Sunday 5 February 2012

We Can Do Bigger * The Stitchers of Dzialoszyn, Poland

Thank you kbsalazar for pointing out this staggering work - The Battle of Grunwald or more simply The Battle (I wonder why?). This is the name of a spontaneous project consisting of cross-stitching Jan Matejko's painting Battle of Grunwald in its actual size. It all started as a joke. Adam Panek, watching Janina Panek while she was cross-stitching, joked: You have cross-stitched so much that up to now you could have cross-stitched the Battle of Grunwald. This seed of a crazy thought, once planted, grew and grew and bore astonishing fruit. The project coincided with 600th anniversary of the Battle on 15 July 2010.
The Battle of Grunwald is one the most known, valuable and recognizable Polish paintings. It is also well known for its enormous size. Its painter, Jan Matejko, undertook the depiction of one of the largest European battles of the Middle Ages, fought on 15 July 1410 between the forces of the Teutonic Order and united Polish-Lithuanian forces and less numerous reinforcement troops of Ruthenians, Tatars as well as people from Moldavia and Czech.
The cross-stitch pattern contains 50 parts. As the sections at the bottom are a third smaller than the rest, these panels were added to the canvas of the section above. So that there are in effect 40 sections to be joined. OK let's get numerical. The actual size of piece is 9.20 metres x 4.05 metres. That means a staggering number of cross-stitches - nearly 8 million, in fact. The pattern itself consists of 50 books, each one 20-77 pages (altogether: 3,270 pages), excluding legends and covers. 220 colours were used amounting to over 90 kilometres (56 miles). And this caused no end of problems with dye lots. At first the dyes used were not fast and the stitchers ended up with technicolour hands!
And above you can see Janina Panek herself, the lady whose stitching led to the joke which led to this stitched wonder of the World. She is standing with her section of The Great Battle (as I think we should all call it from now on.) You all deserve a medal - and if any of the stitchers would like a free Needleprint chart for their next cross-stitch project - just email me, and it will be my pleasure to give you one - they take no time to stitch at all! And below, listen to the ladies - is it true that all stitchers when they get together sound like this? By the way - what is the collective name for a group of stitchers? To see their wonderful website - just click here.


  1.!!!! This is just incredible!! Not for the faint of heart!! Beautifully done too.

  2. Takes my breath away, and I am speechless. 8M stitches.

  3. Cross stitchers are probably asking at this point...where can I buy the pattern/chart, right? I am totally amazed. Gorgeous! So beautiful! Very inspiring team work as well. WOW. Blessings to you all in Jesus' Name