For the best quality work use either a stretcher bar or scroll frame to hold canvas taut while working. Over time, holding the design with your fingers softens starched canvas and makes stitches wobble. Using a frame keeps stitches clean and even, permitting easier finishing and smooth results.

When you use stretcher bars, the canvas is stapled or thumb tacked to the bars. (Suggestion: covering staples or tacks with cloth tape will minimize thread snagging.)

If you use a scroll frame, locate the middle of the tape on the dowel and the middle of the canvas. Match these two points. Place tape and canvas together side-by-side as if you were sewing a seam in a garment. Starting at the middle point, overcast the two together with close stitches. Tie off firmly. Attach the second bar to the opposite side of the canvas using the same method as used above. Pull the overcast seams flat and then roll the canvas around to bars.

You might find it convenient to use a needlepoint stand to hold your frame or stretcher bars. (There are lap, table and floor models.) This will allow you to have both hands free for stitching, one above the canvas and the other below.

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