Working with the Very Large Canvas

Originally posted 2010-11-06 06:28:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Marlene asked :

In my stash, I have a Susan Portra Christmas bell pull that shows the faces of the three Wise Men. The canvas is 30″ long by 12″ wide. Because many of the stitches will be padded or embellished, a roller frame might crush the stitches. Using stretcher bars, I might possibly have a piece that is not easily transported short of putting roller skates under the end of it and dragging it down the street… lol It also might involve stitching from the side instead of having the piece straight up. A round embroidery frame or those plastic PVC snap on frames might distort the canvas. I have never stitched without a frame and am concerned that I would not smoothly stitch in the yarn’s plies if I worked it rolled up in my hands. How would you handle a long padded piece, Janet?

I answered

If there is padding, you shouldn’t work it in your hands. You can use roller bars, but you would need to put fabric (something thick) to protect the padding. Id use stretcher bars myself, even so.

I have a piece I’m doing that is on 24″ bars and it works, although I only work on it at home. 30″ bars are doable, but they can be heavy. That is helped by using a stand of some kind. The stand holds the canvas for you.

Does anyone else have some tips for Marlene?


  1. Vicky says

    you can select a length of stretcher bars that is comfortable to work with, say 18″. You would attatch your canvas to the bars and realize that some will not fit. Take care not to place tacks through the canvas thread, but rather aim for the holes. The section of the canvas that is left over, you roll up and attatch back to the canvas that is on the bars with either banker clips (make sure the bankers clips are clean inside) or large paper clips. It works!

  2. Marlene says

    Thanks Janet and Vicky for your great ideas. You have pointed me in the right direction. It is remarkable what amount of needlework knowledge is on this Web site.

  3. Marilyn Becker says

    I have been sitting here all day and trying to figure out how to deal with a very large canvas. I only work on stretcher bars and and floor stand and was actually considering buying ridiculously large bars, but then having a hard time fitting it on my floor stand. Vicky’s answer was like a light bulb going off! Brilliant!

  4. says

    Comfortable with cross stitch and seeing the difference in the Elizabeth Bradley method of Victorian cross stitch. It shows working from right to left and doing full stitches. After I do a row for a house in one color, how do you go all the way back to right of next row to start? Do you end up wasting the wool yarn from one spot to the other and then stitching over it as you work right to left? Regular cross stitch is all the way left to right and then back over the other direction from right to left making it origin and able to start next row. Sounds like a very silly question, but don’t want to waste the wool every row.

  5. says

    If you are going to stitch row by row and always want to stitch in one direction, say left to right, you end the thread at the end of each row and then start again with the next row.

    Thread should not be carried more than about 1/2″ over canvas.

    Keep Stitching,

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