Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Mission Rose Embroidery Project – Framed


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Usually, when I take a piece of embroidery in to be framed, I eagerly anticipate the outcome, generally confident that I’m going to like the end results. For the past ten years, I’ve worked with an excellent framer, whose advice and ideas I’ve come to trust thoroughly.

I didn’t feel too confident when I took the Mission Rose in to be framed. I came home thinking I had made the wrong decision on the frame. And, sad to say, my regular framer moved on to greener pastures…and his replacement seemed a little green.

After dropping the Mission Rose off, I spent a few days second-guessing, and then I put the whole thing out of my mind. I didn’t even think about it again until the phone call came, saying it was ready. And even then, I waited a few days before going to pick it up – which pretty much says everything!

Mission Rose Embroidery Project

Well, I went with a typical smooth, plain black frame, specked with gold. Maybe on a darker wall, it’ll look better? The frame strikes me as too heavy. But for a narrow piece like this, there weren’t many choices. Should I have matted it after all, and made the whole framed piece larger? I’m not sure.

I couldn’t quite get a shot without some glass glare on it, which is what you can see in the lower half of the photo. I always opt for museum glass on framed goldwork.

But worse than the glass glare – do you see the slight ripple in the fabric, just below the base of the lower edge? And the wrinkle on the right lower corner? This distresses me, because the piece was flat and stiff as a board when I took it in, with no puckering, no wrinkles. I can’t decide if this is a result of the framing, or a result of the density of the embroidery.

I suppose most folks, at a glance (who aren’t familiar with embroidery), wouldn’t necessarily notice the ripples – but they glare at me. I cringe when I see ripples or puckering in finished embroidery.

The other distressing point – before I took the piece in, I made sure that nothing was askew in the piece, that the piece was dust free and absolutely ready for the framer. When I picked it up, I noticed that the piece had been handled in a way that a good professional framer would have avoided. There were bends in the gold where there hadn’t been bends before, some of the beads were skewed, and there was a noticeable speck of something inside the frame on the fabric.

I may have to begin the hunt for a new framer.

Overall, I’m “ok” with it. But I’m not thrilled silly with it.

Is it the black frame? Does it belong on a dark wall? Will I always notice the ripples?

Perhaps tomorrow it will look better…

Have you ever had a disappointing experience with a framer? How did you deal with it? What do you think about the framed Mission Rose? I’m open to your input! Have your say below!

The Mission Rose Project unfolded step-by-step here on Needle ‘n Thread in 2013. You can find all the articles relating to the project in the Mission Rose project index.


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(268) Comments

  1. It’s a lovely piece of work, but the dark, broad frame does rather kill it. There’s a lot of ‘framing’ in the goldwork already. Probably a fairly wide mat, coming closer to the outside of the gold than this frame, would have provided a better visual break. Then a simple narrow frame outside – perhaps light, natural wood, or white, or the brown of the stem? A white mat would also throw up the subtle pink of the ground fabric.
    Framers who are really good at dealing with needlework are few and far between, alas. I hope someone can recommend a safe pair of hands in your area, Mary. Otherwise, it’s safer to get the mat cut (if you are using one)and the glass cut and the frame and backboard made, but assemble the work yourself where you can keep in control of things.

  2. Oh dear – how sad, and after all that work and the joy you brought to us in sharing this beautiful piece.
    I agree that the frame is too heavy and the ripples, and as I have said before, if you are not happy now….. Does he have insurance, can you get him to put it right, or I maybe you may have lost any confidence in him you may have had?
    I do hope you find a satisfactory resolution to this unfortunate situation.

  3. Mary, it’s still a wonderful piece of stitching, but I feel that the ‘dense blackness’ of the frame overwhelms the piece now. A mat of some kind (retro-fitted? perhaps gold? or red?) would perhaps make it look less dominated by the black frame so close to the stitching itself.

    The rippling is unfortunate, but only just noticeable. But if *you* notice it, then you’ll always notice it.

    After all the time you spent stitching this (and sharing it on your blog), it’s a shame that the finished result isn’t absolutely perfect, due to the framing!


  4. I agree – frame is too heavy and tight. You will always see the things you don’t like. Reframe ASAP for your sanity.
    When I first started to stitch, I created a huge needlepoint of a cheetah with hand-dyed yarn. Cat was flicking its tail which was supposed to sit on the matte. When I got it back from framer, it was completely wrong but I was too shy to take back. Everyday for over 20 years I cringed. Finally found the most wonderful needlework framer. He had a heck of a time unframing it as they had also used improper methods of backing, but when he was done, it was gorgeous. Alas he, too, has retired. Don’t wait. It will only get worse like a pebble in your shoe.

  5. Mary,
    I think the black frame is too harsh . I also think you should confront the framer and ask for a redo. When you took it in pristine perfect, it should have framed in the same manner. You have to much hard work and time invested to accept this.ddcc

    1. I fully agree – I wouldn’t want the same person though – I would ask for money back and if any damage when it is lifted from the project! It may be just me but it doesn’t look like its in the frame squared off either….

    2. I also agree, and am glad someone earlier in the thread mentioned that it was framed square.

      Is there any chance you could contact your old framer for a referral to a new one?

      I would also contact this framer and explain, nicely, that I was unhappy with how the framing came out. If s/he is a good framer, they should ask why and you can point out the damage, wrinkles that appeared, and that it somehow went out of square. A good, but new, framer will take this info and use it as a learning experience.

  6. Mary, I use the The Framing Cottage in Green Bay, Wisconsin.. I live in South Carolina. Kris always does meticulous, beautiful work. I send my piece and let her surprise me. I have never been disappointed.

  7. I’m sorry this didn’t turn out the way you were hoping. What a drag! The piece reminds me of the inside of a “jewel-box” church. I wonder if a white frame would work. I think black might be OK if it were farther from the work and much thinner. It’s not hideous as it is, but it does look a little heavy.

  8. How disappointing Mary. I feel you would always notice the defects you have listed. My advice find a new framer and have it reframed either in this frame or another one albeit I also think the frame is too heavy. The embroidery is a true work of art and you and it deserve to be absolutely happy with the framing. Best regards Heather (from Australia)

  9. No on the whole I feel this rather spoils a beautiful piece of embroidery that you took a great deal of time and trouble. Would it be possible to take it out of the frame and sort out the handling problems and then use the frame for something else? I think like you the frame is far too heavy looking and just distracts from the embroidery. Personally speaking I would not have gone for something so big and clumpy looking and I think a lighter frame would enhance the embroidery. Please do not take offence at my forthrightness!

  10. I’m sorry to say that I noticed pretty much everything you did. I also think it’s not centered exactly. The margin on the right looks a little bit wider. I agree that the heavy dark frame is too much for the piece. You put so much work into it, and it looked so incredibly beautiful the last time you posted this piece (without the frame). This frame does not do it justice. You do need a new framer, and I’d even suggest that you get this piece reframed. Perhaps you can use the frame itself for some other piece (same measurements as your current piece, but different style, and to be taken to the new framer). I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Might be worth matting to make it larger and then be able to use a less heavy frame. I’m so sorry you have to experience this kind of problem after all the work you put in. I lost my favorite framer years ago. I have to check carefully now to make sure there are no pieces of lint, etc. I have one framed picture that I decided to place in an upstairs area where I only see it occasionally from a distance. Some day I’ll replace it. Your piece is so exquisite that it deserves whatever it takes to make it look its best. But that’s just me. Like I said, I tend to be very perfectionist about such things and wouldn’t be satisfied until I’d done something about it. Best of luck. I’ll be interested in seeing the other comments.

  11. Beautiful piece of work. I am getting into crazy quilting again and have found your site invaluable. Re the piece under discussion, would it be too cliche to mount on a Parish blue mat and frame in rosewood or some other red-toned wood?

  12. I have to say I agree that the black doesn’t do this magnificent piece justice….I’d either go back and try to get some of your money back on the general work (wrinkles, puckers, etc)though I can’t see them myself on the picture, but I trust what you say, or find a new framer…(personally I’d do both! Too pretty a piece to live with something you’re not pleased with. You put too much time in it to settle!

  13. Your disappointment is clear….does not matter what anyone else would do! Return to the framer and discuss the ripples, etc. Does he/she have a computer program that would allow you to audition different frames? Your piece is stunning and it deserves the very best! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Hi Mary,

    I so enjoy your daily posts, and today I must comment. The black frame does not do your beautiful Mission Rose justice. I am very, very fussy about my framing; the justification (if really needed) is that I have invested hours of my life stitching the project and it needs just the right finishing touch. How often are you going to frame it? Once! And it better be just right. If I am not satisfied or feel “iffy” (as you do), back it goes for adjustment. You deserve to feel that “wow” factor every time you look at the piece. TAKE IT BACK, spend time playing and experimenting with mats and different frames. As a suggestion, I envision a beautiful ornate gold frame to reflect the sophistication of Mission Rose. Just my thoughts, and thanks for all the great email posts.

    1. Yes, Diane, a rich gold frame with curlicues was my own feeling also. Not sure why, as the needlework has plenty.

    2. I agree with the gold frame as well. That was my first thought, but thought perhaps I was wrong when no one else was mentioning that. I think it would be an “extension” of the piece, rather than something that looks totally alien. I am generally a fan of black frames, but not in this case. Even a narrow one just seems “foreign” to the colors and design. Yes, I agree, it is too wide and heavy for the piece.
      I also think a white frame or blonde wood would do absolutely nothing for it either. Bland and blah. This is a rich piece, I think it needs a rich frame.
      I have to run my dad to get lab work done, so no time. But I am going to get a wholesale framer’s details for you that I have used for my miniatures and also a couple of large pieces. It is really very reasonable and gorgeous frames. I do my own framing.

  15. Mary, I tune in daily and admirer your comprehensive approach to needlework……wish there were more hours in each day! Have you ever considered mounting your special pieces using all archival materials yourself? I learned a very successful technique from a dear friend years ago and always use it. That way, all you do is take it to the framer, chose a frame and mat if desired and they just “drop” it in. After all the hours you’ve spent on Tudor Rose it is a shame to not be totally overjoyed with the end result. My personal opinion is that the frame over-powers the gorgeous piece, and who wants to paint a wall to compliment it’s art? Happy to take this conversation further. Margret

  16. Well, for the amount that it costs to get something framed, to have a valuable piece mishandled during framing is severely unprofessional. I would let them know I’m not happy. Then ask around and find yourself a reputable framer that is used to handling needlework. (some are more used to handling prints / photos/ artwork and know diddly about needlework). If you are unhappy now, you will be unhappy with more time. This was a labour of love and you deserve to be happy with the treatment of it.

    For the frame itself…I would have had a tendency to lean towards a color that there is a little of in the piece. There’s no black in your piece, so I would not have leaned that way. I would also avoid gold, since you have a lot of gold in there. I would have leaned towards the burgundy (as under the corner pearls) or brown of the stem (maybe a nice mahogany or cherry wood?). Just my humble opinion.

    1. You’ve got your hands full here Mary! Poor framing should not be tolerated, however, that’s a separate issue from the frame itself. When you state your case with the framer, you can explain that you have a huge chorus of Needlenthread fans who would cheerfully hang him/her from the yardarm! Some of us might even fight to be first in line!! (Do I hear a contest? lol) After all, the frame can wait for another day, but don’t let this person off the hook for poor quality work. In regard to the black frame, Natalie may be onto something. There’s a reason many embroiderers don’t use black embroidery thread–it’s very bold–& replace it with a deep rich color compatible with the piece. Same theory may be applied to a richly colored frame. That said, why do many museums use gold frames. Is it just tradition, or do important works really look their best surrounded by a warm glow? One way to have your cake & eat it too (rich color & warm glow) would be to consider “fillets” instead of, or in addition to, matting. These tiny moldings often have such a profound effect that you don’t recognize your own work! BTW–when you selected the original frame, did you use white boards to isolate the work within the frame at each corner? An artist taught me this trick & it has proved its value over & over. Take a pair of white mats, each about 10″x24″, & make a big V at the first corner. Stand back & focus on that corner of your work within the frame/mat/fillet arrangement you have selected. Repeat with each of the other corners. You will be surprised at how the “white space” fools the eye & provides a more rational evaluation of your framing choice. Best wishes for a successful outcome!

  17. Hi Mary,

    Oh dear! Is what I have to say. That, and you need to educate your framer, or start looking for a framer that is experienced in textile/embroidery pieces. After I retired from the military, I went to work at a framing shop to learn how to frame my own pieces correctly.

    From my experience in the framing shop – the wrinkles and puckering will not get better. In fact, over time, they may get worse as the fabric relaxes. Without taking the frame apart this is a guess, but I’m guessing that the piece was not stretched snugly enough, or the board it was stretched on was bent before it went into the frame. Your framer can corrected this by re-stretching the piece on a new piece of foam-core.

    As for the fluff or bits inside the glass – that is unacceptable and you should return it to the framer for correction. Both of these corrections should be at the framer’s cost.

    As for the frame, I agree with you. The frame is a little heavy for the piece. You put so much effort, time and money into the Mission Rose that you should show off the embroidery not the frame. Maybe a chat with the framer would help?

    If you don’t stretch your own pieces, and would like to, I would be happy to send you some info on how easy it is to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi, Cheryl – the irony is that I usually do stretch and frame my own pieces – the ones that I don’t want to put a lot of money into with professional framing! And they generally turn out better than this. I’ll try again with this one – with a different framer. But I’ll definitely take it back in and discuss the problems with it first. -MC

  18. To be honest (and you gave permission!) I think the black frame is far too heavy – both in colour and in width. Also I would have had it matted – it needs more air around it. But that’s me. More importantly – you should definitely look for a different framer, one who could discuss options with you and give you some impression of the final result.
    And one who would NOT mess up your gorgeous stitching – you worked too hard and too long to have things spoiled in the end!

  19. Although the average person may not notice the ripples, I believe the framer did not mount the piece appropriately. If it were me, I would take it back and ask that the ripples and twisted beads be corrected (and specks of dirt be removed). Assuming the framer mounted the piece with archival glue/paste it may be removed without damaging the piece. If you had chosen a mat, the piece could have been laced and removal would not be a problem. Lacing also insures that the piece would remain taught–hence no ripples. As far as the frame, it does seem a bit too heavy, but perhaps you can live with that. It is a beautifully executed piece and you should be very proud of your efforts.

    1. Notes from a framer:

      PLEASE DO NOT!! use paste, glue or adhesives of any kind when mounting textiles/embroideries!

      Stainless steel pins on acid free foam-core is far safer and makes re-framing possible, even years later. It also keeps the piece as taught as lacing and is faster.

  20. Sad to say, I don’t like it. I think the black is too harsh and it needs more space to breath. How about a darkish brown frame, with a mat around it? Also, if you want to keep it black, go back and demand that the framer correct the speck and the wrinkles and educate him/her on more careful handling of precious pieces! Jane S.

  21. Such a gorgeous piece of embroidery…and when I look at the picture that’s all I see. The frame doesn’t bother me because my eye glides right over it to the piece of art. That said, if your framer didn’t do a good job then they should fix it. Framing is too expensive and too important not to get it right!

    1. You need to sort this out and tell the framer what he needs to do about the puckers in the fabric.. If you don’t he will never learn and think that it is ok when it’s not. If you work with this guy he will become a good framer and that’s what we need is people that are good and proud of their work.ive had problems in the past and I said I wanted to see my work at every stage before the frame went on. I think I would do something about the framer too if your not happy it will always irritate you when you look at it. May God be with you and guide a good positive outcome.

  22. I think you should have this done again – find a new framer. You aren’t happy with it and you’ll see all the flaws all the time. Given the time and talent you’ve put into this piece, the framing should equal the quality and beauty. I don’t think the black is the problem in the frame, I think it’s just a bit too small. I think you should go with a bit larger frame so the piece stands out more. Perhaps a new framer will have more choices. Alternatively, you might be able to find an older frame in an antique store that is more suitable. It’s most unfortunate you had these problems, particularly when you presented the framer with a piece ready to be framed properly.

  23. Even though you have noted things that bother you with the framed piece, it is still beautiful. I love looking at your work.

  24. Mary, at first glance, I had the same thoughts about the heaviness of the frame. But I think it will look lovely on a dark wall in a place away from very bright light. The light will also hide the wrinkles. It will play on the gold and draw the eye to the beautiful colors of the design, while the surrounding background will become invisible. The skewed beads and bent threads will also be unnoticeable in the soft light. Such a gorgeous piece of embroidery!

  25. Dear Mary,
    Before I even looked at the title of your blog, I looked at the picture, and said to myself, “Ewww.” (The opposite of “Ahhhh!”). I immediately thought that since you’re a professional you must know better than I. But then I read your article and see we agree! I believe the frame is too heavy and the wrong color. (Perhaps there are more gold flecks than I can see in the picture and those would help “pull” the frame and picture together.) The piece is just absolutely stunning and the frame pops out at me first. I can see the wrinkles and they would absolutely make me nuts every time I looked at it.

    I have had the same framer for or over 15 years and we have developed a comfortable relationship. I depend on her to guide me in the choice process, and we usually come up with something we both like.

    I think I would probably take your piece to another framer, but I do believe your present framer needs to know you were not happy with his stretching technique and the disturbance of the gold and beads. He might be happy for that advice in the long run to keep himself in business. As far as the frame goes, I guess you have to take part of the responsibility for that and perhaps use it in another piece. Did you try a thinner gold frame in the right gold tone, and if so, was it too much gold?

    1. Yes, the problem with a gold frame was finding one that worked with the gold in the piece.

      I’m going to have to mat it, I think. We shall see. I’m going to meet with another framer in the area and see what’s what. But I do think that the shoddy workmanship on the mounting and carelessness with the actual framing will be compensated. I don’t mind paying for the actual frame itself, but the frame job overall stinks….we’ll see!

  26. As a former professional framer, I’m so sorry to read how your beautiful piece was treated and I worry at what you can’t see. I lost count of the number of frame jobs done by other framers that I had to fix! With ripples present you know it wasn’t stretched properly. The fix could be simple to out right horrifying! I pray they didn’t glue it down! You mentioned using museum glass and no mat. Can you see a space between the glass and your embroidery thread? If they didn’t use a spacer the glass will eventually destroy the threads. I suggest you take it to another framer and have it checked out. If it was indeed glued down, the quicker the better!

    1. Hi, JJ – it wasn’t glued, which is good. It was stretched – but not well. There are spacers, because I always make sure there are spacers. I’m going to take it somewhere else, needless to say! It is insured, and I intend to get my money back, at least for the cost of the framing, and then start over with someone else.

  27. Yes I agree with you that the black frame is to heavy and is it the picture or is your embroidery not straight in the frame. It looks like it is out on the right hand side.
    In my opinion it is such a beautiful embroidery and you have put hours of work into it, if you can afford to get it re-framed do so as you will never be really happy with it as it does not do your work justice.

  28. Mary – I am going to be very frank with you regarding your Mission Rose piece. I am writing to encourage you to go back to the framer and express your concern over the things that bother you. The ripples in the fabric should not have happened! And the frame is a distraction from the beauty of the piece. It must be a compliment to what you have done, not a stumbling block. Did the framer use spacers so the glass does not touch the piece at all?
    I have two framers in Minneapolis who are both artists and would be happy to work with you to make this right. Come and stay with me and you won’t be sorry you made the trip.

    1. Thanks, Karen!

      There are spacers. I’m going to take the piece back, at least to let the framer know. And then I’ll do something different with it, eventually. Thankfully, it is not glued on the board…

  29. The work is incredible, As you the puckering would drive me nuts, I have taken things back to framers and started over, usually they will credit you back the price you have paid, knowing the word of mouth trade. Try a light piece of batting under the entire piece with out a wide border and smaller frame. This is an amazing piece of work and it needs to be the star.

  30. Mary, I have to say that I would take that back and request that it be redone. To send something out from a professional framer with foreign objects beneath the glass is just not done. This person is obviously not properly trained and/or does not care. Take it back, get your money back (leave the heavy frame behind too) and take it somewhere else!!

  31. I have been following the mission rose project closely. I have to say that every part of it was a surprise to me. From the beginning I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work then I was delighted when it turned out beautifully.
    I have to say that the framing is a less than ideal finale. I don’t like black frames I think they are harsh. Personal bias I suppose. There is not enough space between the frame and the needlework to create a “self matt”. And I absolutely agree that the wrinkles and bends are unacceptable. If it can be fixed by reframing I would cry over my checkbook and do it. If you think blackis still a good choice try a wider flatter frame with a more matte finish and get some more space between the needlework and the frame. Maybe a liner frame with a thin line of gold or pearl pink llike the fabric??.
    I know a very talented framer…..

  32. I will be the contrarian and say that I don’t dislike the frame. I think that the gold flecks (which don’t show up that well on the internet) make it less harsh, and the pink fabric shows up really well. Also, the frame gives the piece an interesting shadowbox effect. However, for the rest of the issues, I would ask the framer to fix it. In fact, I would have looked at the piece before leaving the shop and asked for it to be fixed at that moment.

  33. It is such a beautiful piece that it deserves to be framed in such a way as to make you happy. You will notice all the little flaws if you do not have it reframed and you will never enjoy it. The black frame does seem to distract.

  34. I had a piece that sagged after a week – I took it back for reframing. Another time I was given the wrong matting. It looked ok, but after a week I took it back and had the matting I wanted put in it instead. The framer agreed my choice was better – the picture popped!
    I would take the piece back to the framer and complain about the wrinkle and the handling. It’s the only way the framer will learn how to do things properly.
    I agree that the black frame is a bit too dark for the piece. The eye is drawn to the frame and not the needlework. Matting to complement the colors of the needlework and then maybe a gold frame?

  35. Hi, I agree that the frame looks quite heavy. Did you consider leaving more space between the frame and the edge of the piece. It seems very tight to the frame and more space may have felt less heavy.

    The other alternative is a mount, however if you don’t like those it is trickier to find the right frame without overpowering the embroidery.

  36. Hi Mary, I understand your disappointment. I had a very similar experience when I had a finished piece of gold work framed. I had very high expectations of the framer, he came recommended but when I got the framed piece back I was very disappointed. The finish was not of a high standard and there were several things that irritated me. It looked cheap and nasty – not what I wanted for my gold work. Eventually, I decided to have it reframed and when they took my work out of the frame more horrors where revealed. The back board had been nailed into position and some had pierced the fabric. Fortunately, only on the back but in time the nails would have rusted and started corroding the fabric.

    The final outcome is a frame that I love, professionally done and the gold work is hanging in pride of place in our entrance hall.

    Only you can decide if you like the frame itself, but I doubt that you will every be able to ignore the wrinkles or the speck of dust!

  37. Oh Mary, I am as disappointed as you are. The piece is “grand” and as such, deserves a “grand” treatment. I, too saw the wrinkles immediately and I could not live with those myself.
    I have an excellent framer and rather than slink off into the night if I were unhappy, I think I would take it back or at the least, express my displeasure with the wrinkles and any mishandling of your exquisite piece.
    I think the reason my framers are so good is that it is always the same person working on my piece and the people at the shop are all stitchers and they all admire,understand and honor good workmanship.
    Your piece deserves a place of honor somewhere.

  38. Oh Mary, how distressing! I agree that the black frame does not do your lovely work justice. I completely understand your frustration – since I moved to PA I have not found a framer who knows how to lace a piece of needlework for framing.
    I have had a BAD experience with a framer back in VA, when I tried a shop that had an excellent reputation but was not apparently accustomed to handling crewel work. I had a laundry list of issues, puckers, cat hair, bits of foam between the work and the glass. .. They refused to make it right, stating that the puckers were a result of my needlework not the fact that the didn’t lace the piece. I ended up returning to my usual framer, shamefaced. She fixed all the issues in no time flat and was a real sweetie about it.

  39. Mary, As an award-winning framer in my past, there are not enough words to describe what is wrong with the ensemble. It is indeed a disappointment, plus it is inexcusable to have had all sorts of damage placed on the work itself. Hope you do get a better service provider.

  40. If you don’t get your money back via the framer, then if you used a credit/debit card to pay, you can always file a dispute with your bank that they didn’t do their job correctly as paid and you want your money back. I’ve filed disputes twice in my life, and always had good results. It may take a couple of weeks, but I did in the end receive my money back.

  41. I’m so sorry Mary. Yes, I have had this experience. I agree the black doesn’t do the piece any favours, but like you I would be distressed by the wrinkles. You didn’t plough all that love and care and attention into the finish to get it back wrinkled and squiffy. If you send it to another expert framer, it would be good to get his/her opinion on what exactly went wrong so that you could provide detailed feedback to teh original framer – so that he can get better. We all have to learn some time I guess, but preferably not on a piece of fine gold work by the one and only MC! Sigh.

  42. Mission Rose is drop dead stunning and I have enjoyed following your journey. For many reasons, I do my own framing. It is cost effective, the piece is cared for, I am patient enough to get it centered right, flatten areas, materials are clean, acid free, etc.

    In my opinion, I don’t think embroidery should be matted as I feel it distracts from the work. I look for thin/narrow frames for small pieces and never mat. Wider frame widths are acceptable for larger pieces. There are several mail order frame companies carrying great moldings.

  43. Mary, How disappointing!! If you are keeping the piece for yourself, I would urge you to take it back in and talk to the framer. If you decide to change the frame, that expense is yours, of course. But discussing the wrinkles and the “manhandling” of the gold is important. The framer needs to be educated- I think you should even tell him/her what your materials cost and how much time you invested. To me, that is the litmus test of whether they are worth using again. If they listen and learn & work with you to fix things, you’ve got a keeper. If not, resume the hunt. It is truly a work of art. Best, MaryAnn in West Sacramento, California

  44. I would take it back, it also does not looked centered, the upper left hand side looks narrow? to me, and I deffinatly see the ripples. Not a fan of the thick black frame either.

  45. I agree with you. I would be very upset at the terrible job. It looks crooked and the ripples are unacceptable to me. I would be asking for a refund, because I know framing does not come cheap. And yes there does seem to be to heavy a frame.

  46. It is my opinion :
    A: you need a new framer
    B: I think the piece would benefit from a wide matting and maybe a second skinny mat on the inside in the rose color and a narrower frame.
    C: and please, get the wrinkles out!!!!
    D: the size and color of the frame is too heavy for the delicate ness of the piece.


  47. Take it back and point out the issues you have. Ask for a refund. I wouldn’t ask this framer to try again; who knows what will happen! Hours and hours of stitching are too valuable for shoddy framing.

  48. REFRAME!!!!!!!! First, mat it. Not only is the black too heavy for the
    Proportions, but your lovely work has no room to breathe. It is crowded
    It to the heavy border. Give it a big mat , even a double mat with a color
    From the work or even use A gold rim inside your mat. Then find a nice
    Dark gold frame. More expensive but worthy of the work. I am a
    Collector of contemporary fiber work and often have to reframe
    Pieces. There seems to be an under appreciation of how the right matting
    And a really fine frame can transform a piece.

    Second – DO NOT live with those wrinkles! Reflects flawed setting
    Of the piece on the underlying support. It will only get worse over time.

    Third – ask your local museum who they go to for framing or restoration.
    Mounting fine needlework takes real expertise. Find a store that employs
    Art students in the front – much more creative and thoughtful
    About framing.

    Finally – you worked too hard on such a lovely piece to be
    Satisfied to live with poor framing.

    Good luck. Darcy

  49. While the piece is beautiful, the frame does seem a little much. However, for the other problems – take it back! Ask them to fix it, or even ask them to remove the piece from the frame so you can find a new framer.

    My sister used to work at a framing shop and I showed her your picture and told her the problem. That’s exactly what she said – take it back.

    You put far too much work into this, and money for materials, there is no reason you should accept less that perfect in the framing stage. Eventually that wrinkle will become permanent and then it will be too late. And yes, find another framer! ๐Ÿ™‚ Karen

  50. Mary I saw the same thing Patricia saw the upper left is a tad more narrow. The black frame is too much. Did notice the puckering only after you mentioned it. I thought it was me! I’d ask for a reframe. But if you didn’t have much to choose from in the beginning you may not be happy with a reframe. I’d be curious to see if a gold frame would have made a better choice, making it more cohesive?
    I agree with the others, if you aren’t happy it’ll eat at you. Mary, it’s too beautiful, looking at it should bring a sense of accomplishment and pride, not dread or regret. I hope you get the results you deserve or find another framer who has as
    much pride in their work as you have in yours.

  51. The finished piece is beautiful, of course, and I agree with the other responders who felt that the frame kind of detracts. Also, is the piece centered? (I see Patricia Niehoff asked the same question.) It almost seems slightly off-center. Wonder if the framer can satisfactorily correct that and the issues you address and maybe reframe it in a shadow box or something less over-powering. If not, I would try to find another framer.

    1. Hi, Pat – Yes, it looks slightly off, but I think that’s the photo. Measuring, it works out square. I think it looks off because I didn’t quite get the shot square when I took the picture. I should have used a tripod ….

  52. Hi Mary,
    First off, let me say that I am new to you and embroidering. My mother was an excellent embroiderer ( still alive but no longer embroidering ) . Your work is so breath taking to look at !!!! I want to say what a wonderful privilege it is to be able to visit your website and glean such helpful and inspiring information that you are so graciously willing to share with those of us who are interested. I can’t begin to thank you enough for your unselfish acts of time poured into this wealth of help and information !!!!! ( A HUGE HUG FROM ME TO YOU !!! )
    The other reason for this note is to share with you that recently I called the Huntsville Museum of art and actually spoke with the curator there looking for some leads of where to go when the time comes for me to frame some silk ribbon embriodery. She was very helpful and knowledgeable . I would think if you connected up with some people from your local museum that they may prove to be very helpful.
    I have to say that I felt your heart reach thru time and space as you described your genuine concerns about your priceless and precious jewel . We must have many underlying threads of similarities in our perfectionistict personalities ; ) …..it’s nice to know that I’m not alone ……: ) ………
    Your work is amazingly exquisite and awe inspiring !!!!!!! and you are truly an artist and proficient in every sence of the word !!!!!!!

    If you would allow me to be so bold …….as I continue on my journey with The Lord……..He is trying so tenderly and yet continually reminding me of many things ……only He is perfect…….that I need to be careful because rust and moths and thieves may at any given time rob us ……but only where our heart truly is ….who or what our heart truly belongs to …….that is where our true treasure lies…..

    For myself ……as I stitch ……God speaks to me in so many different ways ……trying to teach me patience, persistence, perseverance ……….too many things to list : ) ………. I have been sewing in some form or fashion since I was ten ( and approaching my 55 birthday : ))Never becoming proficient in any one field but enjoying them all. Mary, I admire you for choosing one thing and becoming a master at your craft. It is very humbling and inspiring to see !!!!!!!

    I wish you joy and much happiness as you continue on your journey wherever it may take you. And again I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love, time and energy you share with all of us who share your passion .

    May God bless you always and keep you in His care,
    Easter Blessings to you Mary !!!!!
    Nadine : )

  53. I don’t see the wrinkle, etc. perhaps because of the photo and my computer.

    However, I do think the black thick frame is too heavy for this piece. IMO it’s distracting. You want your eye to hit the center of the Misson Rose

    I would have considered a gold frame with some blue in it to pick up the background color or a blue frame (match background) with gold. In a thinner frame, perhaps 1/2 the width of the black moulding. Also, did you use a spacer bar?

    No, I would not mat the piece, too distracting.

  54. If you pay as much as I do for framing, nothing less that being absolutely thrilled should be the final outcome! I hope you are going to take it back and get satisfaction!!

  55. There is nothing wrong with your eyes. The frame is wrong-too heavy, and i could see the wrinkles before you even pointed them out. It will not look better tomorrow. You put in all that work and the framing is not up to your standards. My advice would be to save up all your framing and make one trip to have all your stuff framed with your good framer. I feel so sorry for you. I know what it it like to be disappointed in something that you have worked long and hard on.

  56. i personally like the black frame. It makes the embroidery stand out, i actually see the rose project you worked so hard on. On a white wall it will look great.

  57. I agree with you that the frame doesn’t work with the piece. The mission rose is so beautiful and detailed and the frame is just heavy and with no interest.
    When visiting museums and viewing needlework from the 17th centuries and after, the pieces are typically framed without a mat, are much narrower and have some interest – a small bead of gilt pearls from corner to corner near the inside, a corner block with a carver, gilt flower, something like that. Sadly, most books we have of needlework rarely show the frames. That’s why when I visit museums and see needlework I try to investigate the styles used when needlework was truly honored.

    And, yes – I’ve really botched it – less so now that I’ve paid attention to the museum pieces.

  58. Having to find a new framer (or any provider) is difficult. The higher your standards, the less likely you are to be happy with whoever. But to have all this on top of the many hours spent making a beautiful handwork is a shame.

    I can’t believe that the place had only a few frames you could choose from, most places I have seen have many choices, in all sizes.

    But I agree with you that the frame is too heavy and dark, it detracts from the piece.

  59. Here is my advice – If you are truly unhappy with the result, take it back into the framer and tell them what you don’t like and have them re-do it. If they value your business then I think they should oblige. I agree with you on the frame color. A little less harsher would look better. It is a beautiful piece and it’s a shame that you should just “have to deal with it” since you want the final outcome to look perfect. I would try to solve it’s issues to your satisfaction.

  60. Such a beautiful piece and so disappointing when the framing is done that you feel you’ve made the wrong choice. I too had a piece that the framer had ‘messed up’ and I refused to take it. They had to redo it. I feel it was a learning experience for both of us. I won’t go there again in a hurry and perhaps they will be more careful with future pieces.

  61. I think it’s the wrong frame – too dark, heavy, and plain. It’s overwhelming the needlework. Did the new framer help pick it out? If so, and combined with the other things, I’d be looking for a new framer. The debris in the frame can always be fixed, but bends in the gold!?!?! Either the new framer is careless or doesn’t care, either way…not a good start.

    1. After reading comments, and that you didn’t do the stretching of this piece, I was fearing the framer may have used sticky board…I’m glad I read further that he/she did not.

      When the piece is removed to fix the ripples/debris, what about painting the frame something closer to bronze color, and maybe a bit of gold highlight around the inside edges? Not bright gold, I’m thinking just a touch of dark gold – like that colored wax you rub on and wipe off….I think the frame might be OK if it were not black.

  62. Hello Mary,

    I would bring it back to framer. The buckles are a no go. The whole piece to nice and to value to endure this. And if you will stay with this bold frame I would suggest to frame it without the white edge between the frame and the picture. This is what bothers me the most.

    Apart from that, this piece is outstanding beautiful and it was a pleasure to see it growing! Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Best regards

  63. Dear Mary
    Many times I have been unhappy with framing and it is just too costly not to take it back and have them redo it because you will always see the mistakes even if others do not and lets face it you are the only one that really matters as you put many many loving hours into this. Finding someone who knows about embroidery framing is rare and the stretching is key and this is where most fall down. I noticed ripples on the right side and thought perhaps it was just a shadow on the photo but obviously not. It is too beautiful not to get it fixed and awful though it is to tell someone they did a bad job you are the customer and you paid and it is not up to standard – sorry! Hope you come right and will await the next episode. x

  64. I know that awful feeling so well, Mary, when you trust the results of your hard and lovingly completed work to a stranger. I experienced this when I had to change framers, but luckily, after the first piece I had hit gold and found an excellent framer who spends time letting me choose my surrounds.
    I think you need to have a mount or even a double mount, which would exaggerate the gold work but hide the puckers and I do think the frame is the wrong colour. Sorry!!
    I think the frame needs to take a shade from the embroidery but also work with the colours of the mounts.

  65. Mary, I definitely agree that the framing does a disservice to your beautiful embroidery. The framer did not handle it with the care expected due to the nature of the materials used and I would certainly consider taking it back and pointing out your disappointment in his/her expertise. Constructive criticism will hopefully ensure better results in the future for other customers, even if you decide not to use this framer again. That said, I believe a more delicate frame choice would have enhanced your lovely piece. The black seems a bit modern and stark for such a warm and historically inspired work of art. However, framing is a very personal choice!

  66. Ms. Corbett’ your work is superb, and I learn something from your experiences every day. If you are dissatisfied with the framing, and you appear to be deeply dissatisfied, you might give serious consideration to making changes.

    The black frame dominates your beautiful work and does not compliment it. Too stark and severe. Something softer might be more appealing.

    You worked too hard and completed a glorious piece not to be completely satisfied.

  67. Luv but finished piece but, yes, I think the dark frame is a bit heavy. As you have noted tho, the larger issue is the job done by the framer. Puckers are one thing, not handling it right, especially for a goldwork piece is serious. Return it!

    We lost our really great needlework framer here in KC but the folks in the local EGA have been trying one in Overland Park and so far seem happy. Let me know if you would like the name of the shop.

    1. Thanks, Catherine – Would love to hear of the place in Overland Park. I’m not too opposed to driving as far as KC, if the framer is really good and knows how to handle needlework!

  68. Take it back, dear. If it was just the choice of the frame, that would be different. However, it is a poor framing job. The piece should not pucker, the gold and beads should not have been bent or altered and there absolutely should not be a speck of anything that you can see under the glass. I wouldn’t even mention that you are unhappy with your choice of frame. That is beside the point and you would not return it for that reason. Ask him to remove it from the frame and return it with your money…while you wait. Sad. However, if we accept poor quality in any field, we will only perpetuate the problem.

  69. Oh, how disappointing, and your instinct was right on. First, I would not accept the wrinkles, especially since they weren’t there when you took it in. And I have to say that I think the frame choice was not good (sorry!)–the frame is too heavy and swallows the embroidery. I would bite the bullet and find a new framer and select a frame that suits the piece better.

  70. Hi Mary, Your gut feeling was right on. This is not the right frame for this beautiful needlework. I think the framer should know about the ripples and lint. Furthermore, I think that for the frame I would research similar framed needlework and get an idea regarding how others framed such an ornate piece. I wouldnโ€™t even hesitate to write to other fine embroiderers on their opinion regarding your piece.
    Good luckโ€ฆlove watching all of your beautiful embroidery, especially the Mission Rose.

  71. Mary, I agree with you: it’s too heavy for the piece, and too dark. I suggest you reframe it (with a better framer too, because you sure don’t want ripples on your lovely embroidery), but keep the frame for another piece that might match better.

    This embroidery is museum-quality! Art gallery-quality!

  72. It is not centered in the frame. I would take it back and have them open the frame while you are present. It is unacceptable. It does not look like a professional piece of embroidery with the problems with that framing.

  73. Know just how you feel! It is difficult to find a framer who knows what they are doing with embroidery. Think the black frame is too heavy for the design and since you are not going to be satisfied with it as is…you can chose something else when you have it reframed!

  74. Hello Mary,

    I have been following the progress of the Mission Rose project and I must tell you that the black frame is too thick; it is slightly askew; and the rippling detract from the lovely embroidery. You are not happy with the finished project and you will remain unhappy unless you take action to correct the failure of the framer to appreciate your work.

  75. At first glance, it seems to me that the frame overpowers the piece — too wide and dark. Not sure what a good alternative would be, perhaps a rich natural wood colour and narrower. I’m with you in that those wrinkles would drive me crazy. It’s funny how we always see the mistakes in our own pieces so glaringly. It does sound as though you do need a better framer.

  76. Mrs. Corbet,
    I think that the black frame is a bit too bold. You look at it and more so see the the frame instead of the embroidery. I notice the wrinkle more than the ripples. Because you worked so hard on it and were pleased with the outcome of the project, I think that you should be happy with the framing, too. So, since you are not happy with the framing as one can plainly see, I believe that you should have the framing redone. But whatever you decide to do, good luck!


  77. I think the black frame overwhelms the delicate stitching. Take it back to the framer with a paper copy of what you wrote, leave that with the framer. Show the framer the flaws then take it to someone who knows what they are doing. Framing is expensive, a year long project that should last hundreds of years should be framed perfectly.

  78. If you’re not happy with it, and if it was not free from the framer, take it back and ask that they make good.

    You might mention that you have lots of items that will need to be framed in the future and have friends who also would go by your recommendation.

    The shop that I went to for framing has closed – and when needed, I will go to a needlework little store and ask who does their framing. For now, nothing is far enough along for me to worry.

    Your stitching is gorgeous!!

  79. You took so much time to get the piece just right that I believe that you should be happy with the final framed piece. I do see the ripples. I believe at least that should not be there with a good framer. It may be the angle of the picture but the embroidered piece doesn’t look centered, it seems there is more background fabric showing on the right side? I do think the frame is too much, it overpowers the piece.
    Could beg your previous framer to do this piece?, or mail it if he is not nearby?
    Carol B

  80. It’s a lovely piece and you should return it to the framer and show him the problems. It’s a good time to educate him on gold work. Also a good time to let him know that you’re unhappy. I know what it costs to get things framed and I expect them to come back in the same state as when I dropped them off!

  81. I am so sorry. This is such a wonderful piece too. The first thing I noticed were the ripples in the fabric. I can’t see the goldwork clearly enough to see the bends. I think I would have refused to pay for it. Or at the least, made a formal complaint and then gone elsewhere.

    I haven’t had a bad experience but my mom had a couple. I learned to not trust anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ I now do my own stretching and mounting. The only thing I get from the framer is a bit of advice and I let them cut my mats or make a custom frame if need be. All the assembly I do myself. I am such a fuss budget. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    With all the goldwork and beads, I hope they used spacers. Are you considering having it done elsewhere perhaps?

  82. I have always looked up to your work for inspiration. And respected and learnt from you how to pay attention to intricate details and not compromise on output and finish. If I was you then I would not settle for the frame/framing. It just doesn’t do enough justice to the mission rose., I trust this input would be taken in the right spirit. love/rama

  83. Yes, the frame is wrong for this piece. Picture it framed in a soft, Wedgewood green. I think that color would complement the small amount of green in the piece.

    And Absolutely, Positively, look for a new framer. To give you back a piece with these errors is inexcusable. I would not have accepted it and would have demanded that the framer corrected all flaws.

    But the embroidery is beautiful and deserves better.


  84. As a custom framer in another life, I would definitley discuss your issues with the shop. The handling should not have added bends to your goldwork and there should be NO specks or lint.
    I have had to dissassemble and reframe before when the customer was not satisfied or we had left a speck of lint inside.

    I think a bit of matting would give the jewel like piece some room to shine. A dark frame is not wrong but I think this is just a bit too crowded.

    The piece is lovely and truly outshines these framing problems. So sorry that you have to find a new framing partner. It can be a special relationship when your aesthetics and sensibilities are in synch.

  85. Mary, it is such a beautiful piece! Both you and it deserve a complimentary frame. Unfortunately, the frame pictured is not complimentary, for all the reasons you mentioned.

    If you had stitched something that was just OK, you would restitching it. Framing should be the same. I would like to suggest that you tell your new framer that if he runs into problems, he is to call you. I’m going to start saying that too.

  86. As a business owner/professional picture framer/needle worker I must say this work is not acceptable, nor should it be to you. I am in total agreement that the frame is too heavy in style and color. While black is often a good neutral frame to use I except in this case. The eye travels to the frame instead of the needle work therefore competing. As far as the ripples are concerned, it looks as though it was not stretched/laced evenly especially in the areas where the threads are thicker. To alleviate the uneven areas such as this, cotton batting can be used to even the underside out and is conservation correct.
    As to approaching the framer that did this job, it will depend on your relationship with them. Is this someone that you’ve used before! If so, approach them with I’m not pleased with the job and is there anyway we can work together to correct and re-frame this is a gold frame? If by chance they will not redo the piece I would look up the independent picture framers in the area and call them. Ask questions such as, ado you have a certified picture framer on staff, do you frame much needlework and ask to see examples of there work.
    I hope this helps some, as a framer/needle worker in know the work it takes to frame needlework properly and unfortunately not other framers care as much.

  87. I LIKE the frame–really makes the embroidery stand out. Having said that, I agree with all else. It was a lousy, careless framer- or maybe just a totally inexperienced one, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you can find out where your old framer went? If he retired, sometimes retirees like to make a little exztra money on the side. Worth a try.

  88. Mary, I am so sad for you about this. The Mission Rose is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen, but the frame just does not do it justice. I think the large black frame is a bit overpowering, but the kinks, ripples, and imperfect balance (at least to my eyes) detract from the beauty of your work. I’d get it out of that frame immediately, straighten what you can, and find another framer. The time and cost that went into the Mission Rose deserve a better presentation. Praying you find someone who can equal your skill.

  89. Mary,
    I like the dark frame and I think it looks spectacular as is…beautiful work. My advice would be to just order the frame and do the rest yourself from now on. That’s what I do! Less stress than counting on someone else to do it right. I also think you should return to the framer and ask for a re-do free of charge.

  90. Mary, I have successfully used Frames By Mail (google them) after getting framing ideas from the big craft stores (shame on me, it’s a financial thing). They cut the frame, mat and glass to your specifications and have a gazillion choices.

    It’s a piece I would want to see close up and would want to be drawn in. So. I might put it inside a 5″ or 6″ or even bigger plain mat to match the ground fabric inside a slender gold frame.

    What a shame. I wouldn’t go back. If he didn’t know enough the first time, he won’t know enough the second time.

  91. Hi Mary, yes I agree with the previous comments. Might as well do over as far as framing, or it will bother you forever. Such a beautiful piece, and all your hard work, deserves framing perfection.
    The embroidery is wonderful.

  92. Hi – if you are not happy, and I wouldn’t be, take it back and complain. It always costs an arm and a leg to get something framed, and you have worked so hard on it that it deserves to be treated properly.

    I’ve a good one here in Milton Keynes, but she’s too far away for you!!!


  93. I agree with Katie Tomlinson. I never mat my Embroidery and I also use narrow Frames. And most of my Embroidery pieces that I have framed do not have Glass on them. And Mary you are right Museum Glass is the right glass to put on pieces.But can be very expensive . I also feel that your frame is to heavy and I would take it back and get my money back and find another framer. The piece is absolutely gorgeous and a lot of work as been put into it. Take it back Mary.

  94. When my Mom passed, we found an old cross stitch sampler she had done, and never had it framed. I took it to a well known professional in the area for framing. When I went to get it, before I paid for it I noticed some wrinkles and bumps in the fabric. Needless to say, I refused to pay until it had been restretched and framed. There is so much time and effort spent in yourbeautiful work, you should go back and at least point out those problems. I too am ready to find a new framer.

  95. Mary, I followed every single post for this wonderful project – some days I felt as if I was stitching along with you, or pondering a colour choice – and the finished result was absolutely fantastic. You must be so disappointed to see it all framed up and not looking its’ best. The framing really does not do justice to the piece. I would take the piece back to the framer – and discuss your concerns and indeed ask for a re-fund – but please don’t leave the work for him to correct. Clearly the framer does not know how to handle such a delicate piece and you do not want to worry about further damage. Personally I think a double matte – with a narrow colour to outline the piece (I think someone has already suggested using one of the reds for this) – and then a broad, light matte – not sure about the colour for this and I am hopeless at colour!!! – but I even wonder if a very pale, pale toning pink??? – at any rate, not white. Not sure about the frame itself – but something narrow – I would almost be tempted to find a narrow gold frame and if the matting is done well and is substantial I don’t think it would get in the way of the piece itself.

    But – – most importantly of all – I think that you want to see your beautiful work stretched properly, and clean before it goes into a frame. Please let us know how this works out – and I look forward to seeing it in its’ “new home” and looking gorgeous.

  96. Dearest Mary! I’ve had my share of excellent framers come and go and it is always heart breaking when you lose a great one.
    I’m going to disagree with a lot of the comments and say that I actually like your frame choice because it makes the piece look like a stained glass window inset which is how I’ve always looked at this particular piece since it began to take shape. Matting it would have turned it into something else, just a “regular” piece of needlework and I think it deserves more than that.
    I think that the slight non-square, the rippling, the bent goldwork and the skewed beads are what are really driving you crazy and will always do so. You probably need to wait until you find another excellent framer and then take it in to be reworked and “fixed” because even though the present framer owes you a fix, I know I wouldn’t trust him with it. However, if he is to ever improve, you do need to take it in and point out the problems with it.

  97. I, too, think the frame is far too heavy-looking for the delicate nature of the piece. Since it already has a “border” I;m not sure that a mat is the answer. Perhaps more fabric space on all four sides would help. Regarding the wrinkle, I can’t see if from the photo, but I would not be pleased with that either!

  98. Hi Mary! This piece is stunning any way you look at it, however, the flaws in the framing will drive you nuts on a daily basis. I live in the Denver area, there is a lady who does conservation framing, mostly of historical prints, but her work is wonderful. The name of her shop is Tam O’neill Fine Arts. You put so much into the Mission Rose that the framing should be exactly what you want and the quality you expect. Hope this helps.


  99. I can certainly appreciate your disappointment in the framing of the Mission Rose after so much planning, time, effort and the expense of the fibers used in this project. I would take it back to the framer and seek a remedy to the issues that you have found. A good framer will stand behind their work.

  100. The work is gorgeous. If it were my piece, the puckering would bother me every time I looked at it. If it were up to me, I’d bring it to a professional framer and have it fixed. Otherwise it would drive me crazy.

    Also, I would have selected a lighter-colored and thinner frame. Maybe the color of the burgundy in the corners or gold. I would also have selected a frame that is about half the width of the existing frame. I think the existing frame is so dark and heavy it distracts from the piece.

    Just MHO. The stitching is beautiful.


  101. I think the frame overpowers the Mission Rose. I am not a fan of the color black and the wide black frame is just too much for such a beautifully embroidered project. The Mission Rose is absolutely gorgeous, however.

  102. Take it back.
    I frame my own work cause I can’t afford to take it to get it framed – but if I did something as beautiful as the Mission Rose I would take it to get it framed. And I would expect it to be done better than I could do it myself. If the person was new at framing, perhaps he was afraid of the gold work. Maybe he will let you be there during framing to sort of advise him during the process on how to handle the gold work.
    Maybe it’s just the camera angle but it looks like there is more room on the right and bottom between the frame and the embroidery. Just slightly. Could be the ripples are from being too lose on the top end to try to center it better. You had it all ripple free when you took it in, and perhaps it looked good when he finished his job, but if it’s loose on top it would start to droop slightly and the ripples would appear a little later.
    I’m not a framer, I just learned from my many mistakes in framing my own stuff.
    With that much work and expense, you should be able to walk past that work and be happy and proud. The framing should make it more so, not less.
    I like the frame you chose.
    I’ve read your blog a lot. Followed every stitch and tip for years. When you do stitching that don’t turn out the way you want, you re-do it. So don’t feel bad about taking that back to be re-framed. And if you think he might damage the gold work because he may not know how to handle it, request to be there to assist. I would give a person the chance to make it right, even if I have to supervise a little. Not teaching him how to frame – but how to handle your gold work. It may ripple cause he framed it a bit loose. (to gentle with it?) But if he had pulled it to tight – or been too ruff with it – he could have wrecked your gold work. So don’t be afraid to ask to be there during framing. He might really like that idea.

  103. I too felt it a little ‘off’ center … starting at top left hand corner… I would look for another frame and framer. The Mission Rose is too beautiful…with too much skill, patience and tender care to leave as is.

  104. Hello,
    unfortunately I agree with you regarding the frame, it is heavy for such delicate work.
    I can also sense your frustration with the work being poorly handled. At this point, are you considering returning the Mission Rose Embroidery and have somebody else frame it properly? If it is possible, I would – it is a beautiful piece of work.


  105. A sad outcome for such beautiful work. You will re-do, right? Being off-center and a wrinkle say that the framer is not serious about his work and either very inexperienced or just doesn’t care about the result. I would either be crying or steaming, depending on my day.

  106. I once took a HUGE sampler in to be framed. It was on white linen and I had washed my hands many, many times a day while stitching to make sure that white linen stayed white. When I got it back, not only was the framing job poor, but there was a piece of black fluff inside and someone had actually gotten LIPSTICK on my beautiful linen! I finally gave away the sampler as I couldn’t stand looking at it. I would re-frame. If it bothers you now, it won’t ever get any better, and will probably grow in irritation value.

  107. Dear Mary,

    This piece is so incredibly beautiful and meticulous in its execution. It deserves the best setting that you can create for it.

    Ditto to Sue Jones’ comments below. Although I would add that a narrow, subtle gold frame with a bit of textural interest could set off the gold in the work without competing with its complexity. Whether such a frame exists may be a question. Sigh.

    Thank you again for your generosity of spirit in sharing so much with your readers about the art of embroidery.

  108. Mary,

    When the brick & mortar shop was open we did LOTS of needlework framing. This is what I see with your piece:

    1) You’re correct, the frame overwhelms the piece. Two possible solutions are chosing a narrow frame or keep this frame but remount the piece (assuming sufficient fabric) so that more fabric shows to simulate a mat. This would require a redo.

    2) The framer is clearly not familiar with needlework mounting – the piece was not stretched properly or was placed in a frame too tight for the mounted piece. The density of the embroidery should have no effect on the mounting. Do you know how the piece was mounted?

    3) Glass is clearly not conservation glass or you would not get glare in the photo.

    4) In defense of the framer, beads are a nightmare to deal with in framing. The question here is did the framer use a spacer to keep the glass off the piece? Usually if the spacer is wide enough there is no impact on the beads.

  109. I am a professional picture framer, specializing in textiles. TAKE IT BACK IF IT ISN’T WELL-DONE. There is absolutely no reason for the speck of dust under the glass – a no-brainer to say this is wrong. Stretching embroidery is a little tricky, but the puckering is wrong. This would be one of the toughest to stretch because of the border and virtually no “room for error” with the small amount of white background fabric showing — it is better to be square than puckered! The density of the stitches guarantee it will pucker a bit, but if it’s very noticeable, either make them try again, or have them take it apart and get your money back. You have a right to be satisfied, as you paid a lot to have this framed, without a doubt. Personally, I would have matted it and THEN used a heavy frame that was chosen. The frame IS too heavy – visually – for the piece. At least you could have shown more of the background fabric to give the eye a place to “rest” before seeing the beautiful piece of work. Take it back and tell them of your unhappiness. A professional framer will work to make you satisfied, no matter the cost. Add a mat (probably two if not three) and show about 3″ of the outer mat – keep it neutral on the outside. My suggestion would be 3/8″ metallic mat on the inside, 1/4″ green (or burgundy) in the center, and an outer mat that matches the fabric. (Also try reversing the green/burgundy with the metallic in the center.) All mats should be cut with a reverse bevel – so the distracting white line of the bevel doesn’t interfere with the art. I don’t know the size of this piece, but the proportion is of the utmost importance. Bigger is never bad. Again, it brings the eye inward to show the piece off to the maximum. Then, and only then, would a heavy frame of black be OK. The way it’s done now, my eye goes to the frame first, then to the art. No, no, no. Sorry I’ve gone on and one, but I strongly suggest you go back to the frame shop and re-design the piece and point the quality (or lack thereof) in the mounting. Put the “refund” toward the re-do. If you’re unhappy with it now, you’ll always be unhappy. That’s a shame, for this is a masterpiece work of art.

  110. Hi,
    Yes, the frame is too heavy. Not necessarily too dark. The color of the wall wouldn’t change the issues I think. And there’s no excuse for the mishandling of your work. I’d get a new framer. And I’d let the one who did it know that they need to be trained on handling any kind of needlework.

    I hope the piece isn’t ruined. I enjoyed the series very much.

  111. A good framer is like finding a good hair dresser. Take it back and COMPLAIN. Personally I always pre-frame my pieces by corset lacing them to acid free foam core, ready to just plunk in the frame. Most framers cut and glue! Take it back and COMPLAIN heavily.

  112. The gold flakes are not really showing up in the frame. And yes, the frame is too dark and thick for the piece. Putting it on a dark wall will not help, IMHO. I do NOT think you should put it in a larger matte — really. That won’t help. I hope you can find a better framer in your area. The piece is still really lovely.

  113. The frame is way too heavy- thick and dark. I personally rarely do mats because I want the needlework to be the focus, but narrower, thinner, lighter frames are possible! And before I even read your comments, I noticed the ripples and puckers and hoped it was just a trick of lighting. Speaking from experience, you will ALWAYS notice the defects! That is way too much work to end up framed so poorly- definitely switch framers! But let this framer know why!There is no excuse for any needlework piece not being handled professionally!

  114. I have had this happen a couple of times. I have taken them back to be redone both times. One was framed crooked and very obvious as it had a table towards the bottom of the page. They redid it and it came out fine. This was a framer that I knew and she felt very bad. The 2nd one when I took it back in gave me a attitude of what do you think I can do about. I took my finished piece to a different framer due to attitude. Hope you can have your framed needlework solved in a good way.

    Thank you so much for your emails and all the knowledge that you share. I have been sharing your address and how great your site is. I am a facilitator of a stitching group at our local senior center and am having a great time.

    Gay E Sommerfeld

  115. Hi Mary,
    I’ve had a similar situation. If you generally like the framer and communicate well with him/her, take it back and they will love to help you with re-straightening. For example, I have a piece with a wonky/skewed open work area. His first attempt didn’t have it laced in back very closely and his stitiching was straight along the weave. It needed to have many compensation stitches in some areas, so he let me take it home and relace it, then he framed it.
    I’m guessing your framer didn’t evenly lace the back (usually causes puckers), but also, handled it carelessly if the goldwork is dented or creased. Hope you can have it straightened. If you’re like me, the glaring errors will always yell at you.

  116. Ooh, (without reading what anyone else has said) my first look was that it’s way too yang! Too dark, too wide, mat not large enough. I would have wanted a lighter color frame, a bit of rose velvet — whether narrow gold or wide golden wood, I would have auditioned more. But I am older than you, Mary, and find my taste which used to be black leather and squared-off shapes is now soft and gentle and vegan — can’t help it! As for the new framer, there is a way to talk to such a person, pointing out the handling that is important to you, things you hope he already knows. Just talking about what’s important to you will alert him to things he had not realized. If I’m shipping a porcelain doll and need custom packing, I would point out that the head is already stuffed to protect the eyes and lead weight mechanism, etc. Many people are clueless about this! This alerts your helper that this customer is exacting, etc. etc. He may have framed only Woolworth’s CCS kits! He really needs to “UP” his sensitivity about the job. Can you go back in and pay again for a whole new frame, choosing something else and staying around long enough to talk through the kind of handling you want? Can you laugh and confide to him that actually you’re a world class — yes, really pippy-poo international — embroidery expert with training in Europe, that you study with and teach and confer with top people in the world? If he is teachable, he will really thank you down the road, and you will have helped bring along a cosmopolitan framer who can work anywhere. Now let’s hope he stays in Kansas!

  117. My heart goes out to you! You put so much time and love into that piece, that it deserves the very best framing.

    My question to you is this: do you do your own mounting before having pieces framed? In a class by Judy Jeroy at the 2012 EGA Seminar in Santa Fe, I learned a method of attaching my own work to a piece of matboard or foamcore before handing it over to the framer. That way you know it’s stretched properly before framing.

    I could pass along that information when I get back home (I’m traveling now, and don’t have the information with me), if you like.

    The only other thing I can think of is to get it re-framed, if possible. (I know that framing is expensive, so this may not be a good option.)

    My daughter is a brilliant picture framer, so I feel blessed. Unfortunately, she doesn’t live near you. I hope you can find a framer that will do beautiful work for you in the future.


  118. I’m afraid I agree with all your points: the frame is too heavy and dark and the ripples are a little distracting. I can’t see the bends and skews in the actual work, but if you can, they will always bother you.
    It looks as though the framer has the glass right against the work, which will exacerbate the ripples. He should have bumped up the glass to allow for a tiny air layer. I wouldn’t estimate the cost (not the value!) of that piece at less than $700, given the amount of gold and beadwork in it; the framing should reflect that. This doesn’t.
    My suggestion is to have it reframed. A thin light wood frame, custom- made if you have to get it that way, possibly a double mat (red or blue inner, cream to match the fabric main), and a framer who is familiar with handling museum quality pieces.

    I would also suggest that you let this framer know that he needs some practice on textile pieces. Print out the comments so he knows you’re not the only one that noticed the flaws.
    Overall, though, it doesn’t look “bad”. My first thought was “Oh, how beautiful” before the “hmm, that frame is a bit dark for it, though” popped up. Most people would probably not get farther than “that’s gorgeous”, but since it’s going to be where you see it most, you’ll be happier if you have it re-done. (The frame would be perfect for something like a bell-pull done on black fabric, matted)

  119. Mary,
    Yes the frame is too heavy but the biggest thing is that it is crooked in the frame. Get your demure Midwestern tush back to the framer and use the opportunity as a teaching moment. They would want to know why you were disappointed and should want to please their customers. You on the other hand would love to recommend them to others for their great work and attention to detail.
    Your work is at a much higher level than the frame. While you can’t expect them to replace the frame you can expect respect for your artwork!

  120. How frustrating! Mary, I would take it back to the shop and talk to the owner or manager. Explain the time and value of the piece, most people would not realize that the metallic threads are real gold and can be bent or damaged. If you go this shop again, make it clear that you want only an experienced framer who knows needlework to do it.
    It sounds like your piece was treated like a print, maybe had things laid on top of it. They should remove it and fix the wrinkles and shift the beads, maybe you should be present! And the frame…is just too much contrast. I think a simple frame is a good idea and I would not put a mat either. A mahogany frame would compliment the colors in the work without being overbearing. Something that pulls the colors of the stem and the reddish corner motifs would look very nice.
    This is why I do all my own framing. I buy the frame I like, have a mat cut to my specifications and go home to do it myself.

  121. The frame is all wrong somehow. I’m not sure what your beautiful Mission Rose needs but this is not it. Your work is too lovely for this, and yes, I think you need to find a different framer. The wrinkle should not be there; somehow it was handled wrong. This is just too bad, Mary, and I hope you can get it fixed.

  122. I used to do framing so have a different idea about the piece. The black overwhelms the piece so I would change it. Go for a brown in the same family as the brown in the piece. Also, a more narrow frame. The whole purpose of the frame is to enhance the piece being framed. You should notice the frame secondly if at all. Yes, the piece needs to be worked with to elimininate the wrinkles if possible without losing the square. Glass should not touch the embroidery. BW

  123. Oh dear, what a shame. It appears that you may have ripples up in the left hand corner as well. When I work on pieces that are essentially self framed by a border, my general rule is to pick a frame of the same width or less than the border. I do not mat. I double the distance from the border to the frame based on the width of the border. 2 inch border – 4 inch space to – 2 inch frame. I pick a frame of similar color to the border color so as not to detract from the stitched border. This makes the stitched border the focal point and the frame subordinate to the stitched work.

    Best of luck when you reframe your work, because I can hear it in your writing that you want to have it reframed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  124. Hi Mary. You should have the piece reframed. You won’t be happy until you do. Find a new framer who will treat your masterpiece with respect. Then, choose a frame that speaks to you. I’d like to suggest a narrower frame in a lighter tone. Thanks for sharing with us.

  125. It’s the dark frame. If it was me I’d take it off, spray paint it gold and when dry maybe copy the 4 corner red bits with the flowery thing onto it. If it doesn’t look good then you can always try a different frame ๐Ÿ˜€

  126. The frame is too dark for that piece but it might look great on something else (Blackwork?) so maybe you should keep it.
    The framer could then refund the labor cost and that way you wouldn’t hurt him too badly. I doubt that framers are a wealthy lot and I am sure he didn’t mean to do a bad job. I think like that and I know not all people do.
    Have it reframed by someone else you trust and explain your concerns in detail. I think a natural light wood frame would be nice. There is already enough gold there.

    1. Your work is beautiful, and if I had received this beautiful piece as a gift I would think it wonderful and enjoy it forever.
      However if I had done all the beautiful work and had it in my home as an example I could never look at it without seeing the framer flaws. If he never corrects it you will be apologizing in your mind every time you see it.
      Hopefully it is not a “man thing” and he will take constructive help from a woman.
      Sorry. It is a shame to have that done to something so beautiful.

  127. 123 comments already! I see from your replies that your displeasure is firming up, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I agree, this is not good at all. Goldwork especially is a rare thing, so I think it may be difficult to find someone capable.

    Being the control freak that I am, I think I would at least mount it myself, and then let the framer do the rest. I also don’t love the smooth finish on the frame. When I think of the California missions, I think of something more aged and textured. I think a simple, dark wood frame with a wood grain that you can feel, maybe a little wider, would be nice. I think I would only mat it if it turns out to be damaged.

    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing version #2!

  128. Dear Mary,

    In my opinion, you will never feel differently about this piece. Go back to the framer and say exactly what you have told us, and get him to do it RIGHT. Not only will you be much happier, he will have an opportunity to learn from an expert. Otherwise you live with the disappointment forever. You won’t show the piece to anyone, you will hide it away. After all your meticulous work, that would be a shame.

  129. I think you should definately find a new framer that treats your work with the respect it deserves. Someone that will understand how a piece MUST be handled.

  130. Me again. I see quite a few people have recommended a narrower frame!

    I take their points, but I still disagree, lol. I think a wider frame will give the piece more gravity. It is not huge, and I would not like to see it overlooked on your wall. If possible, I do think a little more “breathing room” around the edge would be helpful, though.

  131. I don’t care for the framing. I think this frame is too heavy for the delicate piece. I probably would have chosen a small gold frame to ‘frame’ the gold borders.

    Yes, I have taken framing back to be redone more than once. Sometimes it was for my bad choice. Sometimes it was for the poor work of the framer. (Once it was because the framer mounted a piece of blackwork wrong side out. Though she redid it, that was almost a compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    I am a believer in giving feedback. If someone does not know that you are less than satisfied with their efforts, whether it be a restaurant or a framer or a car repair business, they won’t know to try to fix the problem. It’s tough to help people learn on your projects, but I think you should give him another chance, telling him clearly what the issues are that need to be corrected. Should you decide to change frames at the same time, well…… Enough said.

  132. It seems to me that the frame detracts from the majesty of the piece. I would also be extremely disappointed if I took in a piece that was wrinkle-free and without puckering, but received this back. It doesn’t matter so much that no one else will notice. You do, and it’s your work.

  133. It is a shame that the Mission Rose was framed so poorly. I would return to the framer and hope against hope that he did not use any glue. I would show me what disappoints you and request that he find a delicate gold frame with maybe a double mat so that the piece does not touch the glass. I do see the bend in the gold and the ripples are inexcusable. Since he is new, I would give him a second chance and help him learn from his mistakes. The last thing that you want people to see first is the frame. You might have to go an hour or more away, as I do, to get the perfect framer for you and you beautiful needlework. Let us know how you make out with this project.

  134. well mary let me say first of all that i have followed the project and it is intensely beautiful! really. i love everything about it.

    yes i have had a bad experience with a framer. and they would not do anything about it. so i don’t go there anymore. and i had to have it reframed.

    in my opinion, if that’s what you are looking for, such a beautiful ornate piece should be framed in gold, in a simple but elegant frame. i have no doubt about it.

    please accept my advice. you are a master. i just think you did not get good advice, service, and workmanship. suck it up, take it elsewhere, get it framed in gold. as far as “matting” i don’t think it needs it.

    continue you excellent, informative, and loving website and work.

    lyn procopio

  135. Sorry, but I agree that the framing is not satisfactory, and for multiple reasons: molding is too wide and heavy for my taste; the ripples factor; the dubious centering; and what disturbs my eye the most is that it doesn’t appear to be square in the frame… the distance from stitching to frame appears scewed and slanted slightly. Overall you probably could have done a comparable job yourself. Very disappointing because of the beauty of the embroidery. Not to mention the cost of
    framing…it doesn’t come cheap!

    My personal choice for molding would be much thinner, and probably lighter in color. If it were my piece, I would take it back to the framer who did the work and enumerate and point out all of the deficits, including the mishandling of the embroidery piece and the “flotsam” under the glass. But I most certainly not allow that framer to “try to make it right”… let them practice their needlework mounting skills in someone else. If they weren’t proficient the first time they can’t have had enough time
    to improve their skills. (maybe they would be willing to give a credit toward a future framing job… something less significant?)

    If the frame choice was yours, you must own that and chalk it up as a learning lesson.

    Unfortunately, anyone can hang out their shingle and say they are a framer.

    Get thee to an experienced needlework framer!

    Good luck.

  136. I agree with other comments. The blackness and the thickness of the frame is too dark and too heavy. It totally overpowers the embroidery.

    If I were you I would undo the framing, buy different matting and frame and do it yourself.

    Belle Gallay

  137. Wow! The piece is beautiful!

    I used to have an elderly German couple do my framing for years. (They framed my great-grandparents decaying marriage certificate so that it was encased in glass on both sides so one can read their children’s names and birth dates written by my great-grandmother on the back.) I knew that they would do a better job than I could ever imagine.)

    Alas, they died! They have never been “replaced.”

    I see the issues that you are concerned about. I would take the piece back and discuss with the framer. You at least owe that to all your beautiful work!

    I have learned so much from you! I look forward to your posts each day!

    Thank you for sharing your skills!

  138. Oh…. that’s a terrible framing job. The framer should not have left the puckers in and I think they are quire noticeable! I would take it back to at least have the framer stretch it better. Overall it seems a bit loose. And I would explain, in detail, what is wrong with the job.

    On the artful side – the piece is lovely but the large black frame is not. I agree that a darker frame is necessary to hold down all that gold but it needs to be thinner and set back away from the piece with some matting. I’d play with a single and double mat to see which I liked best. The stitched piece has all this lovely color and movement to it and then it smacks up against the stark large dark frame.

    I suggest that at this point you’ll not come to like it as is and so you should have it reframed so that you are happy with it.

  139. My goodness, when you invited us to ‘have our say’ you got everyone alive this Monday morning on your topic. I’ve enjoy learning yet again from over 140+ comments and opinions and I can’t think of one thing to add that hasn’t already been voiced. I will just say thank you for all your great embroidery tips and postings. I’ve learned a vast amount from you and your readers. So many creative and wonderful people out there!

  140. After all the work that went into this piece, you deserved a perfect finish. Also agree that the frame is too heavy and dark. I am picking up a piece from my framer next week and am going to thank him profusely for his wonderful work. A good framer is a true treasure. Think I’ll but that on a sampler!

  141. I am so sorry. You are correct in thinking it’s time to look for a new framer. I saw the wrinkles just like you did, and that piece is so gorgeous, I would definitely reframe it. I know it’s expensive, but that piece is exquisite, and hopefully you can use the frame for something else.

  142. My eyes did not even look at the frame. They went straight to the center of the mission rose, at first glance. I’m not sure that I could afford to change the frame out, even if I hated it. So I would try to focus on the beautiful stitching that went into that piece and revel in that when gazing at it.

  143. The frame is too large for the piece. I think a thin, gold one would work well. As for the wrinkles, you will always notice them. if I took a piece in with no wrinkles and it came back with them, I wouldn’t have brought it home. You should work with the framer to get what you want and paid for. It will help the framer learn about working with craft pieces and save you from finding another framer and, possibly repeating the process.

  144. Mary, I can see the ripples and I did not have to magnify the piece. That would make me crazy to see that. I agree with you about the frame, but you really need to tell the framer all of the things that are wrong with it so he learns from this and does not do this to anyone else. I entered a piece in a competition and went to an expert framer that charged me LOTS of money. I had to get it in quickly so didn’t check it as well as I should. They had moved a thread that I knew I had tucked in and now you could see it. I lost points on that, as well as it was not pulled well. I spent months on it and it annoys me every time I look at it. Your piece is so beautiful and we all learned so much from this. He needs to reimburse you. This is not what you paid for.

  145. Dear Mary,
    I agree with others the frame is to heavy, as you recommend to others if not satisfied rip it out. Have you thought of trying a tiny line of gold paint or glueing a fine thread around one of the edges of the frame to break up the heaviness. This effect is similar to what an upholsterer does in finishing as in piping.
    No matter what do not take it back to this framer he obviously doesn’t know what he is doing. He has already damaged an heirloom piece, don’t let him touch it again risking further damage

  146. I would take it back and point out the problems to the framer. Nothing you can do about the frame itself, but they obviously don’t know how to deal with fabric. I once had a piece framed after I mounted the cloth myself, and I was very happy with the result, but the framer said to me that she wished she had redone the mounting job as she didn’t think it was perfect.

  147. OH Mary
    I am very sad with you because when you feel like a mess, it is a real worry. Especially your work is really beautiful, I have never realize such splendor. Black ok but much smaller! Your embroidery seems crush and undeveloped, gold arabesques yes also in great … but small. So why not if you can on a small display table?

  148. I for one, do not mind the dark frame. In fact I think it gives an historical aspect to the piece. Tho I do think it would be better if it was a dark oak like would have been used in Tutor times – as it is a Tutor rose, and perhaps not quite as wide. But, I do think your framer did a horrible job. The wavy fabric at the bottom – no reason in the world for that because it was not wavy in your working frame. The fact there is a speck inside and bends in the gold work is inexcusable! Professional framing should be done by a professional and this just don’t meat those standards. After all, this was not an inexpensive piece of work and the embroidery hours considerable. Just like a misplaced stitch in your work, a poorly chosen color or a pattern that needs correction this piece will always bother you and will not “look better tomorrow”. I would have it re done just like I would rip out a stitch I was not pleased with. It is just to beautiful to let languish in this state of framing!

  149. YES Mary I have had at least 3 treasured pieces of my embroidery botched by different framers. I don’t know what they do with them after you leave the premises. Mine were birth and wedding announcements and I’m “living” with them. Of course you are the worst critic of your own work aren’t you?
    The Mission Rose is gorgeous, however. Well done!

    1. Maybe you chose the dark frame taking your home dรฉcor into consideration too ? Maybe it will look fantastic when you hang it up in the place you had planned for it .
      It is beautiful !

  150. How unfortunate and aggravating!I think you probably will always see the ripples.
    Can he reframe this without making a bigger mess? Does he have insurance? I might suggest a lighter frame with a mat. If he cannot or will not redo and make right, I would probably try myself. Matter of fact, after asking for my money back; I would probably do it myself.
    The work you have done is amazing and too beautiful to leave as is.

  151. I agree with everyone, redo it! The frame is too heavy and the piece IS slightly off kilter, not to mention the ripple. My framer had one of her assistants frame something for me years ago and she saw it at the county fair, called me and wanted to re do it for me at no cost! She didn’t like what she saw.

    You’re not happy with it and you never will be unless you fix it!

  152. Puckers, rippled fabric, beads and gold work askew? You ‘may’ be on the hunt for a new framer? Mary…you are being far too kind to someone who took your money, mangled your work and just did an unprofessional job. You should point out your web review to him, and then make it known that you did NOT put his name in the post…and that he’s lucky at that. He should refund your costs at the very least. Now, the choice of frame was yours and your decision to not mat was also in your control. I don’t mind the frame size…but if it does not ‘go’ on the wall…well, when you get it re-done, and you should before those puckers and ripples set in for the long haul…well, that will be a good time to change up the framing design itself. But there is NO excuse for poor quality work.

    1. Ach! In my high dudgeon at your misfortune, I forgot to say that the piece itself is lovely. It simply deserves a better framing job.

  153. Oh Mary, I’ve watched the Mission Rose step-by-step the entire way, and this is the first time I’ve wanted to cry. It is so wrong. Did you use a custom framer or go with a premade frame? The first thing you must do is get your money back. Whomever this so-called framer was actually damaged your work. After you get the exquisite embroidery back and fix the little goofs the framer caused you need to go to several framers and talk to them about what they propose. With two or three good suggestions you will be able to pick the best. This black frame is a “mission” style which overpowers the delicate, lush embroidery. When I look at the piece now all I see is frame – and a not very pretty frame at that. Your piece needs something more delicate and, at the same time, regal. Not big black chunky pieces of wood. But my mind spins at the defects this so-called-framer allowed to slip in. Of course you didn’t have wrinkles and spots on the embroidery. You are a perfectionist about your work. The Mission Rose (and you) deserve the perfect frame. This is just not it.

  154. If you are not happy now you will not be happy tomorrow. Take it back. I once had expensive framers do a piece with gold work in it and I could not decide why I did not like it but I did not. – I took it to someone else and they changed the mat and it made all the difference – later I won a ribbon on the piece.
    Life is short -be happy – dang the cost!
    Your piece is just fabulous and the frame is heavy -plus the wrinkles have to be smoothed.
    good luck.

  155. Dear Mary

    What a shame and such a lot of work has gone into this project. Like all the other comments I agree that you should take it back and discuss what can be done to correct the mistakes they have made, after all framing is not cheap. I have to say that I also agree that the dark frame does not suit the embroidery piece it’s to dark and you look at the frame before the embroidery piece. But then I can’t see the gold tinted bits in the frame I don’t know if that makes a difference. I hope you are able to sort this out with the framers and come to an agreeable solution. Let us know the outcome.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  156. It’s a crime for the framer to mishandle your museum quality work and I’m glad you will be getting a refund! Perhaps a museum could give you leads on a qualified framer.

  157. Mary, I am so sorry for all the work you put into the piece to have the framer bend the gold when it was perfect before they got ahold of it. I really don’t like the black it just doesn’t do the piece justice. I just keep trying frames and mats with the piece until I find one that clicks. I know I drive the framer nuts, but thats just how it is. We pay alot of money and have alot of time invested in our emboidery so we want the perfect framing job. I have had a bad experience with a crewel embroidery years ago. I have just left it, but to this day I get upset when I look at the crushed bullion knots and french knots, because they didn’t use a spacer. I think that you should have it redone or do it yourself, but I sure wouldn’t let them touch it again. I use the Craft Center in Salt Lake City, UT. They are stitchers and so I trust them to handle my embroidery with care. I have never been disappointed once. I would like to see the Mission Rose again after you reframe it. I am pretty sure that this is what you will do.

  158. If you don’t like it today, you won’t like it tomorrow. When you spend that much time on a piece, it should make you happy when you look at it. Get it re-framed by someone who knows how to frame needlework! The framer I’ve used for years retired. I recently took a fairly simple (but long) piece to a framer that was recommended to me. I should have asked about his needlework experience. I did not mat the piece, just a simple double frame and it was $300. I usually don’t fuss about framing costs because I think it’s a “get what you pay for” thing but I do know my previous framer would have been in the $150-$180 range. When I picked up the piece, it wasn’t straight and it was puckered. I told him I wasn’t happy with the way it was stretched and he said it was the best he could do. It was perfectly straight when I took it in. My DH kept telling me to take it back but if he does something this bad to begin with, what will it look like the 2nd time around. It is not hanging as it would bother me to see it daily. I’m going to take it to a different framer and see if they can fix it. Live and learn. I should have asked more questions and I especially shouldn’t have left it when I knew it was way too expensive.

  159. I think the frame is too dark and too wide. I may have gone for a little more ornate gold frame and a wider mat. I would take it back and have some one lace the canvas to get the distortions out. My framer does counted cross and knows how important the flat surface should be. I go to Joann’s when the discounts are large.

  160. Many years ago I took a piece of stumpwork to be framed having laced it on to acid-free card myself. A year or two later noticed there was mould on the inside of the glass which worried me so eventually took it apart and found that my embroidery had been taken off my card, hacked off probably looking at the awful mess of the edges and glued onto card. Therefore the mould had come about from the moisture in the glue. Intended re-stitching it but never have. Very disappointing as framing is so very expensive. I have never gone back to him and told anyone who would listen to my story, my story in the hopes he would lose customers. Pam Cape Town, SA

  161. It is a beautiul piece. My personal taste would be a wider mount and a narrower frame. I hope you get to a point where you are happy with this

  162. Wow, Mary! I have so many comments and questions, I could write all day on this topic! I am a professional framer, specializing in needlework. In fact, I became a framer because I wanted to frame my own work. That said, I have not framed professionally since my child was born, so I have been out of the game for a while.

    First, I have some questions: what kind of spacers were used under the glass? Art that has glass resting directly on it runs the risk of damage, so I usually mat my work. In the case of the Mission Rose, I would most likely have used a metallic acid-free mat almost adjacent to the outer border, topped by a fabric (suede, linen or silk) mat. These mats would both raise the glass off the needlework and enhance the colors you chose so carefully. I would not have left a white border fabric around the Mission Rose, as in my opinion the negative rectangular space competes with the negative oval space around the central rose itself. I’d like the oval around the rose to be the only white space visible.

    As for color, I would have begun with blue matting, to continue the blue background corners and play up the centarl rose as the most important figure in the work.

    I would probably have chosen an ornate gold frame with red undertones, using pattern instead of color as a contrast to the shimmering simplicity of your extensive laid goldwork. Your Mission Rose is a museum-quality piece of art and should be framed to hang in a museum. The black frame feels too heavy to me. If you definitely want to introduce black to the project, I would have included it in the matting and then used black again as only an element of the frame’s color, rather than using an entirly black frame.

    I’m sorry to hear your art was not handled appropriately. Many framers do not have proper training in handling art because of a lack of a governing body in the industry. The Professional Picture Framers’ Association (PPFA) is attempting to lay down regulations for the industry, but they have not yet reached their goals. I would only take work of your caliber to a credentialed member of the PPFA.

    I have had other framers work on my own projects from time to time, and I recently had occasion to return unacceptable work. I brought the work back to the original framer herself (not her boss or a coworker) with a smile and kind words–and much trepedation. I found her aware of the deficiencies of the work, and grateful that I had returned the project. The problem was due to poor equipment that she had been begging management to replace, and my returning subpar work gave her the ammunition she needed to force the issue. My project was redone properly at no cost to me with acceptable results.

    Please do not allow poor framing to continue. You are doing the framer, the shop and the industry a disservice by accepting poor work. As a framer, I dread having a project returned, but I would rather have poor results brought to my attention–kindly–than advertised to potential customers. I suspect you’re right: your new framer may not have the experience needed to handle goldwork properly. Please be specific in your comments of dissatisfaction, and you may be surprosed at the reception you get.

    Best of luck, and as always, thank you for sharing your Mission Rose project with us, your readers.

    1. Somehow I forgot to click on “subscribe to further comments,” but maybe it is just as well, because I see there were *another* hundred after my first one!

      But, I think Mary is making a very good point about the negative space and competition between the oval and the outer edge. I can see that some kind of mid-toned mat might be helpful.

      Otherwise, though, I think the overall feel of the framing has to match your decor, which one or two others have said as well.

      You’ve obviously hit a nerve! Can’t wait for the next instalment!

  163. Sorry to hear about your unfortunate framing experience after all the hard work that went into this beautiful piece of embroidery. I think you should return picture to framers and ask them to lace it up again to eliminate the puckers. I personally think the frame is too wide. A very narrow frame may have looked much better but it is not easy to chose suitable frames!

  164. Mary, get this reframed ASAP – under warranty or insurance
    The framer with the dust,m wrinkles, bent gold and distorted beads has reduced the quality of your wonderful work. Also I thought museum glass did not reflect so why is there a glare?

    Personally I’d but a pale mat and a larger, thin, pale frame so that your colorful embroidery would glow and float on the wall.

  165. When I’ve received an inferior job from a framer I take it back and ask it to be made right. I’ve never had a framer say no to this. They want you to be pleased, not hoping that the look will improve. Believe me it won’t improve. It’ll just continue to annoy you. So off to the framer again and tell him exactly what you want fixed.

    Sorry to hear that your go to framer moved on and now you’re stuck with someone that you aren’t thrilled with. DC

  166. It is a beautiful piece of work!! I think the black frame sets the design off very well. It makes it stand out like a stained glass window and the contrast with the background is eye catching. Do not worry about the wrinkles in the background fabric. After al, it is fabric. If the framer you are using is a novice, I would consider doing the primary mounting myself and then let the professional do the matt, glass and frame and put it all together. I have had several pieces wrinkle on me after they were framed and I think it has something to do with the humidity in the atmosphere during the framing. You think you have it tight but later it wrinkles. At least the background fabric is not an even weave so it is not obvious.

  167. Hi Mary, I share your disappointment and critique of the framed piece, as well as the opinions in most of the comments. The Mission Rose deserves a different frame and a more careful framing job. Looking for a framer with archival and museum training, as well as experience in mounting and framing needlework and embroidery, (one would hope) is a safeguard against such an outcome. “Auditioning” multiple frames, mattes (or none), using mirrors mounted above the worktable at the framers’ and coming back on a second day or a few hours later to look at the proposed frame with fresh eyes are techniques that any needlework customer ought to be aware of and use. I was fortunate to get the name of an excellent needlework framer in the Portland, OR area from a local needlework (canvas and needlepoint mostly) store. Mentioning them got me 10% off the cost as well! I’m happy to pass along this info if it would be of any help. I know you will address the issue and eventually get the piece in a frame you will love! I look forward to hearing about that journey as well. We are all wishing you a positive outcome!

  168. Mary,
    Sorry about your dilemma with the framing. For me, I’m not sure it’s the black frame I find as distressing as the white band of fabric surrounding it. I find it very distracting. I might have had it matted to lose that altogether. You could play with some strips of black, or a dark color construction paper, and see what you think.

  169. Sheesh! My inbox is overflowing! Let’s not crucify this framer ten times over! People pretty much do the best they can. At risk of letting the Supercuts operator cut the bangs even shorter or the tailor re-hem the pants even shorter, I hope Mary can educate this framer to at least be a tad more careful. Some people have all their taste in their mouth. At least he (she?) can learn to be a fastidious technician. Good luck, Mary!

  170. Mary,

    The rippling could be a result of your framer redoing the lacing.

    Personally I would have added some matting and rethink that deep black frame. It feels like it is over-powering the needlework. Some matting would remove the work from the frame and give it some breathing room.

    Remember – the eye is drawn to the point of highest contrast and with this frame – that becomes the frame edge – not the needlework.

    All that beautiful work needs to be focus.

  171. How disappointing! I agree that the wrinkling, mishandled goldwork and debris need to be corrected. As for the frame itself, I don’t know whether you have enough of the silk remaining to increase the fabric “border” around the goldwork. If not, you could consider mounting the piece to the surface of a mat (could be covered in fabric if you like), as an alternative to traditional matting. Personally, I think it might look nice with the frame even smaller, tight against the goldwork with no fabric “border”. The outer goldwork (I believe it’s a purl) would act almost as a filet. Finally, a trick I use when trying to decide on frame size and width. Purchase matboard and cut into pairs of “L” shapes. Have a pair that’s 2″ wide, 3″, 4″, etc. Place the L shapes at opposite corners of your piece, and move them closer together to make the opening smaller and farther apart to make the opening larger. Once you find the opening size you like you have your mat & frame dimensions. Then try the different thicknesses (2″, etc) until you find the frame width that you like. Good luck, I’m sure in the end you’ll have a framed piece that brings you joy.

  172. You will always see the flaws done in this framing. You could try to get this person to fix it, but if you’re not happy with the heavy frame either, then find someone that can give you better advice on framing this.

  173. Hi Mary,

    your disappointment is palpable. One thing I find helpful when dealing with framers is they make a living through their “art” that is framing so to them the framing is the point of the exercise and they unknowingly or knowingly wish to make that the most visible. when framing embroidery I try to find the most simplest and thinnest frame possible to highlight the embroidery (occasionally I go outside this parameter). The other thing if this framer is relatively new I would return and explain carefully and unemotionally to them on the areas where you have concerns how else will they learn and thinking they are doing OK and this happens to someone less experienced than you. there is also the aspect of the view that embroidery is cheap to do which we know it isn’t and theoretically it shouldn’t matter anyway so explaining the costs and the time involved might also assist the framer in relooking at what they have done. Also the fact that you derive income from displaying your work may also influence them or not. It is up to you asa to whether or not you give them another shot at it , I personally wouldn’t with a goldwork piece but we always owe to others to encourage them to reach their potential so showing and explaining may assist in this. wonderful work by you does shine through anyway. Deb

  174. Dear Mary, First I would not malign the framer on line before I had a discussion, not a confrontation as suggested by a reader, with them about how the wrinkles could be dealt with. Then I would discuss a new framing option and absorb up the cost of the one I no longer liked.
    Maybe the frame could be painted, a lot of framers do that or a gold leaf finish????
    A frame needs to recede or compliment the embroidery not dominate, but I do appreciate that you had restricted choice.


    1. Hi, Jenny – no worries! I’m not the confrontational type. I’d just go in and chat it up to see what we could work out. I don’t generally malign people on Needle ‘n Thread! ๐Ÿ™‚

  175. My mother has been very upset with framing. She got some pieces back that were crooked in the frame. Wrinkles were also a problem. I’ve only had one thing professionally framed. It came out just fine.

    This is why I frame things myself. If I want a fancy frame, I think I would stretch and lace the piece on the backer board myself before handing it to the framer. Of course I would discuss this with the framer to get the right size.

    I agree that the black frame is too heavy for such a delicate work. I would have gone for a frame no more than the width of the gold stitched frame. It took me a few minutes to comprehend that the big black thing was the frame. At first, I thought it was the side of the photo.

  176. I definitely don’t like the black frame. Seems too heavy for the design, but that’s just my taste versus yours. Kay, who posted a comment at 7:02am had a really good idea it seems to me, using a blue mat and a rosewood frame. I don’t know that I think a gold frame would be as good, but maybe. The problems you mention with the framing are bad ones in my opinion and I would take it back to be redone. I had some issues with a framer once regarding the way she mounted my piece – slight ripples, etc. – and she redid it for me. Word-of-mouth praise or criticism is usually important to them unless you’re talking about Michael’s or somebody like that. After that problem I started lacing my own work and haven’t had a problem since. Not fun, but like putting together a sweater after you’ve knit it it’s necessary. All in all, your work is gorgeous, much too gorgeous for you to continue being unhappy with it and having to see it everyday like that.

  177. I think the frame is too heavy and the piece looks crowded in the frame. The wrinkles would drive me crazy. Is it just the angle or is the space on the left smaller than the right?
    I’m really sorry. Yes, I’ve had 1 piece done badly. Now, I order frame, mat, glass, everything, then stretch and frame myself. It really isn’t that hard. I don’t trust anybody.

  178. Your work is beautiful. I do not feel the dark heavy frame does it justice. One sees the frame and not the work. Can you get it re-framed? I would not accept the wrinkles and would take it back.
    How would a narrow dull gold frame go?
    Get it fixed so you are happy with it.
    Good luck

  179. I feel your pain. I’ve have several pieces that were expensive to frame that are okay. I even have a piece that I found out the frame wasn’t wooden but plastic. I didn’t find this out until much later. I’m sure I choose wood. It’s a beautiful pettipoint my mother-in-law made. It fell off the wall because the frame came apart! Maybe a thinner frame with some matting would have set it off better. It’s such a dynamic piece the frame closes it in.

  180. Mary, I agree with everyone who encouraged you to have the framing redone. I also encourage you to take it to this framer first, and “teach” him/her what it is that you do not like about the framing job that was done. If done in love, you may build a friendship with this person, and he/she could grow into the high quality framer you seek. If this person is serious about the framing business, he/she eventually will welcome your comments and learn from them.

  181. Sorry Mary. I totally agree with the rest. It needs reframing. Crooked and wrinkled. You must take it back in and speak to the person and get at least a partial refund. Preferably entire refund. Sorry, but you need a new framer.
    It would look better with you doing the pre-work as before,selecting a mat and frame to place it yourself.
    Your work deserves better.
    I hate confronting and waste too much $ by accepting bad work. So I know how you feel.
    Good luck, it has to be fixed. DEEP BREATHING !!!!!!!!!!

  182. Such a lovely piece! I think it definitely needs some empty space around it, then a thick frame would be ok. I would be very disappointed in the mishandling of it. The ripples and wrinkle would bother me to no end. I did once have a piece framed and it ended up with ripples, but I didn’t bother saying anything because it was done by a relative. If it wasn’t, I think I would have said something, nicely at first and then escalating depending on the response.

  183. What a beautiful piece of needlework Mary. To my eye the frame is a little dark and quite heavy looking. I think I might have looked more toward the brown colour in your stems ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do think you should talk to the framer about your concerns too. He needs to be told so that he will pay more attention to embroidery in the future!

  184. Hi Mary,
    You are right the framer has mucked up this job. I would take it back and ask for it to be fixed. If I lived near you I would get my husband to fix it for you but I think Australia is a long way away from you. The frame needs to be lighter. You could paint it a lighter colour or just get it reframed. It will bug you and you will be disappointed and not want to display it so get it fixed.
    I love your work. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  185. Yikes, I don’t like it. The frame is way to heavy and although I can’t see the ‘mishaps’ if you can see them, you will never not know they are there. Yes it is time for a new framer, or rather, new to you but someone who has been in the business a while.

  186. I know just how you feel as I have just had a similar experience! I took in a piece for framing to a new place as my previous expert had retired. I researched first, made an appointment with the lady experienced in framing needlework, etc.I met with her, looked at other work she had done, chose the mat and frame then waited. I went in to pick it up on the appointed day – sorry, not quite done?! A week later, I went to pick it up and it had been framed with glass – my order copy clearly stated no glass and she had not questioned it when I placed the order but “everyone wants glass really.” She was very affronted when I said it was not what I ordered. She tried to make me pay for the glass (museum at a horrific price when I did not want any glass!) In the end I paid for the framing but not the glass but I will never go there again.

  187. Please go back to the framer and tell him how unhappy you are with his work. He can only learn from you and perhaps another person will benefit from your critic of his work.

    1. Your work is always impeccable and I love following you. The framing does not do your work, The Mission Rose, justice. My first thought was I would like to see it mounted on a black velvet mat with space surrounding the piece; about 3″ – 5″ on either side of the piece. Then the frame a gold to compliment, but not overwhelm the gold in the needlework. I could be wrong; but that is what my minds eye sees for this wonderful piece. Also a simple ferret of a dark red wood or mahogany next to the frame itself. That way the gold frame transitions itself into the black velvet; and the pop is “The Mission Rose” itself.

  188. Mary,

    Sorry to say but that frame does nothing for the piece. I had an awesome framer that, like yours, moved on. I recently had some of my pieces done at Michael’s (yes the craft store) and am thrilled with the results. You can see my pieces on my Stitchin Fingers page. I always mat as it helps lift the glass up off the piece and I always use Vision 2000 (museum) glass.

    Just be sure to wait for their coupon deals.


  189. I think that the things you don’t like about the framing will continue to irritate you forever and probably spoil your enjoyment of the piece. If it was mine I would have it redone as soon as I could find the right person to do it at a reasonable price. Jenny J

  190. My husband and have owned a frame shop in Cedarburg WI since 1989. We specialize in needlework framing and that is about 75% of our business.
    Do you know if the piece was laced in the framing process? Did they use deep spacers to accommodate the thickness of the stitching between the stitching and the glass?
    It is a beautiful piece and I really enjoyed the process of you working on it.
    It seems like the black frame is a bit heavy.
    I agree that you should talk to the framer!

  191. Ugh! The frame is all wrong for that piece. (The frame isn’t even a well-made frame.) The wrinkles are unacceptable. Find a new guy. But get the piece out of there in the meantime so the wrinkles don’t set.

  192. Your work is so beautiful, and it is important that you be happy with the frame.
    I have a website that allows you to see different frames on your artwork .jpg files.
    it is; http://www.pictureframes.com/personal-frame-shop/select-frame

    click on menu option; Personal Frame Shoppe; then, click on Get Started, and follow the instructions.

    I dragged your image off of your news letter to my desktop then put it into the upload. but it complained that the image was too small. I was able to make it larger to 100 dpi in Photoshop, but lost resolution. If you have a larger file it would be better.

    even if you don’t use it for this project it is nice to experiment with different frames. They have hundreds and you may select a mat if you wish

    I’ll try to send a screen-shot of what I did. If I can find your email address, this comments does not let me attach images.

  193. 2nd comment today. I am not sure that I would have a narrower frame put on. Reason is that I do not think you would like it to be the same size as the gold border as well as your lighter border. Maybe the black frame could be toned down with some gold added to it.

    Good luck.

  194. Dear Mary,
    I haven’t read the other responses yet or even all of your post. So this is my unbiased immediate reaction. The work is jailed in a tiny black cell. It needs to be let free to sing it’s beautiful song (the dedication and love you put into choosing just the right materials and stitching). Set it free with a matt surround and a lighter (less harsh style) frame. The ripples and other damage to the work are unforgivable. You need to get your money back!

  195. Dear Mary, I think your Mission Rose looks beautiful in the black frame against the cream wall. And all the very best in finding a resolution to the “framer” problem.

  196. Since you asked, I think the frame looks too heavy. If you look at the inner part of the black frame, something about that weight maybe with a gold line on the outer edge would set the beautiful embroidery off better. I would take the picture back to the framer to have the wrinkles removed and the beads straightened out.

  197. Beautiful piece, it deserves a better setting. The frame is definitely wrong, but I think there’s a problem with the mounting board colour. After all your work don’t let it stay like this. Find a framer who has experience with mounting fabric pieces. Take as long as you need to find the perfect combination. I have often taken weeks before deciding on how to frame a piece, and most were not my own work. I say take a deep breath and redo the framing. This work deserves better.

  198. If you are not completely happy, I would take it back to the framer. I had a piece framed once and the framer covered up two rows of stitching on one side. I took it back and they fixed it. Worth a try. I also find I am much more critical of my finished pieces than others.

  199. Oh Mary, I am weeping for you. There is nothing worse than this – you feel almost violated, that this, this, whatever creature, has ruined your perfect creation. I know the feeling well, so well in fact that I convinced my husband he should take over doing all our framing, which he does. Unfortunately for you we live in Australia which is a loooong way from Kansas.

    I agree with the comments that recommend you find a new framer asap and have it reframed. It shouldn’t need matting, but it does need a more experienced person to make sure nothing happens to the work. And it does need a narrower frame. I am not sure that a narrow black frame would be better – it might; but have you considered a limed timber?

  200. Yes, go back and get it redone. Explain what needs to be fixed. You should probably pay for new materials but they should comp the labor. You approved the frame but the work is poor. Lesson learned. And yes, a mat. Don’t be afraid of a gold frame, just use a mat.

  201. Dear Mary,
    go with your instincts. The black frame overpowers the embroidery at least when you see it on a computer screen. The exquisite embroidery does not shine. The little ripples and crooked beads are something you have to decide if you can live with.

  202. I feel your pain. I too have had crazy framing problems. Solution-complain and get your money back. Then find a new framer. I personally do not like this frame. I think it completely overwhelms the work. I hope you find the new framer you need. And the piece is still gorgeous!!

  203. Hi Mary

    I too would be disappointed, I think the framer has done a poor job. In fact, I’m not even sure it is straight in the frame (but perhaps that is an illusion of the photograph).

    When I first started getting my work framed, many, many years ago, I felt very disappointed with the results. One piece, which I had stitched as a wedding present, was well off straight in the frame!

    Because of my lack of trust it took me many years to frame my stitching of Teresa Wentzler’s ‘The Castle’; only after I had discovered that some framers specialise in framing art, embroidery, etc. did I go ahead and get it done. I was very pleased to have gone to a specialist and currently have a very good framer.

    More recently I had quite a funny experience. I took a piece of canvas work in to frame. When I went to pick it up something about it bothered me but I wasn’t sure what it was; I just didn’t like it as much as I remembered. I paid for it and then it struck me–the piece had been mounted with the back of the stitching showing. The young woman who did it was incredibly embarrassed; there was no problem having it fixed.

    With regard to Mission Rose, I’m not sure but a simple white frame with a white matt might give the best results; it would allow your work to shine without competing with it in any way.

    I trick a framer showed me was to sit the proposed matt(s) and frame against a bottom corner of the work so they sit as they will when the piece is framed. Then use your hands on either side of your face/eyes to narrow your vision so that you can look at part of the piece as though it were framed (I hope that makes sense). It’s best to stand back a bit and have the “framed” portion towards the bottom of your vision. You can get a very good impression that way of how it will turn out … I did it once with a piece that I ended up putting a triple matt on because it just didn’t look quite right with the two. It was expensive, but I figured that the cost of the piece plus all the time I had put into it was worth it. It came out brilliantly.

    I’ll be sending you positive thoughts re. finding a good framer.


  204. I have only ever entered one thing I have made in a contest. It was a cross stitch contest. I was very upset with the comments. I was marked down on the frame. I made a wedding sampler for my inlaws. I had to adjust the pattern to fit their names. It was done in pastels. The names were done in a bluish purple. I had the idea of doing one for my parents and then one for my husband me and eventually hanging them in my stairwell. I had my inlaws framed in a dark wood to match a sectary in their home. The judge told me the piece needed to be frame in a light frame. Well, I wanted it to go with the antique secretary in their home. It was my one and only entry ever. This year I am planning to enter two quilts in a quilt show with no expectation except that I like the quilts. I think you have to embrace what you make and like it. I tend toward striving for perfectionism which we all know is impossible. My late husband reminded me that there was only One who was perfect and He had holes in His wrists. That helps me to embrace what I’ve created, embrace it, and enjoy it and try to blow off others comments. At one event, I had made a quilt block for an example. A friend carried it in. An older guild member commented, “That’s an example of what not to do.” I didn’t ask for her comment and it still stung.

    1. Thank you, Susan, especially for your late husband’s wisdom. It is not a myth that the Native American craftspeople often add a wrong color bead to guarantee their work is “only human.” A saleswoman in a very upscale department store corrected my pronunciation when I was a young teen visiting the store with my parents. I remember I was wearing a skirt suit and little heels — maybe age 13. We were enjoying a display of American glassware by Steuben. I said I liked “stooben” and she corrected me with the German “shtoy-ben.” Instantly I had the hot face and quick tears that so many people are avoiding these days with anti-depressants. I had not yet studied German or lived in Germany. Decades later watching PBS I had to laugh to learn that the company name is pronounced as it looks — because it’s American! If sharp comments are the only way for an old biddy to get a leg up, heaven help her!

  205. I’ve loved watching the progress in this piece and couldn’t wait to see it in full framed bloom! I like many was utterly disappointed with the frame itself, it looks a bit too close to the actual work (perhaps a lovely burgundy mat about five cm) it would really make the goldwork pop. Another thing yes it does look like the piece isn’t centered properly and the wrinkling is a huge bother. Perhaps a brown toned frame? I think you should have it re-framed Mary, it will make you detest all of those loving hours you’ve spent creating it.

  206. I am a bit disappointed too Mary. Not sure what I expected, may be fine plain gold?? I wonder if you could slap on some deep pinkish burgundy onto the frame would that help? I think I would go back and at least let the framer know that you are disappointed especially with the handling. There shouldn’t be visible creases in fabric. You may at least get some money back, tell him your site is read all over the world and you could name and shame him. (you probably wouldn’t though you are too nice).
    Haven’t helped really – good luck with it.

    Happy Easter hope the chocolate makes up for it.

  207. I’ll add my voice to the choir: the work itself is great, but in that frame to my eyes and taste it doesn’t look as good as I think it could.

    Too heavy and too dark. Those ripples. It looks squeezed in. It appears not to be squared with the frame. At least that is what my eyes and my taste tells me.

    I’d say a less heavy frame, and a wider border between embroidery and frame.

  208. You asked so here goes. I have been down this road more than once. I have had a pillow made with the wrong side out and they did not believe me. I also had a piece framed wrong side out. I now drive 1.5 hours to a good framer and am happy about that.
    My answer is that you take it back because of the puckers, etc. You will have to decide if you want to pay for a new frame as it was partly your decision but I think the black and its size are too strong. I always believe the goal is to see the work, not the frame.

    I have one piece that hangs in my living room. I saw the same piece framed with a mat when mine had no mat and it helped me to understand how important it was on that piece. But I don’t think this is a piece that needs a mat as long as the spacing is done as it was.

    Good luck.

  209. I love the frame. With that being such a dense piece, I think a small black frame would have looked like an after thought. Now it looks like a stained glass window. I like the non-matting also. There is nothing to distract from the wonderful piece of work.

    As for the poor handling of the piece, I would take back the piece. Or ask another framer if they could fix the issues with the piece to remove the puckering. Unfortunately if the gold is broken, that can’t be fixed.

    I was fortunate enough a long time ago to learn how to frame my own work, including cutting the mats.

  210. Oh Mary,
    A quality framer should NEVER hand a piece to a customer that they are not happy with themselves and if this framer doesn’t thrill their customer than they need to go back to school. Yes, I see the ripples. NO NO! I can’t see the gold or the bead errors but that too should have been treated with the utmost respect. My eye also goes to the ripples before the frame. Matt, yes. I agree, search out another framer and take this in as an example. So sorry this happened to such a beauty.

  211. I am a novice at best so I did not notice several of the errors you spoke about. My suggestion would be to call to set up a time to speak with the framer-in person with piece in hand. Point out the areas you are happy with first, then proceed with the areas you are not pleased with. This may help both of you advance. point out why you should not have picked the heavy frame-own that part of it-then the parts he/she is responsible for. In the process you may be helping to form a master framer.

  212. Oh Mary!!! I grieve with you. What a disappointment! Framing is an ART in itself and surely this framer failed framing 101. Even if you did pick out the frame the framer should have gently steered you away from it. It’s simply too much: too dark, too heavy, too poorly mounted and i’m sure too much money for a crappy job! Thank God and all the Angels that it wasn’t GLUED/PASTED down. you’ll still be able to salvage your wonderful project.

  213. Hi Mary,

    It does not matter what we say you are not happy with the frame. Also there is no reason to have the piece wrinkled. It would drive me crazy to see those wrinkles too. You need to have it reframed. Perhaps you could get some of your money back. You should not have to settle for a poor framing job. You spent a lot of time and money creating this lovely work.

    P.S. Perhaps your framer went somewhere else to work. You might be able to find out where just by asking. In any case find a new framer.

    Barbara La Belle

  214. I’ve read the comments, and now I have questions. Many are complaining about how hard it is to find a good framer for needlework. But then right away say “find someone new”. Mary, you indicated in your post that the new framer seemed “a little green”. I’m going with the idea that they had never dealt with much needlework, let alone *real* goldwork – if he/she isn’t given the chance to make it right, how will they ever learn what it takes to be a good needlework framer? Did they know that the goldwork can be bent permanently? Did they have any training on frame/mat selection – or if they did, confidence to question the choice?

    However if they give the impression that they don’t really care to learn, run far and fast without letting them touch it again. Framing needlework takes a whole different touch than framing paper items.

  215. The work is beautiful. When I look at the picture with the frame my eye stops at the frame. It is too overpowering. I would have gone with a lighter color frame the color of something in your work like the blue or red in the work itself. You need the frame to be a color that will draw you eye to the beautiful work something to enhance the project not take away from it. Not a very large frame either, it takes away from the overall work.

  216. Personally I think the frame is overpowering the piece which is a beautiful piece of stitching. My suggestion would be, if you can get it, either a very thin gold frame or a very thin black frame with a gold accent line on it.
    It is always sad when a trusted framer leaves the business. I used to take pieces to a wonderful gentleman [when I went to pick one up he wouldn’t give it to me as it had slipped off the spacers and repaired it free when the same thing happened again 2 years later].
    Regarding this piece and the framer you went to – I have the feeling you don’t trust him/her. and while what they have done isn’t to your expectations what will they do if you take it back. Are there any Good needlework stores or clubs in your area, maybe they can recomend someone that they have used and are happy with the results.

  217. Oh, I am so sorry that your framing experience was so lack-luster. To address the mistakes the framer made, I would say that all of the errors are unacceptable. The puckering, rippling, dust, etc. are signs of a framer who is not paying attention. I also thought that the piece looked like it was skewed a bit, but that may be the camera angle. The handling of the fabric and the bends in the gold work were the most egregious because those errors are not reversible. I would ask that my money be completely refunded and never let that framer touch one of my pieces again. I have found out the hard way that not all framers are qualified to handle precious needlework and textiles. I have only had a few very special pieces framed professionally (I usually do it myself) and for those I contacted some local museums and asked for recommendations. Yes, it will be more expensive, but you can trust that they will handle your pieces the correct way.

    As for the question about the frame, Iโ€™m afraid that I must agree with the consensus that the black frame is simply too heavy in size and color for your beautiful work. I went back and forth on options and even with the abundance of gold work, I still think that a gold frame would be the best choice. Just make sure that it is the RIGHT gold- a warm one, not a yellow one. I think that something ornate would work, but the width should be narrow- not a chunky frame. I am visualizing an antique frame or a finish that mimics an antique frame. I have hand gold-leafed frames myself when I have been unable to find the RIGHT gold and it is a fun process to try sometime if you are game! The other option in my opinion is perhaps something in a darker wood- maybe an ornate walnut frame. Again, I would go with a thinner frame and perhaps even an antique frame. All of this depends on your furniture, wall color and room dรฉcor, of course. As far as the mat, I would absolutely add one. It seems as though the framer really cramped your beautiful workโ€”I feel like it wants to break free from its restraints. I think that a burgundy mat (at least 1 1-/2″) would really give your piece some room to breathe. I know that some of this is going to be challenging to re-engineer, but I would play around and see if it works. You may have to adjust (perhaps increasing?) the amount of linen showing beyond the gold border to balance the piece.

    Good luck! I hope that you can find a frame that is worthy of your exceptionally fine work.

  218. I had a wonderful framer for ten expensive years. Without permission, he moved all the way to Florida and left us stranded with no recommendations of who was second best in the area. That was twenty years ago, and I haven’t found anyone yet who is consistently good with embroidery. And I’m not even all that picky.

  219. Hi, Mary–I’m in agreement that your beautiful piece needs to be remounted and reframed. Before doing this again, it might be useful to google up Virtual Art Framing and use some of the tools there to narrow down your matting/framing choices. It’s fun, and can give you some awesome ideas without any pressures.
    Best of luck with this–

  220. As usual, your embroidery piece is flawless … I think the ripple is due to the framer. I usually like black frames but this one does seem to be a bit heavy. I had a ribbon embroidery(Di vanNiekirk design) framed and they didn’t leave enough space between it and the glass — it was crushing some of the flowers so I took it back and had them redo it – I should have taken it back the second time but it was borderline bothersome to me and I kept it. It still bugs me though so I should have returned it again or reframed it elsewhere. p.s. your work is an inspiration to all.

  221. You should have it reframed for all of the reasons you mentioned. It is a work of art that often isn’t appreciated as such. You should feel joy when you look at it. It is beautiful. Thank you for helping, educating and inspiring all of your followers. Don’t settle.

  222. I have to agree with everyone. In my (incredibly) inexpert opinion, I think it would look good in a thinner, light colored wood frame. The black frame isn’t horrible and it would probably look better on a darker wall, but it wouldn’t be perfect. Hope you find a new framer as brilliant as your old one!

  223. Hello Mary,

    The black frame overwhelms the beautiful needlework that you spent so much time on creating. As a result, the piece itself is lost. I am sorry that the embroidery itself has been damaged. I would be heart broken if someone had done this to me. A narrower frame, possibly gold but it has to be the right gold and matting. Mary you are very good at choosing correct colors. Trust your instincts.

    As an interior designer I work with color all of the time. I hope this helps.

  224. Mary,
    I think that the things you notice now will be the things that you will always notice; at least I would have that problem. If I were you, I’d get it re-framed (probably somewhere else!). I think I’d also put a mat with it. And maybe a less ‘heavy’ frame choice.

  225. Mary,
    What a shame the Mission Rose had disappointed you in the framing. I’m afraid I agree that the frame in this case does not add to the overall beauty of the piece. It’s such a vibrant, golden, alive piece of work, it seems just so oppressed by that black frame. I agree with others that a wider mat would help draw out the blue silk background and I think the effect of a double mat and narrower frame would bring it back to its glory. One of the bravest things we do as needle workers is hand our work over to other trusted craftspeople for mounting and framing, so it’s awful when you feel full attention and care hasn’t been lavished on it. my advice would be to rebuild the budget and a relationship with a new framer. Nonetheless, even in its rawest state it is a thing of beauty and an inspiration to those of us who follow and admire your work.

  226. I just had to comment. I think the black frame is too heavy. Maybe a dark green or dark red. Maybe even a narrow gold frame. Maybe a mat would have made a difference. I would look for a new place to get things framed. Having said all that I know how hard it is sometimes to choose without seeing the finished look. Been there done that.

  227. Hello Mary,

    I’ve been looking and reading the last 3 days on your page and I’m really impressed by your skill and the wonderful work you do. I’ve found them “by accident” while searching for input to a new crotcheting project.
    Even it do not really know mucht about framing my brain can’t stop thinking about a better solution.
    For myself I’m not familiar with tecniques of framing, because I’m do more knitting and crotcheting. But I know the bad feeling, which is kreeping up in the heart, when a project is not finished to ones satisfaciton.

    I hope my English is good enough and you can read and understand my text without much riddling…
    Now I write down some thoughts and hope one or the other will give you a new idea about a new framing for your absolutely fantastic piece of work.
    Okay, lets begin:
    Is it possible to work the frame like the stiched outer frame of the mission rose? This “frame” consists of 4 rectangular pieces of goldwork and 4 squares of brown with these wonderful little, shimering beads.
    If it’s possible to construct a frame which is resembling this features, a god worker could lay (similar) beads (inlay down to about 3/5 of the beads and the other 2/5 should peek out of the plane level) into the 4 square-edgeds of the frame. So you will get a little 3-D-effect like in the piece also into the frame.
    About the color of the frame I’m not sure, maybe a ligth reddish-brown thin wood would match the whole piece. You used a brown for the backrounding the beads. And the red may support the colour of the rose.

    Another idea is to frame it with a light green or light blue coloured material an after that painting with thin white (or permute, like the color(shimering) of the beads) the same structure on the frame, which is made by you in the blue cornes. (Vermicelli is this called if I remember correctly?)
    It should not be a really harsh contrast of the backround color and the lines… it should only support the wonderful accurate and delicate goldwork. (Or a white backround and golden lines?)

    Or maybe a frame of a rich dark green, like the leafes of the Tudor Rose would work?
    Maybe you find a wooden, green frame with parallel, small engraved lines (following along the length of the framewood) and on the upper edge of these little furrows coloured with gold? This would resemble the structure of your goldwork where the are parallel stiched. And green is the contrasting colour in the chromatic cicle, so it will maybe work to enhance the red of the rose and center the view of onlookers(?) I’m not sure of this, it’s a guess…

    I’d love to read in a few days, weeks or month that your Mission Rose Project is “rescued”.

    Encouraging greetings from Germany

  228. Dear Mary:
    I haven’t been disappointed in framing since I returned to Colleen Brightwell, owner of Kathy’s Gallery in Torrance, California. Since I now live in Golden Valley, Minnesota, this takes some doing. Colleen has such and amazing eye, and such impeccable attention to detail, I am completely confident I could mail a piece to her and we could handle it through email. I usually hand carry my pieces to her when I travel to visit family, but it just left a piece with no instructions that she finished perfectly.
    I see what you are saying about the Mission Rose piece, and I would not be happy. At all. If it were me, I would see the problems every time I walked past it.
    Good luck, the piece is beautiful.
    Jan B.

  229. Hi Mary,
    Such a beautiful piece deserves more than a stark black frame. How would it have been framed a 150 years ago when it would have been revered and framed accordingly?

    Perhaps you could contact a fine arts museum or Kent State for the name of an expert framer experienced in fabric art.

    At least stay away from the person that did such a poor job.

    Love your blog and look forward to it every day.

    Jane Duncan

  230. Hello, Mary

    I believe there are good framers in Ottawa or Emporia who would do your beautiful embroidery true justice. The dark wood is a bit overwhelming. Personally, I was hoping to see a metal frame of light pink or periwinkle blue or whatever blue that matched the blue on the interior. The imperfections will always stand out to you & be a sore point to you. You can never really get the full enjoyment from it until it is fixed. Been there, done that, had to fix it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  231. Mary:

    I think it might look better with an oak or walnut frame. The black frame looks a bit stark and modern.

    What a shame that your framer had problems with this. It is a lovely piece, and now it is complete I especially like the blue silk.

  232. gorgeous piece dwarfed by frame and strangled by narrow space. It’s just my opinion but the blank space on each vertical side should be 1/3 the width and the space on top and bottom should be either equal to the sides or larger on the bottom. Frame should be flat, dark mahogony, 2/3 the width of the current frame no black borders. Piece should be stretched on bars, with additonal fabric as necessary, and a mat to eliminate wrinkes.

    The piece is so lovely!!! The black sucks the life out of it and the narrow space around won’t let it breathe.

    I’ve never left a comment on a blog before. Liberate this beauty.

  233. HI Mary,
    I was re-reading some of the articles on your MIssion Rose project, picking up tips for my own goldwork project, and I wondered whether you had had the Mission Rose reframed? It is so beautiful that it would be a pity not to make sure that the frame matched the embroidery!

    Many thanks for all the info you put up on your website – it’s so helpful and the highlight of my browsing session.


  234. Hi Mary

    Yes, I think the black frame is a little heavy – I would probably have tried to match or tone in with the blue or the red in the piece. It’s a bit hard to tell, but it may not be mounted evenly on both sides?
    But with the wrinkles – I’d be taking it back & asking for it to be fixed, pointing out that it’s not professional to have them there. Maybe you have to train up your new framer.
    The work is absolutely beautiful, and seeing it finished is lovely. As always, you are inspirational!
    from Elaine – in New Zealand

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