Featherweight Finale: Framing the Cross Stitch
by Ashley Fritsche
- Featherweight Cross-Stitch Kit (with 14 count Aida Cloth) - If it is sold out, you can sign up for the in stock notification at product link, and you will be notified as soon as we have more kits available.
- 4-inch or 6-incch Embroidery Hoop
- Embroidery Scissors
- Hand-sewing needles in various sizes
- Already have the supplies on hand? Printed Pattern only is available here.
Advanced in Cross-Stitch Skill?
The 28-count Cashel Kit is available here or the
Belfast Linen 32-count Kit is available here.
- The Beekeeper Thread Minder by Lori Holt
- Need more floss colors for your Cross-Stitch repertoire? This Bee Basics 20 Spool Set is super handy to have for many cross-stitch and embroidery occasions.
Your beautiful Featherweight cross stitch kit is stitched and completed. Now it needs showcased on your wall! You could of course use the fabric panel for a pillow top, or inserted in a wall quilt, but if you want to frame it I'll walk you through the steps.
You will need a frame of course – this one is 15" x 18”. You can thrift one, purchase one you like at a craft store, or order one online like this one. [insert link to this frame if applicable]. Of course you can opt for or omit matting and glass. I often prefer no glass on my needlework, but that also leaves it less protected and gathering dust, so decide which will be the best fit for your project. This one has no matting, and a clear acrylic piece instead of glass, but it has the same look and function as glass.
If you are using a thrifted frame with glass, you will want to carefully clean the glass until it is as streak and lint free as possible. If you are using this identical frame, the acrylic piece has a protective plastic film on each side, which will need removed.
Hold it by the very edges only while handling it, and be certain it's squeaky clean. Make sure to read the instructions and don't use glass cleaner on the acrylic. Place it in the frame, then check for any fingerprints around the edges on the inside.
Now it's time to prepare your cross stitch piece. After so much stitching, folding, crumpling, and carrying around – it's sure to be pretty wrinkled. It might also have some deep creases from how it was originally folded in the kit. But if it's going in a frame, it needs to be as wrinkle-free as possible! So take it over to the ironing board and give it a good press.
Since this cloth is cotton, it's ok to use a medium-hot iron and steam. I do most of my pressing on the wrong side, and all around the stitched portions. Do not press heavily on the stitched parts.
This is also a good time to tidy up the back. You don't want any stray loose ends (especially if they are a dark color) showing through to the front. So trim off any extra long tails on the back.
Now press again on the front – again, all around the stitched parts. If the folded creases are really stubborn, you may need to get a spray bottle and mist them with water. Keep ironing and misting until the piece is as flat and wrinkle-free as possible.
Now back to the frame...Using your backing piece of foam board (or cardboard, if your frame has it) as a template, draw around it on a piece of cotton (or any low-pile) batting. Cut out the batting. It should be the size of the backing board. Don't leave extra which will fold down around the edges.
Using dots of craft glue, or a few swipes of glue stick, or even some double sticky tape, secure the batting to backing board. It doesn't need to be permanent, just held in place for the moment.
(You can omit the batting step if you want, but I find it gives a much nicer finish than putting the stitched piece directly on the backing board especially if it is just cardboard.)
Next, place your stitched piece onto the batting covered board and center it. You should have a few inches of extra width on all sides. Actually, spray basting might be a good option for this step, so that the top layer does not shift, yet is re-positionable.
Please note that you want to straighten and center it by the finished designs in the middle, not by the lines along the edges on the Aida cloth, which by this time may be slightly warped or otherwise uneven.
Once you are satisfied with how your stitching is centered on the board, carefully flip it over. Keep your hand securely pressed to the back of the board to make sure nothing shifts.
The only step which remains is to fold back and secure the edges around the backing board. There are several different ways to do this, and many people have their preferred method already decided. But really, all you need to do is hold it in place until the piece is in its frame; and after all, since the back will be against the wall, it won't necessarily need to be pretty. You can lace the sides together, or tack down the edges with glue or tape. I'm using tape for this example, but feel free to try another method if you prefer.
First we will secure one long side, by taping it down every few inches. Then do the long edge opposite, making sure to pull it nice and snug around the edge of the board to keep the stitching smooth. Not too hard, obviously, or it may warp the Aida instead.
Once each long side is held in place, it's time to do the short ends. There will be a lot of bulk at the corner, since Aida is a stiff cloth, so you will want to snip a corner notch out of each corner, as shown, to reduce the bulk.
Fold each short end up and secure like you did the long sides.
At this point, all the edges are held in place. Now, regular tape is not very strong, so you may want to reinforce all the edges with longer lengths of a stronger tape. But again – it will fit tightly in the frame, and this is merely to secure the edges until that happens.
Place in the frame, carefully. It may be a tight squeeze because of the thickness of the batting and stiff cloth, but it should fit. Fold down all the metal tabs around the edges.
Check the front to make sure it looks good. You can still pop it back out at this point and reposition something, or pick off a stray piece of lint or dirt, if necessary.
All you have to do now is add your hanging hardware (if necessary), and call it finished! If you want a prettier back, you can opt to cover it with contact paper or a piece of scrap fabric to make it look nice. Some frames will have an inner backing board that you wrap your stitched piece around, with an outer one that you add last and that covers the back completely, so you don't need anything else. The main thing is that now your hours of labor are showcased and ready to hang on your wall.
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Thank you so much for following along with me all these months on a Featherweight adventure! It's so rewarding to see it grow through all the stages, from the first stitch on a blank canvas, to the final framed picture. It's been a real pleasure stitching this Featherweight – I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!
Kristen from Verity Vintage Studio