Where can I purchase the patterns/charts for Chatelaine Designs?
Many needlework shops carry the paper versions of the charts. The paper version is printed in black and white only. You can purchase the PDF version of the charts, which includes both the color and black and white chart versions, directly from Chatelaine Designs at https://chatelaine.de/.
If you purchase the PDF chart, you only get 2 opportunities to download the chart. Note that the website explicitly states to download directly to a computer and NOT to your mobile device or tablet. Please be sure to follow these directions.
Note that the color charts have never been sold in printed format. If you are offered a printed color chart for a Chatelaine Designs pattern for purchase, it is likely not a legal version.
My two download attempts for the PDF chart were unsuccessful. What do I do now?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your purchase information, and they will be happy to help you.
What are the pros and cons of the paper versus the PDF version of a chart?
Paper versions of the chart can be resold, while the digital PDF version may not be resold. There are myriad reasons for this which stitchers can debate. However, the terms of sale on the Chatelaine Design website state this explicitly. So, when you make the purchase, you agree to abide by the terms of sale.
The PDF version can be kept in a Dropbox or similar remote access so that a stitcher can access the chart on the go with a tablet or mobile phone using a variety of apps (PDFNotes, EZreader, Goodreader, Adobe, Foxit, etc.).
Many of the apps allow you to enlarge the chart as you work, and to highlight parts of the chart as you stitch. The color chart available with the PDF version can often help a stitcher discern where back stitching is used. Sometimes the black and white version can be difficult to discern the backstitch lines from the grid lines. Occasionally, the instructions may not be completely clear about the color used for a specialty stitch or backstitch, and the color chart can help clarify. Same for chart symbols that may look similar – the color chart can be helpful in clarification.
I bought the PDF chart and downloaded it, but when I open it, the chart itself is tiny!
Open your file in either Adobe Reader on your computer or using one of the above referenced mobile or tablet apps. If you plan to stitch from your device or computer screen, you should have no difficulty using the enlarging tools in your software or app. A large number of stitchers do stitch directly from their mobile device or tablet, and many use the highlighting functions within the app as they stitch.
If you prefer to print your working copy from the PDF, you can use the “Snapshot” feature in the free Adobe Reader to mark an area you want to print. Once you’ve selected the area to print, check the box in the print menu to print the selected graphic and fit to page. You may need to experiment with the print preview to identify whether portrait or landscape orientation is best. You can continue to do this in as many pieces as you need to print your chart. Do be sure to note where you have printed overlapping areas. Note that this method will not necessarily result in areas that are all the same size and could be taped together for stitching as one large chart.
Can I stitch a Chatelaine Design on Aida? Is linen or evenweave better?
Yes, you can stitch a Chatelaine on Aida. Depending on the design you choose, you may need to make some adaptations. For example, if the design specifies one over one stitches, you will need to either adapt that portion of the design to two over two or be comfortable piercing the fabric to complete the over one stitching. Also, some specialty stitches may require adaptations for similar reasons. Many of the specialty stitches Martina specified required using every hole on linen or evenweave, which would mean either changing the stitch a bit or piercing the fabric for Aida. The choice to use Aida is stitcher’s preference and comfort level.
Linen versus evenweave is a long-debated topic among Chatelaine stitchers. Bottom line? What fabric do you love stitching on? That’s what you should use. There is no right or wrong answer. Just be sure that the fabric runs square. Most good quality fabrics do. MCG Textiles fabric is notorious for not being square. Check your fabric by counting the number of threads in an inch (or two) in each direction. They should be equal.
What count fabric should I use – 28 ct or 32 ct?
Martina’s early designs often specified 32 count fabric. However, the rise in popularity of hand dyed fabrics and the increasing density of beading in Martina’s designs through the years began to change the conversation. Fabrics often shrink in the hand dyeing process. So fabrics that start out at 32 count are often more like 34 count after the hand dyeing process. This can make for a tight fit for areas of dense beading which is particularly prevalent in Martina’s later designs. Also, the Tila beads, if used, are often a tight fit on a hand dyed 32 count fabric. So, look at your pattern. If there are lots of areas with large clusters or lines of beading, then consider using either a standard (non-hand dyed) 32 count or a 28 count (hand dyed or not) fabric. And, if you want to use a 28 count anyway, because that is your personal preference, go right ahead. You might want to do a tad bit of test stitching on a scrap to make sure you like the coverage. Also, if using 28 count, do look at the thread usage information Martina provided. If usage on 32 count would be 80% or greater of a skein, you might want to consider getting an additional skein if using 28 count. This is particularly important for the hand dyed and overdyed fibers for which consistency of dye lots can be important.
Note that we have had stitchers who choose 36 count and even 40 count fabrics. These have been very experienced stitchers who were quite comfortable making changes to the design (particularly beaded areas) to accommodate their fabric choice.
25 count fabric can also work. Be very careful about fiber quantities so you do not run out.
Will a hand dyed fabric work? How do I choose a fabric?
Yes, you can choose any fabric you like! Just be mindful of the beading issue discussed above. Also, consider that Chatelaine Designs have SO MUCH detail, you want to be sure your fabric compliments and does not distract from all the intricacies your stitching will show! Many stitchers find The Fabric Viewer http://www.fabricviewer.com/ to be a very useful tool in preliminary evaluations of fabric for specific designs. However, nothing is ever quite as good as a “floss toss” whereby you lay out all of the fibers and beads for your project on the fabric itself to see how they look together in different light.