Monday, May 9, 2016

Display Your Embroidery - Lesson Nine Embroidery School

When you become the proud owner or giver of your own needlework, the question of how best to frame the work comes up. Work can be left on the garment or household linen, made into hoop art, used as a quilt block or applique, or framed.


(Cardan Antiques)

The work can be framed under glass (or without glass) by you or a professional. Because this subject is larger than my interest area, I am going to point you in this direction for a beautiful tutorial that shows how to frame your work like a pro - without needing to be one. 

And here is a lovely Pinterest board with more links about framing needlework. This one by Cardan Antiques is particularly stitcher friendly.

But most of my patterns are worked to fit the hoop, and if not used as a quilt block or on a tote or other household or clothing item, will likely beg to be turned into hoop art.

Displayed in the hoop - Hoop Art

It's a bit of a dark, cloudy day in the studio. Perfect for spending quiet time working up the backs of some of my hoop art. 

What you need:

your finished work
the hoop you want to use as the frame
sewing needle and thread 
an iron
backing fabric or sturdy felt
inner layer (optional)

Lay the work over the inner hoop to center it where you want it. Cover it with the outer hoop.

Those pesky little bubbles can appear if your fabric is fine or the hoop is not completely tightly fitting as can happen with bamboo hoops.

Just gently pull the fabric edges out to flatten the bubbles.

Turn the work over and trim the fabric to about 2" or more depending on the size of your work.

This particular fabric was a rather delicious vintage cotton from the 70s. However, when the edges are folded to the back, it shows through. This sometimes happens even with heavier weight light colored cottons.

I solve this by cutting and inserting a circle of wool or felt before folding down the edges.

Using sewing thread, single or doubled as you feel the need, gather the edges and tie off. This contrasting thread was used just so you can see it. Use a matching thread color so it doesn't show through to the front of the work.

Use a hoop of the same size to trace and cut a piece of substantial felt, not the flimsy stuff, and whipstitch it to the edges of your work.

You can also use cotton or linen fabric that has been folded under at the edges, but the bulk can contribute to the work being "poked" out from behind.

Here it is all ready to be hung up. Tie a ribbon to the screw at the top or pop the screw top over a picture hook or nail on the wall.

Here are some other lovely ways to finish hoop art:

No sew fabric backing 

Backed with cardstock 

Wrapped hoop 

I'm not sure how this last one has been sorted out on the back, but it is recommended that you don't trim your work all the way down to the hoop.

ALL hoop art can shift and sag, especially when friends and family hold it and ooh and ah over it. (Which they will!) You need to be able to reach back and pull out the bubbles that will form at the edges.

Great job! Now that you have your sampler all hooped up and ready to hang up in your cozy little stitching corner or sewing room, it's time to clean up. 

No freaking out. Tomorrow, I'll show you my little set-up and share some links to help you organize your embroidery supplies.

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