What can I use to grid my fabric?

For those of you that know me, you know that I love to do full coverage designs. When I stitch I like to jump around and put in large blocks of color to feel like I have made some progress. I am not the typewriter kind of stitcher that stitches each color as she comes to it in a row. I like to grid because I use it as a double check for making sure that my stitches are in the correct place. Another bonus is that it allows you to make sure that you have ample fabric for your project. Nothing is worse than getting to the end of your project and realizing that you do not have enough fabric to finish it.

Quality to look for in a Grid Material

  • Able to see it on chosen fabric of choice.
  • Does not leave large holes in fabric when you remove it.
  • Does not disturb other stitches around it when you remove it.
  • Does not leave any traces when it is removed.


    Here are some gridding options if you would like to try them on your next project.

    Magic Guide

    If you have never heard of Magic Guide fabric that is probably because it is a product mainly sold in Europe. It is a DMC fabric that has been marked with a grid on it. The grid lines will disappear once you wash your piece in 40° Celsius or 104° Fahrenheit. The fabric comes in 14 count Aida, 18 count Aida and 25 count Evenweave. All counts are available in white and ecru. For the Aida fabric grid lines are marked in 10 x 10 squares, and for the 25 count Evenweave lines are marked every 20 x 20 squares.

    Comments: For someone who feels that every full coverage design should be gridded this fabric is a great time saver. I would still feel compelled to make the center lines of the chart and the page breaks however there are fewer of those lines in comparison to the 10 x 10 grid lines. The is one drawback on 25 count, if you are stitching over one you may need to grid to split your 20 x 20 squares in half to match the 10 x 10 squares on your pattern.

    Easy-Count Guideline by R&S Designs

    This is an opaque red nylon line that can be used instead of thread to grid you fabric. It reminds me of fishing line the big difference being that it is opaque. It is that quality that allows you to see it on your fabric.

    Comments: You might ask why not use colored fishing line since you can get larger quantities of it for cheaper and it has most of the same characteristics you are looking for in a gridding material. Well, because most fishing line is transparent it is difficult to see on the fabric once you have started adding thread. Easy-Count Guideline only comes in one color and does not show up real well on dark backgrounds. I would also suggest using this product on smaller counts of fabric because when you remove the grid lines the holes left behind can be large on 25 count and higher count fabrics especially if they are tightly woven.

    Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread

    This thread has a polyester core wrapped with metallic foil and comes in a wide range of colors. One of the nice properties of this thread is that it is slick and makes it extremely hard to pierce when you are stitching so you can leave it in until you are finished with the project.

    Comments: This product can be difficult at first to use because it kinks and twists easily. You do not want to use marathon lengths when using this thread to grid. Be careful in your choice of colors. Some colors have been known to rub off on the fabric and leave staining, most notably red and blue. Choosing lighter colors that still contrast with the fabric will reduce risk of noticeable transfer.

    Sewing Thread

    What can one say about sewing thread? It comes in lots of colors. It comes in different materials. It comes in different thicknesses. The quality of the thread can vary greatly. Most of us have lots of it on hand.

    Comments: This is my favorite gridding material. I like to choose a thicker thread so that it shows up better on my fabric. Some threads can be too thin. It comes in a variety of colors and I like to use a different color to mark my center lines, page breaks and 10 x 10 grids. I do have to cut the gridding out as I go because it can easily be pierced and sewn through.

    Water Soluble Marker

    Used for marking fabric it usually comes in blue. You use it to make grid lines on you fabric, stitch your project and then you wash your project with water. The lines come out because the ink dissolves in water.

    Comment: I have never used this method of gridding before but other users have commented that several years later the areas that were not stitched over showed yellowish to brownish lines. So I would only use in areas that will be covered up 100%. If you extend your grid into the borders of your stitching I would make sure that it is covered by a mat up to the stitch line when framing.

    Water Soluble Pencil

    Used for marking fabric. Each mechanical pencil will come with three lead colors, pink, white, and depending on the brand you buy a black or green. You use it to make grid lines on you fabric, stitch your project and then you wash your project with water. The lines come out because the pencil dissolves in water.

    Comment: I have never used this method of gridding before so I would test in an inconspicuous location of your fabric to see if the pencil lines do come out of your fabric. It has been noted that this method of gridding works better on certain fabrics.

    Heat Removable Marking Pen

    Used for marking fabric it comes in eight different colors. You use it to make grid lines on you fabric, stitch your project and then apply heat to the project to remove the lines.

    Comment: I have never used this method of gridding before so I would test in an inconspicuous location of your fabric to see if the pen lines do come out of your fabric. Caution lines can return if you place your project in the freezer. I would consider another option if I lived in a colder climate

by Jessica Jones

Region Representative Report

South Central Region is still collecting handmade bookmarks for area literacy programs. The bookmarks will be collected at the registration desk at Seminar June 15-19, and the recipient organization, chosen by the Greater Dallas Chapter Seminar Committee, will be announced at the closing banquet. Unstitched bookmarks are easy to keep in purses for having to wait times. Bring finished ones to the May luncheon or one of the May stitch ins.

If you have not registered for Seminar June 15-19, 2016, some classes are still available. Go to egascr.org and find out more info.

I have the tickets for Seminar 2017 in Sugarland, TX. Anyone who buys one could win an all-expense paid trip to Gone Stitchin’ June 7-10, 2017. The drawing will be held in Dallas June 18 at the banquet.

Joan Vanderbrink

Region Rep.

Short Threads from the Needle’s Eye…

March has finally arrived and with its arrival starts my countdown to a much needed vacation. With that in mind I always look to what projects I want to pack. I have a few projects kitted up that I want to start. They are smaller in size so they may be just what I need when suitcase space is at a premium. I also like to take just the fabric of my projects that I need to grid because I do not need a pattern for that. I either pre-cut my sewing thread into the desired length stored in folded paper sleeves to keep the threads from tangling or start the grid lines on the fabric and finish while traveling.

The South Central Region still has open registration for the group correspondence offerings for 2015.

List of GCC’s being offered for 2016 are:

  • Keeping in Shape ($25.00) – Beading
  • Meadow Medley ($35.00) (Surface)
  • Isabella ($42.00) (Whitework/Drawn Thread)
  • Bargello Challenge ($35.00) (Canvas, Encore)
  • Star Spangled Puzzle Ball ($40.00) (Counted, 3-D,Encore) *there is a companion piece coming*

    Group Correspondence courses are a great opportunity to learn more about the different categories of stitching. If you are interested, please sign up by the deadline March 31, 2016. If you complete your GCC piece and receive a certificate you can submitted a request to get $25 from the region.

    If you are attending the SCR’s 2016 Seminar “Boots & Bluebonnets”, all class confirmations and invoices have been sent out. If you have registered to attend the 2016 Seminar, but have NOT received your invoice, please, contact Sharon Davis at the following scr2016registrar@gmail.com as soon as possible. If you have not registered, please note that registration is still open.

    For a complete list of open classes, check out the website at www.scr2016seminar.org. Don’t wait – some classes only have limited availability.

    If you are interested in selling your stash at the 2016 Seminar tables will be $40.

    The May luncheon is coming up soon. So if you are interested in attending, please send in your registration for it.

    We had 12 participants for our first SAL and we even had a few finishes. Just a reminder, if you were not able to participate in the first SAL there will be another one starting on April 1 running through to May 31.

    Here is a recap of the categories for the April Showers Bring May Flowers SAL.

    • Any project with water on it.
    • Any project that has flowers on it.
    • Any project with the color Yellow.
    • Any project that uses silks.
    • Any project from a previous Stitch-A-Long

      Bring you projects to the March meeting to sign up or mail me your starting pictures by March 31. Don’t forget to include your name, SAL category, and a starting picture of your piece. Remember the goal of these SALs is to encourage progress on your projects, so why not join in and let us all cheer you on to a finish.

      As always happy stitching,

    Jessica Jones