How long does it take to frame a piece of cross stitching?

Answer: 21 years.

I’m not kidding, honestly.

When I first met my husband, in the early nineties, I was mainly doing cross stitch pictures from kits. Occasionally, I did surface embroidery from kits (you could still buy some really good ones, then). I remember sitting in our new house, and stitching these two pictures, and really enjoying doing them:

A surface embroidery picture from a kit, made over 20 years ago (can’t remember who it’s by, now!)
A cross stitch nursery sampler from Mary Hickmott, of New Stitches magazine. This design first appeared in the magazine, and then as a separate kit.

But, as anyone who knows me would tell you, patience isn’t my strong point. In fact, recently, I did one of those online ‘personality test’ things, and the area I got the lowest score for was ‘patience’. Once a piece of embroidery is finished (I mean the stitching part), then I have to really force myself to complete the assembly/framing/blocking, or whatever it is….I just want to get on to the next project. Even if I can make myself finish something completely, I have to be very careful not to rush it, and make a mess of what might have taken me dozens of hours to actually stitch – all because I want to save a few minutes right at the end of the process.

So, as you can see from the two images above, these two pictures are now framed. Eventually. And the reason they’ve finally been finished is because a friend of mine mentioned that she’d like to have an example of my stitching, and she said she’d always wanted a sampler-style one. That’s when I remembered the two pieces of fabric rolled up in the drawer under my bed – stitched, but not framed. Not displayed for over 20 years. Bit of  a waste, really, isn’t it? So, having the excuse that they were now wanted by someone, I dug them out, blocked them, ironed them, framed them, and gave them to her a couple of weeks ago. And now they’re up on her wall, being seen. Which was the reason I stitched them in the first place, really. Only it took a while to get round to doing the last bit  🙂


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3 thoughts on “How long does it take to frame a piece of cross stitching?”

  1. Loving your pictures Janet.
    I know exactly what you mean with un framed pieces sitting in cupboards. I have three waiting to be framed at the moment but they’ve not been hanging around for quite as long as yours were. I stitched Winter Queen in 2005, so just 8 and a half years for that one. The other two are slightly more recent, Celtic Summer was 2007 and the portrait of BoJangles was finished in July last year.

    Happy Stitching!

  2. They are indeed lovely pieces Janet. I too have quite a few (more than quite a few actually) pieces of cross stitch that are sitting completed and not framed, for well over 20 years! For me the pleasure is in the actual stitching process itself and like you once it is finished I just want to get on with the next piece.
    Happy Stitching, Sandie

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