DIY extremely sturdy blocking board.

by Kathy Bona
(Taylorville, Illinois, USA)

I have blocked this way for twenty plus years, Actually my materials have lasted this long, just needed new tape job once. I purchased a number of acoustic ceiling panel tiles, flatter the better. Size depends on your own preference. I used twelve tiles, 12 x 12. They fit together by sliding them into each other. Then I used duct tape to secure it even more. I repeated another set just like the first and stacked it on top of the first. Then I duct taped those together. My final size is 24 x 36 inches. I stacked this as most ceiling tiles are only approximately around .5 inch thick. This gave me a very sturdy one inch thick base to work from. Then I found shelf paper that had grid lines on it. Which worked extremely well as it had a sticky back. It also was waterproof. When blocking, my little half inch grid makes it extremely easy to square up my needlepoint. I usually use t-pins, of course not into my artwork but the first unsewn row. The ceiling tiles really take the T-pins over and over without ripping, know matter how much pulling you need to do to reshape your needlepoint. If it's in pretty bad need of blocking I use quilting pins into the needlepoint, although rarely have I needed to pin directly on needlepoints. I also use a spray bottle of water while I'm working. This is easily stored in a closet or leaned up against the wall till needed. Although while blocking, until the needlepoint dries, I leave it laying flat. PS. Using a dull pencil you can easily mark lines on the excess needlepoint cloth. Just find your starting point and run your pencil across, no ruler necessary and you get exact grain lines. Very helpful to block. PSs. I've owned a Custom Picture Frame Shop (Mom and Pop) for over 20 years and have used this method for every kind of needlepoints, from very old to new. This will last a lifetime.

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