Sunday, March 16, 2008

My First Framing Attempts....

Had some fun, and learned a few things, when a
friend, Heather, and I got together and framed a
few of my stitching finishes. Heather has the
cutting tools, and has framed a few things for
herself, but I've never done anything like this before.
Probably because when it comes to figuring out
widths, heights and adjusting for edging materials
my mathematical skills are less then stellar. Which
is why I went into banking as a profession??? But
I digress.....

We started out with visits to a art materials store,
which used to be called Loomis but has now been
bought out and runs under another name. There
we looked at mats, and other materials for framing.
After we'd gotten everything that we could from
there we moved on to Michaels, where we finished
off our shopping with the final ingredients for our

Then it was back to Heather's for lunch, and then
we got to work. I'd chosen five pieces for framing
but only one was a priority because it was a gift.
The others were for me so fell under the category
of "it'd be nice if...". I let Heather do the measuring,
cutting and stuff and just handed her tools and
offered a helping (steadying) hand where needed.
Probably my biggest contribution at this stage was
just staying out of her way.

We worked steadily at it for the entire afternoon
and well into the evening. We framed three pieces
in total, with varying degrees of success. We
framed Faith first and it's the one with the most
flaws I'm afraid, which is a shame because it's the
one I'm giving away. But again I emphasize that
we're not experts at this, and I've never done
anything like this before. And from what I under-
stand cutting mats for framing can be really
tricky....and it is!

Okay, the stitching should have been stretched over the
mounting board more on one side, and the mat cut isn't
perfect on one side. But I love the choices we made for
the mats on this one and it was such a thrill to see it
matted and framed, with the mats bringing out the
design details. We fussed and refitted this one so many
times, but in the end decided that we'd just wreak it if
we kept picking at it, not to mention diminishing our
pleasure in the whole enterprise. So we declared the
thing done, and moved on to our next project.

This was the biggest of the three pieces that we framed
and the one that I wanted done most of all. We chose
a dark green mat for the outside, and a gold mat to peak
through around the edge, which is meant to bring out the
bits of gold thread in the project. I helped more with the
adjustment of the project on its base, and we didn't get
too stressed out with the stretching, and all in all I think
it turned out really good. Actually, I'm thrilled with this
one and can't wait to get it hung now. And finally we did this one. Bees was the smallest of the
three projects, and therefore in some ways the easiest to
handle. I placed this one on it's base myself because it
was too small for both of us to work on, and it turned out
just fine. We couldn't find a mat in a colour to suit the
project so we bought some rosy pink paper which was
the colour we wanted and glued it to the mat base.
There really wasn't much room for a mat edge on the
sides of this piece, but we managed to show just enough
and I love how the mat colour makes the project pop!
This is such a pretty design.

So there you have it. I'm pleased to have some of my
most recent pieces framed, and I think I've gotten over
my initial fears and trepidations with regards to
framing, and I'd like to try it again.

I do have questions though and if anyone reading this
post has experience framing I'd love to hear from you.
We used tacky board to mount the pictures. This had
it's good and it's bad issues, but I'm thinking I'd like
to try pinning to foam board next time and seeing how
that works. Also, we used paper tape to secure the
stitching at the back. I know many stitchers weave
the back to hold the stitching in place for sewing
projects, but do you also do this for framing?? That
wouldn't work for bigger pieces would it??


Not much else going on around here at the moment.
The temperatures continue to hover above freezing
and the snow continues to melt away. The birds are
convinced it's Spring, even if the rest of us have our
doubts, and they're singing their little hearts out. And
we can see signs of Spring migration in progress. The
Cedar Waxwings are back in town, in their bi-seasonal
stop over, and they're sharing the last of the cherries
on our trees with the Pine Grosbeaks. The cardinals
are serenading their sweethearts first thing in the
morning, and we've got a young hawk visiting the area
and throwing the mourning doves into a tizzy. I
haven't spotted any Robins yet, but I'm sure they're
around and I'll see one soon.

Cheers all!


Barbara said...

You get much better results with lacing the backs - big ones, too! - than with the tacky board. I pin the linen in place on the mat board, then I either lace or use bookbinder's glue. I know everyone frowns on glue, but the framers here don't lace either. (I wrote about DIY framing here:

I love your color choices!

tkdchick said...

The colour choices are great! As you do things more you'll get better! Framing takes practice, time and patience!

stitcherw said...

Wow, they all look gorgeous. I love the color mats and such that you picked. While I've done some framing, I haven't ever cut mats. I've bought frames that came with a mat already (either just the mat or with a picture in it that I just cut out so I could keep the mat) or got a seperate mat that was the size the frame needed. I haven't used the tacky board. I've cute a piece of foam board from a large sheet and used that. I've tried lacing, but it didn't work well, I've had better luck pinning it around the edges into the foam core. Easier to adjust and less pulling on the fabric. When I was at camp recently one of the ladies said she uses the tacky board but reverses it. She puts the non sticky side behind the stitching, pins the piece in place till it is nice and square, then sticks the excess fabric on the back down onto the sticky on the back. It anchors it well, is easier to adjust the piece, and once the excess is pressed down it doesn't go anywhere. Hope that made sense, it sounded like a good idea to me.

Vonna said...

WOW I love your framing attempts! I lace and think it holds it much better and I can get it centered easier :)

Beatrice said...

It seems I've gotten behind on my commenting sorryyyyyy!
I'm just too busy these days. Oh well my choice I guess.
I love the framing you did, good for you to do it yourself. Sometimes if I can get a frame that fits I do it myself. Some times I lace and sometimes I tape.
Both ways works for me!

I went back and had a look at your backyard Summer and Winter.
Nice reference. I like the summer one best...oh not a contest..hee hee.

Lynn said...

Your framing attempts are great! I've never tried this myself. I don't think I'd have the patience. I just picked up my Faith after having it framed by Michaels and they didn't stretch this one properly. I'll post a pic on my blog soon.
I think it was a fantastic first effort and you'll get better at it as you do it more often.

I just received PS Weather Wise and all I need now is for my fabric to get here so I can get started. I love this chart!

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your framing - your pieces look great. You chose beautiful mats and frames to really accent the pieces. I always lace my pieces - it just seems to work well, even on large pieces. Sometimes I pin around the edges also to make sure I get it really tight.

Pumpkin said...

I agree with Barbara. Lacing gives you a much nicer look and it's really easy after you've done it once or twice. I did have an article I wrote for Lacing 101 but it must be on my other computer. I can find it if you are interested. It's very easy to follow and is step by step.

The colors you went with are super and match really well :o) I have never made my own frames or mats but I can imagine it does take practice. I do lace all my projects though.

Gina E. said...

"The Bookshelf" looks sensational!! I haven't started the pattern you sent me yet...I always seem to be busy working on something for someone else...never mind, maybe next year I'll do another picture just for me, and it will be this one!

Litla Skvís said...

They are all stunning! You did a wonderful job!