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marthaʼs needlework ...

santa comes on christmas eve

has anyone seen my button?

The next things that I want to share with you are the buttons that she has added to the needlework.

This beautiful counted crossstitch piece was stitched by Martha.


I wanted you to see the completed work first; then I am going to take you on a photo trip showing you how I got to the completed project.

The next two images show the back-side as well as the frontside because I want you to see the detail of the work. I love to frame Martha’s work because she takes such care in stitching.

The buttons add dimension and detail to the story that is told. Martha told me that this is an old pattern that she’s had for a long time. She called the button company to see if the buttons were still available, and to her delighted surprise, they were. She ordered them, and here you see them.

When Martha looked at matting, she wanted to stay in the color scheme of the threads, and the reds and greens of the Christmas season; but she also wanted the outer mat to be neutral, which allows her the option if hanging the piece in multiple places in her home. Here’s what’s exciting about my job: every time the mat color changes, the image changes. So I am going to show you how the piece changes with each color addition, beginning with the innermost mat - red with a blackcore.

If you will notice, the outer mat has a notched corner. It’s a simple design cut that does not take away from the cross-stitch, but it does draw the eye into the framed piece.

far from done ...

I’m not finished yet.


After the cross stitch has been laced onto foamcore, and after the mats are cut, you sometimes see that it would be nice if the stitching went a little bit up, perhaps a little bit down, maybe just a wee bit to the left or right. Well, I can guarantee that no framer wants to start all over again with the lacing.

So I don a pair of surgical gloves, without powder, and I start “walking the dog,” as it is often referred to in professional framing circles. One must be very careful not to touch the threads of the stitched work. The gloves give a no slip grip and allows me to move the fabric in whatever direction I want to move it - up, down, sideways - until it’s just exactly where I want it to be.

not yet - i’ll tell you when

So, I’ve come this far with the framing, now the questions is: how do I support the laced cross-stitch behind the mats? The 2nd rule in framing is actually a rule that doctor’s follow: First do no harm. That being said, one does not merely glue the thing together and call it quits. Nope. Now it’s time to build a box by pinwheeling foamcore strips that the needlework will sit in. 


It may not be easy to see the white on white in my photo, so I placed the cross-stitch next to the edge of the inside of the box hoping that you could see the method. The final photo shows the completed the box. The needlework drops in, the whole matted needlework package is fitted into the frame with glass, and the framing is complete… or as Austin would say, “All ‘d’.”

If you watch NCIS, you know Gibbs has rules. Well, I, too, have rules in my frame shop. If you are wondering what is rule number 1? That’s simple - glass does NOT bend. Hope you enjoyed the read.

I would love to feature photos of things that I have framed for you. Just email the image to me along with a little story, and I will publish it in the “archives” section of the website. It really is a lot of fun to share your projects with others; and others love to see what’s been done.

My email address remains:

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