Sunday, December 10, 2017


Things you will need to frame as shown:
1.) Finished Stitched Piece
2.) Grid Ruler
3.) Ball Head Straight Pins
4.) Upholstery Thread and Sharp Needle
5.) Acid Free Foam Core
4.) Frame; I also use conservation UV protected or Museum glass - this is optional
6.) Logan Points Driver Gun with points
7.) Backing Board
8.) Utility Knife
9.) Stainless Steel Flat Head Straight Pins
10.) Frame Spacers
11.) Hanging accessories (saw tooth hanger or wire hanger hardware)
12.) Rubber Bumper Pads
13.) Information Card 

You want to use all archival/acid free products when you frame your pieces. This will ensure that your pieces remain perfectly preserved through the years. Most reputable framing shops/sites that sell framing supplies will only sell acid free, archival framing products. If it isn't printed on the that it is an archival product ask the sales clerk and they should be able to tell you/point you in the right direction. If they don't know - don't use it. Ask lots of questions, research yourself if you have to do that to get answers. That is what I do.
Do NOT use that nasty Sticky Board. That is NOT archival and will ruin your projects turning them yellow, eating holes into the fabric after a few years. Not to mention if you EVER want to un-frame it to redo or finish in a different way, it is impossible to get all that sticky, coating mess of an adhesive off the back of your stitching. 

Step 1:
Iron face side down your stitched piece. Ensure that the piece is clean, if you see visible dirt, if you need to wash...then do whatever tried and true practice you use. I do not wash by full immersion so cannot direct you in that technicality. 

Once ironed and clean, then place stitched piece flat onto clean surface. Measure your piece very well to determine frame size needed. Take into account:
1.) margin you want from stitched edge to frame edge
2.) Write down measurements in inches height and width
Consideration* when looking for frames take into account rabbet width - the overhang of the frame (or lip of the frame) that your piece will sit in. Also consider if you will be using a mat. I typically frame without matting and this tutorial will show framing without a mat, however if you want to use a mat you need to take that into consideration when choosing the size of your frame.

1 frame

STEP 2: Choose your frame. You can get custom sized frames at Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Michael's, as well as many, many online frame stores. I have used Saline Frame Company a couple of times. They offer ready made custom sizes with simple frame style in a variety of colors. The frame shown was from their company. Any reputable framing department will have archival products and when purchasing the frame will offer that the foam core, bumper pads, hanging hardware will be thrown into the price or at least the hanging hardware and bumpers will be given complimentary while the custom cut foam core will have a nominal fee. I highly recommend getting the foam core cut custom from the frame shop.

2 frame

My piece is 5 1/2 H x 5 7/8 wide
My frame is 7 x 7 (I wanted a small margin between stitching and frame edge)
The rabbet width is 1/4 inch

that translates to: top and bottom needs 3/4 inch from edge of stitching to edge of foam core
right and left sides need 5/8 inch margin from edge of stitching to edge of foam core
Measure carefully these measurements top/bottom and sides

3 frame

STEP 3: place ball headed pins along the sides of the measured piece to maintain proper spacing on foam core. 

4 frame

STEP 4: Flip piece and lay face down. Get your Upholstery Thread (this is very durable strong thread for lacing, this is what I use exclusively for lacing on framing and when I lace for my other finishing)

5 frame

STEP 5: Lace the top and the bottom by beginning on the edge at point A (see below) secure with knot, then travel up to B - scoop a stitch to point C, then travel down to D - scoop a stitch to Point E and repeat all along the length of the foam core.
HINT: do not pull tightly as you don't want puckers on the linen. Check frequently the front side to ensure you are maintaining proper spacing and that the linen threads are square and not wavy or slanting on the front. 

6 Frame

STEP 6: Check you spacing measurements - if you need to tweak a bit, just gently slide the linen around - you do not have to undo the lacing just slide it to fix measurements.

7 Frame

STEP 7: Now place face down on flat surface again and fold corner in just a bit before whip stitching corner into place as shown below:

8 frame 9 frame 10 frame

STEP 8: do the same thing as above to opposite corner

11 frame

STEP 9: Begin lacing side to side

12 frame

STEP 10: when you reach the other corner(s) fold and whip stitch into place. 
HINT*again do not pull forcibly, just enough to hold the piece in place squarely.

13 frame

This is what it should look like when completely laced:   

14 Frame

STEP 11: again check your margins and when perfect, add some stainless steel flat head pins spaced about an inch apart on all four sides, as shown below, this is to ensure that the piece stays in one place securely without shifting. (this is probably overkill on my part, but I like to do this)

15 Frame 15a frame

STEP 12: Since I do not use mats, I don't want my stitching smashed against the glass. Therefore, I use frame spacers. These are wonderful archival, plastic spacers that I purchase online from FRAMETEK I get mine in 1/8" clear and what it does is creates an air space between the glass and whatever you are framing. This allows my stitches to be viewed perfectly, cleanly without distortion. It also allows for air to freely move through my framed pieces and helps in their preservation (so that humidity does not affect them by being trapped on glass and affecting linen. 

16a frame

You simply cut the frame spacers to size:

16b frame

Pull off adhesive tape: 

16c frame

And stick on glass in rabbet space:

16d frame

I do it on all four sides

16f frame

Step 13: Place your laced stitched piece inside frame (after ensuring glass is completely clean and smudge free - I use vinegar water spritz and clean with newspaper for smudge free glass)

17 frame

STEP 14: Cut a piece of backing board (I use mat board) and take your Logan Points Gun Driver and drive points evenly space around framed piece. The points hold everything inside the frame, you want to use firm pressure when driving the points.

18 frame

When done it should look like this:

19 frame

STEP 15: Add your hanging hardware - I use saw tooth hangers for frames less than 10 inches

20 frame

STEP 16: I have stickers that I put on the back of each framed piece that gives general information about what I stitched, since this is a gift I just put to whom I gifted, dates and my name. On my personal pieces I also put all piece information (Designer/Design/Fabric count and color/my name and date)
21 frame

Stand back and admire your work.
M Designs _ Letter E

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Magnifier Cover...

How to Magnifier Cover


2 pieces of felt
Cotton Material
Straight Pins
Sewing Machine - with thread
Points Turner

Choose 2 pieces of regular felt from the craft store
I left mine the same size as they come in which is roughly 8 1/2 x10 inches.
If you need significantly smaller than cut them to the dimensions you need, however, the size they come in fit small and large head magnifiers - Keep it simple!

choose the cotton fabric you would like your magnifier cover to be in and cut it 1/8 inch larger on the top and sides of the felt piece, leaving 1 1/2 inches of fabric on the bottom.

pin the felt to the cotton fabric 

Fold over the 1 1/2 inch end of fabric over the top of the felt and iron into place.

Pin the ironed bottom into place.

Go to sewing machine and sew along the edge of the folded end.

Have the SNOOPERVISOR make sure all is lined up correctly :)

when sewing is completed it will look like this:

Line up the edges pretty sides together... 

Pin into place:

STEP 9: 
Sew sides and top - DO NOT SEW BOTTOM OPENING!

*hint* at the beginning corner, sew a few stitches forward, then a few stitches in revers (going back over the few forward stitches) to lock the stitches and reinforce edge.

at the end of the the stitches right off the edge of the fabric, cut threads, turn, load up and stitch along top of cover sewing right off the edge again, cut threads, turn and sew along the side of cover, reinforcing the last corner seam on the edge as shown above at the beginning corner.

Here is what it looks like when you are done sewing together:

STEP 10:
Clip thread tails.

STEP 11:
Clip Corners.

STEP 12:
Turn Out

STEP 13:
Take your points turner tool and poke out the corners until very pointy and crisp.


YOU know how I feel about crisp corners!


STEP 14:
Take the cover to the ironing board and Best Press the heck out of it with a hot iron.


STEP 15:
Go back to sewing machine and lengthen your stitch.
Because we are sewing through a lot of layers and lengthening the stitch allows the feed dogs (that grab the fabric underneath) to run a bit smoother pushing the layers of fabric through easier.
*OR if you have a walking foot use it! I have one and use it with larger projects, but my machine is superior with thick of the things about this machine that I love!
My Machine? you ask: Janome Magnolia 7330 - I have two of them. I LOVE them!

STEP 16:
We are going to top stitch the cover to make it not only pretty, but doing this will make it durable and hide our raw edges - this is called "French Seams". Load up your machine and start sewing.

*hint* when you get the corner, STOP about 1/8 of an inch from edge, turn and then line up your presser foot and sew along top edge...DO NOT run off the edge of the fabric.

Collage 1

When you are all done the cover looks like this:
*hint* don't forget to clip your thread tails!

Here is the inside :)

STEP 17:
Cover your magnifier it's all protected!
USE it when you are done stitching EVERY day!

  Collage 2

STEP 18:
CELEBRATE! You did it!