This month we will address a couple of problems encountered by our customers.
We heard from a lady who found that floss that she had had for several years had changed colors rather drastically (compared to brand new floss). We have not run into this ourselves, but recently had an opportunity to ask someone who really knows about this stuff how this could happen. She told us that cotton floss is a natural fiber and it needs to breathe. You can store it in plastic bags or boxes but they should not be sealed. Air circulation should be possible, and of course, it should be kept from the light.
Another lady bought a piece of 16-count aida for one of our patterns and allowed 2 inches on each side for framing. She started stitching 2 inches from one side but as she approached the end of the row, it became apparent that the fabric was about 2 inches too short. She asked us how this could happen and wondered if our fabric measurements were wrong. Of course, it's easy to verify the fabric requirements (take the number of stitches and divide by the stitches per inch), so the only thing we could think of was that the fabric was not really 16-count and asked her to check. Sure enough, the fabric was closer to 15 stitches per inch. This may not sound like a big difference, but in a project that is 500 stitches wide, it's an extra two inches.
Unfortunately we don't know what brand the fabric was (or if there was a brand), but it is easy to check before you start stitching and well worth it to avoid disaster. Just lay a ruler on the fabric and count the number of stitches in one inch (for even-weave stitched over two, it will be the number of threads divided by two). If the stitch count is off, use our fabric calculator to check the requirements for the actual stitch count. If the fabric isn't really big enough for your planned project, put it aside for something smaller. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to allow more room for the margins, as well.
In this case, she had JUST enough fabric to finish, but with a very small margin. We advised her to lap another strip of fabric to the side of her piece, stitching close to the edge. She would need to stitch to within about 1/4" or 3/8" of the edge but this would give her a margin for framing.
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