DIY Framed Cross-stitch

I finally gave this belated Christmas gift to my friend Chera, whom I’m currently visiting in San Antonio, so at last I can blog about it! Knitting is still my needlecraft of choice, but I’ve recently been returning to cross-stitch. It fits my life well right now because it’s relatively inexpensive, the projects are always portable, and a specialty store isn’t required for the supplies.

This pattern was purchased on Etsy from The Little Stitcher, whose designs are charming and beautifully uncomplicated. Chera just defended her PhD in medieval literature, and since I edited her chapter on Arthurian legend, this pattern made me think of her right away. I stitched it up in a few hours over Thanksgiving.

The frame was a lucky thrift store find. It originally held a horrid velvet flower picture that had mostly rubbed off onto the glass- yuck. But the frame is solid wood and beautifully carved. I felt a bit uninspired dip-painting it, but the plain wood seemed too severe, and I wanted to cover the worst of the scratches without losing the beautiful original wood altogether. I just eyeballed halfway down the frame, and used painter’s tape to get a (mostly) straight edge.

As a backing for the cross-stitch, I ended up pulling a piece of 5×7 chipboard from my stash of bookbinding supplies. I trimmed the excess fabric, glued it to the board with Yes! paste, and pressed it under heavy books for a day. (Essentially, I modified the technique I’d use to glue bookbinding cloth to the cover of a handmade book.) I wouldn’t choose this method for a larger piece, but because this one is so simple, I didn’t have qualms about gluing it down.

I have dreams of covering a wall in needlepoint miniatures, and this project has given me some ideas for DIYing it. The hardest part will be hunting down the right assortment of frames; filling them should be easy!

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