Pins, pins and more pins…

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!

Happy stitching.



About wybrow1966

My name is Deborah, and my earliest recollection of being creative is learning how to smock at primary school. We had a wonderful, white-haired lady who came in once a week to teach the 'girls' how to sew. I am not sure what the boys got up to during this time - but I never once felt as though I was missing out on anything. Now, as a primary teacher, I often give up evenings to teach enthusiastic children how to embroider. I am now just about to embarked into the world of blogging. Who knows if anyone will be interested, or if I can even keep it up. But here goes....
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10 Responses to Pins, pins and more pins…

  1. Kim says:

    What a lot of work that I hadn’t ever considered goes into a lovely embroidery like yours. It is very impressive.

  2. Catherine says:

    Well done Deborah! It is a horrible task, but it is worth it. Your poor fingers will need a break!

  3. Wow, I never knew that. And so many pins. I can imagine what your fingers felt like. 🙂 It is still gorgeous. Well done.

  4. wybrow1966 says:

    Thank you – it was definitely a labour of love!

  5. Jen says:

    This is the part I’m dreading on the intensive course where there is so little time… especially since I’ve never used a curved needle before!

  6. sewchet says:

    A piece as stunning as this deserves all the proper attention it is getting….and your fingers will recover. Eventually!

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