Happy New Year! I always select a “Word for the Year” and this year I decided on CREATE. I considered Creative & Creativity but finally decided on create because so many words can come after. For example, Create a design, Create a new life, workspace, garage, Create a healthier lifestyle, etc, etc.
Along these lines, I started a new design and took some photos to show you the beginning…this will be somewhat of a “tutorial” on how I begin to stitch a project on canvas. Once I’ve decided on the “bones” of the design, I draw the outline on the canvas.
You may wonder why I always draw the outlines on my canvas and strongly recommend in most of my patterns that the lines be drawn on the canvas before stitching. After all, isn’t it “counted” canvas?! Well…if you take the few extra minutes to draw the outline on the canvas before you begin stitching, it will save you hours of time (which you can use to stitch!) because you won’t have to count as much and you will have lots of places where you are double-checking to be sure you’re stitching the right thing in the right place. I often have students tell me that having the lines makes it a lot easier and much more fun to stitch. I recently had a friend visit who told me that she’d gotten very frustrated with one of my pieces. I asked why and she said it was because she’d gotten off somewhere and couldn’t figure it out. I was quite dismayed until she sheepishly admitted she didn’t draw the lines and that contributed greatly to her trouble. She said she wasn’t going to ever tell me but decided it would be okay. We had a little lesson on drawing outlines on canvas and she’ll probably never not draw the lines again, especially when I write “I Strongly Encourage Drawing the Lines” at the beginning of the pattern!
For this new piece, I decided on large squares 36 by 36 threads. There will be six squares across and six squares down. First, I find the center of the canvas (I use a long ruler) and make a cross where the intersection is the center of the canvas.
At this point I extend the vertical center line closer to the top and bottom of the design. I then turn the canvas and mark the canvas just as I did from side to side. Before drawing the lines all the way across, I recount to make 100% sure I counted correctly the first time – this is the “Measure twice, cut once” theory! (I didn’t take a photo at this point – sorry).
Next up is a photo of a closeup of one 36×36 thread square – note how the lines are “on the holes”.
I love a new canvas! The last step before stitching is to attach the canvas to wood stretcher bars with rust-proof tacks. Now I’m ready to stitch – yeah! The picture is crooked, not the canvas!