Does Size Matter?

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Got your attention, didn’t I?

Did you know that you can take any chart and create a finished piece of needlework just about any size you want? Regardless of the fabric choice in the photo that caught your eye, you can use a different evenweave fabric and get a very different result.

Here’s a very brief illustration using one of my favorite designs, “Weathervane Horse,” which I designed in 1982 using an antique weathervane and a classic overshot weaving pattern as inspiration.

The exact same chart stitched on three different fabric counts.

The exact same chart stitched on three different fabric counts.

The chart lists the stitch count as 184 stitches across and 97 stitches down. The framed piece is stitched ‘over two’ on 18-count Floba (a Zweigart fabric) which yields 9 stitches per inch. So, to estimate the finished stitched area, do the math:
184 divided by 9 = 20.5″
97 divided by 9 = 10.75″

The pillow is stitched ‘over one’ on 14-count Aida:
184 divided by 14 = 13.25″
97 divided by 14 = 7″

And the box features an insert stitched ‘over one’ on 22-count Hardanger
184 divided by 22 = 8.5″
97 divided by 22 = 4.5″

As a designer and stitcher, I wanted to create a focal point for my home with a piece of stitchery so I chose the 18-count Floba and stitched with three strands of floss ‘over two’ to get this effect. The overall framed dimensions are about 30″ x 21″ so I got the statement piece I wanted.

The box was made as a gift. By stitching the exact same chart on a finer count fabric, I brought the scale down and it fit perfectly. Years later, I stitched the same chart yet again, this time on Aida and made the pillow for my mother.

Don’t let the simplicity of this project lead you to think that’s what makes the difference. It doesn’t. You can do the same thing with the most intricate of designs. Just add a calculator to your sewing supplies or make sure your phone has a calculator app. You have freedom of choice!

Does size matter? Sure. Choose the fabric to fit the size that fits what you have in mind and get exactly what you want.

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