We are thrilled to have Lucie Heaton teaching at our Craft Sanctuary event again this October. Recently nominated for Cross Stitch Designer of the Year, Lucie loves to create designs that crafters will be compelled to stitch. In her workshop, guests will be able to stitch a pretty lantern onto plastic canvas.
Here, Lucie Heaton tells us her top tips for working with this fun and versitle material.
I’m so excited to be coming back to teach another Craft Sanctuary workshop at Cranage Hall in October, at this event I’ll be bringing along my Pretty Lanterns project which will feature four dinky patterns to be cross stitched onto plastic canvas using satin and cotton threads, they will then be trimmed to make sweet mini oriental ornaments that are finished with a tassel.
So, what is plastic canvas and what can we do with it? Plastic canvas is a lightweight plastic mesh, punched with holes that resemble needlepoint canvas or Aida, it’s available in different counts just like fabric and although it is available in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes it is usually supplied as an A4 sheet.
The fab thing about plastic canvas is that it’s easy to stitch on, it’s inexpensive, it will not rip, fray or shrink and the finished stitching can be cut out to make fun shapes that have so many uses from a simple ornament, key chain decoration, bookmarks, badges, coasters or even joined together to make more complicated 3 dimensional objects such a boxes or baskets.
How do we stitch on plastic canvas? For cross stitch it’s easiest to use 14count mesh and use two strands of thread with a size 26 tapestry needle just like you would with Aida, it’s best to begin by choosing a small motif with a simple shape that will be easy to cut out, your pattern should use only whole cross stitches and backstitch as plastic canvas is not suitable for working fractional stitches or French knots.
When you have chosen your pattern cut a piece of plastic canvas large enough to stitch your design on to plus a border of 2 inches/ 5cm all the way around which will give you something to hold on to as you won’t be using a hoop or a frame.
Plastic canvas at the ready, begin stitching the centre of your pattern onto the centre of the mesh, stitching just as you would on fabric, it’s easiest to anchor the first few stitches using a doubled over strand of cotton and the loop method if possible as the plastic holes will not the grip the thread in the same way as Aida.
Once you have finished stitching your mini masterpiece slowly and carefully trim away the excess plastic leaving a border of one whole square of mesh around the edges of the stitching so that it doesn’t come undone, you’re now ready to finish your creation with a hanging loop, badge pin on the reverse or however takes your fancy.
So, armed with just a few basic materials you really can have lots of fun and let your imagination run riot I hope you feel inspired to give stitching on plastic canvas a try!