stitching on linen

I just purchased a pattern that is calling for stitch on 32 count (I don't know what that means) Misty blue linen.

I could not find this, so I purchased a linen premium fabric, antique white 27x36 32 count linen. (2 over 2). (I don't know what that means either.)

The design area is 16 by 16 and a quarter. Stitch count 255X 259. I am totally lost.

I have made a couple of baby quilts before. And it was a kit. That had the stencil on the blanket. now I am over my head and would like to know if I can make this on another kind of fabric, that is easier to work with. I would really like to make this because it's very special for my daughter-in-law. So please help me. I am super LOST and don't know where or how to start. Thank you for your time.

Carol answers

The count of a fabric means how many threads to the inch it has. 32 count is really quite a high count, probably not the best option for a beginner. Worked over two threads, it brings the count down to 16 (32 divided by 2), which is more manageable.

If the design uses only whole cross stitch and backstitch, then you may be able to work it on a 16-count Aida instead. But if there are lots of fractional stitches or any areas where you are required to work over one fabric thread (which would give faces more detail, for example) then it is best to stick with the fabric suggested by the designer.

You can still make it easier on your eyes by working on, for example, a 28-count fabric. However, this will make the finished design size bigger, which in turn means you will need a larger piece of fabric to start with.

If you have never stitched on evenweave before, then you might find my page on counted cross stitch on linen useful.

To help work out the size of the finished project, check out the cross stitch calculator page.

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