If you ask this question each time you start a new chart, I hope this helps answer your questions.

There are several different types of fabrics and a myriad of designs and designers in cross stitch, but they all have something in common; they use a chart and count the squares on that chart to decide the size and ultimately the finished size of that piece.

Each square on the chart equal one cross stitch on the fabric.

If you use Aida fabric, which is woven into little squares, for your stitching, each square equal one stitch.

If you use linen or evenweave, you will most likely (*but not always, some designs are stitched over one thread of fabric) be stitching over two threads of fabric.

For example: 28 ct. (count) linen, means there are 28 threads to one (1) inch of fabric. Since you are stitching over two threads, there will be 14 stitches per inch. So to determine the number of stitches per inch of fabric you divide two (2) into the thread count.

28 (the thread count of the fabric) divided by 2 (stitching over two threads) equals 14 stitches per inch.

To determine the size fabric you will need, you will need to know the size of the charted design, width and length. Then divide the stitch count into the size of the chart. For example: say the chart size is 140 X 168 stitches.

140 (stitches) divided by 14 (stitches per inch) equals 10

168 (stitches) divided by 14 (stitches per inch) equals 12

Which means the stitched design size would be 10 wide and 12 long.

Now you will need to add on extra fabric to all four sides of the fabric for centering mistakes and framing or finishing. If you are finishing a piece with a sewing machine, such as a bellpull, you do not need as much extra fabric; about two (2) inches on all four sides will be fine. However, if you are framing the piece you should add at least 3 to all four sides.

Here are suggestions as to the amount of extra fabric to add:

*Finished with sewing machine------------add 2 all four sides

*No mat and up to a 1 mat----------------add 3 all four sides

*2 mat-------------------------------------add 4 all four sides

*3 mat-------------------------------------add 5 all four sides

*4 mat-------------------------------------add 6 all four sides

*If the design is stitched over one thread of linen, you will use the linen's real count to determine the size of the fabric. In our example above the size of the stitched piece would be: 5 X 6, plus the extra fabric needed on all four sides for finishing.

Copyright Karen Kluba 2010 All rights reserved