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Kit Fabric and Framing
Wed, Jul 23, 2014 7:51 PM
Posted by Lynn
Hi Everyone:

I was curious about what other stitchers are doing with the size of fabric included in kits. All kits that I have ever purchased over many years only include a 2 inch border of fabric. As we all know, the rule of thumb for framing and finishing is 3+ inches at least. I have recently kitted many projects all different sizes and feel much safer purchasing a larger piece of fabric, adding the 3+ inches, and changing it out though this is costlier and more trouble and sometimes I can't find an exact fabric match. I am curious what others are doing. Does anyone else go to this trouble or do you just use what came with the kit and hope you don't run into a snag later when you have to frame or finish.

My next question is regarding framing. I recently spoke to a local needlework framer (we only have one left in my area) and have found that framing costs are through the roof. A modest estimate is "starting at $100 US" for a single 5x7 stitched piece, WHAT??? For all the 5x7 pieces I have stitched, ready to be framed, and for those that are larger (that I don't even want to think about), I'll be eating nothing but pasta for years. What is everyone doing these days. If I were mechanically inclined at all I would figure out how to frame my own, but unfortunately I am not. Your thoughts everyone? Thanks!

  • Reply from NANCYE G
    Friday, July 25, 2014 3:54 PM

    I strongly dislike kits. I always seem to have a challenge -- either the fabric or problem with the floss. I prefer to buy patterns, fabric and floss separately.


    I agree that the price of framing is outrageous. I recently had a 10 x 10 inch piece framed in a very simple frame and it was $125. The 50% off framing prices only apply to the actual "frame" -- mats,backing, glass, labor and other embellishments -- including the wire hanging pieces are all "regular prices."
    I went to four different framers with similar results. Kind of takes the fun out of stitching.

    I am now quite selective on who I stitch gifts for.

    Go to top

  • Hide Replies
    Reply from Busydebbie
    Saturday, July 26, 2014 6:19 PM
    Question 1
    I always count off the pattern to determine exact design area.
    Then I figure out the size of the design on different count material ie 14 16 18 and 22.
    Then I calculate to see if design will fix into a ready made frame size.
    I figure out what would work. Sometimes I use the provided fabric other times I use something from my stash.
    Question 2
    No will not pay for custom framing. I will carry measurements of design along with the total measurement of fabric and check out Thrift stores for suitable frames. Then take apart frame and stretch it and frame it myself. I am retired so I have more time then $$$

    Go to top

    • Reply from Busydebbie
      Tuesday, July 29, 2014 4:40 PM
      Here is my method of framing.

      Once I have the frame, I cut the foam board just 1/4 inch smaller then the interior of the frame.
      Then I place the stitchery on the foam board
      Next place the board into the frame stitchery side down
      Flip frame over
      Then I pull stitchery until it is perfectly centered.
      Then I tape each corner down with Cloth First Aide tape
      Flip frame and check that stitchery is still centered.
      Then...Tape down all sides using the First Aide tape.
      Then.... place a piece of cardboard on the back...covers up taping
      Finally........using a strong all layers into frame.

      A framer taught me this method.

      Go to top

  • Reply from Laura
    Sunday, July 27, 2014 9:39 AM
    I also frame my own work using frames off the shelf. Once I needed a 10x10 white one and could not find one in my price range. I found one with a print in it on discount. It felt odd buying a picture for a little boys room, but I just wanted the frame. It is amazing how much stores will dicount their home decor items when changing their sets for the seasons. Go to top
  • Hide Replies
    Reply from Connie
    Sunday, July 27, 2014 10:11 AM
    I also do not use kits. It is to difficult to separate the floss,sometimes they don't send enough, etc. Patterns, your own floss and material is the best way to go. As far as framing - I do my own. It is not fancy but when it is on the wall it looks just as good. I sometimes use old frames that I already have or buy inexpensive ones in dept stores. Go to top
    • Hide Replies
      Reply from Lynn
      Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:18 PM
      Hi and thanks for all of your replies. I was wondering how stitchers could afford the increased price of framing now and what other options there are. How are you all mounting your work when you frame it. This is my biggest challenge. I am unsure of the lacing technique and it sounds like it requires alot of patience to get it right, is this what you are doing or are you using other methods. If you are lacing, what do you use to lace. Also, what are you mounting the stitched piece on when you frame it.

      As for the kits, I usually only buy a kit if I like a design not offered in pattern form. I definitely prefer patterns since you are free to pick the fabric and threads of your choice. Go to top

      • Hide Replies
        Reply from JeanFarish
        Monday, July 28, 2014 9:09 PM
        I'm jumping in here a little late! For what it's worth, here's what I have done for probably 100+ pieces which will save you the cost of professional mounting and allow you to use that skimpy fabric in a kit:

        I use acid-free foam board, cut 1-2" larger than the opening of my mat. I match the center of the fabric and the center of the board as best I can. Then using very short straight pins (the kind that do not rust!), I pin the fabric to one edge of the board, following the lines of the fabric. I pin the opposite side, stretching it as taut as possible. Then I do the top and bottom. I do end up pulling out and re-pinning until I get it right but I like it better than lacing.

        Once I have the frame and mat in hand, I cut an additional piece of mat board to fit inside the frame. I use double sided tape to adhere the stretched needlework to the center of this mat board. Next, I cut 4 pieces of foam board (this part doesn't have to be acid free) to fit around the mounted piece. One benefit is that if I didn't get the design centered perfectly on the center acid-free board, I can shift it up and down or right and left until it is centered in the mat opening before I tape it down. The tape is not touching your needlework so it's safe!

        I have used many professional framers and trust them to know their stuff when it comes to mats and frames but I would never let them mount my work because no matter how beautiful the frame/mat is, no matter how much you spend, if the needlework isn't mounted right, you'll never be happy with it!

        I hope this makes sense and helps. Your question has inspired me to blog about this and add photos so it's all clear! Go to top

        • Reply from Lynn
          Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:00 PM
          Thank you Debbie and Jean for going through the steps of your framing processes. I fully understand Debbie's method of framing, but I have a few questions on Jean's method. Part of where I was stumbling when trying to frame my own pieces was that I was having difficulty fitting everything into the depth of the frame---the thickness of the frame glass, mounting board, the mat, and my stitched piece on aida folded over the mounting board and secured to the back of the mounting board were thicker than the depth in the frames I was trying to put them into. In both of your methods, I assume that you are folding your fabric to the backside of the mounting board before either taping or pinning. In any event, I will have to try and find deeper frames as it seems you all are finding. The questions I have for Jean are what type of pins are you using, what kind of double sided tape are you using, and are you mounting on one board smaller than the actual frame like on a 5x7+ board to fit in an 8x10 frame with an 8x10 mat and then attaching and positioning the mounted piece onto another larger 8x10 foam board with tape. Sorry for the confusion but there were more steps involved here. If you print this up with a diagram like you had mentioned, I am sure this would be very helpful and appreciated by many stitchers looking to avoid the extremely high costs of framing. Thanks again to both of you for taking the time to write these steps out. Go to top
  • Reply from Valerie
    Friday, April 24, 2015 11:59 PM
    Hi, Lynn! Are you lb...? Re your question #1 - I don't even think about using the fabric that comes with the kit anymore. I did try one that was on 18-count Aida; didn't check when I bought it. But I've never gotten a kit that had adequate fabric, so I just know I'll have to upgrade to a bigger piece. No question. (The 18-count happened as I was trying to recuperate from meningitis, so I wasn't quite right. But I'm better now, and will still never expect to use the fabric that comes in a kit. Not happy about the floss, either.)
    #2 - Using the tape on the back of the mounting board works fine. The only thing about it is that when you have to wash the piece in years to come, the tape may have discolored the fabric it touched. This isn't a problem because it gets folded to the back again anyway. I think maybe that's why people do "lacing", but I haven't used that technique, and my pieces look great. If I do say so myself. Sometimes I need a frame that's an unusual size, and then I would have my piece framed at our Joann store. They do a good job, and I'd only do that if I had the coupon, but if framing intimidates people they can maybe find a fellow stitcher in their area who would frame it for less $.

    Now, this is strange. My computer tells me "stitcher" isn't a word. Maybe we are a dying breed, after all...only kidding! Go to top

  • Reply from stitchyliz
    Thursday, May 7, 2015 12:44 PM
    While 3" or even 4" might be needed when using a matt, I almost never use a matt so a 2" border works fine for me. I have learned the hard way not to believe the finished size OR stitch count given in kits OR charts, I count for myself and then calculate the finished size. Luckily, the errors I have found have all over rather than under stated the size.
    I have always done my own framing, it is really quite easy. All cross-stitch magazines and even many leaflets have diagrams of mounting instructions. I use the lacing method (which seems to have changed a bit over the years) for larger or what I deem to be heirloom pieces and mounting tape for the rest. I will admit to even using painters' tape for a few 5"x7" pieces when necessary. The change in lacing method I mentioned is that the first stitches of lacing used to be pulling the opposite corners diagonally. this creates mitered corners rather than the folded corners that they usually show now. I also have a tip to make sure your design is perfectly centered... put a light mark in the exact center of the mounting board (the center of any rectangle is the intersection of the two diagonals), put a pin through the exact center of your piece (found from the chart - COUNT, do not take their word for it) then push the pin through the center of the board and proceed from there. Go to top