Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fabric Framing Tutorial

** I am moving this tutorial onto my own blog for permanent record and ability to have it for publishing - this is my original tutorial **

Today I would like to share a tutorial on how you can fabric frame your stitcheries. I evolved into this method when professional framing got costly and good wooden frames became hard to find. And as quilters, you have all the materials necessary - fabric, thread, bindings, and scrap batting.

Your stitcheries are probably wrinkled (hand held)or have hoop marks. Your hands have oils that do get left in the fibers and it does pick up dust, so it needs a bath. 

A little bit of a mild soap in tepid water - a little hand swishing, let set 5-10 minutes, and then run under cold water to rinse.

Lay your piece out flat (DO NOT WRING OUT) on a nice clean,absorbant towel and roll up loosly. Set aside in a warm area to dry.

Place a thick towel or double fold bath towel on your ironing board. Place your stitchery FACE DOWN and press from the back. The towel protects your stitches - we don't want to flatten them. Or if you have used beading or metalic threads - this prevents damage from a direct iron.

The fun part - pull those scraps and select a backing, audition border fabrics, and maybe there is enough of a scrap binding to use. Hmmm - this all sounds familiar - like making a quilt? 

Layout your basics - backing fabric, batting, stitchery. I go over every piece with my lint roller to pick up loose threads and fabric bits. It would be a shame to have a 'red' thread show thru the stitchery background. Then I draw out my framing for the first border. Yes, pencil right on from edge to edge as it is where I am laying my strip and will be covered.

As you can see, I lay my first inner border strips using the pencil line for a guide. Sew from edge to edge and use your 1/4" seam quide, catch your strip, and continue on. I used a purple thread to hopefully show you the 1'4". 

After lightly pressing the first strips back, just like making a quilt block, our second inner border strip is sewn, using the same edge to edge using the pencil line for the guide and our 1/4" seam. This is the 'flip-and-sew' method - some of you may be familiar with.  Again lightly press your inner border back. You will need to mark your sewing guide line edge-to-edge again for the next border. 

Rinse and repeat - we add our first strips for the second border using the same edge to edge and 1/4" seam.

I usually 'eye-ball' the edge over laps - but if you feel you need the quide - redraw your line.  Just like a quilt block - we need to square up and trim. You can leave your edges or if you feel better in keeping things together, you can use a long baste stitch around the piece.

Now it is time for the binding. Use your method of binding - just like a quilt. If you are adding a hanger sleeve - it can be attached with the binding. Remember - these are smaller projects, so start your binding close to the corner and end just after the last corner to give you room to handle splicing your binding ends. 

This is a candle mat, so no hanger. I use metallic thread to 'tie' the Celtic Knot centers for a little 'quilting' in the center. This is the back - to show why I sew edge to edge when applying the borders. You have quilted your entire piece. 


  1. LOVE this. I have so many that need to be framed and I have SO much fabric around!! : ) Thanks, too, for the how to of rinsing out your pieces and ironing them dry. People always say to do it, but don't show how. That was helpful!

  2. This is such a good idea Sharon, it's a softer way to show the work and seems more friendly than putting it behind glass and wood.

  3. Thanks, Sharon. It's such a great idea.

  4. Thank you for your tutorial. Great ideas. Thank you for sharing your way. I like it.

  5. Great tutorial...I love finishing off my cross stitch pieces this way! :0)

  6. This is a very useful post; I have some stitching work that I will frame this way. Thank you.

  7. Thanks, Sharon. This is easy to understand, a most excellent tutorial. Please know I appreciate all the work you put into this tutorial.

  8. Your candle mat is lovely, Sharon. Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Great tutorial Sharon , thanks so much , your candle mat is lovely .

  10. thanks Sharon for the great tutorial. Your stitching and finish is lovely.

  11. Love your cross stitching Sharon, so beautiful. And the fabric frames are brilliant.

  12. It looks great and I'm sure your tutorial will be helpful to many others.