eZine Article #1: Choosing the Best Fabric/Color for Your Project

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Teri Diaz




Hand Painted Fabrics: Choosing The Best Fabric And Color For Your Project

By Teri Diaz

So you've decided to try a hand painted fabric for your next project. Great! Now comes the hard part, you think. How do you choose not only what color to use, but what type of fabric? It's not as hard as it seems.

There are many different types of cross stitch fabric. The fabrics that we'll discuss are Aida, Lugana, Belfast, and Cashel.

Aida is the most basic of cross stitch fabric. It is made of 100% cotton, and has visible holes. It is also quite thick and stiff. For beginners or those with vision problems, Aida may be the best fabric for you. Colors are richer and darker when hand painted on Aida. They also don't blend quite as well. Designs that incorporate stencils or other special effects will be more visible on Aida than on other fabrics.

Belfast and Cashel are similar in that they are both 100% linen. They vary in their count (holes) per inch: Belfast has 32, and Cashel has 28. They are more sheer than the other fabrics, yet are strong, and have not-so-visible holes. They are best for special projects and reproduction samplers, as they have a delicate look. Colors are much softer and muted when hand painted on linen, due to the fabric being porous. Stencils and other special effects may not be fully clear or visible.

Lugana is a cotton/rayon blend with a soft feel. it is thicker than the linen fabrics, and is a good choice if you're adding beads or embellishments. Colors are rich and vibrant when hand painted on Lugana. They also blend very well due to the thicker "hand" of the fabric, and stencils or special effects are visible and clear.

Now that you know about some of the more common types of cross stitch fabric, it's time to talk about choosing the best color or design to complement your project. Remember, your goal is to showcase your needlework, not to have it hidden or to take a back seat to the fabric, unless you want to, of course!

For multiple color samplers, simple and subtle is the way to go. A solid or multi-color muted design would work best. If it is a reproduction sampler, go with a parchment color for it to look the most authentic.

To make your fairy or angel designs look ethereal, go with either a nature scene, earthtone colors, or sky/night colors.

Either solid or blended sea colors would be great for your mermaid designs.

The sky is the limit for geometric designs! Play it safe and go with a solid color, or think outside the box and match your thread colors up to a bold multi-color design.

Also, think about the theme of your project. Is it seasonal? If so, try a fabric with autumn leaves, snowflakes, a grassy meadow, or surf and sand. Is it for a baby or child? A design with pastels or bold primary colors would be best.

Follow these guidelines and your project with hand painted fabric will be a success!

eZine Article #2: Making your XS Project a Work of Art

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Teri Diaz




Hand Painted Fabrics - 6 Ways To Make Your Cross Stitch Project A Work Of Art

By Teri Diaz

Committing to a cross stitch project is a daunting task. You see a picture of the completed design, and it’s up to you to take it from nothing to a glorious design that will grace your wall or a gift recipient’s for years to come.

You only use the best in cross stitching threads. Anything less wouldn’t be good enough. Yet time after time you use plain white fabric for the background. And yes, it usually does come out looking good when it’s all completed and framed and hanging on your wall. But- think how much better and how much more professional it could look with the perfect piece of hand painted fabric! Below, I’ve listed a few reasons why you should try hand painted fabric:

1. Hand painted fabric comes in a huge variety of colors and, yes, designs. There are a lot of oooh’s and aaaah’s to be had browsing for hand painted fabric. You can start off with a barely-there color, and work your way up to a beautiful tropical sunset!

2. Hand painted fabric can add depth to a design, actually appearing three-dimensional. Some examples: fabric painted like a cloudy sky, a sandy beach, the bottom of the ocean, or a grassy meadow.

3. Hand painted fabric can add to the theme of the design. Some examples: antiqued or distressed colors for antique samplers; sky or cloud colors for fairies; a grassy meadow for a floral design; an ocean scene for mermaids.

4. Hand painted fabric can save you time. Stitching a background that could be hand painted is time-consuming. Time is a precious commodity to us all, and adding hundreds or thousands of little half or whole cross stitches takes a LOT of time that could be better spent!

5. Hand painted fabrics take your design to a new level. Your finished result will look more polished & professional, especially when it is framed. Think of your design as a painting. How many paintings have you seen that have a plain, unadorned white background?

6. Using hand painted fabric shows others that you are imaginative and willing to take risks. It shows that you have creative style and an eye for color and design. The more you use hand painted fabric, the better your design choices will be. Soon you’ll find yourself choosing the design to go with the fabric, not the other way around!

So next time you’re gathering materials for a new project, put down that piece of white Aida or linen, and spend some time browsing hand painted fabrics instead. You won’t be disappointed, and your finished project will be a true work of art!

Posted in eZine, fabric, handpainted


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