Tips and tricks: stitching on extra large count Aida (6ct or XXL)
Stitching in the fast lane!
"XXL" or 6ct Aida is the largest Aida count available. All you need are 6 cross stitches to cover an inch of fabric. The holes in the fabric weave are extra large and guide the needle easily making for fast stitching. This fabric is also very relaxing for tired eyes!
It's amazing how much fabric you can cover in just an hour's time of stitching!
The ideal fabric for extra large projects
This amazing project is by Tam's Creations, making a cushion out of a giant biscornu!
The chart is only 150 stitches wide by 150 stitches high (hardly more that an average cross stitch project) yet look at the striking finished project!
Here's another fun idea, by Faby Reilly: She made a skirt for a Xmas tree out of 6ct Aida. You'll stitch the cross stitches in no time and can start embellishing it with beads and specialty stitches using metallic threads. Finally you assemble the 6 panels. Only the front panel needs to b in Aida. You could substitute the other panels with a pretty Xmas fabric.
Many other projects can be made using XXL Aida such as tote bags, baby mats, cushions and more.
Tips for stitching on 6ct Aida:
- use 6 strands of embroidery floss (no need to separate strands) - use a blunt tip needle size N. 22 - use a tapestry frame if the fabric become too cumbersome and heavy to manipulate. - make sure you have enough fabric for your project: for a chart measuring 120 x 120 you will need 20 x 20 inches of fabric + extra allowance for mounting. To estimate your fabric needs (in inches), remember to divide the number of stitches by 6.
Ideas for personalizing your stitched piece:
Add Openwork effects to your cross stitching: This fabric is ideal for cutwork. You can easily slip the tip of your scissors from one hole to the next and nip open the warp or weft threads. Pull out cut threads using your fingers or tweezers if needed and create an elegant line of openwork. Notice the difference in weave between 6 ct Aida and other counts. This fabric has 7 warp and 5 weft threads, while other Aida counts have only 4 crossing in each direction.
You can keep the line of openwork as it is or alternately you could thread it with a fine satin, organza or gimgham ribbon that color-coordinates well with the colors of your cross stitching.
Extra large Aida is also ideal for ribbon embroidery with even larger ribbons able to cross the fabric holes. This close-up shows a detail of Faby Reilly's Xmas tree skirt where she uses organza ribbons to embellish the sides and back of the skirt. (shown above)
Colors and sizes available
6ct Aida is usually available in white or ecru, and sold by the meter. Zweigart sells a whole range of colors including a beautiful Christmas red.