Melissa Shirley Wicked: final thought

See what happens when I get busy or distracted. I had been writing this post for the week of May 15-20 and I got distracted or sidetracked and now here it is almost Memorial week-end and I am just coming up for air. So here is the final thoughts on Wicked…

After the stitching is completed then the piece has to be finished. I know I have been showing how to finish needlepoint but last year I was not up to the task of finishing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…Seriously, I can do ornaments and some other little stuff but really haven’t had the time to try the biggies. One day I am going to try a pillow and a purse but for now I’m going to send big pieces to the finisher. I can’t even find time to sew a button on, let alone make a blouse or finish big needlepoint or for that matter any needlepoint.

 

I knew where I wanted to hang “Wicked” and how I wanted it finished. I drew a picture for the finisher and once the material was purchased I sent it to her to do her magic.  I was very pleased with the way it was finished and I love to see it hanging at Halloween.

To some people finishing a piece of needlepoint is easy; they take it to a trusted shop and have it finished. Not me, I agonize over finishing. As I am stitching I can see the finished piece, I get these pre-conceived images in my head and then I feel like I need to look for the material to finish the project. Nice for me I know the finisher and I can as her if my idea will work. If she says yes, then I’m off to look for material.

 

Now, let me give you the advice I seldom ever follow but every finisher I know will tell you is the truth.

You should buy the fabric for finishing before you ever start stitching.

I know, seems illogical to me too, but remember we are limited by out thread choices and the fabrics we choose to  finish our pieces are limited by their color choices. Now I will admit if you go to Hamilton Mo or any large quilt shop, you should be able to find a fabric. But what if you want a velvet or moiré for that Christmas stocking you are spending hours stitching? There is a world of difference between DMC 666 red and DMC 321 or 498 red. And fabrics only come in certain colors. And yes, you could use green for the backing and lining, but there are different greens too. So, if you want as perfect a match as you can get; sometimes it is important to buy that fabric first.

And while we are talking “you buy the fabric”; remember that if you want self-cording you need extra fabric. Self-cording is cut on the bias of the fabric and will require more fabric. Just as local needlepoint shop or finisher how much fabric you will need to finish your piece.

 

And some shops stock fabrics for finishing, so ask before you head all over the countryside looking for that perfect fabric. Some finishers have fabrics stockpiled and if you ask the shop you use, they probably can tell you which red would be best on that stocking or they can ask the finisher for you.

 

I’m lucky we have several very nice fabric shops in the area. Sarah’s in Lawrence (http://www.sarahsfabrics.com/), and several quilt shops in the area, plus Hamilton, Mo (https://www.missouriquiltco.com/). I’ve been to Hamilton twice now and while it is both eye candy for the imagination it can be overwhelming also. Hamilton is quilt town in northern Missouri, aka Missouri Quilt Co; Google it or read my post from last year…

 

A word about finishers… Have you ever wondered why so many shops guard their finisher’s name so closely? The real reason is that they are not trying to keep her a national secret, they are trying to protect her from the thousand calls she would get during busy times of the year asking, “Is my ornament finished yet?” And that is why finishing deadlines are so early. I think a finisher told me one time she finish over 1000 ornaments for Christmas and that didn’t count the stockings. Keep in mind blocking boards can only hold so much and sometimes pieces need to be blocked more than once and sometimes needlepoint even needs to be cleaned before blocking may begin. (This is another blog…but stitching in the hand vs stitching on a frame does have its drawbacks as well as its advantages…I will put this on my list of things to write about.)

 

Back to “Wicked”… I found the fabric and Batik at Hamilton and bought it. Brought it home and took it to the shop for my finisher to pick up (No, just because I know her doesn’t mean I don’t have to take it to the shop. My finisher will not accept pieces except through the shops she does finishing.) I took the piece about mid-May and I got it back about mid-August.

 

What took so long? Mine was not the only finishing in line. Mine had to be blocked, just like the rest and maybe twice I didn’t ask; and it’s a pretty big piece so it took up some real-estate on the blocking board. Mine also only had the green material supplied, so my finisher had to get the black for the inset, thread and even the interfacing. I could have purchased the black but I didn’t think about it at the time and she suggested this after she saw the piece…that’s another reason you use a finisher…She’s seen enough pieces to know what looks best even when you limit her by you pre-conceived finishing. And I had no idea what interfacing she would recommend. So see, Finishers do more than finish; they make your needlepoint look just like you want, and they know from experience what works best.

When “Wicked” returned home, it was just what I envisioned and more. I hung it and hated to see Halloween come to an end. I sometimes think I stitch long hours for a piece that only is displayed for a short time but I like it and it brings a smile to my face. And I hope it will be around for many years to come, maybe even one of my Grandchildren will want it when I am gone. Sometimes I get it out in it’s protective bag, and hand it on the door of my office just to look at it…it makes me smile.

Oh and before I forget; what do I do with the stitch guide after I complete stitching the canvas? I destroy it; it is a copyrighted piece of work.  And in my opinion, stitch guides should not be bought or sold without the purchase of the canvas! I have done two or three stitch guides for canvases and I will not sell them to individuals only to shops where I assume the canvas is purchased.

I know a stitcher who saves her stitch guides as a reference and that’s fine but I don’t want all the extra paper. I might make a note in my computer or my stitch notebooks I keep about a technique, stitch pattern or stitch but my stitch guide goes to the trash. I do not share it with my stitch friend who bought the canvas only because she liked mine. I destroy it. Enough said…my soap box stand for the week.

On another note…my family is having a garage sale…no needlepoint but I do have needlepoint books I have accumulated over the years. I will list them here next week with cost and then I will put them on Needlepoint Nation Stash after that.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and over the holiday week-end. AND please don’t forget to honor those you know who are serving or have served in our military. Without these brave men and women we would not enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

ttfn…sue

Lighthouse in a Box

I double gifted to my husband; his birthday was the end of May and of course Father’s Day was a few weeks ago. This also gives him something to tell the world on Facebook he taught me…NOT, man cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and I am not sure he knows what the eye of the needle really is…but we let him have his dreams…

Let’s talk about boxes before we begin. Your box needs to be purchased at the same time as the needlepoint or at the very least the needlepoint needs to be painted to fit the opening of the box of your choice. I would buy the box at the same time or have it ordered before I begin stitching. Some designs may be painted to fit a box , others may be adapted to fit a box you love; a border may be added or sometimes the background may be extended to fit up to 1/2 inch larger. I some cases the opening may not be as large as the painted canvas, be sure that the canvas fits the box and no important elements omitted. In my case I had the box for a long -long time; truthfully it came with another canvas I stitched another way a long time ago and this box was just lying around. I was truly lucky this canvas fit this box. Two box sources I use to order boxes are:

Patches n Planks: https://sites.google.com/site/patchesnplankshome/home

Sudberry House: http://www.sudberry.com/

If anybody knows of others, please add a comment below; I am always looking for good resourses.

This light house is Portland Head, MD lighthouse, I’ve had it stitched for two years…don’t want to rush anything.  You can read about the stitching here: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/hiding-out-is-such-fun/ . The Canvas is from ABS Designs: http://www.absdesignsonline.com/;  Anne paints the nicest light houses.  I have a collection of them to finish and even more to stitch. I love ALL her designs  because they are so easy to take-a-long. And if you do not follow Anne on her blog you should; her blog can be found at: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/. She stitches the greatest skies in the world…needle blending floss is her specialty…she’s super at it.  And you can read her articles in Needlepoint Now magazine monthly too (https://www.needlepointnow.com/).

Okay now to the finishing…

Materials needed:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Box to fit the needlework (Mine is no longer made, so be sure your needlepoint fits your box)

Illustration Board: medium weight

Fleece:  I use one about a 1/4 inch thick.

Lining material optional

Clips to hold needlework and backing fabric

#8 0r #12 Perle cotton

Beeswax

Tapestry needle

Flat head screw driver

Usual sewing supplies: scissors, clips etc.

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This box happened to come with its own piece of Illustration Board cut to fit the box. I used it as a template to cut a piece of fleece. Carefully open the picture points using a flat head screwdriver to release the illustration board.

Use the template to cut a piece of fleece the exact size or 1/8 inch smaller than illustration board insert.

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Cut the blocked canvas leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inches all around the stitching.

I fold and finger press the canvas to the back. I test it to be sure it fits the illustration board with fleece on top.

 

 

Diagonally cut the corners to make a less bulky corner and then miter the corners. Hold the corners and sides in place with the quilters clips I have for finishing (Goggle Clover Wonder Clips). You can also use clip clothes pins.

Cut long length of #8 or #12 perle cotton, it will be doubled in Tapestry needle. Wax with bees wax and knot the ends of the double thread.

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Beginning in the center of the long side (if there is a side longer) and going back and forth to either left or right, lace with the double waxed thread.

When the corner is reached stitch the mitered corners and tie off with a secure knot.

Return to the center and repeat lacing on the other half. Remember to stitch the mitered corners. Check on top side of the box to be sure lacing and canvas are correctly positioned; not pulling to tightly but firmly placed.

Lace the short sides together from one corner to the other.

Note on short sided rectangles the lacing only needs to be pulled lightly to hold sides toward center. On squares or larger pieces the sides will need to be laced firmly. This can sometimes be tricky the first time so as not to pull lacing too tightly.

Check box one more time after lacing is completed and re-adjust if necessary. Check to be sure canvas is not warping the illustration board and there are no ripples in the canvas.

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Place the cut lining fabric over the lacing and with the flat head screw driver. Return the picture points to their original positions to hold canvas and lining in place.

Your box is finished. Enjoy.

Next time I will catch you up on the Temari Balls. I am also heading to Hamilton, Mo to look for finishing fabric for Melissa Shirley Wicked canvas and ????. More about Hamilton too…I hear it is a quilter’s mecca.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

I’m finally Back to full speed

It has been 3 months and 1 week since I had my knee replaced and I am truly sorry it has taken me this long to get back to this blog. Truthfully, it had little to do with my new knee, other than the fact that I feel so well I just go-go-go. In a nutshell; I had zero pain after the surgery and rehabbed like it was nothing…I could hardly wait to be able to go all the places I had been putting off because of my bad knee. I overdid sometimes but the aggravation of being slowed up was worse than the pain, so I just kept pushing through it and still do sometimes.

20160628 Temari Basket of FlowersI did have a brief period where I didn’t want to stitch or do anything but I think that was related to the pain meds and I got rid of them the first week, but it still took a couple weeks for the fingers to want to pick up a needle. I fought this at first and then someone (retired Psychiatrists) told me that I should not fight it but find some other hand thing to do and it would bring back the stitching quicker.  So I practiced my knitting (Just learned this 20160628 Temari KUart last winter… would love to get good at it but do not see any Peruvian sweaters in my future and I do not need another stash!) and made a couple Temari Balls. Sure enough the urge return and I finished a couple painted canvases I had put aside to stitch while recovering…

 

And that my friends is what I have been doing the last three months; rehabbing, going and stitching, the trifecta of my dreams. Maybe this winter will have other knee replaced and then lookout world I will be completely bionic and able to go twice as fast as I do now.

Three months off has afforded me a lot to blog about and more finishing too…so without more health news lets get started. I’ll be back tomorrow with finishing for lighthouse.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Finishing: ornaments 3: Soft ornaments

Shaped ornaments may be finished with illustration board but I find it easier to finish them as a soft ornament. Any shape , even square or round may be finished using this method. These ornaments take a bit more time because they are hand stitched, no glue here.

Stuffing is a personal thing; some prefer tightly stuffed, while others like softer ornaments that are not stuffed as much. Whichever type you prefer, remember to use small amounts of fiber fill. Use a chopstick (reason to eat out) to push small amounts of fiber fill in to the nooks and crannies of shaped ornaments. My personal preference is somewhere between medium firm to firmly stuffed, squishy ornaments are not my thing.

Materials List:

BLOCKED Needlepoint

Copy of blocked needlepoint

Lining (optional)

Fabric Backing

Iron-on Pelon  or fleece: medium weight

Hanger (optional) Can use cording

Sewing thread to match Needlepoint and/or backing

Cording

Chop Stick or pointed tool

Usual sewing supplies

Step 1: Make a copy of your needlepoint on the copy machine and cut out.

 

 

Step 2: Lay copy right side up on the non-iron side of the pelon and draw around cut out copy.  Place on fabric backing for the ornament and iron to backing.

 

 

Step 3: Trim ornament to 1/2 inch and clip. Finger press the canvas to the back side of the needlepoint and hold in place with pins.

 

20160323 OrnSoft 4Step 4: With a long waxed thread tack the excess to the back of the needlework with running stitches. Be careful not to take the stitches to the front of needlepoint canvas.

Step 5: Repeat this process for the fabric backing, checking to be sure that 20160323 OrnSoft 5the fabric backing will match the needlepoint canvas. Be sure the running stitches are only tacked to the pelon or fleece.

Step 6: Optional. I used a hanger I bent to fit as a 20160323 OrnSoft 6hanger  to fit the sweaters.  I attached this to the needlepoint side of the canvas with basting stitches.

 

 

20160323 OrnSoft 7Step 7: Pin the needlepoint to the fabric backing.

Step 8: With the back side facing you (don’t ask me why…it’s just easier) and a waxed thread, ladder stitch the front to the back. The ladder stitch catches canvas 3-4 threads on the needlepoint and then 20160323 OrnSoft 8 ladder stitch graphicabout a 1/4 inch in the fold of the backing fabric. Pull this stitch snuggly, drawing the canvas and backing together. Do not for get to leave an opening for the ends of the cording and a place to stuff. Note the sweater ornaments had two openings; one at the hanger and one I left at the bottom to use for stuffing.

20160323 OrnSoft 11Step 9:  Using small amounts of stuffing, stuff the ornaments to the desired fullness. Use a chop stitck, small knitting needle or any pointed instrument to stuff; poking small amounts of stuffing into small places and corners. When stuffed to desired fullness, 20160323 OrnSoft 10close the hole with more ladder stitches.

Step 10: Make a cording to match or blend with the needlepoint. Attach to needlepoint hiding the ends in an opening left for this purpose.

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Step 11: With back side (backing fabric) toward you stitch cording to canvas with 1 strand of waxed thread. This thread should match the cording and if multi colored cord match fabric backing, whatever is most inconspicuous. Stitch through the cording, NOT over the cording. Stitching over the cording creates dimples in the cording that are not pretty.

Enjoy your finished ornament.

 

 

 

 

There is another type of soft ornament finishing and that uses fleece. These ornaments are not stuffed but rather stitched with fleece layers between the front and the back. I find this a great way to make a scissor fob…

It is finished very much the same way the above ornament is done:

Materials:

Blocked needlepoint Canvas

Backing material

Fleece

Thread

Cording

Step 1: Cut needlepoint canvas to 1/2 inch from needlework, angle corners.

Step 2: Finger press to back of needlepoint and pin.

Step 3: Cut fleece just a bit smaller then needlework and attach with running stitches being careful not to go through to the front of the needlepoint.

Step 4: Cut backing fabric 1/2 larger than needlework. Also cut 2 more pieces of fleece 1/8 to 1/4 inch smaller than needlepoint.

Step 5: Finger press and pin into place, mitering corners.

 

Step 6: Stitch needlepoint to fabric backing using ladder stitch method. Remember to leave opening for cording.

Step 7: Making cording and attach to needlework.

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Enjoy your new scissor fob. Hint you can also use to park needles.

This will be all the finishing for a couple weeks. Today as  I am having total knee replacement and will be rehabbing for a few weeks. But I look at it this way, I will have a good knee to keep me on my finishing quest.

AND I am going to have some great stitching time! 😉

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Finishing: ornaments 2: square or rectangle

As you probably guessed by now I am a glue person. I can lace a piece of needlepoint, I have and I will again but sometimes I just have too many ornaments to finish at one time. See the carrots from a few years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/recipe-for-finishing-carrots/) that was a production. And truthfully I would much rather have my Grandchildren carry around their ornaments in their sticky little hands (although I would prefer they didn’t have sticky fingers…but you know what I mean). The look of delight and love in their eyes when they see their favorite ornament is worth far more than any museum could ever offer me for a piece of my needlepoint

Today is finishing square and rectangle ornaments…there are only two differences between round /oval ornaments and square/rectangle ornaments. You don’t have to clip curves, there are none but you do have to miter the corners. It’s a trade off and personally I think the  round/oval is easier but I also like the look of the square/rectangle. And I really make more square ornaments than round ones…geometrics usually are square.

Again RULE ONE is having all materials at hand. I can’t emphasis this enough and trust me you will get frustrated if you have to stop and go to the craft store to purchase something (been there, bought that T-shirt many times).

Let’s get started.

Finishing:  Square/rectangle ornaments using illustration board (glue method)

You will need:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Backing material

Lining material if needed

Fleece:  I use one about a 1/4 inch thick.

Illustration Board: medium weight

Glue:  use archival save glue please

Clips to hold needlework and backing fabric

Sewing thread to match backing and complement needlework.

Beeswax

Sharp needle

Hanger (can use cording) another post…

Usual sewing supplies: pins, scissors, clips etc.

1.I press the backing fabric to get the creases out, if lining ornament (you only need to line an ornament if you did an open background stitch or your design has large open areas (not stitched).

2. Measure ornament and cut out illustration board cutouts; cut two same size: one for needlepoint, second for backing. I usually make these a tad smaller than the measurement; this is not an exact measurement, it is really by trial and error method because it actually depends on how much padding you use. Example:  needlepoint measures 3 inches x 3 inches, I make the illustration board about 2 7/8 inch by 2 7/8 inch.

Make sure these 2 cut outs are the same, trim if necessary. I mark mine with an up arrow so I know how they are to be put together.

3.Cut quilt batting; I usually use two for the back and three on the front. Number 1 is cut about 1/4 inch smaller than illustration board; number 2 is cut 1/4 inch smaller than first; and number 3 is cut a 1/4 inch smaller than number 2. You can do this as many times as you want, but four is about the most I’ve seen.

 

4.Cut backing fabric 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board.

 

5.Cut needlepoint 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board, trim corners diagonally. If using a lining for needlepoint cut this too. For ornaments on illustration board I use the same size lining fabric as needlepoint and you will aple the lining first and then repeat the same process for the needlework.

 

6.I glue the quilt batting to the illustration board with a dot of glue to hold in place. Start with smallest cut batting and largest batting goes on top.

At this point if your needlework need lining do lining first and then repeat with needlework. You do not need to finger press the lining fabric.

7.With wrong side of needlepoint (lining fabric) up, Finger press the corners and sides. Place illustration board over needlework.

8.Place a bead of glue on back side of illustration board at the corners. Start with the corners, turning them in to start mitered corner. I usually do one side and then the opposite side. It is important to keep design centered on the illustration board. Allow to set.

9.Run a small bead of glue along opposite edges of the illustration board and turn needlework bto the back , finish mitering the corners and secure in place with clips until set.

10.Repeat steps #6-7-8-9 with backing fabric

11.When set remove clips from needlepoint and backing illustration boards.

12.Attach purchased hanger if desired or can make from cording.

13.On wrong/back sides of illustration board place thin layer of  glue over the backs of the illustration board;. Keep glue about 1/4  inch from edge as I don’t want any seeping out. Leave an opening to place the cording ends between the layers. Place two canvases together and secure with clips. Allow to dry completely.

14. Make cording and attach with pins. Hide one end in the opening left in Step 12 and when finished placing cording, hind second end.

15. With back side (backing fabric) toward you stitch cording to canvas with 1 strand of waxed thread. This  thread should match the cording and if multi colored cord match fabric backing, whatever is most inconspicuous. Stitch through the cording, NOT over the cording. Stitching over the cording creates dimples in the cording that are not pretty.

Notice that I do not glue cording! I guess you could if you’re good but I personally like to sew my cording.

16. Enjoy

 

 

 

Lacing Method is the same except that you turn all to back and hold in place with clips or pins. Lacing should begin in the middle of a side and proceed to 1st miters. Stitch the miters as you go around.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Finishing: ornaments

I’m going to break the ornaments up into types, so we will start with the round ornaments using illustration board.  There are 2 methods to finishing these ornaments: sewing and using glue. I will show you both, it is up to you to make your own decision to which to use. My ornaments are not going to the Smithsonian; my grandchildren hand them on real trees (pine oil) and there is the time it takes to do all by hand (hand sewing takes about twice as long).

RULE ONE: Have all materials at hand, there is nothing more frustrating than having to stop and go looking for something else

Before we begin there are a few hints to make finishing easier…

There are clips on the market for holding canvas and fabrics in place. They come in two and maybe three sizes (I just have two); they are usually found in quilt departments of fabric stores or quilt shops. I prefer the green ones to the mini ones and really I usually grab my old fashion clothes pins 1st.

Hooks: for Christmas ornaments: these are found at craft stores and come in gold and silver. I like the decorative ones for finishing needlepoint because I have never been happy with cording loops. My cording loops either are too long or too short, but with these, you can use a second one of the same hook or the more tradition ornament hook to hang them.  And should you decide to hang them on the wall, this hanger makes a nicer presentation.

Glue: If you decide glue is not a four letter word in finishing here is a helpful hint, especially when glue is less than half full. Lay the glue container on its side with cap on, make sure the tip is over a plastic lid to prevent accidents…Use a large lid and lay the entire bottle in it.

I use old credit cards or a scape of illustration board to spread glue, keeps my fingers clean.

I also keep a damp rag handy when using glue. It helps keep glue off your fingers and it can also help if glue gets on fabric or needlepoint accidentally.

Finishing: Round ornaments using illustration board (sewing method)

You will need:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Backing material

Fleece:  I use one about a 1/4 inch thick.

Illustration Board: medium weight

Sewing thread to match backing and complement needlework.

Beeswax

Sharp needle

Hanger (can use cording) another post…

Usual sewing supplies: pins, scissors, clips etc.

I press the backing fabric to get the creases out…

Measure ornament and make illustration board cutouts; cut two same size: one for needlepoint, second for backing. I usually make these a tad smaller than the measurement; this is not an exact measurement, it is really by trial and error method because it actually depends on how much padding you use. Example: needlepoint measures 3 inches I make the illustration board about 2 7/8 inch around.

Make sure these 2 cut outs are the same, trim if necessary. I mark mine with an up arrow so I know how they are to be put together.

 

Cut quilt batting; I usually use two or three. Number 1 is cut about 1/4 inch smaller than illustration board; Number 2 is cut 1/4 inch smaller than first; and Number 3 is cut a 1/4 inch smaller than number 2. You can do this as many times as you want, but four is about the most I’ve seen.

Cut backing fabric 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board.

Cut needlepoint 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board. If using a lining for needlepoint cut this too.

I glue the quilt batting to the illustration board with a dot of glue to hold in place. Start with smallest cut batting and largest batting goes on top.

 

With wrong side of needlepoint up, place illustration board over needlework. Clip needlepoint.

With a double waxed thread begin to lace the needlepoint onto the illustration board. Start at 12:00 and work clockwise, pulling canvas taut but not tight enough to warp illustration board.

Repeat steps #6-7-8 with backing fabric

Attach purchased hanger if desired

 Place the two canvases together and pin. With back side (backing fabric) toward you ladder stitch together with a waxed heavy duty (quilt thread). A double waxed thread may be used too. Leave an opening to place the cording ends between the layers.

Make cording and attach with pins. Hide one end in the opening left in Step 11 and when finished placing cording hind second end.

With back side (backing fabric) toward you stitch cording to canvas with 1 strand of waxed thread. This thread should match the cording and if multi colored cord match fabric backing, whatever is most inconspicuous. Stitch through the cording, NOT over the cording. Stitching over the cording creates dimples in the cording that are not pretty.

Enjoy

 

 

The second way is to glue the ornament to the illustration board. There is not much difference except you are not lacing the needlepoint and backing nor sewing the ornament together.  It is much quicker, but does take some time to master  not gluing yourself too. Keep a damp rag handy and keep area clean.

Finishing: Round ornaments using illustration board (glue method) 

You will need:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Backing material

Fleece:  I use one about a 1/4 inch thick.

Illustration Board: medium weight

Glue:  use archival save glue please

Clips to hold needlework and backing fabric

Sewing thread to match backing and complement needlework.

Beeswax

Sharp needle

Hanger (can use cording) another post…

Usual sewing supplies: pins, scissors, clips etc.

I press the backing fabric to get the creases out…

Measure ornament and make illustration board cutouts; cut two same size: one for needlepoint, second for backing. I usually make these a tad smaller than the measurement; this is not an exact measurement,  it is really by trial and error method because it actually depends on how much padding you use. Example: needlepoint measures 3 inches I make the illustration board about 2 7/8 inch around.

Make sure these 2 cut outs are the same, trim if necessary. I mark mine with an up arrow so I know how they are to be put together.

Cut quilt batting; I usually use two or three. Number 1 is cut about 1/4 inch smaller than illustration board; Number 2 is cut 1/4 inch smaller than first; and Number 3 is cut a 1/4 inch smaller than number 2. You can do this as many times as you want, but four is about the most I’ve seen.

Cut backing fabric 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board.

Cut needlepoint 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board. If using a lining for needlepoint cut this too.

I glue the quilt batting to the illustration board with a dot of glue to hold in place. Start with smallest cut batting and largest batting goes on top.

 

With wrong side of needlepoint up, place illustration board over needlework. Clip needlepoint with scissor.

Place a bead of glue on back side of illustration board around the edge. Start at 12:00 o’clock postion and use one of the clips to secure needlepoint to illustration board. Move to 6 o’clock postion and repeat. Do 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock the same and then fill in the rest until all clipped needlepoint canvas is attached to illustration board. Allow to set.

Repeat steps #6-7-8 with backing fabric

 

When set remove clips from needlepoint and backing illustration boards.

Attach purchased hanger if desired

On wrong/back sides of illustration board place a bead of glue around the edge (I usually keep glue about 1/2 inch from edge as I don’t want any seeping out) and in the center . Leave an opening to place the cording ends between the layers. Place two canvases together and secure with clips. Allow to dry completely.

Make cording and attach with pins. Hide one end in the opening left in Step 12 and when finished placing cording, hind second end.

With back side (backing fabric) toward you stitch cording to canvas with 1 strand of waxed thread. This thread should match the cording and if multi colored cord match fabric backing, whatever is most inconspicuous. Stitch through the cording, NOT over the cording. Stitching over the cording creates dimples in the cording that are not pretty.

Enjoy

Notice that I do not glue cording! I guess you could if you’re good but I personally like to sew my cording.

And that is how I make round ornaments using illustration board. Can you tell which one of the three was stitched? 😉

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Finishing, the beginning…again:

I have started on my project for the year…I will have my needlepoint finished this year! I am going to do it myself or send it out.

I must tell you that I have great anxiety over trying to finish large stand-ups and pillows. I have these visions in my head of boxing some stand-ups and pillows and I have NEVER made a pillow in my life. This may be a real learning experience, but that is down the road and we won’t worry about it now because we are going to start with things we know and work up to the big things.

Okay some thoughts before we begin…

Washing Needlepoint:

Should your needlepoint need washing, I would have the piece professionally done. I am always afraid of wetting a canvas too much and having threads bleed. “Orvus” seems to be the recommended thing to use if you are going to try and wash your needlework.

I personally think an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I wash my hands before I stitch and liquids around needlework is an accident waiting to happen.  I keep my drinks a few feet away from my needlework and my computer…two reasons: 1. Liquid and computers or needlework do not mix. And 2 I get my exercise getting up to walk to my drink…that’s not to say I have not left many a cup of coffee to get cold, but it’s not going to hurt anything either.

Blocking:

Blocking is essential. Even if you stitched on a frame and your needlepoint looks perfectly straight, it needs to be blocked. Blocking is not easy and if you do not have a blocking board I suggest you get or make one.

I wrote about blocking 2 years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/blocking-is-not-for-sissies/) and sad to say most of those needlepoint pieces in the top picture are not finished today. All I can say is I got sidetracked or it was just too overwhelming for me then.

14-06-12 blocking boardBut back to blocking boards.  I have one, it is a Maries Products 4 square blocker, and if I can ever find another at a reasonable price I will purchase it too. I love this blocking board. It works well for me. I use roofing nails to secure the needlepoint because roofing nails do not rust. I sure wish someone would 14-06-12 nailsmake this product again.

And not all blocking boards are suitable for needlepoint. Needlepoint blocking requires that you use heavy duty tacks or rust-proof nails to block needlepoint. Foam or vinyl boards are not heavy enough to block needlepoint.  Cardboard mats with ruled lines may work for canvas that is lightly distorted, but I would put a piece of clear vinyl over any thing I use to keep a safety net between the board and your needlepoint.  These cardboard mats may not last long either since you will be using roofing nails to hold stretched canvas in place.

You can make a blocking board using a piece of drywall covered with several layers of fabric. I would start with 2-3 layers of bleached muslin attached to dry wall with a staple gun. Over this I would use a piece of gingham fabric (woven not printed…Woven gingham will have straighter lines) with 1 inch squares in a light or pastel color. Attach gingham with staple gun using a right-angle triangle or T-square to keep lines straight. Over this I would place a clear piece of vinyl just to add that layer of prevention and prevent bleeding of the gingham. Of course you could prewash the gingham to see if it does bleed.  This board will have to be replaced also.  I understand you can use a piece of pinewood too, but this would require you hammer the nails into the board and it would have to be replaced too.

I have also known people who have blocked needlepoint on their ironing board using T-pins. I think these needlepoint pieces must have not been out of shape much.

Whatever method you choose, needlepoint should be blocked!

Before you block:

Whatever you use there are a couple things you need to do before you block any needlepoint.

14-07-09 Blocking remove tape & selvagesYou need to remove the selvage of canvas if it is still on your canvas.

You need to remove the tape from the canvas…you really should do this as soon as you are finished stitching. Tape is not good for long term on canvas.

 

Blocking needlework :

I am going to repeat here what I wrote two years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/blocking-is-not-for-sissies/)

 

if your canvas still has the selvage on it cut it off…hopefully this will still leave you room to block piece. If not, for now just clip through the selvage like you are clipping a curve, block and then remove. And shame on the designer or teacher who put her design too close to the selvage.


Blocking is hard on the fingers and the fingernails. You have to pull the canvas taut. I start to pin my needlepoint in the upper right corner. I pull the canvas taut and pin the top first (it does not matter whether you pin across the top or down the right side first whichever you prefer) The two things that are important are that you pull the canvas taut AND you pin in the same ditch, channel, between two parallel canvas threads (straight line) across the canvas. Next I pin down the right side, pulling taut and following a straight line. Next is the left side and then across the bottom Sometimes my bottom pining will be off a canvas thread or two, but what matters is that the canvas is square with no waves or puckers. Adjust pins by pulling canvas if you have waves or puckers.

 

To dampen or not…NEVER if silk or overdyes are used. I have a steamer and a mister but unless badly distorted (you must not have used your stretcher bars…shame on you) I seldom use water on my needlework. If I do, I put a towel under the blocking board and I mist very very lightly and leave the blocking board lying flat. You are going to love this reasoning…it makes no sense but it makes me feel more secure…I think if the board is flat and the color is going to run it will run down and not sideways. I told you it makes no sense but it makes me feel better. The other thing I have found is if I dampen needlework I have to adjust blocking the second time.
Okay needlepoint is on the blocking board and I leave it for a day or two, or three, or more…I check it after 24 hours and if the needlework is puckering I adjust the tension by unpinning two sides (bottom and left) and re-pin pulling taut. I leave blocked needlework on the blocking board until I get ready to finish and trust me I have had needlework on a blocking board a long time
. (Editorial note: No Kidding)


Another thing I want to mention here is if you have a piece that is badly distorted, I recommend two things:

1. Have it professionally blocked
2. Immediately find someone who will lace it for framing.
And know that over time it is going to distort again…unless of course you are planning on putting it in a museum where they can climate control it and keep it from the real world. And never let someone talk you into glue for the back or using pelon on the back… needlepoint is stronger than both of these and you will just have a mess.

14-06-18 supplies AOkay your piece is blocked and ready for finishing. Like stitching this requires some planning. It is necessary to have the proper tools and all the finishing supplies handy. Read this old my blog for these supplies they have not changed. 14-06-18 supplies B(https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/ufbsunfinished-but-stitched-supplies/)

Next we will finish ornaments…I’m good at small stuff.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! I stitch even if I am finishing too…never want to run out of things to do…lol.

ttfn…sue