Finishing/Blocking Technique & Tips

  • To stiffen items such as bookmarks, you can use Aleene's Stiff It
    1. Place the item in a plate, then pour water over it to soak it.
    2. Pour off the water, and pour on the Stiff It (about 3 tablespoons for a standard-sized tatted bookmark.)
    3. Pick up the item and place it on paper towels. Then place more paper towel over the item, and press out the excess stiffener. (The stiffener left on the plate can be poured back into the original bottle.)
    4. Put the item on a flat surface, forming it as you wish.
    5. Wait for it to dry.

    Notes: This method stiffens more than starch, but not as much as straight stiffener. "Stiff It" costs about $3 US per bottle. (Tip courtesy of Carol A.)

  • I've started framing some of my larger and fancier tatted motifs and was having a hard time keeping everything in place while inserting the piece into the frame. I usually mount my tatted piece on velvet and didn't want to sew the piece to it as it continually shifts and it would also show up too much.
    1. I tried spraying the back of my blocked finished piece of tatting with Sullivan's acid free quilt basting spray and tah-dah! My motif stayed right where I put it. I laid it on a piece of waxed paper to spray it.
    2. Using a chalk pencil to mark edges and center placement is also another hint. They can just be brushed away when everything is in place.
    3. Also, for a more country look, tatted articles can be mounted on a contrasting cotton fabric. (Tip courtesy of Therese F.)

  • One of the cheapest devices I have is a styrofoam sheet about for blocking. Cover the styrofoam with grid paper (remember the old grid paper we had in school for geometry?) and put clear packaging plastic tape over it. The tape is variously sold as clear Duct tape, Postal tape, etc. I like to use T pins and then I use a 1/2 inch paint brush to "paint" the motif or doily with dilute starch or other stiffening agent. The grid paper allows you to block straight and hold straight until dry. The tape lets you use the same styrofoam board and grid paper many times.(Tip courtesty of Helen C.)

  • I lay my piece to be blocked on a pressing cloth and lightly spray it with a mist of water before trying to block it. I can then gently pat or stretch it into shape and the moisture is enough to hold each picot, ring, and chain in place until I can get the iron on it with a lightweight cloth between. The more out of shape the piece is before pressing the more moisture I use to lay it out. (Tip courtesy of Eliz)

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