Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Evertites: A Review UPDATED

As I wait for the silk ribbon I need to finish up my mother's Cameo Ornament present, I have started my next project.  Since I splurged on Evertite stretcher bars last summer at the Xmas in July sale at my LNS, I thought I would take photos as I put them together to use on the New Project so you could see what the big deal is about these expensive stretcher bars that are all the rage these days.

The first photo shows my two sets of 14 inch Evertites.  Like all stretcher bars, you buy two sets for a project.  One pair is the length of the top and bottom of your canvas; one pair is the length of the side dimensions of your project.  Like regular stretcher bars, the two sets slot together at the ends.  But this is where the similarities end.  In the photo one pair has been opened and laid down on top of the instructions that come with every pair.

See the large nut visible through the slot at the corner?  See the tiny black hole in the stretcher bar itself above the slot?  These gadgets are where Evertites differ from regular stretcher bars--they enable you to tighten the canvas after it has been on stretcher bars a while and is getting slack.  You use the tool with the yellow handle visible on top of the instructions in the background.  (Note that this is just a 3/32" hex key wrench.  If you have a well-stocked tool box you don't need to buy the Evertite version.  But I like the handle and not having to borrow my husband's tools, so I indulged in my own hex key.)  In this photo the teeth of the stretcher bars are not pushed into position fully--I wanted you to be able to see the hardware that faces inside the bars.

The third photo shows my Evertites slotting together at the ends.  Unlike regular stretcher bars, the little teeth don't interlock close together.  You just push them as close as you can, making sure the tiny hole faces out and the screw is inside. Hopefully you can enlarge the photo and see the correct position of the hole and the screw in each side.  The instructions will help you however.

This photo also shows one of the nice additional features of the Evertites.  Each side is marked with a line in the exact center to help you line up a design for counted thread.  The ends of each side also have the size stamped on them.  You can see "14" clearly in the second photo from the top.  You'll never wonder what size you have again.

Once the bars are together correctly (Always check your instructions to make sure!) you attach your canvas.  However, you DO NOT attach the canvas at the corner.  The last photo shows my canvas properly attached.  The corners are loose because they must be to tighten the canvas.  I'm sorry the close up photo is blurry but if you squint you'll see that the teeth of the Evertites don't slot totally closed like regular stretcher bars do.  You can also see the tiny black hole where the hex key wrench is inserted to tighten/loosen the canvas.  If the canvas corner was tacked down,  you might tear it if you tightened it a lot.

So, are Evertites worth the money?  Yes and no.  For a big project that will be on stretcher bars a while,  buying Evertites will mean you can easily tighten a canvas before working it and loosen it before putting it away over the Christmas holidays.  If you like a drum tight canvas for stitching, Evertites will do this without the trouble of using a laced slate frame.

However, they cost a great deal more than regular stretcher bars.   So for me Evertites are an indulgence.  I pick them up on sale at my LNS when I have a very special project.  However, stitchers whose opinion I trust say that their stitching using Evertites is better than their stitching when they don't use them.  So these are a Buy if you have the money or really need to be able to easily tighten or loosen your canvas on stretcher bars.  They are heavier than normal stretcher bars.  My floor stand holds them easier but if you hold your stretcher bars in your hand, the weight might make them uncomfortable after a while.

Bottom line: I love these but the weight doesn't bother me.  I can't afford them for every project but for large projects with specialty stitches, they are a Godsend.

Want more photos of Evertites?  Stitcher's Paradise has great images on their site and also carries many sizes.  Evan Burroughs will custom craft a size for you, if the standard ones are not what you need.  Ask your shop to get in touch with him as he only works wholesale. He'll be able to give your shop a cost and time frame for anything out of the ordinary.  If you are interested, email me at chilly hollowat hotmaildot com and I'll send you Evan's contact information.  Remember, you have to work through a shop to buy.  If you don't have a local shop, Needle Nook of La Jolla will act for you and probably Stitcher's Paradise will as well.

UPDATE:  Janet Perry has mentioned a few other things to consider before you splurge on Evertites on her blog.  Here's the link.  Thanks, Janet!  And don't forget to read the commentts below this blog entry.  Several folks made interesting comments on how/where to work with Evertites.

UPDATE #2:  I forgot to mention how to take Evertites apart once your project is over.  You simply loosen each end by inserting the hex key in the black dots and unscrewing.  Then they will come apart like regular stretcher bars.  Note that Amanda says if you try to take the Evertites apart after extending them very far, you may ruin them. The screw can catch on the wood of its right angle pair and be pulled right out.  So do remember to return each screw to the retracted position before you disassemble the Evertites after stitching!

UPDATE #3:  Here is the Evertite website.

UPDATE #4:  Evertites come in several thicknesses now.  Here's which sizes work together and which don't.

UPDATE #5:  If you ever split the little interlocking fingers, Evan suggests gluing them back together with Titebond (and formulation), clamp them together, and leave them several days to dry.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow


Napa Needlepoint said...

Great review, I agree completely!

Keep Stitching,

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Thanks, Janet. It is a great product.

NCPat said...

Nice explanation.....these are all I will use and if my project is smaller than the sizes I have on hand, I add stips of muslin to the sides and away we go! LOL

Beth in IL said...

Thanks for the review. I often wondered if they are worth the money. Probably not for me, although if I found them on sale for a piece that is in my stash, I might indulge.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Beth, they are certainly worth the money for a special project. Otherwise, well, I wait for the yearly sale to pick up more. But I do love them.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Very clever idea, Pat! I had not thought to stitch my smaller canvas onto muslin and then baste that to the Evertites. That'll certainly work!

ChitownStitcher said...

Hi Jane,
I like them for my smaller projects also. The project that I carry all over the place, that may get thrown in the back of the car, onto a pile of stuff, smushed here or there. It helps to be able to tighten the canvas, especially because when I'm holding the stretcher bars instead of having them in a floor or lap frame, I tend to push against the canvas and stretch it more. I love the Evertites!!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Good point, Nancy. I hadn't thought about how useful Evertites might be for travel projects since I rarely go anywhere and never take a stitching project when I do.

Karen Wheeler said...

Where to buy a floor frame to hold the Evertite while stitching?

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

KL, are you asking what shops carry floor frames that are sturdy enough to hold the heavier-than-normal Evertites? Or are you asking which brands of floor frames will hold the Evertites?

The answer is, it depends. How about I post a Blog entry just on this topic tomorrow? Go to http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com tomorrow morning and we'll talk about these two things.

Unknown said...

I must admit I love them. I have purchased many sizes over time. They are expensive but I am worth it. Having a tight canvas is important to me.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

I love them, too, Jan. But I admit I only buy them for large pieces that are going to take months. They are expensive and also pretty heavy. I use regular or mini stretcher bars for smaller items.