Transfer the chart grid to the fabric
  pages outlined on fabric
Figure 1. Image centered on fabric with page outlines, and two colors stitched.
This explains how to find the center of the fabric, match the chart center to it, locate the four edges of the chart, and divide the fabric into spaces matching the pages. Figure 1 above shows a 12-page chart that only has stitches on 9 pages and is centered on the fabric.
1. Find and mark the center of the fabric. To do this, fold the fabric in half left to right and then in half again, top to bottom. The folded corner is the middle of the fabric. Insert a large headed pin carefully in the hole as close to the corner as you can. Unfold the fabric and make sure the pin is only through one layer of cloth. Fasten the pin to the fabric at an angle, remembering that the head is at the center. Use this hole as the center of the chart.
2. Determine which dimension of the fabric is "up" for the way you want to stitch the chart.
Next, let's define three phrases that are very easy to confuse: horizontal centerline, vertical centerline, and chart center.
  • Horizontal centerline is the line that divides the chart into left and right equal pieces. It is a vertical line that runs from the bottom to the top of the chart.
  • Vertical centerline is the line that divides the chart into top and bottom equal pieces. It is a horizontal line that runs from the left to the right side of the chart.
  • Chart center is where the chart horizontal and vertical centerlines cross, not necessarily the center of the fabric.
3. Locate where the left and right edges of the chart will be on the fabric.
  Let's find the chart's horizontal centerline first. Look on the printed chart for the arrow marking the center of the pattern from left to right (the horizontal center). It is located at the top of any chart page containing the horizontal center, and looks like Figure 2 on our charts. In this example, the horizontal centerline is inside the small square, which means that it is on the thread between the hole for 67 and the hole for 68. To find the left edge of the stitching area, count 67 holes to the left of the center pin head and place another pin in that column of holes (the pin is placed vertically to mark the left edge of the stitching area). To find the right edge of the stitching area, go back to the center pin and count 67 holes to the right of the pin head and place another pin in that column of holes (the pin is placed vertically to mark the right edge of the stitching area). You have successfully located the left and right edges of the pattern.

Chart horizontal centerline mark

Figure 2. Chart horizonal centerline mark.
4. Locate where the top and bottom edges of the chart will be on the fabric. Look on the printed chart for the arrow marking the center of the pattern from top to bottom (the vertical center). It is located at the left side of any chart page containing the vertical center, and looks like Figure 3 on our charts. In this example, the vertical center is inside the small square, which means that it is on the thread between the hole for 117 and the hole for 118. To find the top edge of the stitching area, count 117 holes up from the center pin head and place another pin from the project box in that row of holes (the pin is placed horizontally to mark the top edge of the stitching area). To find the bottom edge of the stitching area, go back to the center pin and count 117 holes down from the center pin head and place another pin from the project box in that row of holes (the pin is placed horizontally to mark the bottom edge of the stitching area). You have successfully located the top and bottom edges of the pattern.

Chart vertical centerline mark

Figure 3. Chart vertical centerline mark.

5. Locate the corners of the chart on the fabric by locating where the columns of holes for the left and right sides intersect the rows of holes for the top and bottom. Place pins in these intersection holes so that the pin heads are exactly in each corner hole. The outer edges of the chart are now located and centered on the fabric.
6. Mark the outline of the chart grid on the fabric. We have found that placing a single thread using a slip stitch around the area of the chart covered by each page helps a great deal. After experimenting, we have settled on using a slip stitch covering ten threads at a time, starting from the upper left corner of the chart (the stitch at the absolute coordinate position of 0,0) and stitching clockwise completely around the chart border. The last stitch in the top and on the right side will likely cover fewer than ten threads unless the chart width and height are exactly divisible by ten. For example, the chart shown in Figure 1 is 389 wide by 163 high. Note there is only one page in row three of this chart. The bottom thread of the chart outline was placed at the bottom of the second row (140) to avoid defining spaces that would not contain stitches. The last stitch in the top (upper right corner) will cover nine threads and the last stitch on the right (lower right corner) contains ten stitches with this adjustment. Make sure the thread placement on the bottom of the fabric lines up exactly with the thread placement on the top, and that the left side lines up exactly with the thread placement on the right side of the fabric. You should reach the zero column hole at the bottom left of the fabric lining up exactly with the starting hole at the upper left of the fabric. Continue stitching up the left side to the beginning point. At this point, there should be a rectangle on the fabric that matches the border of the chart.
7. Mark the outline of each page within the chart grid on the fabric. Next, lay the printed chart pages out on a large surface. The next lines of thread will separate the chart outline into rows and columns between the pages. We usually stitch the row divider first. Look at the first page of the chart. The left and top sides of each chart page have grid numbers. For the chart in Figure 1, page one is 99 stitches wide and 70 stitches high. Starting at the upper left corner of the chart outline, count down 70 stitches and slip stitch to the right side of the chart outline. This is the bottom of page 1 - 4. To stitch the line dividing page one from two, start at the upper left corner of the chart outline, count 99 stitches across the top. Starting at that hole, slip stitch down to the bottom of the chart outline. Repeat for each page, using the upper right corner of the previous page as the starting point. The chart in Figure 1 has one page containing stitches in a third row to accommodate the bottom fin. The lines defining the sides of column two were extended past the chart bottom the height of page ten, or 23 threads. The bottom line was not stitched because page ten is so skinny and one can easily reference the grid from the top line.