Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to finish a cross-stitch Christmas ornament, #3

Here it is -- how to finish a cross stitch ornament #3.  I saved the most difficult finish for last -- framing with fabric -- and it is not very difficult at all, though it does involve the use of a sewing machine.  If you can sew a straight line and turn corners, you have all the skills you need to sew this ornament.

If you have never tried framing stitchery with fabric, it's very easy.  You can either use the same fabric for all four sides, or two different ones as I did.  Obviously, you will want to choose colors that complement those in your design.

To begin, just measure your finished stitchery horizontally and note down the width of it. 

Also figure out how wide you want your "frame" to be.  (For something this small, I thought an inch would be about as wide as I wanted to go.)  Plan on a half-inch total seam allowance and cut your top and bottom frame pieces accordingly.  (Don't cut the side pieces yet!)   For example, my stitchery is was 4 inches wide, and I wanted a 1" frame, so I added 1" for the frame and a total seam allowance of 1/2", and cut the top and bottom frame pieces 4 by 1-1/2 inches. 

Pin and sew your top and bottom frame pieces to the top and bottom of the stitchery, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the seam toward the frame pieces.  Press on the right side too.  Trim off any frame edges that don't line up with your stitched piece.

Now for the side pieces.  You will measure vertically now, the length of the stitchery which has now become greater because of the top and bottom frame pieces you sewed to it.  Again, add the desired width for your frame (1" in my case) to your 1/2" total seam allowances.  I cut my side pieces 5" by 1- 1/2".)

  Again, pin and sew the side pieces in place along each side of the stitchery/frame piece, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the seams toward the side frame pieces.  Press on the right side too and again trim off any frame edges that don't line up with your stitched piece.

Now you will make a backing piece for your stitchery.  You can either use fabric that matches your frame, or a solid color like red or green.  Simply measure the finished piece, with its frame stitched in place and pressed,  and cut a matching piece to use for the backing.  (In my case, that meant a rectangle 5" by 5 1/2".) 

Sew the two pieces together with right sides facing, using a 1/4" seam allowance and leaving a 2-inch opening for turning.  Turn right side out, press neatly, and then stitch around the finished piece about 1/8" from the edge, which will sew the opening closed. and will give a nice finished look to the ornament.

I could have sewed a loop of ribbon or metallic cord in place when sewing the front and back of the ornament together, but I decided it would be simpler to just thread a needle with cord (I used green crochet thread) and pierce the top center of the ornament, then tie the ends of the cord together and trim the ends neatly.

And there you have it!  It probably took me a lot longer to type this (trying to be very clear with my instructions) than it will take you to assemble your finished ornament!

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