Saturday, November 11, 2006

Two Previous Finishes Framed

Since I had my iron and other finishing supplies out from working on finishing My Workstation, I decided it was time to frame two earlier finishes from this year. I'm far from being a professional framer, but professional framing is so expensive (and I'd rather spend my crafting money on stash!), so I frame whatever I can myself. I'm really happy with how these two turned out.

The first is something I stitched for my brother, who is a non-smoker and very vehement about his dislike for smoking. Our parents (with whom I no longer have any contact because they couldn't be bothered to come to my wedding) are smokers, so seeing this stitched and hanging in his house will probably tick them off to no end, but I stitched it out of respect for my brother's feelings on the issue, as I am a smoker, too. (I'd really like to quit, but my husband smokes, and anyone who has ever lived with a smoker knows how difficult that can be. Trying to live with and sleep next to someone who smokes and does not want to quit when you really do want to quit is probably more difficult. One of these days, I think I will give it up for good anyway, but I am not quite there yet. However, being a stitcher is great encouragement -- the more I stitch, the less I feel any desire to smoke because my hands are already busy.)

Anyway, here it is. It's from a Dimensions Sunset Jiffy kit, "Don't Think About It" #16723, copyright 2001, which I found on eBay some time ago at a great price. I stitched it using the 14 count aida and floss included in the kit and wish I had switched the fabric out to evenweave or linen. I really dislike stitching on aida after trying other fabrics (95% or more of my UFOs are such because they are started on aida from before I discovered evenweave and linen). I have several friends who stitch almost exclusively on aida that I should automatically mail any aida I end up with to, but when I started stitching this, I just went with what was included in the kit rather than looking for another substitute. However, I'm quite happy with the way the entire thing turned out. The pre-cut mats were things I had on hand that I thought worked perfectly with this design. I also had the frame on hand, but it was too big to show up when I put this on my scanner; imagine just a simple wood frame.

The second piece I framed is a NeedleMagic, Inc. kit, #3179 Mermaid, on which I don't see a copyright date. I did switch out the aida in this kit for a piece of very pale green evenweave I had in my stash, but stitched it with the threads included in the kit (which are about the size of #12 perle cotton). These threads weren't all that nice to work with, although I like the effect now that this project is finished. I found the frame at Hobby Lobby and bought several during a half-price sale because I liked them so much. I thought it would be perfect for a mermaid with the little pearls around the edge. Somewhere, I have another tiny mermaid project to stitch, and I'm fairly certain she'll fit into one of these same frames.

One secret I've learned for framing is to use a piece of light-weight iron-on interfacing on the back of my pieces first. This helps me get the piece squared off straightly, and often adds just the amount of padding I want so I don't need to use thicker foam board (which is often so difficult to fit into a frame); I can, of course, use thicker interfacing if I want more padding. Once I get the interfacing cut exactly the way I want it, I work with it on the back of the piece until it's ironed on exactly how I want it. Then, it's easier for me to tell when things are correctly centered on foam board/poster board, and within the mat(s)/frame. Also, if the fabric I used for stitching is smaller than needed for lacing, the interfacing holds the stitching in place and allows me to "cheat." Neither of the pieces I'm showing you here is laced because the fabric wasn't big enough to begin with; instead, I cut both of them to fit my (sticky on one side) poster board backing exactly. I've heard criticisms about the sticky stuff, but haven't had any problems myself; your mileage may vary of course. I do stick with acid-free materials as much as I can, and I use the sticky side to wrap the edges of my fabric around vs. putting it on the back of the piece whenever I can (i.e., when the fabric is big enough). And when I don't have enough fabric to work with, as in these two pieces, I hope the interfacing will help protect my stitching. I'm also not concerned with most of my stitching outlasting me -- I stitch for the pleasure stitching gives me in the present and frame things so they should hold up well during my lifetime. If they last longer than that, great, and if I ever stitch something I really want to last longer than I will, I'll probably handle it differently, but so far, these methods are working for me.

1 comment:

Meari said...

I love the frame for the mermaid pattern. It's so pretty.