Finishing Techniques for Counted Cross Stitch

Written by louise harding
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Finishing Techniques for Counted Cross Stitch
Finish the edges of completed cross stitch projects before mounting or framing. (cross-stitch image by Lytse from

Counted cross stitch projects are usually completed on open-weave fabric with various measured squares incorporated into the fabric weave. The size of the square is referred to as the "point size," and each cross stitched is counted according to its position on the fabric. Stitchers follow charts denoting colours and designs to complete the project. Once you complete a counted cross stitch project, you should finish the fabric edges. Unless the project had a specific purpose, such as a Christmas stocking or kitchen towel, most projects are mounted and framed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Glue gun
  • Ruler
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Mounting board or foamcore board
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric spray adhesive
  • Ribbon or trim

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    Securing Fabric Edges

  1. 1

    Fold the raw fabric edge over twice against the wrong side of the project fabric and pin. The measurement of the fold will depend on the project's size.

  2. 2

    Sew the hem with a wide zigzag stitch on the sewing machine, or hand-sew the hem with a simple running stitch. Remove the pins as you sew. For a no-sew finish, proceed to the next step.

  3. 3

    Remove the pins along a 4-inch section. Squeeze a line of fabric glue or hot glue between the fold and the back of the project fabric. Press firmly to secure. Proceed, gluing a 4-inch section at a time until the fabric is hemmed on all edges.

    Mounting on Mounting Board or Foamcore Board

  1. 1

    Measure the width and length (or diameter) of the area to be mounted. If you will be framing the project with a traditional frame, add about ½ inch to these measurements to allow for a "frame" of unstitched fabric around the design.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut a piece of mounting or foamcore board to the determined measurements. Foamcore board is also called foam board, foamboard, foam core or just foam. Sold under various brand names, foamcore is foam covered with a paper or plastic-coated paper. Mounting board is a slick, acid-free, coated board made of fibres. Craft, hobby and discount stores sell foamcore and mounting board.

  3. 3

    Place the completed cross stitch project on a table with the wrong side facing up. Center the mounting board or foamcore over the completed area of the project.

  4. 4

    Fold the edges of the completed project over against the mounting or foamcore board. Tape the edges down with masking tape or spray the area beneath with fabric spray adhesive, press the fabric firmly in place, and hold until adhered. Frame according to your preferences.

    Ribbon Trimming Foamcore Board Mounted Cross Stitch

  1. 1

    Measure around the outer edges of the project/foamcore board. Add 1 inch to the measurement.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut a piece of ribbon, such as velvet ribbon, or trim in the same width as the foamcore-mounted cross stitch project, according to the determined measurement.

  3. 3

    Place the end of the ribbon on the centre of the bottom edge. Push a straight pin through the ribbon, up into the inner foam layer. Wrap the ribbon or trim around the project edges.

  4. 4

    Insert a straight pin through the ribbon into the inner layer of foam about every inch to 2 inches. Fold the remaining ribbon or trim end under and pin on top of the first pinned ribbon end.

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