Blocking a Needlepoint Canvas
By Shana Benhayoun
Have you ever been so excited that you finished stitching a canvas but then realize that you canvas looks a bit tilted or distorted?
Do not fret, we have all been there! I get this question so often from new stitchers because they think they are doing something wrong, but in reality, it is what naturally happens to the canvas. The amount of distortion depends on how tight you are pulling each stitch but it is bound to happen, even if you are using a frame!
When you finish stitching your canvas, you usually ship your distorted canvas with thread tails hanging off the back to the finisher and a few weeks (ok fine, more like months) later, you receive back a master piece! What they do with your canvas seems like top secret work, and honestly, I like it better that way! But recently, there has been a lot of stitchers who are interested in finishing their own projects whether it be to save a penny or two, to skip the wait times (since we all know finishing can take forever), or just to challenge their craftiness! I am all for you ladies who want to DIY, but I want to make sure that you are doing it correctly. After all, if you have taken my class, you know I am big on technique so that these projects last forever! Therefore, here is my quick 5 step tutorial followed by a video on how to block your needlepoint canvas before you finish it!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Your Stitched Needlepoint Canvas
Ironing board/wool ironing mat
Linen napkin or cotton t-shirt
Let's Get Started
Lay the canvas face down on your ironing board/mat. It is important that you only work on the backside of the canvas
Trim the excess threads from the back of the canvas. Make sure not to cut any actual stitches or canvas.
You'll want to drench your napkin/t-shirt in a lot of water. It should be very wet!
Lay the wet napkin or t-shirt over the canvas. If you are using a t-shirt, move up the top layer of the shirt, that way you are only working with one layer of the shirt so it is not so thick
I know it seems scary to put water to canvas but I promise you will be okay!
Steam the sh*t out of the back of the canvas!
Every minute or so, check on the canvas and pull it into shape. Continue to steam it until you feel it is straight enough.
When you feel that it straight enough, lay it flat on the ironing board/mat design-side up. Pin it straight and leave it for 12-24 hours.