How to Mount Hand Embroidery on Canvas Board

My latest design has thrown me a whole host of different challenges, not only in the way I stitch the piece but also in the way it is displayed.

Traditionally, the easiest way to display hand embroidery is in a hoop – it’s quick, simple and inexpensive so why would you choose anything else! I suppose the reason I wanted to move away from this is because you can be restricted in the design and size with a hoop, whereas mounting on a board has no limitations either in size or shape which I find opens up a whole host of new possibilities.

My newest design is an 8 inch square and my intention from the very start was to get this mounted on to a canvas board to show off the piece to its full effect.

I will take you through the steps for mounting this 8 inch square embroidery design on to canvas board but these principles can be applied to whatever you choose to frame in this way.

The first step is to remove your work from the frame you stitched it in and then iron it on the reverse ready for mounting on to the Canvas Board.

Flat Canvas board is ideal for embroidery as it is sturdy and pre prepared. You can get it in many sizes from most craft stores as well as online. Make sure you choose a good quality one.

Tip: I like to use a second calico fabric as a stabilser on my embroidery as I stitch which means when I come to mount it on the board I already have 2 layers of fabric as a base. If you don’t use a stabiliser, you may want to attach a layer of Calico to the Canvas Board before you attach the actual embroidery for a better and smoother result.

Choosing the size of the Board: How do you know what size to choose? This basically depends on the embroidery and if you want it to have space around its edge or not. With my 8 inch square design I wanted a 1 inch border around it so chose a 10 inch square canvas board. You don’t have to have any border and can choose one that is the same size as your finished piece.

As you can see, the 10 inch markers show what the design will look like with a 1 inch border around its edges when it is on the 10 inch square canvas board.

Mark the corners of where the canvas board will be with pins on the front of the fabric (see black arrows above).

Next, turn your fabric over to the reverse side and place your canvas board over the design, matching up the corners to the pins you just placed. With a pencil mark each corner of the the canvas board so you know where it needs to go. (black arrows below).

Next mark a 1.5 inch border from the edges of the canvas board ( this is the fabric you will fold to the back). Cut around this border to remove any excess fabric.

Once you have the corners marked as well as an additional 1.5 inch fabric allowance out from these – place your Canvas Board face down over the back of the design (matching up the corners with the corner marks!) ready to mount.

The following photos show a much smaller board being wrapped just for the purpose of showing you the process more easily.

Step 1… Pull the fabric allowance over to the back on one side and starting from the centre place a pin in to the edge to secure it in place. Keep pulling the fabric over and pinning the rest of that side from the centre out to the edge as in the above photos.

With your first side pinned, you need to repeat this on the opposite side – this time making sure you pull it across and wrap the fabric around to the back nice and tight to keep it smooth on the front.

As you can see from the front, the fabric is nice and tight over the board. Next you need to do the other 2 sides in the same way. Keeping tension as you go.

Here is the Garden Glory Design pinned on all 4 sides and a nice tension achieved so the design is smooth throughout. It is nicely centred on the board.

If you are not happy with anything at this point it is best to sort it out now by readjusting, or making it tighter as you won’t be able to do this after this point.

The next step is to fold the corners over at the back neatly and stitch to hold them in place.

Using the following photos as a guide, firstly bring the point of the fabric over the corner of the board squarely.

Keeping the fabric tucked in to the edge, Fold one side up – make sure you keep the corner nice and neat by keeping the fold of the fabric tucked under in the right place.

Lastly, do the same with the other side, folding it up whilst keeping it tucked under.

Don’t be disheartened with this step as it can take a few attempts to get it right by fiddling and re doing (it’s not as easy as it looks!). Many people say to pin this in place at this point but I found it didn’t keep the corner nice and crisp so opted to stitch the 2 sides together which also helped to pull the corner tighter in the process.

Here’s a close up of the corner stitched to secure the 2 sides in place. It isn’t pretty but I kept checking it looked perfect from the front (which is the main thing!). Plus I can hide the back which you will see in a bit!

Now you need to use some STRONG thread (!) for the next part. ( I used a size 8 perle thread and doubled it to give it the strength I needed to stop it from breaking. ) You are basically going to pull the 2 opposite sides together nice and tight with the thread.

To secure the top and bottom sides to one another, bring your thread up in the centre at ‘1’ approx. half an inch from the fabric edge and secure with a knot. Take the thread directly down to the bottom edge fabric and come up at ‘2’ (half inch in from edge).

You will need a really long piece of thread to continue along – going up at ‘3’ then down and through at ‘4’, back up at ‘5’, back down at ‘6’ etc etc. Finish at the bottom edge to secure. You need to maintain a nice tight and even tension from number ‘1’ all the way to the point at which it will be secured so that the embroidery continues to stay tight on the front.

When you have done the first half of vertical stitches, return to the centre and do the other half in the same way and secure. Providing it is all nice and secure and you are happy with the tension you can remove the pins on the top and bottom edges.

Now you just need to do the exact same process to pull each of the remaining 2 sides together. Once it is all secure, remove the pins and your embroidery is now mounted.

As you do all of the steps above, keep checking back to the front to make sure it is looking as you want it to. The tighter it is the smoother it will look.

As a final step to cover the back, cut a piece of felt half an inch smaller than the finished size. (Mine was 9.5 inches.)

Whip stitch this in place around the outer edge to complete your work.

Attach a picture hook for hanging.

So there you have an easy and simple way to give your embroidery a contemporary edge. There is no right and wrong way of doing this so long as you achieve the result you are after.

If you would like to purchase the Garden Glory Pattern which is featured in this post you can get it here

If you have any questions you can email me or post a comment. Thanks for reading!

Doodle Cloth Tuesday – Pearl Stitch

This week I decided to try a line stitch that I haven’t done before and came across the Knotted Pearl Stitch. This turned out to be a really nice stitch once you get in to a rythym and I can definately say I will use it in future designs.

Draw a line and come up on the edge. (1) Take a stitch along and slightly above the line and take your needle down (2). Next come up directly below where you came out at ‘2’, this time on the other side of the line a little distance from it (3).

Form the knot by slipping the needle through the stitch you made (4) and keeping the thread taut (as in the photos), releasing it gradually as you pull the thread through the stitch to form the knot. The rest of the stitches are made in the same way along the line forming knots as you go.

Playing around with different thickness of thread as well as varying the distance between the knots means this is quite a versatile stitch. The orange Pearl stitch was worked with 3 strands of DMC thread. The Green is 2 strands of perle thread no. 12, and then the yellow is a thick pearl cotton.

The Knotted Pearl Stitch would make a fabulous decorative edging on lots of different designs.

Doodle Cloth Tuesday – Woven Picot

Woven Picot are traditionally used in Lace work and I have shied away from this one in my work – no idea why! Let’s give it a go..

There are several different types of woven picot so let’s start with a version that is stitched to the cloth rather than detached as you very often see.

Stitch a triangle as above. Start at A and go down at B, Come back at C and go back in at D. Then stitch a central line up the middle coming out at E and back in at F.

Woven Picot Stitch

After you have pulled your thread though at F, come back out where the arrow indicates and then start weaving your thread in and out, completing each row in this way to fill the Picot.

Once you have weaved all the way to the bottom, take the thread through to the back in the centre and secure at the back.

Now you are able to do a simple Woven Picot, experiment with different threads to see the difference it makes.

You can also try a detached Woven Picot Stitch…

Use a Pin to act as an anchor for your weaving. Pop the pin in your fabric and then come up at A and take the thread around the pin and then back in the fabric at B. Come back up at C, and again take the thread around the back of the pin – this time do not take the thread to the back, instead you are going to start weaving it back and too as you did before to fill in the shape.

Once you have filled in, take the thread to the back of the work and secure off.

Remove the pin and you have a lovely detached Woven Picot!

I did a few of these over my doodle cloth to try and perfect them and they got better each time! If you google woven Picot there are some gorgeous flowers you can create with this stitch, definately one to use for something special.

There are lots of stitch ‘doodles’ on the cloth now, can’t wait to have a look through my books and pick another one for next week!

Doodle Cloth Tuesday – Sorbello Stitch

Well hello again, if you are new to the Doodle Cloth series then take a look at the first post which tells you how to get started… Creating a doodle cloth.

This week, Lets try the Sorbello stitch…

This stitch gets its name from a town in Italy called Sorbello, from which it originated.

It can be used in lines or curves and to fill shapes very much like the cross stitch.

Here’s how the stitch is composed…

Bring your thread up at 1 and down at 2 to create a straight stitch. Then come up at 3 (a stitch length down from 1).

Bring your needle up & around and take if down under the straight stitch (4) and over the thread that came out at 3 (5) – pull this through to form a loop around the straight stitch…

Do the same again to form a second loop (or knot)…

Then finish off by taking the thread to the back (a stitch length down from 2).

This forms a cross shaped stitch with a knot in the central area. You can play around with this and pull the loops tighter to form a more cross shape, or looser for a knot centre to be more apparent. Here’s a few on my doodle cloth…

This really is a more fancy version of the simple cross stitch and would look lovely done neatly (!) in rows, circles or to fill geometric shapes.

Next week I am going to pick something tricky tricky tricky to challenge us all!!!

Related posts… cup stitch and Van Dyke stitch

March Birth Flower: Daffodil Friday Freebie Pattern

This March I am kicking off a new regular feature on the Blog called ‘Freebie Friday’! Every second Friday of each month,I will be posting a free pattern for you to download and stitch. The theme for 2019 will be…

Birth Month Flowers!

So many people (including myself) love to stitch flowers so I was fascinated to find out that each month has a flower that symbolizes the month of somebody’s birth. Supposedly the characteristics that the flower has may be “inherited” by whomever is born in that certain month and these flowers are referred to as Birth Month Flowers.

So, with that I have decided to make a flower for each month of the year and make this a Freebie Friday pattern for you to enjoy as well.

The March Birth Flower is the Daffodil. This symbolizes Spring, rebirth, domestic happiness, respect and friendship!

I hope you enjoy the pattern…

Firstly, download the pattern from the link above and transfer your daffodil on to your fabric – I traced the template on to some Robert Kaufman Kona cotton using a frixion pen.

I made a few directional lines within the petals to help me when stitching and used long and short stitch (also known as needle painting) throughout the flower

Using DMC 3820 – 2 strands, each section of each petal is stitched individually so that you don’t lose the lines that add the detail. I found since I was using the same colour throughout, I needed to add the lines in as I went so that I didn’t lose sight of where they were!

For the outline details I used DMC 3852 (2 strands) and the lines were stitched with split stitch.

Make your way around the whole flower, filling in the petals with long and short stitch and then split stitching the lines to define the areas.

Once the whole flower is done you can split stitch the outer edge as well to finish.

Stem stitch the green with DMC 702 (2 strands).

Of course, Daffodils come in an array of different yellows or whites or a mix of both so experiment with different colours for different effects.

For those of you who would rather not do Needle Painting, or would like a quicker project perhaps for a Mothers Day card or gift – here’s an alternative version…


For this one I used a Bright yellow cotton I had in my stash ( I think it is Robert Kaufman Kona but can’t be sure, its definately very bright!)

Thread used is a Pearl cotton size 8 in a yellow and brown and a tiny bit of green. Starting with the yellow, I straight stitched small areas of each petal just to give some highlights. Then with the brown all the lines were back stitched. Finally the stem was back stitched as well.

This was really simple and quick but very pretty when finished, here’s a close up…

If you enjoy stitching up some daffs of your own, send some pictures to me as I would love to see your creations or you can tag me in on instagram with @stitchdoodlesdesign.

Next Months freebie friday will be either a Daisy or a Sweet Pea – I haven’t decided yet so if you have a preference let me know!