I learned to make plaid from Julia Key Snyder at a recent retreat. This piece is to be made into a pillow for my daughter - it was 24-count mesh and was plain white when I started. I traced the initials and an outside border then filled in with the plaid pattern. It is really awesome because you can decide which colors and how wide your strips will be, etc...the possibilities are endless! I'm looking for some awesome trims/ribbons so I can make the pillow for her as a Christmas gift. She will love it.
Because the mesh was so small, I used 5 different colors of impressions single ply to make the plaid. The navy initials were stitched with a padded gobelin over 2 and a single tent column in between using kreinik so it sparkles. The plaid pattern in this was 1-8-5-5-8 which means 1 red, 8 aqua, 5 coral, 5 olive, and 8 yellow. Repeat. It's time-consuming but cathartic...takes a really long time like stitching a huge area of basketweave. I really like the way it turned out.