How to Frame Your Own Embroidered Masterpiece

comments (2) October 6th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Heres my tag sale picture frame with a face lift, featuring an original floral embroidery that you can stitch out, too—for a $10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure!
Heres my tag sale picture frame.
Put the frame together with the fabric you are going to embroider on to help choose the color threads you are going to use.
Heres my tag sale picture frame with a face lift, featuring an original floral embroidery that you can stitch out, too—for a $10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure!

Here's my tag sale picture frame with a face lift, featuring an original floral embroidery that you can stitch out, too—for a $10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure!

Photo: Jen Stern
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I scored a set of pictures that I snagged from a tag sale for $5. Hotel art, double matted and framed in faux cracked gold leaf—complete with glass.
(You can't buy all that stuff new for $5.) I love to recycle stuff...especially if it's better the second time! Framing embroidery is one of my favorite projects because it gives me the creative license to really show off my style. When you're working with fabric, there is a little more to it than slapping it behind a mat and a piece of glass. Let me show you how to do it. If you want to support the fight against breast cancer, you can receive the floral design that I used in the project for a $10.00 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Visit my website, www.jsterndesigns.com, and click on the Embroidery button on the home page to make a donation. I will email you the design when I receive your donation confirmation.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A picture frame (preferably with a mat and glass)
  • An embroidery design (that is sized and stitched out to fit in the mat)
  • Thin poly batting
  • Posterboard
  • Pins
  • Large-eye needle and strong thread
  • Glue stick

If you are going to embroider a design specifically for this project and you've already picked out your frame, measure the opening of the mat and select a design that is sized to fit. Alternatively, if you already have your embroidery stitched out, be sure that the frame and mat you choose is large enough to accommodate your design. Because I had these frames in mind for this project, I searched for a design that was approximately 4 inches square; that way, it would fit nicely in the 5-1/2-inch square opening in the mat.

If you are going to embroider now, here's how to prepare the fabric and hoop. Cut a piece of fabric and interfacing that is about 4 inches larger than the opening in the mat. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric
If you're working with a loosely woven fabric like Irish linen, be careful not to stretch the grain of the fabric when you are fusing the interfacing on.

Framing embroidery is a little different than using embroidery as an embellishment on a project. The fabric you are stitching on has only one purpose—to be the background of your "picture." So give it some extra consideration. I like to use good-quality fabric all the time but especially if I'm going to be putting it in a frame. I also pay extra attention to how I position the fabric in the hoop. If the embroidery is crooked on the grain of the fabric, it wll look sloppy when it's framed, particularly if you have to straighten it out by tilting the fabric in the frame. Hoop a lightweight cut-away stabilizer like Poly Mesh from OESD into your hoop. Use temporary adhesive spray to adhere the fabric, centered, in the hoop.

Hoop fabric straight on grain
Double-check that the grain of the fabric in the hoop looks straight.

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Comments (2)

JenniferStern writes: You can easily cut an opening for your embroidery using a super sharp craft knife. Draw faint lines with a pencil to create the shape you need. If you are making a square or rectangle, use a ruler to make nice straight lines. Firmly hold the ruler along the line and cut along the line with the craft knife. Before you remove the center piece carefully check to be sure the mat is completely cut out...especially in the corners!
Posted: 3:04 pm on November 13th
Rooty_Tooty writes: This is wonderful! Professional framing is sooo expensive! Now, would someone please be so kind as to provide some simple directions for cutting mat board?
Posted: 11:22 pm on November 12th
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