Small vs Large Cross Stitch Designs | S3E99

In this episode, I share some pros and cons of stitching small and large designs and when you might choose each. You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the post.

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Small vs Large Designs

I have been thinking a lot about stitching small designs vs larger ones later, and is one better than the other? I’m going to explore the answer to that question here. Also, I really enjoyed doing this vs that in the 10-minute challenge I ran recently.

I like sharing both sides. My sister always calls me Switzerland because I never take one side; I can put myself in so many pairs of shoes. Some people dislike this trait; I can seem too vanilla. But really, I just don’t judge.

When it comes to talking about things like this, I think it’s a great trait to have because I can share with you so many different ways to stitch, and show you how there isn’t one right way.

I went to law school for a while and this trait is definitely the reason why I thought I’d make a good lawyer.

The difference

Well, obviously the difference is the size. But why does that matter in cross stitch? I’ve said it before, but logically it shouldn’t matter if we are stitching a large design or a small design because both are still cross stitching. And if you are stitching to enjoy the process then what does the size matter?

But of course, it does matter. Smaller projects are easier to hold, usually (but not always) easier to stitch, need fewer colours (most of the time) and are portable. Larger designs on the other hand tend to be a little more complicated, need more colours, and are not so portable.

Depending on your personality and/or your lifestyle might change what size of project you go for.

When to choose a small design

If you are someone who gets a lot of motivation from finishing a project then smaller designs are probably for you. If you know you will become less motivated the fewer projects you finish then stitching a large design will not help you stitch more.

Or if you are a beginner to cross stitch you might prefer smaller designs because they tend to be easier to stitch and can help you learn how to follow a pattern.

Also, if you have a busier lifestyle you might prefer smaller projects. You can take them with you if you are out of the house a lot, playing taxi for the kids, stitching on your lunch hour, stitching them on your commute, etc.

I think the only downside to stitching lots of small designs is what to do with them once they’re finished. Unless you have space for a wall of hoops, it can be tricky to show off your stitching. But I have a box full of small designs that I have stitched, and I don’t care that they’re not on show; again this is all about your personality.

When to choose a large design

If you are someone who likes to stitch to sit and relax and take your time with it, then a large project would be perfect. It’s something you can really get stuck into and lose yourself in for hours at a time.

Of course, to do that, you need to have a lot of time. If you spend a lot of time at home, have space to keep it out somewhere, time to stitch every day then a large project would probably work well for you.

You also have to make sure you are OK with not finishing a design for a long time. This is the downside to large projects. You are so excited to start them but you can become a little frustrated because you want that thing up on display.

However, this is also one of the benefits of large designs. You almost always do something with them once finished. You have spent so long stitching it I doubt many people would put it in a box once done.

Which I prefer

I used to only ever stitch small designs and design small patterns. I said I would never stitch a large project. Well, this is why you should never say never. Most of my projects over the past few years have been larger ones, with some small ones still thrown in. I enjoy stitching both for the reasons above.

Sometimes I prefer larger ones because I feel like it’s a little better for the environment. Stitching one large design vs. six small ones in hoops; well that’s six fewer hoops for starters. Of course, logically this makes little sense because you need more fabric, floss, etc. for large designs. For me though, I was buying so many hoops to frame these small designs in that it got a little silly. I still have so many hoops! I nearly changed my business name to Hannah’s Hoops at one point. Now I enjoy slightly larger designs and making fun things that I can use or display as one large piece on a wall.

But nothing can quite beat the feeling of finishing a small quick design.

What you say

Joyce: “I like both, the large ones because they are so beautiful, but they can be intimidating and take a very long time to stitch. Small ones are wonderful for faster finishing, and also to take along with you and tuck in your purse”.

Intimidating is not something I thought about, but Joyce is right. Large designs can be intimidating especially if you are just starting to cross stitch.

Gaby: “Small”

Cortney: “Both! But when I finish a large design I feel great that I accomplished it”.

Stephanie: “Small. I love it when things are easily achievable. She says with 8 different large WIP”.

Louise: “I do prefer large designs as I feel more of a sense of achievement when it’s finished”.

Amanda: “Small!!!”

Sammy: “I like both! A large design is nice to slowly chip away at, especially when given as a gift for someone. The small designs can give you that finished feeling. Small designs can lack detail or lots of elements that a large design can provide I think for mood stitchers, like me, it’s good to have both”.

Hannah: “I love small – medium sized projects to keep the stitching motivation flowing!”

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