Using waste canvas for cross stitch

Using waste canvas is a wonderful way of creating a cross stitch design on a non-evenweave fabric. It enables you to embroider a logo on a child's tea-shirt or a motif onto a pillowcase.

Waste canvas, which you can use as a temporary grid and stitching guide, is easy to use. First remember, however, that your finished piece of work will have to stand up to frequent washing. For that reason you will need to check that the embroidery threads used are colour fast and also ensure that you finish off securely weaving loose threads into existing stitches before cutting off your thread.

Tips for using waste canvas

Cut a piece of waste canvas 2-4 inches [5-10cm] larger than your design.

Place the canvas where you want to stitch, trying as far as possible to line up the grain of the fabric you will be stitching with the line of the waste fabric on top of it. Pin both together and then attach the waste canvas with a running stitch.

Then stitch your design onto the two layers, starting from the centre of the design as usual. You will have to use a needle suited to the fabric below which will mean finer than that usually used for stitching on 14 count aida for example. It will after all be required to go through 2 layers. It will need to be a sharp embroidery needle or a crewel needle.

It will be necessary when stitching to use a stabbing movement and stitch each cross in its entirety. Always aim for the centre of the hole in your waste canvas.

When your design is safely transferred don't forget to finish off securely.

If there is any backstitching in the design it is advisable to put this in before removing the waste canvas, because it will look neater.

Removing Waste Canvas

This is the place when you are advised to go carefully. There's no point in wasting all that hard work after all.In order not to pull your work or damage the fabric underneath grasp one or two strands of waste canvas and pull gently (tweezers might be useful here) until its all removed. If this proves difficult it can be an idea to dampen the waste canvas first since this will make it easier to manoeuvre.

A free design to stitch on waste canvas.