Working with Waste Canvas

I really enjoy working with waste canvas – I like being able to cross stitch onto non-aida fabrics (though I am not entirely adverse to aida, I do like variety and choice). Anyway, if you’re interested in working with waste canvas, go for it! Waste canvas is VERY inexpensive, and there are a ton of free patterns all over the ‘net. I’m lucky – my mom gave me a lot of her old pattern books, so I used this pattern from the early 1980’s.

Floral Tree - With original Pattern

Note that my colors differ from those in the pattern. Don’t ever be afraid to change a pattern to your liking! Make it your own.

Floral Tree - In Progress

You’ll note that I pinned the waste canvas to the fabric and stitched through it. I also mark my boundaries with a pen – I literally count the squares across and down (at the widest point). I then stitch from the center, as any kit will tell you to do. Make sure you plan well! I’ve done a towel using the waste canvas before, and was very careful to position it properly. I did not plan properly for this project and about halfway through decided to make it into a bag – OOPS! When I took it out, I noticed that I did not line it up correctly and my fabric was not shaped in a square but as a diamond. It might still be used as a bag, but I will not as easy-peasy as I originally planned.

Floral Tree - Result

I like it. What do you think?


8 responses to this post.

  1. […] Emily of On Awesome Avenue has some great tips for working with waste canvas. Go see. […]


  2. I love this, what a fab idea!


  3. Posted by Judy Harper on March 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I had a really hard time finding waste canvas – but ordered it from a shop in Portland, Oregon about two years ago. I’m using it to embellish on top of needlepoint stitching. It’s a little tedious, but I LOVE the effect.


  4. […] it’s wonderful to see the whole process. The blog, On Awesome Avenue has posted a tutorial on how to use waste canvas. A big thanks to Denise at Craft Gossip for pointing this […]


  5. […] might remember that folk art flower from a previous post on using waste canvas. I recently got new bedding for our bedroom, and that flower just fit […]


  6. Posted by Janet on September 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    what do you do when you can get the waste canvas out of the design i have tried both dry and wet to pull out the strings and all it does is break????


  7. Posted by Kary on November 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Beautiful! Question, which count do you use? 14 count?


  8. Posted by tnemily on March 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Sorry for the long time to comment – I’ve been on hiatus – but to address the questions:

    I recommend tweezers to pull out the waste canvas. And you just have to be careful and a bit strategic when you pull them out.

    I typically use 14 ct. – easier to obtain locally for me – and think that’s the waste canvas I used.


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