Preparing a sampler for framing...

Per your requests...
a tutorial on
preparing a sampler
for framing!

I don't claim to be the authority on mounting cross stitch, or know if this is thee
best way.
After much reading
and trying other methods (lacing),
this is the method
I prefer.

Needful items:
3/16" acid-free foam core board (I buy from www.salinepictureframe.com)
short stainless steel beading pins
1/2" Stitchery tape
sewing thread to match linen

Cut foam core board to fit the back opening of your frame of choice.
Measure and locate center of foam core board on all sides. I make a tiny pin poke to mark the center.
Locate the center of your sampler. I use the center locating arrows on the chart as a guide, and then refer to my stitched piece. Using the center marking and pin pokes in the foam core as guides, center your sampler on the mounting board, place a few pins on all sides to secure. Pop into frame, checking that the piece is even. Once I'm happy with how the piece is centered, I trim down the excess linen. If you want some "poof" to your finished piece, cut a piece of cotton batting the size of foam core and secure with double stick Stitchery Tape.

I like to trim the excess linen down to about 1 3/4" - 2" beyond foam core on all sides. I measure and pull a thread, and then cut along the pulled thread line. With the board still attached to the linen, I machine-serge around all sides, for a nice finish and to prevent any raveling of the linen.
Working from the center outwards, begin to pin; pulling linen tightly across the board as you pin. It is at this point that you will keep a close eye on the one thread of linen. Use this thread as your guide, keeping it straight and right along the edge of the foam core board, as you pull and pin.
It is the pulling of the linen that will help remove any creases and wrinkles in the cloth. Start pinning in the center and work outward, towards the corners.
I place my pins about 3/8" - 1/2" apart. After pinning is done, pop the piece into your picture frame to make sure everything is nice and even.

Bring excess linen over to the backside of the board and miter-fold the corners. Hand sew the folds of the miter together using matching thread.

Repeat for remaining 3 corners.

I then secure the linen to the board with an archival quality( acid & solvent free) double stick tape, called Stitchery Tape (can be purchased in cross stitch shops). It comes in 1/2" or 1 1/2" widths. I cut a 1/4" wide strip of this, by the length and widths of the sampler. I then apply the sticky side along the row of serged stitches on the backside. Remove the paper backing on the tape and then gently adhere linen to the mounting board for a nice & clean finish.

The pins will remain in the piece.

Your piece is now ready to be framed!

Other questions that may come up:
Do you wash your piece before framing?
No, I do not. From what I've read, this is not recommended. I tend to use the hand-dyed flosses and linens and these are not all color-fast. Washing pieces with hand-dyed flosses could result in colors running. I always make sure I wash my hands before beginning and protect my work.
Do you iron your piece before framing?
It is recommended that you use a dry iron. This is an area where I tend to "cheat" at times. I have found the use of a dry iron alone, doesn't always remove the wrinkles and creases in some of today's hand-dyed linens. I then find it necessary to "cheat" and use steam to remove some of these stubborn wrinkles. Some of the wrinkles will smooth out when the piece gets stretched and pinned to the foam core, but some are just too stubborn. It is very important that you have a trusty iron that doesn't "burp" stains, when using steam...that would not be good! I always protect my sampler with a piece of muslin. Always iron the backside of your sampler, placing it right side down on a clean terry towel. Be very careful, as you do not want to over iron...keep your iron moving.

Have a good week,


Becky K in OK said...

Great instructions! Thanks for posting.

marly said...

Thank you Brenda! I didn't know about the Stitcher's tape and will check into an online supplier, also for the stainless beading pins. Very neat corners! Great instruction.

Kathy (woolfind) said...

Great job with the tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jennifer said...

This is a very good tutorial, probably the best I've seen. Thanks for the pictures too. Your work is so neat!


TheCrankyCrow said...

Thanks so much Brenda....but, wow...lots of work. And even though I pay a lot of money to have my things professionally framed, I bet they're not doing what you do....hence the answer to my question as to why you choose to do this yourself!! Have a wonderful week! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Thanks Brenda!
I always wanted to learn how to do this ~ great post!
Prim Blessings

Nicky said...

I was taught to use stiff card and lace up the excess fabric at the back - bit like a corset. Have not succeeded in getting the best finish though but it is better than glueing which a lot of shops do!

This sounds great - must seek out supplies!

mdgtjulie said...

Thanks for the info Brenda. It's interesting to see how you do it!! Is there a reason (or more than one, lol) that you choose to pin rather than lace?

Shari said...

wow, thanks...we do our own matting & framing...I have never done the corners like this..I love it....thanks for showing us 'your way'.....

Laura said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us instructions on your finishing!

moosecraft said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this tutorial... I had been using the lacing technique and having a tough time of it... looking forward to trying this technique on the next piece I finish! Thanks again!

Wendy said...

Excellent tutorial, this should also work for small quilted pieces that I would like to frame. Thank you so very much!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to share this. Your pictures and instructions are just excellent and very informative, you do beautiful work! Julie

Christine said...

Thank you!!! I love the instructions and the pictures. I found this very helpful!!

oldecrow said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial! Framing my pieces has always been a struggle. This method may take a little more time,but I think it will be well worth the effort!It makes such a neat appearance! I have several stitched pieces waiting to be framed. I think I will practice this method with one of the smaller ones first.
Thanks again!
Olde Crow Mercantile

deb-bee said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, your picture prep is "as neat as a pin." ;-)
Have a beautiful day.

ann said...

Thanks for your great instructions! I will definitely use these the next time I prepare a piece for framing.

kelley said...

A milion thank you's for this great tutorial...I've always wanted to learn how to do this properly!

Sharon said...

This was so helpful. Where can I find the beading pins?

woolwoman said...

what a great insight into how good framing is done - I am always appalled at how "unethical" so called profressional framers sometimes are. I do use a framer and most of the time I do feel you get what you pay for. One of these days - i am going to try framing a small piece like you suggested. Thanks for this information - Melody

adailydoseoffiber said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have had many stitched pieces framed in many places over the years and am not always happy with the results. I'm glad to know how to do part of it myself. Do you have glass over your cross stitched pieces? I know many people do not, but I like to protect the work....

tami said...

When you stich your pieces, do you use a Q-snap or scroll bars to hold your linen?

Cindy said...

Thanks for some great info. I love your designs.

Kris Van Allen said...

This is how I've been framing for years, and I love it. I learned to use sequin pins, since they are so nice and short.

Margs Primitive Quilts said...

Thank you so much. I will be using this method now that I know how.