Cross stitch, tapestry and embroidery from Millennia Designs

Presenting your work


Even if you have used a frame to work a needlepoint design, you may still find that it has suffered some distortion. If you feel that the canvas does require stretching back into shape you may find the following basic guidelines useful.

Cut the selvedge edge off the canvas and machine or hand stitch a narrow hem on all four sides. If your work is only slightly misshapen it may be easier to stretch it in a dry state: If, however, it is badly distorted you will need to stretch the canvas while it is damp (although not soaked). Tack the canvas face down on to a sheet of plywood, beginning with a tack in the centre of each side (through the hem), then work outwards towards the corners, spacing the tacks no more than an inch (3cm) apart. To achieve a canvas with the threads running straight and at right angles to each other is a process of trial and error.

When you have stretched your piece to your satisfaction lay a damp cloth on it and iron lightly over it. Then leave the canvas tacked onto the board fro 48 hours. You may then like to apply a fixing solution which you can obtain commercially, but this is probably only necessary if your work is going to be placed in damp conditions, which will otherwise cause the stretched canvas to return eventually to its original stitched shape.


If you decide to make the design into a cushion you will need to buy some backing fabric, velvet or heavy weight silk are ideal, and some piping cord for edging the cushion. Trim the canvas, leaving about one inch (3cm) of unstitched canvas around the worked design. Cut a piece of backing fabric the same size as the trimmed canvas and pin or tack the backing and canvas on three sides, with the right sides facing. With the worked canvas uppermost, machine or backstitch on three sides and part of the forth as close to the edge of the needlework as possible. Close to the line of the stitching cut diagonally across the corners and turn the cushion right side out, being careful to push the corners fully out. Hand stitch the cording over the centre of the join between the backing fabric and the canvas, starting at one corner of the partially open side. Once the cording has been stitched on three sides insert the cushion pad or stuffing. Slip stitch the open side leaving a small gap at the corner where the join in the piping cord will lie. Finish stitching the cording onto the slip stitched seam and tuck the ends of the cord into the gap at the corner, stitching the gap closed at the same time.


Newcastle Hall, Newcastle
Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 8QL
Tel: +44 (0)1588 640392



Millennia Designs: Fine needlework inspired by the past.