Tips for Finishing
If a finisher could give you needlepoint instruction, she’d probably begin by giving you some simple tips of things you can do to make your needlepoint look better.
By folowing some of these simple points, your stitching can be finished the way you want it to look.
Have you ever had a piece of needlework that came back from being finished with part of the design missing? This is probably because you forgot to put an extra edge on your needlework. This little bit of extra stitching (about three meshes), provides some fudge factor space for the finishers.
You can use Tent Stitches (probably do Continental) but you can also frame the edge with a simple border. While any stitch will work, I like Gobelin because it stitches up so quickly.
If you are having a belt finished, use Overcast Stitch to make a firm edge for turning.
If you are making something like a dog collar which will get lots of rough wear, do not use Overcast Stitch, use Tent Stitch, it wears better.
Sometimes a good job of blocking and a self-finishing product are all you need to make a great finished piece. Blocking is quite simply the process of taking a stitched piece of needlepoint and stretching it so that the canvas returns to its original shape. This section of the needlepoint instruction has some important things to remember when you block.
Needlepoint which is severely distorted may have to be blocked repeatedly and may never completely be straight.
Needlepoint stitched on a frame needs little or no blocking.
If at all possible, trace the original outline of the piece onto paper and use that under your stitched piece as a pattern for blocking before you start to stitch.
If you have a copier at home, make a copy of the unstitched canvas to act as a guideline. Be sure to destroy the copy after you have done the blocking.
There are two kinds of blocking, wet or dry. Dry blocking should ALWAYS be used if you are not sure of the colorfastness of your threads.
It is very important in blocking to stretch both sides of the canvas evenly. So for every nail you put in one side, put another nail diagonally across the piece from the first nail. In other words if my first nail is in the upper left, my second nail should be at the lower right.
New tips will be added to this needlepoint instruction as I find them.