Your Stitching is Off the Charts: Working from Books

Long before canvas printing was perfected, charts were used as a guide for stitchers to follow.  Each square of colour on a chart represents a stitch on the canvas.  By following a chart and counting the squares of the grid, stitchers are able to precisely copy a design onto blank canvas. 

Today, our kits come with a precision printed canvas but each still includes a chart card that can be referenced to aid with exact colour placement. Many stitchers also enjoy working directly from the charts found in our three books written by Liz. Each book comes with a wealth of charted designs original to the Elizabeth Bradley archives, a list of wool shades for each specific design and stitching tips to help with the process. If you are looking for a challenge, working from a chart is the perfect way to expand upon your skills. Once you have selected a design, you will need to make sure you have the correct materials to get started.  

First, you will need to calculate the size of the canvas you will use. We stock blank 10-count interlock canvas in 3 sizes - 10”, 20”, & 1 metre cuts. To determine which size you need, measure the stitched design area by counting around the perimeter of the chart. Every ten squares equals an inch. You will need to leave at least 2” of blank space around the design for finishing or if you intend to use a frame.

Next, you will find a list of the thread colours and quantities specific to the design. To convert the reference colour shown in the book to our current wool numbers, use the wool conversion tool available on our website. More experienced stitchers may find it fun to change colour palettes and explore additional background options. Each colour quantity is listed in yards - you will need to divide the total to find whether you need multiples of 10-yard cards or 60-yard hanks. 

Finally, some stitchers choose to magnify the chart so they can ensure they are working tight areas correctly. You can easily read your chart if you take a picture with your cell phone, then zoom in on the exact area to see it in better detail. 

Once you have your materials and chart, you are ready to start stitching. Share your creations with us by tagging us in your social media posts!

7 comments

I have worked many EBs from charts and enjoyed doing them. I have some of her books and enjoy just going through them because they are so pretty. I did the Christmas pudding as a gift for my English friend. After I finished it I found a wooden tray that fit it and attached the needlepoint to it and gave it to her for Christmas. She brought in the Christmas pudding on the tray!

mickey Giles June 14, 2021

Personally, I prefer working from a chart and I have made about 10 EB projects from her books! Love it

Sabina Brych April 12, 2021

Have made many things from all the books! Would love to see a new book with new designs. Have a great day, stay well and happy stitching.

Anita Wierengo April 05, 2021

I have Elizabeth Bradley’s books and I have wanted to challenge myself to create a needlepoint project from a chart in one of the books. You have motivated me to try! Thanks for the blog!

Sophie Wittelsberger March 29, 2021

I am working your Victorian Flower bell pull, in cross-stitch, on the wrong side of the canvas. What a delightful, beautiful project. Can you provide finishing hints please?

Becki Hodges April 27, 2021

This was so helpful! Thank you so much for your hard work. I bought the book “Victorian Needlework” which is all charts. So perfect timing. Jinny

Jinny Johnson March 29, 2021

I have worked quite a few canvas from charts. When I prepare my canvas, I mark off the 10 × 10 grids on the canvas with a yellow, permanent marker. It makes it much easier to always find ones place. Good luck!

AnnMoton March 29, 2021

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