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cross stitch
suitable frame
loose material
garage sales
taking time
Cross Stitch Frames
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Cross Stitch Frames

Choosing the cross stitch frame that suits your style of working is worth taking time over. It is important to find one that you are comfortable with as wrestling with an unsuitable frame could put you off embroidery all together. Do not be tempted to work without one as a suitable frame helps during the working of your project, greatly improves the finished product and also cuts down on the time it tales to prepare your work for mounting.

When working with linen, I find that wooden ring frames are best. These are cheap and can be bought almost anywhere. Sometimes they can be found in garage sales or even in op shops. Use a variety of sizes to suit the areas on which you are working. For example, work large areas in the middle of your design using a large ring and work around the border using a small ring. Working in this way prevents the embroidery from getting crushed by the frame. To stop the loose material from flapping about and getting soiled, roll it up, but not too tightly, and pin it to the side of the frame. Remember to bind your frames and, to keep the binding clean, wash it regularly. A narrow finger bandage is handy to use for binding your frame.

The work must be kept taut to take full advantage of the frame, so tighten the screws well. Though linen is a resilient fabric and does not crease easily, it is still better to remove the cross stitch from the frame between sewing sessions.

Canvas, unlike linen, should not be worked on in a ring frame. For canvas, you may like to use a plastic frame with clips on all four sides. These can be bought in many embroidery stores and also directly from the manufacturer. They come in sets, each pack containing lengths of lightweight plastic piping with clips, which can be slotted together to create frames of varying sizes. Their advantage over the more traditional wooden frames is that they are extremely light and can be quickly and easily dismantled and stored. You can leave your work on this type of frame between sewing sessions - just remember to slacken the pressure by twisting the clips. However, if you want to stop a long-term project in order to work on another one, it is easy to adapt this frame for temporary work as no time-consuming processes such as re-stringing are needed. This type of frame will keep the work taut, but if the canvas does slacken as it settles then restore the tension by slipping a piece of material or paper towelling between the clip and the frame.

As you can see, different cross stitch frames are suited to particular cross stitch fabrics. Ensure you make the correct choice when choosing your frame as this will make your project that much more enjoyable.


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