Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let's Face it... Size Matters!

We love encouraging our customers to ask us questions and one of the most frequent ones is "how to I make my stitching bigger/smaller?".... The answer, my friends is scale!

Cross-stitch is cool because it's stitched on a woven fabric - that's what makes it easy to work - there's no transferring the design and there's no fuss with guessing size... all it takes is a little math.  We design most of our patterns with 14 count in mind... that is, there are 14 stitches to an inch.  This is pretty much the standard size for cross-stitch and is the most common count of Aida cloth available.

That being said, there's something really cool about playing around with the scale of your projects!  You can buy Aida cloth in any number of counts - 18, 11, 8.5... and the number of stitches per inch affects the size of your finished project... Behold!

(That's a lot of Wonder Women!)
Let's start with the Wonder Woman on the white perforated plastic at the top centre of the photo - she's stitched at our normal 14 stitches to the inch with two strands of embroidery floss - making her 2.75" x 1.25" - a few Pixel People lined up side-by-side at that scale will fit nicely in a 4x6 or 5x7 picture frame which is why we usually design at that scale. 

The Wonder Woman in the embroidery hoop is stitched on 22 count with one strand of floss.  It's tiny, finicky work, but I adore the wee scale of the project - she measures a petite 1.5" tall and 0.75" wide - perfect for a small acrylic keychain or magnet (or just because she's so adorable that small!)

The blue t-shirt belongs to Chris - the characters on it are stitched at 8.5 count with three strands of floss.  When it comes to using waste canvas to stitch on t-shirts (and don't worry... there's a tutorial for that) we've been able to find both 14 count and 8.5.  I like the size of the 8.5 for t-shirts - you can't fit quite as many characters as you could at 14 count, but for one or two Pixel People (especially for smaller shirts for kids and babies) it's the perfect size!  Wonder Woman is a little larger at 3.25" x 1.5".  I like that you can see the details from a distance - just right for t-shirts!

Last but not least is our Amazonian sized Wonder Woman - she's stitched at 4.25 count and is a whopping 8" tall and 3.25" wide and will eventually be sewn into a doll.  I used the 8.5 count waste canvas and stitched 6 strands of floss over two stands of the grid - making one giant stitch instead of 4 smaller ones.  Stitching this was really just an experiment to see how it would turn out, and I must admit I'm quite pleased.   I could see a row of Pixel People at this scale decorating bigger projects like pillow cases or quilts!

So you see, it's really all a matter of scale!  If you want a larger sized design just stitch at a smaller count - and yes, it's really that easy!


  1. I made name signs for my grandchildren using the letters from the superhero sampler. I used 14 count for my grandson and 18 count for my granddaughter because she has a longer name. :) I've also been using 18 count for character bookmarks.

  2. very cool tutorial about scale, I love these designs and I'm looking forward to experimenting with scale!

  3. This is great :) Love the look of BIG Wonder Woman but I'm a sucker for teeny tiny things (why??) so she's very sweet on the 22 count. I haven't used waste canvas in years! This makes me want to break it out again.

    OH & while looking at Chris' it brought to mind the episode of Big Bang where they dressed as the Justice hard would it be to design an Aqua Man based on Raj's costume? Add glasses to Green Lantern & DONE! :)

  4. Did you ever do the tutorial for the t-shirts? I would be interested in learning how to do that! Thanks! Looking forward to starting my little Star Wars guys today after a quick trip to the craft store!!