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Cross Stitch 101: Framing in a Hoop

There are a lot of ways to frame embroidery, and doing it in a hoop is one of the easiest methods.  There are also a lot of ways to frame something in a hoop.  This is the way I do it.

Sometimes I'll use some fancy scrapbook paper to cover up the back, but honestly?  I forget.  A lot.  Also, it's a bit of a faff because the hoops are never perfectly round, and cutting out the paper means it only fits properly if it's sitting in one very particular way.  Also, 99% of the people who see the finished piece will never see the back, because it will probably be up on a wall somewhere.

I don't use any kind of glue or adhesives, because they're a little too permanent for me.  Things get broken, or maybe you'd rather use a different size hoop and don't realise it until you're done.  Also, me being me, I would probably get the glue all over the place and ruin everything.

So here's what I do use:

  • Medium-sized upholstery needle
  • Pearl Cotton, or some throw-away six strand floss
  • Good pair of scissors
  • Hoop (usually a wood one)
Once you've blocked your piece and let it dry (covered in another video),  place it inside your hoop and get it framed and centred where you want it.  Tighten the outer hoop so it will hold the fabric firmly in place.  It's going to get pulled around a lot, and you don't want to risk it slipping out of place, or pulling weirdly and distorting your image.

If the design is full-coverage, it's often better to use a hoop that is slightly too small, so the design can cover the entire area.  Leaving a gap between the edge of your stitching and the edge of the hoop can usually wind up only highlighting the fact that the hoop is not perfectly round.

Once everything is in place, cut the fabric so that it's round.  Cut the fabric so when folded over the back, it goes about halfway between the hoop and the centre.

Thread your needle, using which ever thread you choose.  I like to thread it as if I'm doing a loop start, because it's the single easiest way to secure your first stitch.  Use a running stitch along the outer edge of the fabric, leaving about half an inch between the stitch and the edge.  Do not pull it tight until you come full circle.  Pull the thread tight so everything bunches up, and then repeat your running stitch in the same direction, but making the top portion of your stitch cover the bottom part of the previous pass (the video will show this in detail if I have not explained this well).  When you complete the second pass, tie off your thread and cut the tail short.

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