I spent a lovely productive day today at Hampton Court finishing off and mounting my Jacobean Crewelwork. However, I did totally misjudge just how long the mounting process would take.
Before any mounting could begin I had a little more sewing and covering up of lines – lines that I had not seen, but that were spotted very quickly by Heather. A few stray tacking stitches also had to be removed.
Then on to the mounting. The first step in the process was preparing the mounting board which is measured at 3cm larger than your needlework on each side. Before cutting the card, check and check again that it is square and the measurements are correct. This piece of card is then glued onto a second piece of board and the two pieces are then left to dry under a very large pile of books.
Once the glue is dry, calico is stretched and glued to the board. Pins are put in place all around the edge to hold the calico taught – this process is very hard on the hands – but more pinning is to come! You need to make sure that you do not glue too close to the edge of your work as you will be sewing into this.
Once everything is dry you can begin to mount your embroidery which is stretched and pinned (yes, more pins!) onto your board, making sure you keep the grain of the fabric straight – something I found nearly impossible to see!
Pinning is a gradual process starting with only a few pins, once you are happy with your placement and that the grain of the fabric is straight, you add more and more pins, stretching all the while as you go. The worst part of the process is the corners as the grain of the fabric distorts more easily here.
Once thoroughly pinned, the piece is turned over. The corners of the work are turned in and the edges are then stitched in herringbone stitch, using a very strong buttonhole thread. Herringbone stitch is not difficult – but I did have problems with the curved needle – losing two into the floorboards! The corners are worked in slip stitch and at every stage you are pulling and tightening which is very hard on the hands.
My journey into mounting stopped here – as the end of the day had arrived, my hands were shot and I was exhausted! I am planning to go back next week to finish off the backing and to prepare the canvas for my next module. Yipee!