So what do you do with a piece once you have finished working it? Well there are a variety of options and today we will be looking at how to mount the piece ready for framing. For many people they do not enjoy this process however I love doing it.
As this is rather a lengthy process I thought it would be best to break this post down into two parts, making it easier for you to follow along and understand. The next post will follow in a couple of weeks.
What you will need for the first stage;
- Conservation mount board
- Fabric scissors
- Copydex or Conservation glue
- Glass headed pins
- Stanley Knife
- Cutting Mat
- Set Square
- Metal ruler
So the first thing you need to do is decide on what size you would like the finished piece to be and the size of the rebate around the design. This is often a personal decision as it depends on how you would like it framed. With a card mount or not? Is the rebate going to be even on all four sides or does the design lend itself to having a slightly uneven rebate? All these questions can only be answered by you as it’s a personal choice. However, as a general rule of thumb a good rebate is about 2.5cm-5cm. To decide on what works for your design, take four pieces of paper and lay them around the design to form a frame, you can then move these around to see what works best for your design.
Once you have decided on your final finished size, you can then mark this out with pins. I have decided to use an inch or 2.5cm rebate around all four sides.
Once all four sides have been marked, measure between the pins to get the measurement for the board that you need to cut. Try to be as accurate with your measurements as possible. In this example my board is 20cm x 23.4cm.
You then need to find the center of each side. Measure across the width of the piece and find the middle. Mark it with a pin. Then using another pin run it along the grain line towards the bottom of your design. When you reach the bottom, put your pin through the fabric to make a cross with the two pins. Return to the pin in the middle of your design and take another pin and follow the grain line up towards the pin at the top. Repeat this process horizontally so that the center is marked with a pin on all four sides, like the photo below.
Take a large piece of conservation board and draw out the measurements of your mount board. This needs to be very accurate. Using a set square, double check the angles are at 90 degrees to one another and that the board is square. As my dad has always said, measure twice, cut once. And it’s a pretty good rule to live by in the world of embroidery. Depending on the thickness of your mount board you may need to cut x2 pieces of board. If it is 2mm thick you will need to cut x2 pieces and glue them together with conservation glue or copydex. My conservation board is 4mm thick so I only need one piece.
Once you are happy that your measurements are correct and it is drawn out squarely you can begin cutting the conservation board.
Place a cutting mat underneath the board. Using a large, heavy metal ruler, place it onto the board with the ruler on the inside of the line you wish to cut. This is so that if you accidentally swerve off the pencil line when you are cutting, you do not cut the board you wish to use. Take a clean, sharp stanley knife and place it onto the pencil line at the top. Push the ruler up against the stanley knife. Repeat this process at the bottom of the line.
Standing up, over the board, holding the knife securely and straight to the board, gently score down the pencil line making a slight cut into the board. Make sure you do not angle your stanley knife toward the ruler as you will not get an even cut. Repeat this gentle cutting action as many times as you need to go all the way through the board. The reason why you don’t want to press really hard and do fewer cuts is because the knife can easily waver off the line when you press down very hard. Repeat this process, cutting all sides as neatly as possible.
Cut a piece of calico 15cm bigger than your board measurements. So mine will be approximately 35cm x38cm. Cut the fabrics selvedge off. Position the mount board centrally onto the calico and using Copydex or conservation glue, run a line of glue about 2cm wide and 3cm away from the edge of the board along the long edge of the board.
Fold over the fabric and stick down. You may wish to put weights on top to hold it in place while the glue dries.
Repeat this step on the opposite side, making sure you pull the fabric taut. I like to work the longer sides first.
Taking your fabric scissors cut diagonally towards the corner of the board, leaving a slight overhang of fabric.
With the side of fabric that has not been glued down, cut towards the corner so that you are cutting off the corner.
Once cut, your corners should look like the image below. Repeat this step with all four corners.
Glue the two shorter sides down in the same way, making sure you pinch and fold the corners under so that they are neat. It is really important to make sure that your calico is pulled nice and tight. Remember to leave a gap from the edge of the board and where you put the glue.
Your finished board will look like this.
Using a ruler and pencil mark the center point on the calico on each side.
Remove your embroidery from it’s frame, making sure the pins are kept in the fabric.
Line the pins up with the pencil mark you just made on your calico covered board and pin through the side of the conservation board pinning the embroidery into position. Your embroidery should be correctly positioned onto the board.
Using clean, glass headed pins (it hurts your hands less) begin pinning the fabric to the side of the conservation board making sure that you follow the grain. It is important that you start from the center and work out towards the edge of the board.
Once all sides have been pinned, you can then work around the board again making sure that the fabric is pulled nice and tight. There should be no puckers or ripples and the fabric should not be pulled so tight that the board bows. Once it is nice and tight double check that the fabric is still on the grain against the board.
That’s the first part of this post over with, I hope that you have found it helpful and not too much information to take in. Please feel free to comment with any questions.
Mounting embroidery in this way is also a service I offer. Prices start from £160. If you are interested then please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org