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Needlepoint/needlepoint repair to date- all unstitched; split secured


Back of piece
Back of piece  
Needlepoint repair
Needlepoint repair  
QUESTION: Hi Henry-  here are 2 more pictures of my progress to date.  I will await your next instructions --  with many thanks,

ANSWER: Hi Terry,

Sorry for the delay, just dragging the last couple of days.

OK.  Good pics, and good progress.  One surprise is that the piece was done on penelope canvas, but that's fine.  Only because I don't know what your knowledge level is, here is a link explaining about the different types of canvas:

However, you will need to procure a piece of penelope canvas for effecting the repair phase of the project.  I believe you said that you got a piece of 10 gauge canvas...  is it mono, or is it 10/20 penelope?  You will need the same type and gauge canvas as the original piece.  Just to make sure you have enough, get a piece that is something like 8" x 8" - you'll be trimming it down after you have finished re-stitching all the fill.

So, you will continue to carry on with removing the stitching back from the damaged edge.  When you get a couple of rows from the split area, you will need to gently remove the basting threads.  Continuing on like before, you keep taking out the stitching and securing the threads to the back, but you will go back beyond the end of the split maybe another half inch.  Do this extra bit of un-stitching maybe 3-4 rows above and 3-4 rows below the split.  Be very gentle when removing the stitches directly on each side of the split; try to keep the canvas threads from unraveling as best you can.

Right after you expose the end of the split closer to the center of the piece, and before you continue removing the threads below the split, get some navy colored sewing thread (or anything close to the needlepoint thread color) and carefully secure the area right at the end of the split.  You are trying to prevent the split from growing further into the center of the piece.  You can stitch it up anyway that will make it secure (the sewing thread is going to be covered by the needlepoint threads, so it won't be visible).  However, when tightening up the sewing thread, be sure to not distort the canvas - just tight enough to secure, but not so tight the canvas threads get distorted.  This part is kind of critical, so just take your time and get it right.

Now you have the split secured, so you can continue removing the rows of stitches and securing the thread to the back.  Do this all the way down to the end of the damaged area.  You should now have the entire area un-stitched with a good amount of intact canvas exposed, and the split is secured so it can't grow further into the center of the piece.

When you reach that point, take a rest and take some pics to send to me.  We'll be moving into the part where you start to repair the canvas and restitch everything you removed.

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Front of piece
Front of piece  
Back of piece
Back of piece  
QUESTION: Hi Henry--  I am attaching pics of front & back of piece after following your latest instructions.  I do have plenty of Penelope canvas in same color & yarn that is great match!  I hope that you and yours have a very merry holiday season- I will wait for your next instructions when you are able.  As always, I send my thanks & gratitude,

ANSWER: Hi Terry,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you.  Crazy this time of year.  Hope you and yours had a nice Christmas!

Just a short note to say I didn't forget you, and that the project is coming along great!  Your unstitching and securing the threads is excellent.

A simple next step is to trim back all the frayed and broken ends of canvas threads.  You just want to trim them back to more stable area of the canvas - don't need to over do it; it's better to trim a little bit, and maybe need to go back for more, than to trim too much.

Go ahead and work on that for the next couple of days, take some close up pics, and take some that are more overall pics of the entire canvas.  Send me the pics and I'll check them out.

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Overall of piece
Overall of piece  

Close up of trimmed edges
Close up of trimmed ed  
QUESTION: Hi Henry- here are couple of pics of needlepoint repair project- canvas ends have been trimmed .  If you need more pics, please let me know.  Hope you receive the donation I sent you- your help is worth millions!!
Happy Almost New Year!

Hi Terry,

I'm sorry it's taken so long.  Unexpectedly crazy at work right after New Years.

First, I have to say thank you for your very generous donation.  I truly didn't expect it, but it is greatly appreciated.  My beer fund thanks you.  LOL

Second, I have to say that your work is excellent!  From the pictures, I have to say that I could not have done a better job.

Now, we're coming up on the end.  This part is important, but not too difficult.

Lay out the piece of new canvas and place the damaged section of the stool cover over the middle of the new piece.  You want that damaged area that you will be restitching to be pretty much centered over that new piece.

Now, very carefully line up the new canvas threads on the bottom with the old canvas threads on top.  You want it so that the threads are right on top of each other and all the holes line up.  Imagine looking straight down at the canvas and you should not be able to see the canvas threads on the bottom because the canvas threads on top are directly over them.

Once those are carefully lined up, you will take some of that dark colored sewing thread, and secure the top canvas and bottom canvas to each other at some of the intersections.  Doesn't have to be a lot of the intersection, but enough to keep the canvases from sliding around on each other and getting misaligned.

I hope this is making sense; if it does, and you get the two canvases lined up and secured, take a couple of close-up pics and post them here.  


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Henry Babcock


I learned needlepoint, knitting, sewing, etc. from my grandmother over 35 years ago. I can answer most questions on the subject of needlepoint. I know about producing needlepoint as well as cleaning, repairing and restoring.

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Almost 40 years using needle and canvas.

AS Marine Diving Technologies, SBCC 1998
BA Environmental Studies, UCSB 1993

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