Cross Stitch Finish: Seeking Refuge

A bit after Covid hit I started this cross stitch piece….


I loved it the second I saw it and wanted to stitch it.  I found it online and a kit was available so I just clicked the “buy the whole kit” button and it came in the mail…ordering online like that is so slick..and dangerous.

Well I started stitching immediately.  I started with the diamond row.  I was so nervous.  I hadn’t stitched on 40 count linen much and I was so worried I wouldn’t stick with it.  I started watching television more and more in the evening so I could stitch…I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed stitching…and the saying on this, so perfect with Covid and the year I’ve had.

Well I finally finished it about 3 months later.  I love it.


Working on 40 count linen wasn’t a problem…stitching the tiny one thread of floss over one string of the linen was even okay.  I was so proud of myself…but then it was time to finish it…and I stalled out.

I did get to the thrift store a couple weeks ago and found this frame….

Well there were actually two of them and they were 50 cents each.  I was imagining them being black.  I ended up buying both of them as Kelli has the same cross stitch piece and if the frame worked, I was guessing she’d like one.  I guessed on the size, bought them both and happily I was right.  What a steal at 50 cents per frame.

First up, I painted the frame.  It needed two coats…

After it was dry, I ironed the piece.  I always start out ironing from the back side.  People say to use a pressing cloth.  People say to not iron the front.  People say not to use spray starch.  I ignore all of that.  But please, do what you think is best….my way works for me and I’m willing to take the risk.

Here it is all pressed and ready to go.

For small pieces, I use sticky board but for larger, classic pieces, I lace them.  Lacing isn’t hard but it’s something many people dread.  Here’s how I do it….

I start with a long piece of heavy weight thread and a needle.  I wrap the piece around as shown and start stitching…..

After a few stitches I flip it over to the front.  You can see that it isn’t centered at all.

That is no big deal.  All I do is take my thumb in a pinch/move motion and adjust the fabric.  It’s really easy to manipulate the piece to the place you need it to be.  For me, my goal was one inch from all sides.

I took a ruler and measured it out manipulating as I went until it was in place.

Then I flip it back over and continue lacing.  I lace to the right on the center…then when my thread runs out, I start again on the left side of the center always alternating left or right as the thread runs out.

Before long, I’m finished with that vertical and tie my thread off.

Then I do the same thing only work the opposite direction.  Again, I start in the middle then work to the right or left alternating as my thread runs out…again, I flip to the front and manipulate the piece as needed to center it using the pinch/move motion.  It really isn’t hard…

From there I popped it into the frame.  I put all of the “other stuff”, picture, matting and glass, behind the stitched piece so when I flip the tabs over that hold the picture in place, they will hold tight.

Now the moment of truth…TA_DA!!

I love it and the frame was perfect.  WOW…50 cents and some paint…what a perfect frame.

Check out the details on the frame.  I love it.  It looks so much better than the icky gold color it was.  I am so please with it.

Here I am all smiles and happy to have it completely finished.  All I can say is I’m one happy girl.

I’m calling this complete and totally finished…and I am officially calling myself a cross stitcher again.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that I came back to it.

35 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Finish: Seeking Refuge

  1. Cathy Odle

    Congratulations on a great finish. I used to cross stitch, it is soothing. Arthritis won’t let me any more, so I piece quilt blocks instead. Happy stitching.

  2. Aletha

    So BEAUTIFUL!! It makes me want to make this next!! Can I ask where you found a kit complete and ready to go??

  3. Pat in Michigan

    What a great finish! And to find a bargain frame that was the correct fit is even better.
    Great job and now you can move on to something else.

  4. Peggy

    That is a beautiful piece. I love the verse too. Can’t beat the price on the frame and it looks amazing in black. I haven’t done much cross stitching in years, but think about doing it again sometimes. I love the look on the linen, but not sure I could see it well enough to work on it. I am also a quilter and love all the quilts you post. You are a very talented woman.

  5. Carol A Rodi

    I love the words, perfect for 2020. The frame price and your work painting it is great. Thank you for the framing demo. I didn’t realize what lacing was or using the glass behind the piece. Thank you. Forty count! I’d say you are definitely a cross-stitcher!

  6. Lisa

    What a beautiful finish!! You did such a nice job with the whole project. What a nice addition to your home!

  7. Kate

    Beautiful and so fun to finish a project like that and the frame is perfect. I am another who does not like gold frames. I can’t imagine cross stitching on 40 count! I had never heard or seen lacing before, so now I learned something new.

  8. Sandra B

    Awesome finish, Jo!!
    Love this…the words are perfect for 2020….
    The detail on the frame is great…painting it black made all the difference…
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Judith Fairchild

    Thank you for showing us how to prepare a piece for framing. It will work for any material. The work you have done is proof you not only cross stitch and quilt you can do anything that needs done. That saying is so perfect for us needle and thread people.

  10. Donna L Russell

    The emailed blog is coming through with such a tiny font it’s not able to be read. Is it the new blog format? Yesterday and today, I’m not able to read it. I’m not sure if it is on my end, or yours…..

  11. Judy

    Wonderful job! I love the saying and you did such a good job on the framing too. I can’t see well enough to cross stitch anymore. I love the look though.

  12. Jill Klop

    That turned out beautifully! I haven’t had the guts to try anything smaller than 28 count Linen since I started back cross stitching! I struggle with that size, but I think it’s my eyesight. Your idea for framing and using older frames and painting them inspires me often. Thanks for sharing!

  13. MaureenHP

    I’ve never laced my cross stitch or even heard of it. I have a few I need to find frames for, and I’ll use this method.
    I’m in the last few weeks of a six month chemo regime, and I get a lot of courage from you, Jo. I look forward to reading your posts every day. In fact, yours are the last blog I read, because I want your positive thoughts in my head.

  14. Cindy F

    So beautiful and that frame was perfect! Thanks for sharing your lacing technique. I’ve never heard of or seen it so it was really helpful when I finally frame some old works of mine.

  15. Donna T

    Great finish! Love the saying and it’s so appropriate for this year! Your frame job looks very professional! I love getting frames from thrift stores!

  16. Sara Blasingame

    I had never heard of lacing but that might work for one of my crosstitching I finished. It is about the footstep prayer. I love what you that was awesome.

  17. Linda Andrews-Larson

    This is awesome!!! Where did you get? I started cross-stitching during the shutdown, it had been decades….. This looks like a Moriah Blackmore, that’s what I started with, I love it. It would be a perfect match for what I am working on.

  18. Diane O

    Beautiful all the way around! The cloth, stitching and frame are perfection! Love how you painted the frame, it looks excellent! I laced the back of a project years ago, but had completely forgotten about how to do it. Thanks so much for the refresher course. Couple of questions – what size is your cross stitch? You indicated that you lace for larger projects and use sticky board for smaller projects. I hoped you could share what size is small and what size is large for your projects. Also wondered if you always frame your cross stitch with no glass? I have some that my sister-in-law made for me years ago and they need to be washed or cleaned. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this?

  19. Pat

    Jo, beautiful job on your cross stitch and framing. Thank you for sharing your technique with us. Since you are using 40 ct linen, do you use a lighted magnifying lamp? Which one would you recommend?
    Also could you explain your method of deconstructing shirts. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Juddaca Heater

    I’ve never, ever heard of lacing a picture like that. I really enjoyed your detailed sharing of how to do it! Your stitchery is absolutely beautiful in that frame! The verse is a perfect 2020 statement.

  21. Janine Baker

    EVERYTHING about that stitchery is perfect! I have never been brave enough to work on such small counts. I have not done cross stitch in such a long time, it might be this would be the perfect project to get back into it! I love everything about it!!!! Good work!

  22. Connie Tesene

    Hi Jo
    I love your finish- and the lacing tutorial was super. I too have gotten back into a bit of cross stitch. Mary thinks I’m crazy…. but she loves the finished projects!
    We are never bored…quilting, cross stitch, punchneedle – then there is babysitting, gardening etc,etc
    Love your blog!
    Connie Tesene

  23. Wendy P

    Thanks for showing in detail how you finished the cross stitch piece, Jo. I’m stalled at the finishing as well.
    Need to get a move on and finish them.

  24. Judy Casteel

    Where can I order the kit for Seeking Refuge cross stitch kit? If I click on the link
    it is a generic site of some kind – I don’t know how to get to where I can order the kit.
    Love reading your blog.

  25. Pam M

    Jo, I’m returning to crossstitch partly due to you. I’ve followed your blog for years on Bloglovin originally for quilting. But gradually you showed some small crossstitch patterns you were working on during the days you spent with Kramer at his doctor visits. I picked up some small charts last November and was hooked. This finish is so beautiful! I’m still working my stitching on aida. Tried an evenweave but failed miserably. So back to the drawing board! Blessings to you and your family.

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