Blackwork Mystery Sampler Fabric Size

Have you decided on a fabric for your Blackwork Sampler? I think I’ll figure mine out here. Maybe my calculations will help some neophyte. But before I figure the size, I should say that I have had a brainstorm about my colors! As noted earlier, I’m going use black silk or quilting thread for the blackwork. I’m going to use an overdyed floss for the needlepoint. I’ll be using beads not spangles for accents primarily because I have beads on hand. If I find spangles before I get to that point in my stitching, I’ll pick some up and see which looks better with the pattern. I’m thinking spangles may look better since I’ve decided my accent color will be red! Imagine the red spangles held in place with sharp little black stitches!

I’ve also decided I want my center grid to be marked in red. And to really make the piece pop I’d like to use red fabric. That means I need to see what red fabric my goto fabric shop has. That would be Fireside Stitchery. Well, they didn’t have red available now. So, on to the second shop, Stitchers Paradise. BINGO! They have 24 mesh Congress Cloth in Victorian Red which matches DMC 498 or 816. That works for me! So, I’ll be working with a count of 24 which means there will be 24 threads in one inch. Since I will be stitching over two threads, that means I will have 12 stitches per inch.

Now, my design size is 120 stitches by 120 stitches. Dividing my stitch count by my fabric size tells me the design will cover 10 inches. I am going to add 6 inches to give me a decent border and leave some margin for the dirty old edge tacking.

If I can’t get the canvas, I’ll use linen. Most likely 28 count. Again, I would be stitching over two threads, so that means there would be 14 stitches per inch. 120 stitches divided by 14 inch fabric will yield 8.5 inch square design size. So I would cut my fabric 13 inches square (rounded up).

Do you read the Nordic Needle Newsletter? I subscribe to it and often find very useful information. The latest Newsletter has a very good section on changing fabric sizes. As you scroll down to find it, notice the great info about testing for colorfastedness, working with beads to ensure they are color and tarnish fast. It’s a good page to bookmark!

What are your thoughts on thread and fabric colors?