If you choose to wash your cross stitch there is a need to dry it. This drying gives you a chance to block out your cross stitch (or pinning as its sometimes called) and ensures no stretching, warping, or folds can be seen in your finished project. But it also sucks. You have to get our your rulers, find a suitable surface to do it on, stretch and pin always trying to keep it straight, not really being sure if you’re actually putting a warp in it or not.
But there is an alternative. And its from the world of quilting.
The Cushioned Quilters Square n Blocker is a dream. In short, its a blocking board, combined with a few nifty features that make it a serious upgrade from the weird foam floor mats you’re currently using.
Why its great
Let’s start by saying what we’re talking about is a fancy foam cushion. At first, that seems a little… well, a little worthless. But its no ordinary foam cushion! Made from a tough fabric it allows you to pin, pin, and pin again without damaging it. For a sheer length of use this gives it, its already a serious contender, however, its build quality really isn’t the star feature.
The board has a blocking pattern printed on it showing you a series of straight lines, at right angles, meaning no more rulers, no more “is that straight?” moments. You can simply throw down your work and know that it’ll be pinned down in a nice orderly, warp free way. But that’s also not its star feature.
So what’s the star feature? You can iron it. Yes, directly on it. This has two massive advantages. Firstly, you can iron on your cross stitch, while its pinned, meaning no accidental ironing in of creases (we’ve all been there), but also, you don’t have to get the ironing board out.
Is it worth getting?
Well…maybe. I’m a great lover, and it’s a great product for sure, however, that doesn’t mean you should go out right now and buy one. There are two fairly large issues we also need to discuss.
Firstly, is the size. Whilst the 14” x 20” grid is plenty big enough for a lot of projects, it’s not for all projects. If you solely stitch smaller things, then it’s great, but with the alternative being something like foam floor mats, which you can connect together to make frankly massive areas, you might be better off investing in the mats.
Secondly is the cost, or should I say high cost? One of these will set you back about $45. As previously mentioned, the go-to alternative is foam floor mats, even if you get fancy here and add in a long ruler, a center finding ruler and a few right angles, you’re only going to hit half of that cost.
But, it does have its benefits. So if you have the money, I would think about getting one. But I’d still not consider it a wonder product you must go out and get. In fact, I still use floor mats. Whilst they aren’t as fancy and don’t have a nice pattern on them to ensure I’m always pinning them squarely, I’m used to them. I also stitch ever-increasing large cross stitches, so the adaptability of floor mats that can connect together means I’m always going to pull out the mats.