PREPARING YOUR WORK FOR A PIPE FRAME
Place your canvas right side up in the centre of a piece of fabric which is large enough to cover the frame with an overhang of 5cms. Don’t be tempted to attach strips around the edge because this results in uneven tension and distorts your work.
Zig- zag the carpet onto the fabric, making sure that it is correctly aligned.
Turn work to the wrong side and carefully cut out a window in the fabric exposing an area of canvas the size of your carpet and taking care not to cut through the canvas as well.
Remove the clips off the stand, place your work over the frame and commence replacing the clips in order to ensure that the fabric and canvas are as taught as possible. I usually place the side clips first and then the top and bottom. Once again ensure that your work is correctly aligned and then roll to tighten. You are ready to start stitching.
PREPARING YOUR WORK FOR A ROLLER FRAME
For those of you working on a roller frame, bind the side edges of the canvas with masking tape. Stitch a length of fabric to the top and bottom of the canvas long enough to roll on to the frame-roller in order secure the canvas as firmly as possible. Attach the sides of the canvas to the sides of the frame. I thread a long length of very strong cotton in a Chenille needle, knot the end of the thread, pass it through the bound edge of the tapestry, over the side of the tapestry frame and back through the canvas . Repeat along exposed length of canvas and tie off thread securely. Work second side in the same manner. When you are satisfied with the tension of the canvas, you are ready to start stitching.
HINTS ON STITCHING:
It is most important to separate the six stranded embroidery thread prior to working. By doing this, YOU will be in control of the thread. Run it through theeye of the tapestry needle to align the strands, knot the end of the thread and you are ready to take your first stitch. Insert the needle from the front to the back of your work about five holes ahead of your starting point. You are going to work over this thread to avoid unsightly ‘tails’ being caught up in your work as you stitch and to make sure that your stitches do not come loose.
An accepted method of stitching a canvas is to pass the needle from one hand to the other. This method is worth pursuing. Persevere and you will be amazed at the time you save.
Position your stronger hand under the work and your weaker hand on top of the work. Pass the needle from under the canvas through your work in the position of the next stitch. Your weaker hand on top of the canvas will be ready to take the needle and pull the thread through to the right side of your work. Insert the needle in order to complete the stitch you intend working and your strong hand will be ready to receive it and pull the thread through the canvas to the back.