Color Your World. . .With Aida

Confessions of a Cross Stitcher

So all my splendid cross stitchers now that spring is here it is time to enjoy the beautiful colors of renewal and try some new ones in your cross stitch. I love this time of year (except the spring cleaning part, who invented that anyway?) and I have been experimenting away in the studio to bring you new and different ideas for your stitching. Ready to get started? Let’s do it!

One of the very lovely things about counted cross stitch is every square inch of the cloth does not have to be covered. As a matter of fact, that is one of the reasons I favored it because white space is totally acceptable in a design. What if you want to color that white space of sky with a beautiful blue but want to do something other than stitch the whole thing? Paint It!

I have discussed several different kinds of media that work on white 14 count Aida. Gelatos and Derwent Inktense Color Pencils are great options and are fabric friendly, yet can be applied to other craft surfaces and that adds a great economy factor. That is not the end of the story! There are a few more products that work and look great on fabric and are happy to be all-purpose too.

Remember, adding paint to cross stitch creations is fun and a great way to add interest. It is also a way to totally customize your work.

Inka Gold by Viva Decor

Be still my heart because I love this media. Inka Gold is more of a whipped paste which makes it very easy to control and apply and I think it is the beeswax that makes it so creamy. It comes in more than 20 beautiful colors and can be applied thickly or thinly depending on your preference. Of course it has to be fabric friendly, so you absolutely have to have ALL the sizing washed out of your fabric before you use it because if you don’t, the paint will just peel off. It has a beautiful sheen to it and a very soft hand. Something to be aware, do not stick your fingers directly into the paint in the jar. Evidently this makes it possible for mold to grow in the container and who wants to deal with that mess! Use a clean instrument of your choice to get the contents out of the jar and onto a surface to work from. Then you can certainly stick your fingers into it if you wish to apply it that way (I found that was great fun!). Do not return it to the jar if it is touched. Give it a gentle little buff with a soft cloth to remove the excess and make it pop. Apply this to just about any other surface too.

Pearl Pen by Viva Decor

These Pear Pens are AWESOME! If you want to add a pearl-like accent to your work, here is your product. There is a good amount in the tube and it is super easy to apply. They are self leveling so no unwanted curlicues on the top. Since they come in a nice variety of colors and finishes, use for the center of flowers, flower petals, pearl jewelry on figures, or just gorgeous accents. You are only limited by your imagination. Here is another super cool thing about this medium, it comes in clear transparent! That means you can make dew drops on stitched flowers or add water droplets. Once again, they are multi-purpose.

Inka Gold and Viva Pearl Pen on Aida
Examples of the awesome Viva Décor Inka Gold and Viva Pearl Pens.
Samples of the right and wrong way to apply Inka Gold and Pearl Pen
At the top is Inka Gold on Aida cloth that is pre-washed and sizing completely removed. DMC floss was used to stitch the purple square on the left. The bottom shows Inka Gold and Pearl Pen fails on unwashed and sized Aida. The Inka Gold peels and falls off as did the Pearl Pen pearls. You can see how beautifully the Transparent Pearl Pen looks on paint and floss. Yes, that is gold leaf on the bottom scrap and I can’t wait to tell you all about it in the future!

Attention Glitterbugs

If you love a little or a lot of sparkle, I want to be part of your club because I think it is an important part of self-expression. Eyes are naturally drawn to sparkly and twinkling things and there is no reason to not use it. Glitterbugs be proud and loud! Up to now I could not find an Aida friendly glitter paint that was easy to use, had good light to heavy coverage, a soft hand, and just plain looked good. I recently ran across something that filled the bill at long last, it’s iZink by Aladine. First of all it comes in these amazing squeeze pouches which make it so easy to dispense. The actual product can be seen through the diamond motif with its see-through facets on the front of the package. I applied it on top of a pink Martha Stewart Multi-Purpose Acrylic Paint to give it more Umph and it worked beautifully. One of my pouches is used up and already reordered because they are that much fun!

Aladine IZink Paint on Aida
The different ways to apply this beautiful paint to thoroughly prewashed fabric. Top Left: Light Application; Top Right: Heavy Application; Lower Left: Light Application on Top of Pink Paint; Lower Right: Heavy Application on Top of Pink Paint.

Whether you use a brush or a sponge to apply this product, it will have to become your dedicated sparkle applicator unless you want to risk getting sparkles in other paint. The pixie dust is beautiful but stubborn to remove every last bit and just having a dedicated tool or two will save you a lot of headaches later. It does clean up with soap and water and do not let it dry on your tools because it will turn into cement.

Martha Stewart Watercolor Gel All Purpose Paint

I cannot believe I stumbled on this accidentally not knowing it existed at all! Beautiful, high quality, fabric loving watercolor paint? YES! It comes in a huge variety of beautiful colors and is a cinch to use and clean up. If you can get your hands on these snatch them up fast because they are harder to find than hen’s teeth but so worth the trouble!

Martha Stewart All Purpose Watercolor Gel Paint
The application on pre-washed Aida goes light to heavy from left to right. Even the heavy application left the stitching holes open. Beautiful “Pool” blue!

Cautionary Note on Paint

If you are new to using paint products, let me warn you that paint freezes and when it does, I found, the integrity of it is damaged and it ends up being something that is not paint anymore, it is sludge. In the colder months of the year be extra vigilant not to leave paints in outdoor freezing temperatures and use the fastest delivery method you can afford. The less exposure the better!


DMC added additional colors (12 in all) to their Perle Cotton lines of the size 5 and 8. I love using the #8 because it is perfect for 14 count Aida. Let’s talk about more about their use in future posts!

Wichelt Fabric

Recently, Wichelt added 4 new beautiful colors to their line of fabrics: Mediterranean Sea, Venetian Stone, Tuscan Sun and French Country. They all come in various fabrics and counts, including 14 count Aida!

So that wraps things up for this month. In May I will take a look at fun ways to modernize “The Sampler” and the joys and ease of adding glass beads to your stitching. Warning: they are addictive! LOL!

Stay tuned and Keep Creating!

Cherry Parker Cross Stitch
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