A Cross-Stitch Conundrum

One of my longer term projects at the moment is a stitch sampler, I started it about 15 months ago with the idea of learning lots of new stitches and having a record of them to remind me. I’ve made it a bit more of a journal by adding special days or place-names of where I’ve stitched pages, I’ve also used a different DMC variegated thread for each one and a selection of permin evenweave linens, which is where I think my problem has arisen…

I’m pretty sure they are all Permin as the first two I stitched look like the same colour I stitched the Lizzie Stitching Wallet in, which was called French Lace and the rest are definitely left from my Tall Square Etui box.. Each double page page is 90 stitches by 130 stitches, edged with back-stitch ready for me to whip-stitch them together.

Over the last month I’ve started stitching them together, my original idea was to add tiny beads as I go, luckily I abandoned this idea in favour of finishing the book! Fortunately I also started in the middle, the pages are in chronological order so I double checked the order of pages. I added some interfacing to the pages just to give them a bit of body and then whip-stitched along, the 5 and 10 stitch markers I added came in very useful in keeping the pages aligned. I stopped a few stitches from the centre to give a little movement, though I might stitch these a bit close later.DSC_0013

My problem came when I tried to stitch the first two pages on, which were stitched I think on the French Lace Permin. They were too big!!! My first thought was that I’d mis-counted. I double checked and they were definitely 90 by 130 stitches. I wondered if I had bought 28 count in error instead of 32 count, no it was 32 count. When I looked more closely (two double page spreads are the same fabric) the pages were the correct size across, it was only the vertical side that was too big. It’s quite a difference too, about 5-6mm.DSC_0016 (2)

The only logical reason I could think of is that the weft and the warp are slightly different counts. I’ve just measured a 32 thread square and over an inch there does appear to be one thread difference, which clearly adds up over 90 threads!

The concern I have now is whether this was just a dodgy length, or is this standard, after all, if I was just stitching one big picture I wouldn’t know any different. If it is standard then I need to check with any similar project that I’m always stitching in the same direction!

I’ve just checked the Tall Year Square Etui sides and they fit together!! Phew!

If anyone has any ideas or experience of this, I’d be interested. In the meantime I’ve stitched another back-stitch line (seen on photo above) and reduced the size of the top or bottom margins. I’ve one more page to finish, then just a front an back page and it’s finished, hopefully it will be happy dance time in the next month or so!DSC_0011

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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14 Responses to A Cross-Stitch Conundrum

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    This is a fabulous book but how annoying about the fabric.


  2. This book is amazing. Great idea


  3. JJ Crafts says:

    Ahhh. I don’t have any advice. I’m sorry you encountered a problem but the rest of the book looks amazing!


  4. wybrow1966 says:

    Don’t know what could have happened, but your book looks amazing.


  5. Laura says:

    I don’t have any suggestions either, but I also love this project!


  6. tonymarkp says:

    I think your theory about the warp and weft is the answer to your conundrum. Just think about this: I can use a 26-count evenweave fabric to create something to be framed and plan it out as if I were doing it on 28-count. Your little hiccup arose with having the pages face each other, so there is a contrast there you can’t avoid noticing, even if it’s a few mm. I hope the little difference in vertical size doesn’t drive you crazy. I actually think it makes it more “notebookish” or “scrappish” you know, a little imperfect because it’s a journal. Also, I just love this idea of keeping a sampler book like this. I want to try this for all the crafts I know. It’s something a lot of stitchers have done in the past and it’s just super cool.


  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Another fab project. It is so annoying when things don’t align. I am sure there is someone out there that can answer your question. I will be anxious to see what the cover of your book will look like.


  8. kathyreeves says:

    Talk about heart failure at first! I’m glad you were able to work a fix for your stitch journal.


  9. claire93 says:

    that’s an interesting point you raised there. I hope the difference in page size doesn’t bother you too much. Maybe it’ll settle down one everything is sew together?


  10. This is such a brilliant idea. A great way to learn new stitches and to have a record to look at when you want to double check a type of stitch.
    I think you are probably right about the warp and waft of the fabric is what caused the problem but I have no idea.

    Once you have it all sewn together it may not be to noticable. But you could always cut a piece of fabric in the same size as the larger pieces to make a front and back cover.
    Just an idea.


  11. rosejasm says:

    Phew that your box all lined up, I can feel the anxiety through your blog – so frustrating too. It all looks wonderful from here, I’ve never seen a book before – awesome!


  12. Prue Batten says:

    The book looks marvellous and I love the story you tell as the pages are turned. I’m trying to work out how you are going to bind them together and what the spine will be like. When I saw it on Fabric Books on FB, I thought you had made a concertina book and slipped the pages into the valleys, but now it looks a little different. I’ve almost finished sample-stitching a cover for the sample pages but am trying to decide on the many forms of binding for a fabric book, which is why I’m intrigued. I did a diploma course in book binding and artists’ books many years ago and so much has slipped my mind! Gahhh!


  13. Catherine says:

    I’ve no input to add a out the fabric count I’m afraid, except how annoying! Something for all of us to be aware of, that’s for sure. Your book looks fabulous, I love the idea of not only recording events, but also the stitches you’ve either learnt or revisited through this project.


  14. Emma says:

    This is an amazing project, I can’t wait to see it finished. I’ve never had that issue with fabric but I’ve never tried to assemble counted fabrics together either. I think you might be right with the weft and warp being slightly different, which would accumulate and make a bigger difference the bigger your piece of fabric is. Glad you were able to fix it though

    Liked by 1 person

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