In this morning’s post, I linked to the calculator at Yarn Tree. If you look at it (and maybe they all do this), there’s a box for “extra fabric on each side of the border”.
Consider the Grain:
Depending on where you buy your fabric, I’ve read about some of the pieces being WAY off the “straight”. On Aida or something with fairly large holes, it should be fairly easy to cut straight down a row but think about 46+ count linen where we can’t even see the holes with a magnifier and think of someone who has never sewn or cross stitched (and yes, they do have Etsy shops, and yes, they do work in some of these shops!) and they may not realize the importance of cutting that fabric on the absolute straight grain. Also, you will need to surge your edges and if you can surge on an exact straight line, you’re doing better than I am!
How Will The Piece Be Used:
I suppose like everything else in life, there’s no hard fast rule. If I’m going to stitch a “small” and sew it into a pillow and place it in a dough bowl on a table, I can leave 2″ from each edge of my final stitching. That will give me plenty of room to leave 1/2 to 3/4″ of “border”, and leave me plenty of room or sewing/serging. Say I need 4″ of fabric for the cross stitching and I want 2″ on each side, I would need 8″.
If I’m going to have a big piece framed and I want a 1-1/2″ border on each side of my stitching and the framer wants 2-3″ on each side to work with, that’s 5 – 6″ on each side of my stitching that I need to leave, and considering serging, I’m going with the 6″ so, if my stitching is going to cover 13″ square, then I need to add 13 + 6 + 6 (for both sides) so my piece needs to be 25″ x 25″.
Cost of Fabric:
My first thought was “that adds so much to the cost”. No! That’s almost like saying Signature thread is too expensive so when I’m making a quilt, I’ll save money by using cheap thread. By the time you figure the quilting fabric, batting costs, time, quilting . . even if that spool (or maybe two spools) cost $5 more, it’s just not a factor.
With cross stitching, based on this particular SAL project, if I calculate using 209 x 209 stitches, 28 count Lugana, and leaving 3″, the calculator tells me I need 21 x 21. If I ordered that and the piece is a few squares of on each side and I surge the edges, I can easily lose 1/2″ on each side and that brings me down to 20 x 20.
If I calculate leaving a 2″ border AND 3″ extra for finishing, the calculator says I need 25″ x 25″.
Most of the fabrics are pre-cut and you get a at quarter (13″ x 18″) which on this particular fabric is $4.97 at 123Stitch.
The next size up is 27″ x 36″ and it’s $19.89. For this particular project, you’re probably not going to find something that’s close to 21 x 21 so getting an exact size just isn’t likely to happen.
But . . here’s my thinking. I need 25 x 25 so I buy 27 x 36. That’s going to leave me a piece that’s about 11″ x 36″ leftover that I can use for other projects.
If I buy the 36 x 55″ piece for $37.70 and use 25″ x 25″ out of it, that leaves me lots of option. I will end up with at least a piece that’s 30″ x 36″, as well as a leftover piece that’s 11″ x 25″. Of course, this is based on my math that probably isn’t right!
At least while I’m trying to do a little stashbuilding, I’m going with the larger piece. It is so hard to judge colors on the internet so having fabric here that I can see what it looks like, what it feels like and use the minute I want to start stitching and not have to wait for it to be in stock and wait for the mail, it’s worth the extra $18 or $20. But . . that kind of thinking is what got me into this mess with yarn and fabric.
What I’m trying to say is this: We’re putting a lot of work into these pieces. By the time you consider the cost of the chart, the floss (which can be reasonable with DMC or not so reasonable with some of the others), the time, and the cost of framing if you’re having it framed . . make sure you’re getting enough fabric to be able to finish it the way you want it finished.