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finishing doily centerpiece

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Is it really big, so your normal blocking board is too small, or are you asking about blocking in general?


If the first, try to fold to fold the piece to make it more manageable.  I've done this only once but it worked fairly well.


If the second, what I use is a paper covered foam board which is 20" x 30" (you can find these in the craft store, or Dollar Tree has thin ones that will work; so would a large piece of corrugated cardboard), rust proof pins, wax paper or plastic wrap, spray starch (optional), and a paper template (paper, compass, protractor).  Not everyone uses templates IMO the result looks much better.


For the template: If you have large format paper that's great, I just tape together sheets of printer paper. 


Round doily template - At its simplest, can be just a bulls-eye of circles about an inch apart.  This will help you keep the piece round.  I have several templates, the bulls-eye plus radii for the number of pattern repeats for the doilies I've made.  I use pencil, I'm afraid ink might bleed thru.


Filet doily template - marked off 1" grids.


Get the doily dripping wet, liberally spray with spray starch, squeeze out excess.  The starch will in no way make the piece stiff, it will just add body and help keep it's shape.


Assemble the board, template, plastic wrap, and doily.  Pin the middle of doily to middle of template, and gently stretch the doily so the edges are universally round.  You don't have to try to pin it to one of the circles, it may 'want' to lie between 2 circles, but the template marks will guide you to keep it even.  You may find that you will need to pin areas inside of the doily as well as just the edge, depending on the pattern.


Let it dry.  If you have a warm sunny day, it can dry in a couple of hours outdoors, but might take a couple of days inside on a cold damp winter day.


Some iron their doilies; I find I can't get them truly round that way, and I don't like the 'smashed' look of the stitches.  

Edited by Granny Square

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I'm thinking of trying thread crochet again- so I appreciate your taking to time to answer this in detail as well.

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An anti-cat place I've found is to tip one of our arm chairs over, resting on a foot stool so it's still on an angle, and pin large doilies to the back of the chair, This gives me a huge area perfect for pinning and the chair is tippy enough that my 2 feline friends stay off it (If I do it on the dining room table they seem to want to sit right in the middle of it, wet or not!)


I fold it into quarters first, so I know how to line it up and go by the design/stripe of the upholstery to keep it straight up and down and then across and pin those 4 points and then work out from there, moving the pins as needed.It's easy to pin into the fabric and even if little pinholes show in the fabric the next day when I'm done, a quick rub with a little brush makes them disappear.


I usually set this up in the evening, by morning the doily is dry. if it's humid I just set a small fan on an end table nearby to help it dry, as it's pretty wet from the spray starch when I start (I always hand wash my doilies in a tiny bit of dish detergent before I starch it, just to be sure the oils from my hands are washed from it, too)

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