Monday, February 4
Cross Stitch Framing : Prepping Your Needlework Project
Adorable as they are, those little cross stitches can start to pile up, can't they!?
I like to stitch a few, then finish them as a group. But how to finish them? Of course, you can frame them...that's easy. No wait! How do you frame a cross stitch piece so that it's centered, stretched and tidy?
Framing Your Finished Needlework
Now, back in the day (and I guess some folks still today) you completed your cross stitch, took it to the needlework shop, picked out a custom frame and mat, forked over a bunch of money, and left it. You came back in a couple of weeks and picked up your professionally finished and framed piece.
I'm a frugal sort of gal, so that never really set that well with me. There are tons of cute and affordable ready-made frames out there. Why can't I use one of those and just do the finishing myself? Well, you can.
There are 2 methods for doing just that : The Pin Method, and the Lacing Method. I'll go through each one this week, but you start out the same way for both methods.
Prepping your Finished Needlework for Framing
I don't know about you, but here's how my pieces can look when I finish stitching them :
Kinda crinkly, wrinkly. So first thing, get those wrinkles out!
Set your iron to either cotton or linen, depending on the fabric you've used. Next, place a nice fluffy towel on your ironing board or pad. This is what you'll lay your finished work on to press it. Lay the right side down on the towel, and press.
And I do mean "press." Don't run your iron back and forth over your work. Press down in one spot for a couple of seconds, lift the iron up and move to a new spot and press. Continue until the entire piece is pressed and wrinkle free. Now is also the time to look for, ahem, pet hair.
Test Your Threads
For stubborn wrinkles, mist a little water, then press. Be careful! Make sure your threads are colorfast before throwing water and heat on them. That's an easy way to ruin a beautiful cross stitch piece. Always test your thread by itself if you have any doubts. Reds are notorious for being a little "leaky".
After you've pressed the piece, you should see a nice little indentation in the towel where your stitches were. Flip your piece over and you'll now have a nice unwrinkled piece of needlework.
Notice how the stitches "pop up" from the fabric. That's why you use a thick towel. It creates a great little relief effect.
Now you are ready to stretch your work and prepare it for framing, either by the pin method or the lacing method.
Next Up - The Lacing Method!