"I love it, but it's too big for the frame I have in mind."
How many times have you said that when looking at the size given for a new counted cross stitch design?
The threads per inch of the cross stitch fabric you work on will determine the finished size of your project. Change the fabric count and the size of your picture also changes. Sounds simple, but how do you work it out?
The nifty fabric size calculator below will take the stress out of it for you.
If you are new to cross stitch you might like to check out my learn how to cross stitch page first.
Remember, that if you work on a different sized fabric, the amount of embroidery floss you will require may also change.
If you change from Aida 11 to Aida 18, the likelihood is that you would reduce the number of strands of floss you stitch with, perhaps from 3 to 2, or even down to a single strand.
However, if you stitch a pattern designed for 18 count on larger fabric counts you could end up needing more floss for stitching it.
As we can check blackwork and cross stitch patterns, we will take my art deco lady, Pearl, as our sample. The pattern size is 115 stitches wide and 296 stitches high.
I worked the original on 14 count Aida, and the finished stitched area measured 8.2 inches by 21.1 inches.
You might not want quite such a big picture, so you decide to use the calculator to see how big she would end up if you used 18 count Aida instead. You know that the more fabric threads per inch, the more stitches you can squeeze in, and therefore the overall size will be smaller.
But how much smaller?
Enter the stitch count into the first two boxes.
Next, we will enter the fabric count. I still work in feet and inches, but if you are younger, you might prefer the metric measurements.
We want to test it on 18 fabric threads to the inch, so let's put that information into the form.
Now click the calculate button!
The tool presents the design size in both inches and metric for you, as per the screenshot below.
If you decide this is too small, you could clear the form and try 16 count instead.
If you wish to use an evenweave fabric, you may need to do a minor calculation first.
Let’s say you want to use 28 count linen and want to work over 2 threads. Don't enter 28 as the fabric size, but divide the 28 by 2, as you will actually get 14 stitches to the inch.
If you are viewing this page on a mobile device you may need to turn your phone horizontally to see all of the calculator.
The measurements given tell you the size of the stitched area. You will want to make sure your fabric is bigger than this to allow for framing. I am perhaps overly generous, but I like to leave 3 inches of extra fabric on each side. Therefore, I would add 6 inches to each of the measurements given in the calculator.
I hope you have found this useful when deciding on the fabric to use for your next project. Talking of which, have you checked out my downloadable cross stitch patterns yet?