The most exciting part about doing a cross stitch project other than starting it is actually finishing it. When your stitches are actually crossed and your final back stitch is placed it’s time to decide what you want to do to display the needlework you’re so proud of.
A lot of people jump right to the thought of framing the piece. What size frame should they get? One matte or two mattes? Glass or plexi for protection? Standing frame or hanging frame?
But, the truth is there are so many options for your final finish other than a typical frame (or even a fancy frame.) Of course, a few of the options are going to depend on the size of your finished cross stitch, but don’t be afraid to get creative to get the effect you want in the end.
One of the most popular framing alternatives is sewing the piece into a pillow or a sham. Of course, this lends well to small to medium sized cross stitch pieces and because it will be out on display you may want to use simple designs in this option because they might or might not washing at some point.
A similar option that I really enjoy for small pieces is to create a quilt block to be part of a larger wall hanging or even an actual quilt. It gives a nice personalized touch to the overall project and sets it apart from a typical quilting project.
The example in the photo above is a banner sewn from a finished wedding sampler and mounted on a dowel painted to match the fabric with a twisted cord made from DMC thread. (The cross stitch design is the Wedding Blessing from Dragon Dreams, and stitched this one for myself ;))
Since we’re in sewing mode here, I have to share a project idea that I saw recently that I really liked for a framing alternative. I haven’t had a chance to try this one out myself yet, but I’m definitely going to be doing one very soon, and that is sewing or quilting the finished piece as the front of a tote bag or purse. I saw this done with a beautiful finished dragon cross stitch and the results were fantastic, so I can’t wait to try it out with one of my finished projects. This might take a somewhat large project, depending on how big you want the finished bag to be and how much border fabric you decide to use for your project.
I’ve seen small projects used as “patches” on hoodie jackets, sewn onto messenger bags, and all sorts of other places just by blanket stitching around the outer edge of the fabric to attach it like you would a regular patch. I think a bit of fusible interfacing would go a long way in helping to keep your finished piece in place for this method if you have a bit of it handy.
But, what if you don’t want to sew? That’s okay, there are still plenty of no-sewing-required alternatives left to talk about and we’ll cover those on another day. In the meantime enjoy your latest cross stitch project and start thinking about new ways to use those finished pieces on display. I’d love to see and hear what you do with your next finish.