Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Needlepoint blocking - hurry up and wait!

I was ready last night to start prepping the giraffe needlepoint to use in a pillow.

Borrowing a blocking board from Mom and following her instructions, I'm now in the hurry up and wait phase. The canvas needs to dry and set in its new straightened position.

Tools at the ready

It's actually my first time blocking a canvas - and here's the directions I followed:

Tools required:
  • steam iron
  • blocking board and pins/nails
  • damp pressing cloth (I used a tea towel)
  • cardboard for under the blocking board to protect counter from nail protrusion (even if you don't like your mauve countertops)
  • phone to call Mom - just in case ;-)

1. With needlepoint face down cover with damp pressing cloth.
2. Waft steam from iron over the back WITHOUT applying any pressure until canvas softens.
3. Starting from a corner apply nails every one inch along top - following a straight line on the blocking board.
4. Apply more steam if necessary and tack a nail in other two corners, pulling gently to square.
(severely twisted canvases may need more than one blocking effort)
5. Continue adding nails every one inch around the perimeter of the canvas, bottom then sides, using steam when needed to resoften the canvas as it cools.
6. Remove damp pressing cloth.
7. Allow 24 hours to dry/set - repeat if necessary.

On the back the texture of these basket weave stitches is interesting too.

 And now I wait!

Will it need another squaring effort? Time will tell. Then comes the fun part - fabric shopping for the backing!!

Have you had success blocking a needlepoint? What method did you use?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sharing today with:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River 


  1. What a fun project! Good luck with the squaring. I do not know much about this, so I can't help much. :-)
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

  2. Great was interesting to read how you square them...picking out the backing should be fun!
    Scrappymo #176

  3. Hi Jackie! Happy WOYWW 4th B-day! What a beautiful giraffe. I have never blocked a needlepoint and I think it was so good of you to post the directions for anyone who wants to try! I think I would be too impatient to have to wait (ugh!). I need that faster instant gratification in my projects, haha...which probably explains why it takes so long for me to get it right. I need to learn to wait I guess!!!! Can't wait to see the finished giraffe project. Have fun shopping for fabric, that is always fun if you can keep focused :) Have a great week. Rasz #164

  4. I remember doing something like this when I did a cross stitch panel many years ago. I was a beautiful picture with swans on a lake, but it took forever to make. It was left behind when i moved when my marriage ended, shame when it took so long to complete. Yours is lovely.

  5. I've never blocked my needlepoint. Supposedly, the stitch I learned and using a frame doesn't require blocking. But I have noticed that some of my vintage purchased needlepoint pillows are beginning to warp. Mine are still straight so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It is silly of me to resist this final stage after the hours of work that goes into it. But alas... Dori 179

  6. Happy 4th anniversary
    I have not really done any needlework so I cannt share experience on this however like what you have done
    Jackie 5

  7. I’m sorry to be late in visiting but I’m now on day four of my quest to get round everyone this week. I know it’s going to take some time, but I wanted to say that it’s amazing that the internet can bring together so many likeminded people and I’m grateful that WOYWW has also brought along so many new friends, thanks to Julia.

    Don’t think I’ve seen a blocking board before, what a fab piece of kit. Loving the finished results in your next post too, the fabric you chose is just perfect.

    Enjoy your weekly snoop, especially as we’re celebrating WOYWW’s 4th Anniversary
    Happy Crafting!
    Sue @82

  8. Wow! I can't imagine how much patience it would take to complete a piece like this. Visiting via WOYWW… Blessings!

  9. How beautiful! I did needlepoint many, many years ago and remember blocking! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday


Thanks for stopping by!! Love to read your comments - whether on vintage thrifting or creative stitching!! (Comments are moderated due to high spam lately - sorry!)


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