress or a large animal, I will try to buy all the floss for that section so I can get all the same dyelot.
But this is also a big investment.
For example, my most recent full coverage cross stitch project has 89 different colors. And when I add up all of the multiples I need, I need a total of at least 135 skeins.
I'm also stitching this on a larger piece of fabric than the pattern called for, so I will end up needing more floss than what the pattern suggests.
Doing the math, 135 skeins for $0.62 each skein (which is how much it currently costs to purchase DMC floss at a local craft store). The total for the floss is $83.70.
That isn't super expensive, but that is an investment and I haven't even purchased the fabric.
So one thing I do is that I go through the pattern and I find all of the colors in the section I am going to be starting with - and I buy those colors.
For example, my current design is 405 stitches by 709 stitches. I purchased all the different colors in the 100 stitches by 100 stitches section in the top left corner.
Another option is to look at the pattern where you would start (take a look at whichever corner or the center, if that's where you start) and find the first 50 colors that you would encounter when you stitch. And buy those 50 colors.
So the answer to the question is No, you do NOT have to buy all of the floss from the start.
However, I would suggest purchasing all the necessary skeins needed for a single color if it is in a big block.
For example, if your design has a woman with a big ballroom gown on, I would buy all of the skeins for that color to ensure I have all the same shade and dye lot. I haven't personally experienced it, but I have seen other people talk about how shades of colors have changed over time. To avoid that - and since we know this is going to be a long-term cross stitch project, I would buy all the skeins of each individual color.
How Do I Stitch This?
There are different ways to stitch full coverage pieces. Some of the different techniques include Cross Country, Extreme Cross Country, Parking, Diagonal, and a combination of them.
Here is an article I wrote comparing cross country to parking in cross stitch.
The good thing is you don't have to stick with just one technique. In fact, on my current project I started one way, and have since switched to a second method.
I started off doing Cross Country within a diagonal. Now, I am stitching to parking in a staggered 10x10 blocks.
Where Do I Buy Full Coverage Patterns?
There are some great online stores to purchase quality full coverage cross stitch patterns from. Here are some that I know about:
Full Coverage Stitch With Me Videos
I have some Full Coverage Stitch With Me Videos. You can watch as I stitch on my projects.
Do you have any questions about full coverage cross stitch?
If you have a question about full coverage cross stitch patterns that I haven't answered, please leave a comment or Contact Me. I'll be happy to answer and add it to this article!
How do you end your stitching at the final row? I've been doing a tail and stitching over it, but that won't work at the bottom of the piece.
Thank you for any help you can provide
So I picked a full coverage for the first time. It says it was stitched on 25 count, 1 thread over 1. But of course can be done 2 over 2 also. No back stitches of course.
i went 32 count 2 over 2 and still see a lot of the white fabric through stitches even with railroading. Will this coverage improve when washing at the end?
I've found that after washing my threads do fluff up a little bit so you might find the same thing to be true.
I might suggest doing a test on a spare piece of that 32-count fabric or in a corner.
Try stitching an area like a 10x10 block and then try washing it and see if you like the coverage.
Also, you might find that for certain colors you might want more coverage, so maybe you'll need to use 3 threads. I know sometimes people use more strands on dark color sections.