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To Frame or Not To Frame: What are your finishing options?

Hi Everyone

Framing my finished cross stitch projects has been my go-to finish for many years. The flat-ish finish enables me to easily and conveniently display my awesomeness on walls, shelves and other flat spaces. Also, framing can be as low cost or expensive as you want it to be or can afford it to be. Nine times out of ten I will frame my projects myself because I want to improve my framing skills and I’m impatient. However, the one project I have had professionally framed was done very well. The people who framed it had a big challenge on their hands, as I had done a major stitching faux-pas. I had the right measurements for my fabric, however, when I started stitching, I got my horizontal vs vertical around the wrong way and it wasn’t until I had stitched a significant amount of the project, that I had realised that I didn’t have enough fabric horizontally and had too much fabric vertically!

Professionally framed fishing cats project

That said, I like being quirky and unconventional at times. My logic is ‘who says I have to?’ or ‘just because they did it, doesn’t mean I have to!’ So the question is, how many variations, alternatives and options are there to framing?

Alternatives to framing…

Biscornus (aka fancy pin cushions)

I’m starting to develop a love obsession with biscornus. When I first came across them, I was starting out in cross stitch and didn’t really understand how awesome and beautiful they are, let alone how many designs are available!

Strawberry biscornu

Wall hangings

Not quite the same thing as framing your works of art, but we’re getting close. The Youtube clip below by BexBox Stitcher will hopefully give you some ideas!

Clip by BexBox Stitcher – published on 23 April 2018


I’ve been working on my own cross stitch country themed quilt for many years and there are two awesome things about this – 1) it’s nearly finished!; and 2) there are so many different options with quilt patterns, that as long as it turns out the way that I want it, that’s all that matters!

Seasonal/special event decorations

This includes Christmas tree decorations, celebrating the four seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn), Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, welcome home, farewell, happy anniversary and many other celebrations!

Cross Stitch decoration options from websites, and
Three possible decorations options…


Cards can say as much or as little as you want them to. They can be a way of you saying thank you, sorry, congratulations, happy anniversary, happy birthday, farewell, bon voyage, welcome home, declarations of love, happy new year, happy hanaka etc. The other awesome thing is if you’re feeling a bit stuck, books and magainzes like the Ultimate Cross Stitch Magazine and the Internet more broadly speaking, can provide you with bucket loads of ideas and inspiration!

Bed coverings

Have you ever considered embellishing your pillow cases and doonah covers like the images below?

All of these images have been obtained from Pinterest. Many of these products can be obtained from eBay and Etsy.

For those of us in the know, this has been an option for a while. Thankfully, places like the Fox Collection, provide us with the ability to make our bed coverings unique and colourful.

Name tags and signs with subversive flair

As an introvert, revealing my name to people in anyway, shape or form to people I don’t know and not know how my name will be used, is scary and daunting. If however, you’re attending an event that requires a name tag, creating your own can be a creative way of telling people who you are and that you’re awesome at cross stitch!

Also, if the event allows, why not add your favourite quote, symbol, flower or decorative border to make your name tag even more interesting? The world’s your oyster!

Table settings

What can’t we do with our cross stitch and table settings? The options for us are endless! We can make our tables shine with, table cloths, table runners, napkins, wine bottle bibs and baby bibs to name a few. More ideas can be found at sites like Fox Collection, Needleworkersdelight and OzStitch to name a few!


Reusable bags are one of the most popular accessories a woman can have and it’s all good and well that we can purchase these bags from where-ever they’re available. But what if you could rock one that you made? Or you were able to support someone who could make one for you? Etsy for example is an awesome place to start!

Book covers and book marks

I’m an avid reader and I love writing – I should probably be writing more! Surprisingly though, I’ve not stitched many bookmarks and I’ve never done a book covering. I have however, fallen in love with the image below. Partly because purple is my favourite colour and I love the choices the designer/s of the image below have made and how they have covered the book.

Book cover by Larisa

Honourable mentions

The above list is just a sample of the options available to you. There are soooo many more options for finishing off your projects and the awesome thing is that there are many more websites, tutorials and videos you can watch to help you decide.

My go-to favourites is Pinterest and Flosstube, which has result in the following list:

  • Hands On Design is a website that is all things embroidery – especially cross stitch and I love the possibilities of what we can do with finishing our projects, let alone the projects we can do from Hands On Design! The additional awesomeness is that Cathy Habermann (from Hands On Design) has her own flosstube channel!
  • The Twisted Stitcher – aka Vonna Phiffer has her own flosstube channel as well and does some amazing finishes and she shows us how!
  • The flosstube clip below for example, shows you how to mount your project on artists canvas…
Alternative to Framing Tutorial by Stitcherista – published on Youtube on 22 September 2017

Have I missed anything?

There’s a pretty good chance that I’ve missed some awesome finishes out there. So I would love it if you could let me know what your favourite finishes are and why you love that particular finish – especially if I haven’t mentioned them in this post!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Posted in Uncategorized

My First Cross Stitch Country Quilt

Years in the making

This quilt has been years in the making. Each picture has taken me an average of 3 months to complete, whilst working full-time and studying part time (for 6 years) and other projects in between. The pictures that make up this quilt are mostly Country Threads. The cottage and cat at the fish pond are from two different cross stitch magazines I’ve had for years. The mare and foal are a Dimensions Gold Collection kit (aka Dimensions Good Morning (Horse and Foal)).


Each picture represents an element of my family’s farm. Growing up we always had two dogs, two cats, many horses, many cows and bulls, chooks (aka chickens), ducks, geese and briefly, a flock of sheep. We’ve also had wild foxes, wombats, cockatoos (that love eating the oats and grass seeds in the round bales of hay), lorikeets, rosellas, galahs, crows, rabbits, hares, the odd echidna and once a pelican! On the farm, we also have a shearing shed that we’ve never used as an actual shearing shed. Instead, it has been a fantastic place for us to store our horse-riding gear, cattle drenching equipment, a place for chooks and ducks to hatch and raise their young, places for the cats to snooze (sleep) and catch mice and rabbits, a place to store square bales of hay, a place for the horses to shelter from the weather and mend from illness or injury. The shearing shed has also been a place for us to store bits and pieces we have wanted to store from the weather.

The creative process

For years I’ve known that I’ve wanted to make a quilt out of these pictures, but I’ve never had a firm idea of how it would look, how big it would be and how many pictures it would exactly it would have. As the pictures progressed and accumulated, I started thinking about the farm on a broader scale and the common colours they involve. Which is how I decided upon the blue and green shades you see in the pictures.

Image shows how the navy blue and lime green looks as the border and connecting pieces for the cross stitch pictures.
Choosing the colours for quilting fabric.

The closer I got to finishing the pictures and being ready to assemble the quilt, Pinterest became my best friend for all quilt related things – to the point that I created a board on Pinterest! I also decided that I would back/line the cross-stitch pictures with calico before I attached the navy blue and green borders. Below is how I attached the pictures to the calico and I made the most of the huge floor space at my parents space.

Five metres worth of calico flat on the floor with cross stitch pictures pinned to it for me to cut out and sew.
Cross stitch pictures pinned to calico.

Layout options

Once I had the cross stitch pictures lined with calico and the pictures had the navy blue borders, I had a lot of fun and stress with trying to figure out how it should be set out. The images below are just a few of the ways I had the pictures set out before I decided on the final setting…

Quilt lay out option 1. Row 1 - left to right: Mare and foal, lorikeets, rose and border collie. Row 2 - left to right: Butterflies, small cat, Palamino horse, wheat, rusty old car and galahs. Row 3 - left to right: Labrador puppy with chick, English cottage, droving cattle across a creek.
Quilt layout option 1.
Quilt layout option 2. Row 1 - left to right: Hay shed, palamino horse, droving cattle across a creek. Row 2 - left to right: cockatoos, English cottage, labrador puppy with chick.
Row 3 - left to right: Rusty car, galahs, border collie.
Row 4 - left to right: mare and foal, Lorikeets.
Layout option 2
Layout option 3
Layout option 3

Once I was happy with the layout, joining it all together with the green fabric proved to be harder than I thought it would be – mostly because I wasn’t following an official pattern and I didn’t have any specific measurements in mind. All I knew was that I wanted it to be as square as possible in the end.

Things I have learnt to date about this quilt.

To date, this quilt has taught me a lot about myself and as much as it may frustrate me, I can make decisions on the fly. Other things I have learnt include:

  • Patience when I’m frogging something (a cross stitch term I’ve recently learnt that refers to un-picking something – aka ‘ribbit’ like the sound a frog makes);
  • The amount of thread I’ll go through for the sewing machine because of the amount of frogging and because I’m not following a set pattern;
  • How heavy the quilt becomes the more it comes together;
  • Best intentions with sewing straight (including having pre-determined guidelines to follow) doesn’t always mean that I will sew straight!
  • Perfection. In quilting I’ve found the need for it is more important than ever – especially if I want things to be square and line up just so;
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way. I accept that this quilt will not be as perfect or as flat or as straight or as square as I want it to be. However, I have found that there are alternate ways to achieve what I want.

Where to from here?

Quilt progress as of 3rd February 2019.
Quilt progress as of 3rd February 2019.

Now that the quilt is reasonably square, I can now measure it up for batting that I aim to purchase soon. Meanwhile, I have purchased additional navy blue quilting fabric that I will sew over the top of the existing navy blue borders around each cross stitch picture. My aim is to have the borders as even as possible whilst trying to flatten out the quilt as much as I can. In the image above, I’ve tried to flatten it out as much as I can with no avail. To try and ensure that the borders don’t slip as I’m sewing them, my aim is to use double sided tape to hold the fabric in place. My additional aim is to sew the borders on whilst the batting is attached, to reduce any potential movement that the batting may do over time.

Once I’m happy with the borders and the batting, I’ll attach the back of the quilt and the trim/final border and it should then be finished!