Friday, January 23, 2009

Five Years in the Making

Hey there, Stitchy Peeps!

I did not make a pillow this week. Instead, I completed a little something I've been working on for five years:

all done...

I started this in 2004, and put it away for quite some time. Every so often I'd pull it out of the closet and add a few more stitches to it, but I finally buckled down and worked hard to complete it. (Yeah, as if sitting in the recliner at night after the kids are in bed, sipping tea and watching The Office on DVD is such hard work.)

Here are a few more pics.

hare charm

tulip charm


buzzy bee beads

(See the ecru floss used to attach those teeny black beads? How it looks like the wings of the bees? Yeah, it only took my five years to figure that out. For some reason I thought the beads would be attached with black floss, and was confused when the pattern called for a light color. Um, DUH! Lol.)

This next pic is kinda blurry, but I wanted to give you an idea of the size of each square.

quarter comparison

cheer bear

(Yeah, the Care Bear is random. I'm like that sometimes. Random=fun.)


That's the backside. There are some thread tails to cut, but overall I think it looks pretty good. Much better than this monstrosity from 1996.

So now I just have to frame it. Ick. It's an odd size, about 6.25in x 11in, I think, so framing it myself may not be an option. Soooooo, it may be a while before this thing gets framed! Good framing costs $$$, but I hear it's worth it. So, we'll see.

Oh yeah, and before I forget...I am working on a special little project for my friend whose birthday is coming up soon. Here are a couple sneak peek pics:

just a little sneak peek....


Well, that's it for me, my lovely peeps! I have tons of things in the works right now that I am super excited about, and I can't wait to share the details with you. But that must wait for another day! Until then...

Happy Stitching!


AJ Bindel said...

I love the sampler, Kristi! It's beautiful. And I'm totally intrigued by the sneak peak.

Anonymous said...

yay for finishing the sampler! custom framing can be quite pricey, are any of your friends carpenters???

and i love that sneak peak! i think i know what the yellow and pink is, but i won't blurt it out and ruin the surprise

r e b e c k a said...

It looks lovely, even the backside!!
I often find myself putting away unfinsihed crafts too and when I happily find them again I add a few stitches. Something like the Office surely helps! :)
Have a nice weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

ıt's beautiful:) back side too :)

Amanda Panda Pants said...

WOW!!! That back is just as impressive as the front!!!!!

Yay for The Office, do you love John Krasinki (Jim) as much as I do???

Anonymous said...

That sampler is amazing! The sheep and the pumpkins are my favorite :)

Jenny S said...

Wow it looks fantastic! I couldn't imagine I'd ever have the patience to do so much detail xo

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for going ahead and finishing it!! It's just gorgeous, and I love that you photographed a square next to a quarter to give an indication of scale -- I never would've imagined each square was so tiny. Beautiful, beautiful work.

Do you have a Hobby Lobby near you? If so, they frequently have frames at half off, and they don't charge for the actual framing when you buy a frame. The framing center at our local H.L. generally does a very nice job.

Patty said...

The cross stitch looks terrific! Even the back is neat. I would not have the patience to work on that. Congrats on finishing it!

Brook said...

WOw!!! I love it! I love the bees the best! hahah so funny

Adaiha said...

So awesome! I love your trees especially.

sewitsforyou said...

Krisit is is beautiful. I can't believe how tiny it is. Great job!

Anjuli said...

This is so awesome! I love the little beads for 3D touches!

futuregirl said...

We've framed lots of things that are weird sized ... even had custom mats cut by robot-machines ... and it's pretty reasonable. Check it out, you might be surprised.

futuregirl said...

Oh! Beautiful sampler, by the way. ;)

jafabrit said...

This is really a beautiful piece of work and I like how you incorporated other elements into it.

found you via craft magazine :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristi,

I'm a fellow crafter, but I also happen to be a framer! I'll give you a few of suggestions to keep your costs down.

The #1 thing I will suggest is DO NOT go somewhere like Sears or a big general store that happens to have a small framing counter. They have no clue usually. Also, do not go to a chain frame store where allot of the things they have on their walls are laminations and posters. We have a chain called Grif & Graf in our area. I cannot tell you the number of horror stories my customers have told me, and the tragedies they have brought me after their work went though one of those places. Usually your work is sent to a central warehouse where the work is done, and could even get lost in transport. These stores (and unfortunately, increasingly some independent frame store) often have compressed PLASTIC-WOOD composite frames, because these are cheaper to make. But they are also cheaper in quality, and your work deserves more!

I know commenters above were trying to be helpful, but any store WILL charge for framing needlework because it's a lot of work. They're probably thinking of canvases, which frame shops will gladly pop into a frame for free because it's just a few nails and a wire, and all of 5 minutes work. If a shop offers to frame your needlework for no charge, unless it's a crazy promotion/sale, turn and run, and don't let them touch your preciousss.

So, onto framing....

Are you going to put mating around the image, or just bring a frame close in? These are things to consider. Mounting or lacing the work yourself should save you a good chunk of change. Guessing from the size, you could save yourself anywhere from 20-40$ doing this yourself. Better yet, if you're really handy, you can ask your framer to give you the frame and cut everything for you (glass, mats boards, give you the eyelets and wire), and assemble it yourself. You’ll save yourself another 10-15$ fitting charge. Of course, if you're NOT handy, it really is worth every penny to have them hand you the finished product.

If you're going to put matting, go and obtain yourself some Crescent Perfect Mount (, or a similar sticky board. You should be able to get it from most art/framing stores, and some needlework stores carry a similar product. Follow directions on the board or packaging.

If you're going to pop that right into a frame, go to your local frame shop and ask them for a small piece of foamcore that would fit your work... they might sell it to you for a couple bucks, but chances are if you indicate that you're going to frame your work there, they'll give it to you for free. A salesperson should be willing to help you figure out the exact size you need if you haven't already, and don't forget that the frame usually hides about 1/4" of the edge. Once you have your board, lace or pin your work to the board. This site I googled seemed to have good directions:

The next way to save money could be twofold. If you can find a shop nearby (let your fingers do the walking... this could be tedious) that cuts and joins their moldings, their prices should be lower because they're both point of sales AND the middle man. If you can't find a place like this open to the public, ask the shops you're calling if they deal with local suppliers, because these frames will be less expensive than national or international frame suppliers.

All in all, even if you do the mounting/lacing yourself, you're probably looking at 75-125$. If that is a wee bit high for you, consider putting it into a standard size frame. For your work, consider a frame 12x16 with a double mat, the top complementing the fabric, and the second mat picking up on the colour of the letters or the green, but NOT the borders of the boxes (trust me, it would look weird). Ideally if you were doing a custom job with matting your frame would be about 11 1/4"x16" (think about leaving 1/4"-1/2"around your work, then your mat would be 2"-2 1/4") and here I am telling you to go bigger to be cheaper. It's because frame companies sometimes churn out standard sizes by the dozens, while for custom frames they have to reset their tools for each job. It's rather obvious that it takes more time and money to do one oddball frame than a dozen like frames.

A lot of the bigger frame suppliers have sales for shop owners to attend a couple times a year where they can buy standard size frames in various styles for one price per size. Kudos if your shop gets to go to these. That 200$ frame you love could show up on the store shelves for 30$! Ask your frame shop if they do this. Many of the big guys also have what they call "box programs". When our in-store stock is running low, we can tell some of our suppliers, and they'll send over a box of twenty 8x10 or 12x16 frames. We don't know what we're getting, but sometimes there's real gems in there.

And finally, if you're budget is really tiny, consider Ikea. Pick up a Ribba frame, and bring it to your framer to have mats cut to the size you need.

Whew! That took a lot more writing than I thought. Hope it helps you!

Jessica said...

Hi Kristi! I happened here via Craftzine and I have to say I am so glad I did. I really love your blog and am a fellow stitcher/newbie to sewing. Reading your posts I see a lot of me in them. lol. ;D

I am now "following" you and added you to my blog list so I can visit easily. Happy stitching!

Anonymous said...

It's lovely!

Way Out Wear said...

As a person who's buckling down and finishing a nine year project - I get it. And I'm very jealous. Your piece is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the beads and fine details. So wonderful.
And the back is perfect!
I hope it's extra extra insured and kept in a very safe place!

mary grace said...

hi kristi! found you via craftzine, and love this sampler. the pictures are gorgeous and even the back is simply beautiful! was it from a kit? if so, i'd love to know the brand & name... i'm a fellow cross-stitch & embroiderer & am always looking for new challenges :)

Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions said...

This is just lovely! Fabulous job!

Elizabeth said...

Very nice. Cross stitch still baffles me I don't know why??!! It should look lovely framed.
I'm working on a sampler also, I think it will take a long time. The letters will be a snap, but all the little flowers in the middle of them will not.

#41x14 said...

wow! those are all such great images! my favorite letter is T with the thistle image.

but the back is so neatly done, that's something to admire - i would just want to frame the backside if i ever got one so neat!!!


Kate+IceCream said...

This rocks girl! Glad you finally finished it. I know all about monotonous stitches - I'm working on an over-one silhouette, little black stitch after little black stitch. Aaaaaaah! Anyway, good job. The back looks awesome too!