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Tips & Techniques

Framing It Up

How do I finish thee? Let me count the ways. If you thought thread choices were extensive, then finishing choices will blow your mind. We have so many options literally right at our fingertips, so our possibilities are limitless. In this newsletter, we'll take a look at the simplest finishing technique, which is framing; we'll explore the myriad of other options in the next newsletter.

There are two basic options to framing: DIY and professionals. Both are great options and offer so many choices.

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Fresh Threads August Vase, Just CrossStitch August 2011
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Blue Heart Swirls, Just CrossStitch February 2013
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Peppermint Potting Shed, Just CrossStitch December 2013
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Summer Hydrangea, Just CrossStitch June 2012
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Elegant Pumpkins, Just CrossStitch October 2012
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Love Is All You Need, Just CrossStitch February 2013
  1. DIY.
    1. With the number of beautiful premade frames that are now available at big-box stores, craft stores, home decor stores, etc., you are bound to find one that matches your style and works for the stitched project. I am a sucker for a pretty frame, so I am always on the lookout for something perfect. Keep your eyes open -- you never know what you'll find. The Fresh Threads August Vase design was finished using a premade frame from Target; The Blue Heart Swirls Vase design uses a premade frame from Hobby Lobby. I carefully laced the project onto a piece of mat board and inserted it into the frame opening. Easy!
    2. Another great source for frames are thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, etc. If the size and feel is right, but the color is off, hit it with a can of spray paint or craft paint. Voila! -- a perfect fit!
    3. You can also use reclaimed wood and craft your own frame. This is part of the popular reclamation/repurposing trend, and it offers a one-of-a-kind look to stitching as well. Some designers have started doing this too. Check out Andrea Wochenske's frame on her Peppermint Potting Shed, which was crafted from salvaged wood; the design will appear in the December 2013 issue of Just CrossStitch.
    4. Why not try mounting a series in an old windowpane? Or even in the windowpanes of an old door or hutch? I can only imagine the oohs and ahhs of those displays.
  2. Professional framing. Summer Hydrangea, Elegant Pumpkins and Love Is All You Need were all professionally framed.
    1. There is nothing like having a professional framer to walk you through the steps of framing. Even if you chose the DIY path, I would encourage you to find a framer to mount your pieces for you.
    2. Always pick a framer with needlework experience. This is a priceless asset that you will typically come closer to finding at locally owned and operated frame shops. Check your phone book and start calling, or visit your local needlework shop and ask for recommendations. They'll know who does the best needlework framing in your area.
    3. When you talk to a framer about framing your stitched designs, always request that they lace or pin your designs to the mounting board before framing (instead of using tape).
    4. Be honest about your budget with your framer. Frames come in all price points, both affordable and pricey, so tell your framer how much you would like to spend, and they will work with you to come as close as possible.
    5. If they don't recommend it, request spacers to be added behind the glass. You don't want the glass sitting directly atop the stitching as it can wear away the threads; these tiny little spacers are invisible once the frame is complete, but they will ensure that your project will be display worthy for years to come.
    6. If framing an antique sampler or design, seek out a framer who has experience in framing antiques or who is familiar with conservation techniques. You will spend a bit more for this type of framing, but it is well worth it for a priceless item that cannot be replaced. To order any of these back issues, click here.
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