out of square x-stitch


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Nov 19, 1998
whitewater,wi.53190 usa
It's late and my brain is tired. I have a "Welcome" cross stitch that measures a full 1/4" longer on one edge to edge diaigonal(sp) than the other. I don't see how I can stretch this to compensate for the out of kilter measurement. How do you experts do this? This is going to be matted. I may admit defeat on this thing!
If it is really cross stitch (as opposed to needlepoint) then you should have no problem squaring it. Cross stitch is worked in crosses (duh!) on an evenweave ground fabric, of which a lot shows in the design area. This differs from needlepoint, which is worked in a diagonal stitch covering an openweave canvas, none of which shows in the design area.

Cut a dummy mat (in case you have to cut the real one a tiny bit larger/smaller). Cut the backing board the correct size. We use rag mat ATGd over a/f corrugated. Put the work under the dummy mat and on top of the backboard in its approximate correct position. Lift up the dummy mat and peek to see that there is enough fabric (about an inch at least) to lace in place. If not, sew similar fabric to work edges. Cut a 'donut hole' in the backboard of a size that a) will accomodate the work and b) will be covered by the mat. Trim 1/8" off two sides of the fallout so that the fabric will have a place to fit when it is wrapped around the 'hole'. Lightly sand the edges of the donut hole to remove sharp edges, to protect the fabric from abrasion.

Put the hole back in the donut, lay the fabric in place, using the dummy mat to figure placement. Remove the dummy and the donut, holding the fabric in place on the donut hole with your hand. Clip on each side with a bulldog clip or a binder clip. Lace fabric around donut hole in one direction. Remove clips, test fit in donut, squaring fabric by pulling it around donut hole as necessary. Lace in other direction. Test fit again and make adjustments as necessary.

When it is square and located properly, turn the donut and hole combo over and use a few pins to hold the hole in the donut. Cut the real mat, making any necessary adjustments as to size.

Hope this is clear! I am more of a 'show' than a 'tell'...
What Ellen said.
Crosstitch can usually be pulled straight with little effort.

If you do find you need to use some relaxer to keep the fabric from puckering in unattractive ways, be very sparing. Rather than spraying the material, dab lightly with a rolled up cotton cloth, only on the back. The idea is to just get a little relaxer on the threads of the design, and not on the base fabric.

I had to use this technique on pieces done by a school teacher to relax. She did two-pass stitching, and her first pass was always pulled very hard. (I couldn't help picturing her, teeth gritted, pulling the stitches "I'm reLAXing! I'm reLAXing!" I guess she really was relaxed when she finished the stitches) Her crossstitches were parallelograms. And, you don't want to see her needlepoints!
AIDA( I believe thats what cross stitch fabric is called), is usually straight and even, distortions on the finished cross stitch is caused by unusual tension during the stitching process. For fairly "normal" cross stitches, I use acid free double-sided tape for securing the object to the backing board. Another way is to suspend the fabric at the back of the finished matboard with acid free transparent glue, gradually adjusting the fabric until the glue is almost dry and the tiny holes align with the beveled edges of the mat( this should easily correct the 1/4" discrepancy you mentioned). For hopelessly distorted cross stitches, you could use a little more persuasion by stapling the object on the backing board using Max #3 brass staples gradually working from the bottom edge until all holes(again!) align with the mat edges..you could use a liitle pressure here to even the fabric with the mat opening..finish the back by gluing another thin sheet of 1/32" backing board so the staples wont show.
I wouldn't glue or staple a needlework even if I hated the owner. If pinning or lacing will not straighten it, block it! Look up some posts on blocking.
I feel the same as HB about gluing a cross stitch or any fabric piece. In addition to framing, I am an avid stitcher and do most of my projects on linen. I would "kill" someone who glues my effort, but if I did it to myself is that a mercy killing or suicide. I use the pinning technique for most all of my fabric customers.
I'm with HB & Wally,
I frame a lot of needlework, mostly cross stitched.
Never use glue or any kind of adhesive. I stretch over acid free mounting board using pins or lacing only.
A cross stitch, if sewn along the proper lines will always straighten up as it's stretched.
I go from the middle out on all four sides. Others use equally workable methods. Find what works for you and use that method. No Glue or Adhesives Please. :(
Thanks to everyone who answered. I think this is needlepoint instead of cross-stitch after following Ellens information. I have laced it twice but still cannot get the center artwork squared. I'll try again later tonight. After this problem I'm not taking anymore of these in. This is what happens when your confidence outweighs your skills. I have worked with fabrics before but never had this trouble. Maybe Atlanta will have a class on doing these.
Joe when you said, "I think this is needlepoint instead of cross-stitch" you actually pointed out a couple of problems. Needlepoint will probaly need to be Blocked before it is stretched and then sometimes it will need to be blocked more than once to straighten it.

The other problem is one that many framers have. They don't recognize the differace between different needle arts. The differnt forms don't all respond to the same treatment and assumeing that if they were done with a needle they can be mounted the same way can cause a lot of grief.

Just as we need to learn the differance between a gicllee and serograph we also should learn to recognize the difference between cross stitching and needle point or maybe a mole or batik and why they respond differently.If you do you won't be saying "I'm not taking anymore of these" since all of them can bring in additional revenue when you learn to recogize and charge appropriately for what they each require.
Originally posted by FramerRandy:
I'm with HB & Wally,
A cross stitch, if sewn along the proper lines will always straighten up as it's stretched.
One exception to this is where a piece of cross stitch is not stitched over the entire area. There is a lot of this done down here and they can be a real headache. The stitched area has become smaller than the fabric it covers due to tension, and the area not stitched is its original size. This make it almost imossible in some cases to line up the edges correctly.
Buddy you are exactly right. In the frustration of the moment people things like "I'll never take of these again"; but I know I will. The key is education so I'm not totally overwhelmed by these rascals. That is my next misson, to educate myself.

Osgood the piece I'm working on has a wide 3" border that has no needle point art in it. The total piece of fabric is ok as far as deminsions go, but in the stitching of the art work that is where it goes off. I did go back and work more on the piece tonight and I think the customer will be ok with the final result. The reason she came to me is that I had the mat color she wanted. I'll know tomorrow.