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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Technial Tuesday: Blocking without an iron!

Hope everyone had a productive Labor Day weekend!

And it's Tuesday again. Today I'm covering blocking, as it's fresh in my mind. You see, I didn't believe I'd ever have to block anything, so I was kind of at a loss when I finished my doily. And at the risk of turning in my Homemaker Club Card, I must admit that I don't own an iron... Hehe. I need one, I have visions of melty pegboard beads and being able to wash my curtains without borrowing my mother in laws again, but everytime I look at the store, they never seem to be in stock.

So I had a large doily to block, and no iron. But I'm quite happy with what I did.

 What you need:
Item to be blocked
Stainless Steel T pins
A blocking board- I used a piece of foam backing I grabbed out of the dollar store school section
Spray Starch
A scrap towel
A bowl to wash the item in
(Optional) I used liquid stitch on my ends, though I read later that it'll eventually turn yellow with age
A clean workspace

Step 1: Wash the item in cool water with a drop or two of dish(NOT DISHWASHER) soap. Gently swirl it in the water to remove any oils that accumulated while you were working it up(make sure your hands are clean too!). I highly recommend this to be brief and to test any contrasting colors for colorfastness before using anything resembling warm water. Rinse and move to your work area.
Step 2: Lay your item out on half of the towel and gently blot it to remove excess water. Following the directions on your starch, light mist the top of your item with the starch, flip it over carefully, gently blot, and starch the other side.
Step 3: Transfer to your blocking board, right side up. This could layers of cardboard or a professionally made item. If you need to pin at certain measurements, draw a graph of the appropriate size on your board before beginning. I did not feel the need to do this, so I skipped it this time.
Using the T pins, start in the center and work your way out, making sure the damp strands look exactly like they should when it's done drying and that the needles are holding the tension as they should. I went all the way through both sides of the foam board I used.

Step 4: Run around madly showing everyone you can find your newest creation (Just kidding, sort of. Just because I did doesn't mean you have to!) Step 4 is actually to put it away and not fidget with it. Let it dry overnight, preferably for 24 hours.

Step 5: Remove your pins and put your creation on display :)

In retrospect, I didn't have enough t pins to adequately block. I should of placed one in each point around the outside, but the store only had 1 box of 40, and there is something like 53 points just around the outside, not including the ones I had to place inside. But I made it work, and so can you. Just remember to pin it exactly as you want it to look :)

Keep on Hookin'!


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