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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Embroidery Frame Up: A Quandary – and Other News


Amazon Books

Before we kick off today’s article, thanks to all who jumped on The Leafy Tree embroidery kits yesterday evening! I’ll have more information about the kits at the end of this article for those who weren’t able to get one or for those who have further questions, shipping ideas, and so forth.

On to today’s topic…

I’ve written about framing embroidery projects here on Needle ‘n Thread only a few times in the past. It’s a subject, though, that must come up, if you embroider things that you intend to hang, finished, as art or decor in a home or elsewhere.

I’ve had quite a bit of work framed over the past 15 years, most of which has gone on to other places. Some of it, I’ve framed myself, and some of it, I’ve had professionally framed with different “grades” of professional framers.

Why is it, though, that every time I take a piece to a highly endorsed professional framer, I end up … well, a little disappointed?

I picked up a piece from a professional framer earlier this week. This is “high end” framing, with a framer who is not only highly recommended, but apparently experienced in framing needlework.

I’m in a quandary right now over the piece. You might remember it – it’s this piece, Fantasia in Silk.

Framing Embroidery: Fantasia in Silk

I’m tempted to leave this picture here, by itself, with no more commentary, and end this article with a question: do you see any problem, at a glance, with the frame job in the photo above?

I’m not really asking about the color choices or anything on the mat – I like the minimal approach on colors and the plainness of black frames when framing my needlework, and we probably wouldn’t all agree on color choices and mat situations and so forth. There’s not much point in discussing something as subjective as personal preferences on these type things.

But do you see anything else about the frame job that might be dissatisfying to you, especially if you’ve had a lot of experience having pieces framed?

What slightly bothers me when looking at the piece head-on like this is not necessarily worth troubling about. And I didn’t notice it in the first place, anyway.

Framing Embroidery: Fantasia in Silk

What really bothers me is this.

Those ripples you see in the fabric are not puckers from stitching. The framer’s excuse was that I had a backing fabric behind the embroidery, and she couldn’t stretch both pieces together.

Now, I’ve framed quite a bit of embroidery, and I’ve used backing fabric (a lighter linen or cotton behind the ground fabric) on many, many pieces.

I have never not been able to stretch both pieces of fabric together resulting in a smooth finish inside the frame.

When I look at the piece head-on, the ripples are not as noticeable. But at any slight side angle, they’re very evident, and they were the first things I saw when I picked the piece up from the framer.

You might ask why I even took it. Why didn’t I say “This won’t do”?

Instead, I said, “Um, what are these ripples?”

The framer said, “I can’t stretch that because you used two pieces of fabric.”

There was no exchange of ideas. It was just a cut off.

Admittedly, I was a little miffed. Why didn’t they contact me during the framing job, to ask about that? Why would they just finish it and hand it off, with those ripples, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world?

I don’t like to be confrontational at any time, but especially not when I’m miffed. So I took it and left.

But I also don’t like paying premium prices for a frame job and being as dissatisfied as I am with it.

This piece is important to me. It was supposed to be winging its way to France on Monday morning, to be included in what I consider an important book that I am honored to be a part of.

So, here’s my quandary: do I open the piece up from the back, take it apart, stretch and lace that fabric myself, and then take it back to the art gallery and have them re-do the back of the frame? (Assuming that they will replace the paper and hanger on the back, in a timely manner.)

Or do I leave it as is?

I’m working against a deadline, so I have to make one decision or the other this weekend.

As for the other problem that I didn’t mention when we first started this chat, it’s this:

To me, the piece does not seem centered. I don’t know if other people will notice this, and most people who have looked at it with me have said that it doesn’t come across as not centered.

If the piece were turned 45 degrees and hung as a diamond, the piece would be centered better. Take a look:

Framing Embroidery: Fantasia in Silk

You can see that the spacing is pretty good, when you look at the design in this orientation.

Framing Embroidery: Fantasia in Silk

But when you’re looking at it squared, the design floats to the upper right corner.

This latter point isn’t my stumbling block, though. The ripples are.

I’m pretty sure my only choice is to take it apart and re-stretch and either lace the back or secure in some other way. I believe that this framer uses a kind of plastic tab to hold the fabric in place. I haven’t seen the insides myself, yet, but I suppose I will find out.

What’s your take? How would you handle something like this? Would you leave the ripples and just chalk that up to textiles in a frame? Would you march back to the framer and have them re-do it or something? Would you take it apart and do it yourself? I’d love to hear your take! Weigh in below if you have some good advice for me!

The Leafy Tree News

Thanks again to all who purchased The Leafy Tree kit when I launched it yesterday. It was 3/4’s sold out in 9 minutes, and the rest sold out by 50 minutes after launch. (!)

I really had no idea it would be quite so popular. I would like to say I would have prepared more kits, but the kit preparation for this piece was pretty intense. If I had stocked more, this first round wouldn’t have gotten out before autumn.

I’ll be following up with suppliers to find out whether putting together more kits is feasible, and how long it would take to get the supplies and so forth. I’m also considering some different approaches to kitting, especially for those who would like to avoid higher international shipping or for those who would like to work the design with their own stash.

For those who were disappointed, have patience! My mind is already working on solutions.

There was a glitch in shipping for those who ordered more than one kit – at least in the international shipping – so I’ll be going over all those orders carefully this morning and refunding any shipping discrepancies.

Speaking of international shipping (and domestic), I am also working on a solution to lower shipping costs, and hopefully, that will be in place over the next month. Again, bear with me!

As for the timing of the kit launch, I apologize to those overseas who couldn’t get in on it. It seems I can never please everyone with my launch times. The next round, if I can get one together, will be timed differently.

I’ll keep you posted!

Advanced Notice List

If you are interested in The Leafy Tree embroidery kit, please contact me at mary@needlenthread.com and request to be placed on the advanced notice list for the kits.

This means that you will get an email before kit availability is made public on the website or social media, to give you a little time advantage for purchasing the kit.


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(518) Comments

  1. I frame all my own embroidery (not professionally but trying to do it properly). I almost always use a backing fabric. I’ve never had any problems with lacing the two fabrics at the same time and getting a smooth surface when the embroidery is either smooth or very slightly puckered. It might be a bit harder and take a bit longer if the top and backing fabric were substantially different in size but I would expect to be able to sort it out by lacing (and would expect a framer experienced in handling needlework to do the same.)

  2. If I had time, I would take it back and insist it be fixed. But since you have a deadline, open it and smooth out the wrinkles, and either reseal the back yourself or have them do it while you wait. It will always bother you otherwise.

  3. Sorry that you were so upset about your framing issues, Mary. It’s always so disappointing when someone comes recommended and they let you down. Sorry to be smug, but fortunately for me, my daughter is a talented craftster and a picture framer by trade, so as yet, I’ve had no issues of my own – not that I think that most of my work is good enough to frame, it just goes in a drawer!
    I would complain. But that’s just me, I guess.

  4. I would want it to be perfect after all that work. I would take it back and tell them how important it is that it is perfect.

  5. Hi Mary,
    I would take it back and discuss a refund on the labour. Then I would fix it myself. Show them your article, especially the pictures that show it out of square. I know you would have paid a lot and you should get a lot in return.

  6. I am so disappointed that the tree sold out, I checked on here 4 times yesterday and it wouldn’t let me order because the site kept saying that it was “coming soon”.

    Please bring this back, please. I really wanted to stitch this on a pair of jeans.


    1. Hi, BJ – the release time was 8:00 PM central. I think some people thought it was 8:00 am…. ? In any case, you can email me with a request to get on the advanced notice list for the next round, if you wish! Thanks!

  7. I am afraid I would have to take it apart especially since it will be seen by so many others. For hanging in my home, I would try to ignore because I have a piece that was wonky which had been framed as a present and lived with it. The interesting thing was that because of an accident the piece fell and broke. Now it is really wonky.
    I could live with the off center bit. Maybe they looked at it on the diagonal. I have had many pieces frames and as you agree, you pay well for the work but rarely have I been completely satisfied. I am just as critical with my own work. I have come to recognize that nothing is ever perfect, but sometimes it needs to improve. Your work is gorgeous and deserves not to be wrinkled. I probably would not use this framer again.

  8. At first glance i did not see the ripples. But as you zoomed in i could definitely see them and affirm your frustration.

    I think i would ask them to do it again. But i wonder if a second time would risk a misshapen piece?

  9. TAKE IT BACK! You spent hours on this piece, making it just right and the presentation should be just right too.

    If the framer charges you more money to re-frame it then pay it and be done. To yourself count it as a educational cost: when you take a piece to the framers you must be as exacting in your instructions as you are in your expectations. You must assume the framers are beginners and don’t know how to frame needlework.

    I learn this lesson over and over again with dry cleaners, framers, etc. Good Luck!

  10. Hello Mary,

    This is not a job well done. I would : a) fix it myself and put it back together (it will not show in the pictures) or b) send it as it is and ask them to Photoshop the pictures. I think the could probably do that. Today with all the things that can be done it’s more than likely they can make this happen.

    Your work is so beautiful and to have it disrespected this way is unforgivable.
    But I am sure you will find a way to fix this. It’s not that you can see the little ripples at first glance. But it’s your work and I understand how you must feel to see it this way. You work very hard to make these projects and it breaks your heart to have something like happen.
    So I hope everything turns out perfectly.
    Best regards,

  11. Hello. The piece looked off-center to me in the first image. And the ripples would frustrate me as well.
    As far as my vote for handling, I would:
    1. Let the framer know of your dissatisfaction with what you had to pay for. Also let them know that due to time constraints they cannot fix the framing job. Ask them if there is some other form of reimbursement or mitigation of the issue they are willing to offer you.
    2. If you want the piece to go to France for inclusion in the book project, take that thing apart and straighten the fabric and center the design yourself before sending it.
    That said, I am sorry to hear you had a negative experience. As with all things, it is how we adapt and manage things after the fact that determines our final experience.
    Mary : )

  12. Mary, I would re-stretch this myself if I were you. This framer does not sound like he or she would willingly re-do the piece and there is a risk that the piece could get damaged. I suspect the framer may be far more at ease with needlepoint as canvas is easier to work with. Do you have a framer you can rely on who does a fair amount of your work? I would enlist his or her help in re-assembling the frame. You might also consider before and after picture as you might be able to recoup some of the original framing fee. Having said all this, I may have misconstrued some of the details and it not be helpful at all. I have a wonderful needlepoint framer but since I am now doing embroidery, I will have a frank conversation with him about his experience with embroidery. Your problem has given me something to think about! Thanks, Mary.

  13. This piece is too lovely for you not to be completely satisfied with the finished work, so I suggest reframing or whatever you have to do to feel good about it . You don’t want to live with the nagging “should I have fixed that” playing in your head.

  14. I’ve never jumped into the commenta before, but your tips have helped me so much and I wanted to say something here. Coming from another person who avoids conflict like the plague, I think you should straighten it yourself and take it to have the back fixed. The fact that this piece is going somewhere important is the reason I would do something about it rather than write it off and never go back to that framer. You spend so much time to create something beautiful and you’d think any artisan would both respect your work and have enough pride in their own to do a better job. We all know it could have been done right the first time. These things aren’t cheap to have done and maybe you can give her some tips on any other fabrics she may have to frame in the future. Hope you can get it to a point where you can send it for your book and feel great about how it looks!

  15. Wow, I have never had either problem with the framers I have used. In a time crunch I would do it myself. But would take it back to the framers if not in a crunch. And I would look for another framer. I hope your framer reads your blog.

  16. What about calling the framer, letting them know are going to re-stretch and center the piece and ask if they can re-do the backing paper, etc? I ave noticed sometimes with this ooen design you have to eyeball it to make it look right. I would see what the framer can do and then proceed. You will be doing (or re-doing!) So hopefully they will be ooen to doing yhe paper back, etc.

  17. I know I am looking at a picture, but as soon as I saw, it I saw it wasn’t centered. Measure the white mat from corner to corner and to the sides of the frame. It appears to me the mat bored is not cut correctly. I couldn’t see the ripple until the close up view.
    I know you are pressed for time, but I would be tempted to redo it myself but tell the framer and get some of my money back, just on principle.
    It is a beautiful piece and I am sure most people will look at the beautiful piece of work and not see anything else.

  18. Boy, that framing would make me very upset, especially when you paid the premium price to have it done by someone who is supposed to know their business! I would go to the top and speak to the BOSS, explaining the importance of the piece, the deadline, and point out the problems with the frame job. If it was the BOSS who did the lousy job, I would ask for a re-finish after you’ve got the stretching and placement problems solved. I’d never use that frame shop again. Your “not acceptable” should override their “I can’t”. A GOOD company will do everything in their power to make it right.

  19. I noticed immediately that it wasn’t centered correctly. The ripples were unnoticed till you showed the different angle. Sorry I’d have to take it apart on replace it. It’s important if it is to be photographed for a book. This is an example of your work. People will look at it as such and judge you by the workmanship of the entire piece. Besides it is too beautiful to be incorrectly framed.

  20. Take it back, Mary, preferably with an example of your own to illustrate that it can be achieved. You’ve paid ‘expert’ money for the work and not received an expert job. Emphasise the importance of the piece; that being the reason you needed a really good job done of the framing in the first place. Time being of the essence, the least you should expect is an immediate response. I know about the confrontation problem, but the older I get the more I realise I have to stand up for myself and for those things I deem to be right and proper. Go get ’em girl and don’t take no for an answer!

  21. I would agree with you on the placement of the piece, but as you say the problem is the ripples. As far as I’m concerned they are completely unacceptable in anyone professing to be a professional framer experienced in framing needlework. Confrontation is never nice (and you’re so right about not doing it when miffed!) but perhaps because of my Dutch and therefore (so my English friends tell me) forthright nature I would jolly well let them know – if only to make sure they don’t do it to other people in the future!
    Having a backing fabric is very common in embroidery so I can’t believe they’ve not come across this before; and as you say the very least they could (should!) have done is call you before they finished the framing.
    In the end, the only one who can decide is you, as you know exactly the amount of work involved and how tight the deadline is, but if it were me I’d want to get it flat before it went into such an important book. And then ask for at least some of your money back.

  22. How disappointing for you!!
    It would be better to have the framer redo your beautiful piece, considering the money you have already spent having it done, HOWEVER, the time element seems important. Therefore, you might want to redo it yourself!!! Also, the framer may not want to redo it properly or may not be able to meet your deadline for shipping!

    I am sorry you have this problem. All you do is absolutely beautiful and you are a obviously very kind and caring person as well!!!

  23. If it was mine, I would take the back off and fix the problem, then take it back to the framer to replace the paper and hook on the back (if I didn’t know how to do that myself).

  24. I’d redo it because of the deadline, and when it is done take it back to her, show her the improvement, tell her how to do it, and ask for your money back. But like you, I am non-confrontational and have “offered it up” in the past when such things have happened to me, as indeed, they have. Framing needlework is tricky business

  25. Before I saw what you revealed as the problem, I thought it was that it is not centered. I could live with it, but why should you? In the original pic I couldn’t see the ripples. There is no way you should accept this. I know how costly good framing is. This is shoddy work. It isn’t a matter of being confrontational. You can just nicely say that it simply needs to be restretched. The frame and mat are fine. It will not take long, and the framer is at fault. Good luck. The piece is beautiful.

  26. First, your work is beautiful! Second, I vote to call the framer.
    I noticed the imbalanced borders immediately, before reading your post. And I would be unhappy with the puckers.
    Wouldn’t you want someone to call you if they had commissioned work from you and were unhappy with it?. (Not that such a thing could possibly happen, of course.)
    You can tell her that you were reluctant to press the point when you picked it up, but now that you have sat with it, you do want to speak up a bit. You don’t have to be aggressive, you can just stick to what you had expected (in other words, you talk to her the way you’d want your imaginary dissatisfied client to talk to you.) Maybe figure out several things you’d like to have happen (she redoes the work, she refunds part of the job) and arrive at the resolution in talking with her.
    You don’t have anything to lose. Even if she acknowledges nothing and brushes you off, you are no worse off, and then you know it is all up to you to fix or not to fix. And there is always the possibility that she will consult her customer next time she runs into a problem instead of deciding there is no solution.
    Sorry this happened. And I’m excited your piece will be in a book!

  27. I think the position is fine when one looks at it. Only noticeable to me with the lines drawn.
    I too like your choice of frame and mount colour. It takes the eye to the beautiful embroidery.
    I would do the mounting of the piece myself with pinning and lacing on board and a backing fabric, and then take the piece to a framer of your choice. The frame and mount you have now might well be reusable on the same piece.
    The problem is what you are going to find behind. There might not be enough fabric for lacing (usable) or you might find something else unexpected which might make mounting the work traditionally difficult or impossible.

  28. Your piece is a beautiful it should be framed as beautifully and correctly. I’d have been livid with the job done.
    I have had many pieces of art work and photographs framed, both by framing shops (premier framers) and by Micheal’s (the craft store). I’ll take Micheal’s over framing shops. They have done a beautiful job every time and I have been happy every time. Framing is expensive– I would take the piece back to the framer and have them redo it. If they won’t then post their name with your remarks (save others from the same shoddy work). If you choose not to return the piece I would either find another reputable shop or do it yourself. You have the skill. I’m certain a Micheal’s or another framing shop would replace the paper on the back.

  29. Mary, I appreciate your writing and work so very much. As an artist, you have high standards, and that is appropriate. I am sorry that your framer did not grasp the requirements for this project. I don’t know what to suggest, but I wish very much that you had a framer who could collaborate with you at the level that your work deserves.

  30. Seems you have 2 legitimate reasons for insisting the framer reframe the piece – its not centered and the uneven surface fault, which is clearly not a fault caused by the stitching. Either are unacceptable under any circumstances! Was the person you spoke with at the shop the owner, or hired help? If the owner, then they should want the piece to leave their shop in proper order and should want to fix any mistakes PRONTO. I’d take it back and insist they fix the piece, or provide a refund so you can get it fixed elsewhere. Surely the publisher in France would understand such issues and provide a brief time extension for submission. We pay too much for professional framing to allow such mistakes to go unaddressed.

  31. As a professional book conservator who has exhibited, does work for a major museum, and has a private client practice…I am so in sympathy with you at this moment.
    To do it the “right” way, or let it go?
    It depends on your timeframe and, if you can let it go.
    My first thought would be to have it reframed by the framer, particularly if you use them a lot, if you will be posting this work and can refer to their “getting it right” thereby helping them. If some/all of those things & more aren’t in place, and you have the time to do it yourself and it won’t make you so crazy or so aggravated, I would do that. Then, you can be sure it will be done right, it will be done on your timeframe and you won’t have to confront them which takes energy and take the time to pick it up again.
    It sounds like you can’t put it aside and deal with it later? Sometimes, I have looked at things later, and they weren’t “as bad” as my initial reaction. But, I see the ripples you talk about. And, I would notice them in some lights. The lack of centering bothers me -personally more – in book conservation, old books were done by “eye” so they are not perfect in their tooling, but today, we are so used to “perfection” because of technology, that it is harder for our eyes to accept it.
    I wish you the best in solving this for you, your work is absolutely beautiful and deserves the best presentation possible.

  32. I would take this apart and restretch it to your satisfaction. I would take it to them (if you have time) and show them how it is done properly. Then have them re paper the back. If they have framed needlework in the past – they should know better!! Something else did seem off but I didn’t find the centering. I really like it in the diagonal!

  33. I am sure that I would take it apart and redo it myself. I am not sure that this is really the right thing to do. I think the right thing would be to take it back to the framer and tell them it’s just not acceptable and have them redo it. If they’re professional they should.

    The centering was not noticeable to me until I started looking for problems. That said, I think the horizontal centering is bad. With the vertical, framers often make the space bigger at the bottom and it almost always looks better.

    The ripples combined with the spacing make me question their attention to detail which is what framing is all about.

  34. I would take it apart and fix the positioning and backing layer so it lies flat and is centered correctly. It appears off-center visually to me as well. Then, return it to the frame shop to finish the back of the framing. Take your before photos to show them the difference and maybe request a credit since it wasn’t done correctly and no one gave you the opportunity to discuss this. I have always found quality frame shops care about your satisfaction and want happy customers because you will return and also spread the word. A lesson here may be to ask if they have experience framing this particular type of fabric art and if not, the time to explain your preferred process is before it’s done. Sounds like you have enough experience doing this to know it comes out better when each layer is stretched separately. We all know that when something about our work bothers us, it will always be the first thing we see even if others don’t. Congratulations on the opportunity to be in this book! You deserve to be pleased and very proud of the outcome. It’s so beautiful. The framing should enhance that, not be something that irritates you.

  35. I would take it back to the framer. If you have used them before, remind them of that and that they could lose your future business if they do not make right on the problem. If you have not used them before, they are making sure you will not use them in the future. Did you tell them you have a blog that zillions of us read? It was not a very satisfactory reason that they did not smooth out the piece. I am sure they have encountered that before. And, I also think it needs to be centered. Of course, you have a deadline and they may not be able to meet that deadine. Can you get an extension from the publishers?

  36. The first thing I noticed was the placement in the frame. I don’t know if you discussed the placement when you met with the framer. If it is to be placed diagonally then the top and bottom need to align with the corners of the frame. They are just off. As far as the ripples take it back. It is not done right. Yes you can stretch two pieces of fabric to not get ripples. If they were going to leave ripples they should have stretched the top and left ripples in the backing.
    You need to go back to the framer and say do it right and explain the urgency and say you will be back at a specified time to pick it up. We need to speak up when other do a below par job or they will think they can always get away with cutting corners.

  37. Too, I wish I had been with you. I would have given her what-for. I didn’t see the ripples in the first photo, but I did see that it was off-center.

    Does she have a manager? Probably not. Is she on Yelp? Do you have a friend who can go with you to ask for your money back (strength in numbers)? I wouldn’t trust her to fix it.

  38. I would take it back and give it a good try to get them to do it. If they won’t, that is it. You should ask them to reduce the price since they didn’t call you and say there was a problem.

    And, I did notice first thing, that it was not centered.

  39. Hi Mary, Take it back. It definitely is not centred and if you know that you can ‘re-lace it and get rid of the ripples, then a high-end professional framer should be able to. Even I can lace an embroidery and get it flat!
    I don’t think you are expecting anything extraordinary, just the professional service that they are supposed to be capable of, and what you have paid for!
    Don’t they know that they are dealing with embroidery Royalty?
    Love Bernadette

  40. I saw right away that it is not centered. I am not confrontational either. If it were me I would take it apart and fix it and then put it back together myself even if I had to go buy special paper and tape or whatever. I would never use that framer again. I would then feel better about the piece which is what to me is important. I would not want to look at the piece and see nothing but the framing flaws. I could not see the ripples until you showed them close up but that is only because it was on my iPad screen. They too would bother me and take away from my enjoyment of the piece. I am a true believer of what goes around comes around an when it comes my way I just accept it and am thankful for the opportunity to get that one over with. May the Blessings Be.

  41. Mary, I would definitely take the piece back to the framer. Why should you do it? And I would get them to center it. That’s the first thing I noticed. That would bug me to say the least. I have had many, many pictures framed, so I know the cost. It’s expensive!! They should be making it right.

  42. I would go back to the framer and explain your dissatisfaction along with the importance of the project which is undoubtedly one of the reasons you chose them to frame it. I would ask to be present when opening the back so you could assist with the stretching and realignment of the piece. If they are uncooperative, insist on some kind of refund and fix it yourself. Another frame shop should be able to reseal the back for you. I would also not hesitate to name them if they do not work with you on this. And I would be sure to notify whoever recommended them.

  43. Didn’t see the ripples in first picture. Very obvious in second. Immediately noticed the off-center look but that’s not critical. I would redo it myself and be very firm with the framer about the need to have the back finished immediately. I assume the framer knows of your standing in the needlework world so she should be eager to please. If not, tell them how many subscribers you have!

  44. I took a piece back that was rippled. I told the framer owner that I just wasn’t proud of the piece and it needed to be redone.
    They did without another word.
    My advice, you spent a lot of money and it isn’t centered and it is rippled. Take it back.

  45. It is not centered. I would politely insist they redo it and also get the ripples out. If you can properly stretch both fabrics on your frame to stitch, so can they. It is a beautiful piece.

  46. I see the ripples in the photo. Several EGA members in our chapter, including me, did a GCC that had a second layer behind the surface embroidery fabric. Mine is framed without wrinkles.
    I like the “on point” frame. It make the piece become very alive!!

  47. Mary, I noticed it being off square immediately and the ripples are unacceptable from a professional framer. I understand your reluctance to confront but this is really a very poor framing job. I would definitely take it apart and reframe it myself if I couldn’t get it redone by the pro that was paid. I’ve had similar issues and try to finish all of my work myself now to save the stress of a confrontation.

    It is beautiful. Good Luck. Roxana

  48. Mary, I’m sorry to say that I immediately caught that the design was not centred. Between that and the ripples you deserve to have it redone.
    If the framer won’t do what ever it takes to fix it she is NOT a professional. You may need to work with her to get it stretched right.
    Stand your ground!

  49. My suggestion is that you ask the framer to redo the job. It’s not to your satisfaction. Perhaps you can stretch the fabric at the framer’s and position the design to your liking, then have the framer redo the frame. You spent time and energy on the embroidery and the framing should complement the piece, not detract from it.

  50. I would be miffed too. The framer does not seem capable of handling the two layers so taking it back for them to do doesn’t seem practical (I wouldn’t trust them at this point). I’d take it apart & lace it myself & THEN take it back & have them fix the back and wait while they work. I also like it on the diagonal much better.

  51. Dear Mary, Please be gentle with yourself. Your adoring public will understand that such undertakings always have a learning curve. You need to take a moment appreciate the amazing response to your offerings. Realize too that offering limited kits is reasonable. One step at a time, breathe and know that you don’t need to solve everything at once. Overworked and worry is a bane to our health and creativity. Thank those who ordered and offer appreciation to those how were unable to attain the kit. Yes, building ones business is important, but no at the expense of spiritual, mental, and physical depletion. Your fan

  52. I would take it back and explain why I went ahead and took it, but insist they redo it correctly. If they need to be shown how to stretch and center it, I would show them. If they refuse or want to charge another fee, I would let them know I will not use their services again; that I have an internet presence and will not be afraid to let the world know who did this and recommend that others not use them for framing.

  53. I would take it back and insist they do it right. ask to speak to the manager. it is not acceptable to do a poor job on something you are charging big money for.

  54. I hate confrontation myself, but in this case, I would definitely take it back and have them re-do it properly. You paid a lot of money for their expertise, and it’s just not a good job. It’s not properly centred, and those ripples! NO! Tell them about all your followers who have said the same, show them this post, and say they need to make it right. You might have to start mentioning the name of the framers because we are all asking who did it. 😉

  55. Please go back to the Framer and have it re-done. You PAID to have it done and you deserve to have it done right. Point out the problems, i.e. the ripples and the spacing, to the manager. This is an important piece and deserves the very best.


  56. Agree with you, Mary that the work is not centered. It visually flies off to the right and it should have been centered much better.
    As for uneven surface of the framed cloth itself. That’s a tough decision that only you can make in the final assessment. If there was no deadline for shipping i’d Take the backing off and retouch the stretching.
    I’ve been disappointed by “high end” finishers too. Why does this occur is a very good question.
    Good luck with everything. I look forward to your posts and have learned a great deal from you. Thank you.

  57. Can you check with the photographer for the publication to see if the ripples will be a problem? If they are, I’d probably fix it myself, just because of the time element.
    I don’t imagine it’s all that important that the backing be professionally done for the photographs, and if you explain the situation to the framing shop, perhaps they can fix the backing when you get the piece back. I hate complaining, but I’d probably point out that they should have contacted you when they realized they weren’t able to do it properly. And assuming that you fix it yourself, I’d point out that it is quite possible to stretch both layers.

    I don’t think the centering is a problem because the piece isn’t symmetrical, and the visual “weight” offsets the fact that the one bit on the right is closer to the edge.

    It’s a lovely piece.

  58. I would take it apart and do it myself. You will never be satisfied if you leave it as is. I have had a similar situation – I took the piece home, mounted it and took it back to framer for finishing. So glad I did take the time to do it correctly.

    Enjoy your articles very much.

  59. After many jobs done incorrectly, I would take it back and show the man, it has to be a make show to do it or ask for a dis count. Personally, I would never use this framer again. The ripples bother me and I didn’t stitch the project. It’s situations like this that makes one not to finish a project. Good luck.

  60. Hi Mary,

    Are you kidding me? Without a doubt, I would not accept it as is!! Having said that, if the framer couldn’t get it right the first time, she probably won’t the second time as well. Personally, I would tell her you are taking it apart to stretch it properly, but that you are bringing it back to her to finish up the back (paper, hanger etc). This is what great customer service should be.

    On another note, besides the ripples, I did notice that it was off center a bit. But then again, I’m really picky to a fault.

    Best of luck!

  61. I would take it back to the place you had it framed and tell them you are not satisfied with the puckering. By the way, that would drive me crazy!
    You are the customer, they should do everything in their power to make it right.
    I also agree with you about the placement, it is off a smidge, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the puckering. We pay too much for things not to be done well, and if you are not pleased, you should tell them.

  62. I would consider whether I was going to use this framer again and would it be worth the energy to go back, is this a different framer than you usually use? Did you deal with the employee or owner. If owner then I would not go back if an employee then I would go back and speak with the owner, if still miffed I would take it home and do the job myself making my quest to be the best framer or finding the best framer in town.

  63. 1. Talk to the framer one more time. Get the manager . Give them a copy of this article. Don’t leave your embroidery unless you are satisfied with the answers. 2. If needed, take the frame apart, unscrew the hanging wire, and check the inside hope fully they did not cut off any fabric. Reposition, relace, and check. I have purchased a tape gun and double sided tape , and a roll of brown paper from amazon. And reframe it. Be sure the glass is clean before you reseal the picture. One can watch videos on u tube of the process. Mark the screw holes and …..good luck. I have started doing my own framing. My stumbling block is getting the right size wood frame. The rest I can handle.

  64. Get it reframed! The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t centered. And there should never be ripples left in the fabric. Do not ever go back to the framer that did this poor job!

  65. Hi Mary,
    If this piece were mine and I had the time, I would redo the centering and remove the wrinkles on my own. Since this framer seems unwilling/unable to do this, I would not return the piece to them for correction.

  66. Hello,
    Your work always makes me smile, and this piece is beautiful.
    Upon first glance of the framed work, I thought it was not centred, then the ripples, and I wondered what had happened.
    As lovely as the frame and mat are, this is not well framed, and it seems the framer may have given it to a staff member who was less experienced? Or he was having an “off” day?
    You deserve better, and he owes you a refund, if not an over-do.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and inspiration with us.

  67. Dearest Mary,
    I totally understand your problem. When I was younger I worked for a photographer where we had to frame many pictures thus making me very picky about how so called professional framers do their work. I have taken many apart and fixed them myself.
    If I were you, Id take it apart and fix it myself. Not having seen the back but based on my experience here’s what I would do.

    If it has brown craft paper on it, use an exacto knife and cut the paper out just inside the frame ( don’t worry about the hinges just yet). Take out the tiny brads or clips (whichever they used) then fix your piece.
    After that, put the piece back in. If they used brads, tap them back in with the smallest hammer you have. Then take new craft paper and cut it to fit the frame back but not completely to the edge (think of it as leaving a quarter inch seam allowance all the way around). Then make a small slice in the paper where the hinges are.
    Run Elmer’s glue around the frame and smooth it out. Then take a SLIGHTLY damp sponge and wipe the piece of paper. Place paper on the frame, smooth it out, adjust for the hinges and let dry. The damp paper will shrink as it drys and become taught. And ta da! All fixed!
    I hope this helps you. It won’t take long to do and you’ll ready to ship it. Best of luck to you.

  68. Well, the first thing I saw was that the centering was off. I didn’t notice the ripples until the next photo. It is a terrible piece of framing. She should be ashamed. Why couldn’t she lace the two fabrics separately? You have to take it to pieces and redo it yourself. Then take it back to the framer, show her how it should be done, ask for the back to be resealed -and a refund as you laced it yourself!

  69. I agree with you on the centering. As a matter of fact I thought that was your initial complaint as the rippling didn’t come through in the first pic. I think the rippling is the bigger problem. Your work is so very professional that ripples shouldn’t be allowed. Open it up and get it ripple free and ask them to re do the paper etc. If they charge more so be it. Not that I’m being cavalier with your money. I teach embroidery and crochet. I tell my students if it is bothering you it will always both you so fix it. LOL In the mean time it is a very beautiful piece. Love your work and enjoy your emails!!!!!

  70. Unacceptable. Call the manager and tell them what you are telling us..especially. About the show in Paris ..are what they are willing to do and go from there. Best to you. The work is unacceptable

  71. I agree that high end framers often disappoint ! I don’t think they understand stretching and lacing properly. I have undone the frame and redone it myself with lots of muttering! Centring is also a matter of perspective sometimes they centre from the middle point ? Why?

  72. I am so sorry that you aren’t happy with your framing experience. You create such technically and artistically exquisite work, your desire for the same standard in framing is not unreasonable. I could not see the ripple on line but I agree that the piece does not seem centered. (I think the yellow “corn like” feature looks best situated so it sits on the lower right hand side, though that conflicts with how you created and stitched the piece.) I would think that as the creator of this lovely piece, not having your work centered would be annoying. I was prompted to comment because the customer’s opinion should matter to any professional establishment, especially someone of your skill and expertise. A business is very short sighted to not strive for customer satisfaction.

  73. I would take it apart and stretch the fabric correctly. I would not trust them to make this right. After all, they may not know how to do it and may not want to admit this to a customer.

  74. I have stopped having the framer stretch my work. I have it all ready top pop on the frame when they get it. That solves a lot of the heartache when they don’t do it right. Yes, it is more work for me, but it really seems that they just don’t care like they used to.

  75. The ripples would drive me nuts more than the fact it is not centered. If I had a great relationship with the framer I would insist it be redone, but then I think they would have known I would not be satisfied and done it right in the first place. So, I think I would take it back.

    I also want to say that the diamond framing is spectacular and makes the piece more exquisite. Would love to have you offer that pattern for sale with all the instructions like you did for the Octoberfest.

    Thanks for all the inspiration and techniques you give us.

  76. It did look a bit off-center to me on my first look, but as you say that’s not the real issue — and it actually looks lovely on a diagonal. Those ripples are the deal-breaker and would bother me forever. I wouldn’t give the first framer another chance at it, or at any future work if I could avoid it. Either do whatever you can to re-stretch it yourself or take it to someone who’s proved trustworthy in the past.

    That’s my more emotional response. You have much more information than I do and if the place you used initially is the best bet under the circumstances (timing, etc.), then you should absolutely have them re-do it. Clear your mind of everything except what best serves your interests.

    Congratulations on your participation in the upcoming book!

  77. Dear Mary, I saw the uncentered aspect, especially L-R, right away. It wasn’t until you turned the piece that I saw the ripples immediately. You’re in a time crunch, the piece is an important one for an important project (the book), and you can’t trust the framer to re-do it either correctly or timely. I recommend fixing it yourself, as you’ve considered. You may or may not be able to correct the centering. Hanging it as a diamond looks better for centering but loses something of the design itself, I think.

    A good conscientious framer is worth LOTS. This one might deserve a second opportunity but encourage him/her to call you with any problem.

    Good luck!

    Barbara Shearer, Akron, OH
    Subscriber but first-time responder

  78. Grrrrrr. Any framer that cannot take 5 minutes to call you when the problem was found, needs to know how close they came to being mentioned in your column. Not calling you was inexcusable!
    Given the deadline, I wish you good luck.

  79. I would not have accepted or paid for the obviously inferior job and my local framers would not have expected me to.

  80. Hi Mary,

    I’ve been learning from you for many years and appreciate how you share challenges and problem-solving them. I agree with you about the framing of your lovely silk piece. It needs to be redone! While my first inclination would be to have the framer redo it, given the quick turnaround time needed and the worry that it still won’t be correct; I’d do it myself and ask for a partial refund of the framing cost.

  81. I feel that you should take it back to the framer and have them fix the ripple.

    Providing they promise to do it in time for you. It is disappointing for them to have a dissatisfied customer especially one like you that can put their name out there for others to see.
    I would assure you that would be very negative for their business.


  82. Mary,

    This must be terribly disappointing to you especially since you intend to include the work in a book.
    If it were me, I would take it back to the framer and point out all the problems, using your photo images from your blog post as evidence. Because of the timing situation, I would restretch the piece myself , but politely insist on credit to be applied to any future work, or a refund.

  83. You can redo the paper backing yourself. Use brown craft paper cut to size. Run a narrow bead of glue down the sides of the frame back and let it dry a bit then spray with water (enough to moisten but not saturate) which will cause the paper to shrink up and be taut. You can use a hair dryer on low to speed up the process but letting is set is better. It’s a beautiful piece at any angle!!!

  84. Hi Mary,
    It’s a shame that the framer would not take responsibility for mistakes. It is off center. The whole thing would really bother me. I would call them and ask them if they would like you to open it up and place the art how you want it and then have them put it back together or would they rather fix it all themself? They will probably be horrified that you would attempt to take their job apart and then offer to fix it. In either case, it has to be fixed. I usually work with someone who knows me and knows I’m particular. I don’t leave the shop until I see where the piece will sit inside the mat. It is easy to lay 2 L shaped pieces of mat-board on the art to determine where to place the window. Sometimes it is hard to determine if the art is “centered” because, like in this case, only one element is reaching out farther than other elements on one side. It has to be a “optical” center in that case because if all sides were measured an equal distance from the art, you might think it was too open on the right. But they moved it in too close, in my opinion. So in this case you need to show them where you want the mat to go. I do like it displayed as a diamond! If they want your business in the future, they will make it right. If not, get the backing paper from them and fix it yourself. The wrinkles are unacceptable and can be fixed easily with acid free tape.
    Good luck!

  85. The first thing I noticed was the piece was not centered properly. I didn’t notice ripples until seeing your close-up. When you take all the time and trouble to create something beautiful I would expect the framer to treat it accordingly. I understand the time issue but it would always bother me to know it wasn’t done right. The framer if experiencing problems with needlework should have called however what excuse could they have for not centering the piece properly. The framer be ashamed. It clearly demonstrates a lack of ability or respect. I’m sure you could probably do a much better job would probably be a lot happier.

  86. Beautiful finished product, but the ripples would bother me too. I would probably take it apart, stretch to my hearts content but take it back so they can refinish the back. If they are professional framers, and you paid premium prices, they should follow through and fix it. After all, it’s your name and reputation that is clearly being seen in this new book that is being published. Not that it will show up in the photo, but still . . .
    I recently took in a fabric art piece and my framer, whom I consider to be very, very good, had no problem redoing my piece three times for just a slight disagreement on placement and a top ripple, the ripple which was my error, not theirs!
    And speaking about placement, when viewing the very first picture, I immediately thought it was off center and I said to myself, I would think that would have looked great hung cross-wise , even if the mat was diamond shape in a square frame. But still, overall a beautiful piece.

  87. Hello Mary,
    I feel your frustration with the less than perfect framing job. We all wish for you that had not happened. With respect of the piece being sent to be included in a professional publication, certainly you want your work to reflect that level of expertise. Perhaps you should consider calling the framer and demonstrate your technique of stretching the piece in its entirety. This will allow for centering the piece also. Opportunities for education should be embraced, and hopefully with your kind disposition that is conveyed and welcomed by her. With this learning opportunity she may become your go to framer.
    One question I have after you asked us to look at the frame head on, is it the camera angle or is the bottom right corner more narrow than the left bottom corner.

  88. The first thing I noticed was that the motif was not centered. the ripples did not show up on my ancient screen. My response at the shop would have been to refuse it and demand that it be redone. I certainly would not have paid for it. However, your timeline probably would not allow that. So I would agree to pay for materials but not labor since I would have to re-do it myself.
    I lace my needlework myself and then take it to be framed.
    Good luck with the piece-I hope it works our for you. Please let your readers know what you decided to do.

  89. I did not notice the ripples but I did notice the centering issue, probably because you said to look closely at it. Since you have a deadline, you probably should send it as is, after you send a message to the framer detailing basically what you have said in this posting. Then tell her that, when it is returned to you, you will stretch it yourself and return it to her for the reframing.

    I often do my own stretching before taking things to the framer. I’ve had some issues with grain lines in the past, so it often saves me a lot of frustration.

  90. Hi Mary! First of all, I love the newsletters!
    As for the framing, I would take it apart myself and fix those ripples. I feel if it was taken back to the framer, it may not get done on time or even worse, more ripples show up. Pretty sure it’s possible to stretch two fabrics. So my 2 cents are to do it yourself. Then you can get it done on time and the way you know it should have been done in the first place! Have a great weekend!

  91. I noticed the centering issue right away.

    Perhaps contacting the framer and calmly telling them you intend to restretch the artwork and then return it to them to close the back,while you wait.

    Reputable professionals work with their clients. Bad press travels faster than good.

    I wish you the best.

  92. Hi Mary, I would be tempted to take it apart and do it myself. Also when you mentioned that it was not centered, I agree with that too. I think you could lace it and center it better yourself. And by the way, what a lovely lovely piece!

  93. I agree the ripples are definitely not professional work. It’s too bad you didn’t have a relationship with this merchant that would have encouraged a more fulfilling dialogue when your expectations weren’t met. I would go back to the store and ask to speak to someone able to make decisions. The points you may want to clarify are your dissatisfaction about the fabric lay and your timeline constraints. Did you ever discus the boarder layout? I immediately noticed the off center framing but thought it pleasing as it appears centered on the small void in the design with the various fronds allowed to lay asymmetrically.
    Having high expectations may make you more challenging to work with but preforming at a higher level is a goal for all including the people tasked to work with you.
    I follow you, not because you settle but because you have chosen the path to excellence. Thank you for inspiring.

  94. If it were my stitching, I would call the framer and tell you the more you look at it the more it bothers you, because a framer with her reputation should be able to properly stretch both “layers”. Alsi, measure the centering (that’s what I noticed first. But you need measurements to make that argument. Ask for a refund of her labor, tell her you’ll pay for the frame and mats and cutting fees. Then ask for a new sheet of backing paper. Re-do it yourself. If she fusses, mention that she should have called you when the problem appeared. If you’re feeling generous, you can offer to show her your technique for lacing two pieces of fabric.

  95. That is a quandary. I think I would take it back and let the framer know that once you got it home, you could see that the fabric was not properly stretched and it isn’t centered properly in the frame. You paid good money but you’re not satisfied with the job. I would ask if they can work with you to properly stretch the piece and seek your input on how that would be done with two fabrics. They’re professionals and they should be held to that standard. I don’t think you are expecting anything special just that they do the job well. And they fell a little short this time around. Good luck Mary! And let us know what you decide to do.

  96. When I saw the first photo, my first thought was “so beautiful!”, my second “it’s not centered. hope that is just a camera angle issue.” Disappointing to hear it isn’t an illusion.

    If it was me, I would re-do it myself. I gave up on getting pieces professionally framed 30 years or so ago. 9 out of 10 had issues. I admit to being extra particular as I did all the framing for a needlework shop for a few years. When I quit that and started using outside framers, for ease, I found they tend to be in a hurry or something. I used specialty framers that supposedly were top-notch for needlework. Now I will have a shop make my custom size frame and possibly cut the glass and mats (if used). Then I do the rest. So much easier to hire it out but I never am 100% happy with it.

    Honestly a framer’s point gun isn’t very expensive. Worth the investment, imo. Or offset clips and a screwdriver, super cheap at less than $10. Less than $5 if someone already has the screwdriver.

  97. Framers normally offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I’d go back and ask for it to be redone to your satisfaction, both ripples and centering.

    I took a large piece back because the glass was touching and several motifs that were raised with fluffy ends. They apologized, explained how that probably came about (a different, slightly less experienced framer had worked on it) and redid the piece in a way that both the new framer & myself found acceptable.

    That said, you have a very tight deadline. Call the frame shop, speak to a manager or senior framer. Explain the problem of the stretching and your hard deadline and see if they can help. You still may end up having to do this yourself, but asking for satisfaction is the best starting point.

  98. Hey Mary,
    When I looked at the first picture you cannot see the ripples, but I did notice it was not centered.
    It amazes me that framing is so expensive and the piece is not centered. My concern is if she said she could not stretch the two pieces of fabric I sure would not take it back to her. The piece is so beautiful, I think I would stretch it myself, I would not trust them to handle the piece again. It would only take a few minutes for the store to put a new backing and hanger on the frame, that is the least they can do. Let us know how this all turns out, thanks for all your wonderful articles.
    Rebecca Lankford

  99. It being off center would drive me nuts. I noticed that right off. I couldn’t see the ripple in the first picture, but you sure can in the closeup! That would drive me a little nuts, too … but not as much as the offputting response from the framer! Stitchers spend a lot of time, effort and energy creating our pieces. If we pay to have them framed professionally, I think we can expect as much from those handling our artwork. 🙂

  100. I understand you are under a deadline, but I would have it re-framed. The ripples and the poor layout needs to be fixed. Framing is expensive and a poorly framed job takes away from the beauty of the piece. Why spend all that time and effort only to have it diminished by the finishing. Plus, it is going to be in a book!

  101. Mary, I noticed the off center right away but the ripples weren’t apparent from the image. Both things would make me very unhappy but the ripples are inexcusable. I would definitely go back and ask for some of your money refunded. Perhaps pay for the frame but the framing costs, not so much. Given that you have a deadline you should probably fix it yourself. If it is too uncomfortable to go speak with them directly I suggest writing a letter or email.

  102. Hi Mary,
    How unfortunate that this framing was done so poorly. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t centered. The ripples have to be fixed. I would be apprehensive about taking it back to her. Is it a one person shop? Maybe you could do it yourself, photograph the process to show her how it’s done, and at least get a partial refund or credit. Ugh-so unpleasant in the end and your time spent is so valuable. Then there are the people who recommended her, should they be updated?

  103. Mary,
    Since I have no experience framing a piece of needlework of any kind, I believe I would have argued and asked them to re- frame it. If the framer continued to argue I probably would have refused to pay. left their materials and sought help at another venue.
    I have no patience for people who “say they are experts” and then fail to produce.

  104. Mary, I would call and offer the opportunity to correct the situation and include that the artwork will be photographed for a book. if you only get a Meh, I would fix it myself and go from there without returning to the shop. I’d like to think that most business people would prefer to have a satisfied customer. I’m an optomist that way. I’ve been wrong on that and never referred to that business (quite the opposite) or returned as a customer.

  105. Its a beautiful piece that deserves to be well framed. As soon as I looked at the picture I noticed the ripples. But to not be centred perfectly, thats just lazieness or incompetence. I personally would go back to the framer and let them know it just won’t due. Framing needlework is not a new thing.

  106. I would certainly let the farmer know that the work is not acceptable. Considering the timetable I would probably restretch it myself but I would call them to see if they would fix the back again. They could do that while you wait. I have frequently used a fabric backing and I have never had a framer leave ripples. They certainly would not get any additional work from me

  107. I would definitely take it apart! I also ALWAYS lace my own pieces and frequently have 2 pieces of fabric. And No- it’s not centered. It needs to be redone. An uncomfortable situation to say the least. And I would never use these people again. I had a parallel situation and was appalled. I went somewhere else. Good luck. It’s beautiful and deserves to be well framed

  108. If you’re like me, you won’t be happy leaving it if you can get it fixed…

    When I’m paying for a job to be professionally done – and framing is not cheap and you do pay more for needlework (because of the stretching) – I want it done right. If I can do better myself, what am I paying you for?

    I’d re-stretch it and take it in for re-backing, but also speak to whoever is in charge about the situation. If the person who fobbed you off is the person in charge and you’re stuck for framing options, do your own stretching going forward and they can just manage the framing. Though you might want to re-think that as well

  109. Hi Mary, I would definitely take this back to the framer. Have them stretch it properly and center the design in the frame. If they cannot get it done during your time frame, they should at least offer you a refund, because you will have to remount it yourself. You worked long and hard on this and for it to go into a book, it needs to be perfect. This definitely isn’t. I have also suffered from bad and expensive framing problems and now I frame my work myself. I’m sorry this happened to you.

  110. I would restretch it myself but take it back for finishing within your timeframe. I don’t think you would be able to make yourself send it off as is; you seem far too perfectionistic (in a good way). It would likely bug you the rest of your life! Besides the framer needs to see how it should have been done and if they are worth their salt should offer a discount.

  111. Hubby has a lot of fine art framed professionally and it is very expensive and he is VERY picky. He wouldn’t have accepted a framing job with “issues” or he would absolutely return it if he didn’t notice until he got home.

    But here is the deal, your framer has already told you that she can’t (or won’t) do the job correctly so you risk having the job made even worse if you return it to her. Given your deadline, I’d correct the problem myself and then I’d return to the framing gallery and show her how you had to repair it and insist they redo the backing WHILE YOU WAIT or at a minimum, while you step out for lunch. It is the least they can do. You can pleasantly remind them you aren’t asking for your money back but simply that they complete the job so that you can meet your deadline. That’s my two cents and good luck!

  112. Perhaps the ripples would not show in the book photo. (Photo-shop?) Hopefully one of your readers is knowledgeable in this area.

    But of course, sooner or later this beautiful piece will have to be re-stretched. The more we pay, the more we expect, but even if you had gone to a cheapie framer, those ripples are unacceptable.

    I think the embroidery looks centered as the left side and bottom have more visual weight, though I would have liked it a little lower.

  113. The framer should have called you if they were having problems getting the ripples out. That is unacceptable that they did not call you and the fact that they left the ripples in. Were they hoping you wouldn’t notice them? Years ago, some framers left a larger bottom margin than the top, because, when you hung up the framed piece(if it was not hung at eye level) the viewer would not notice the difference. I always thought that rule of thumb sucked. I like an even amount of border or margins all the way around. I don’t like to be confrontational either, but your time, your skilled work and your money. Very unprofessional of them.

  114. Mary, you are so well-known. Since you have so many questions about the shoddy work, certainly others will also. I for one saw the mat framing imbalance immediately!
    Protect your name, protect your work, protect yor business…take it back to the framers for THEM to correct the matter…free of charge!

  115. I am sure I would take it apart and re-do it myself. I rarely have framers mount my fabric pieces. This kind of thing drives me bonkers. I noticed the centering issue immediately.
    My usual method of framing is to mount it myself, then go to the framers and have them fabricate the mats and frame to fit what I’ve done. Not sure this is a great way to do it, but I can tolerate so many pieces better this way.
    No one loves our work the way we do and unacceptable mounting is shoddy in our painstaking eyes.
    Best of luck. The stitching is beautiful.

  116. Given your timeline, I would take the piece back today, explain your situation & ask for their assistance in getting it prioritized for re-framing by Monday. You are correct that the piece is not centered & doesn’t lay flat. This framing job is totally unacceptable & the framer should be embarrassed about it leaving their shop in this state. Says a lot about their standards of professionalism. I’d explain the high visibility this piece will have & give them a chance to correct it. All that said, if they can’t or won’t make things right, you will need to do the correction yourself for presentation purposes (& for your reputation). If you don’t have a chance to have the back professionally closed up afterwards before shipping, I would put in a note explaining the situation. I am assuming the back will not be photographed. I would certainly let the framer know why you won’t be using them in the future, if they don’t make things right.

  117. First congrats on the honor!!
    IMO… A book’s contents is not only for today but for future generations, so get it as close to perfect as possible. Your work is beautiful therefore the frame should on par with it.
    I vote redo and have the utmost confidence in your skills!

  118. I did see immediately that the beautiful stitching wasn’t centred. I didn’t see the problem with the fabric in the head on picture but yes, in the sideways picture.
    My partner frames my pieces and spends an inordinate amount of time centering and as it’s mainly counted stitch on linen ensuring it is straight with the threads.
    As this is going to France as an example of your work for an important book it MUST be right.
    Personally I would take it apart, lace or relace it and return to the framer for a new backing paper and hanger and expect it to be done while you wait! I would also make sure I had the illustrations you showed with me to confirm the initial problem. As for not being able to frame without a wrinkle – high end framer, how very disappointing. XX

  119. This is a beautiful elegant piece. You deserve perfection in the framing.
    The design framed off center bothers me!
    I didn’t see the wave when I looked at the first photo. I saw the stitching was not balanced in the frame. From a different angle and up close the the wave really shows.
    If you open the back to remove the wave, the piece should be squared too.
    What a disappointment. I would go back to the framer and have a ‘relaxed’ conversation about the framing improvements necessary for your standards. Couldn’t she have called you about the wave issue? (A ruler should be used to make the design square.)
    Surely she has high standards and strives for perfection.
    Lazy framer!

  120. Hi Mary. In trying to determine the next step for your piece I would ask. Will it be photographed for the book head on? If yes then it could be Ok. I couldn’t see the ripples in the first photo.
    However I could see the unbalanced framing. (I am a quilt judge and notice these things.)
    Will the piece itself be on display?
    My guess is that professional pride and reputation will lead you to at least deal with the wrinkles.
    On another note. I discovered your u tube tutorials this Spring and have found them very helpful.
    I was one of the lucky ones who will be watching for my Leafy Tree package in the mail. I know that I will savour the packaging as much as the project . Thanks Elinor

  121. Oh golly, Mary. You really rattled my cage with this one!
    I’ve had issues for more years than I like to admit, with framing and finishing my needlework. I used to do my own framing and finishing, because I didn’t have much money, I thought I was “supposed to”, I didn’t know any better, and I wasn’t sure my work “deserved it”. Since I pretty much didn’t know what I was doing I wasn’t very happy about the whole thing. Eventually it dawned on me that if I spent X-hundred hours on a big project, maybe it was OK to have it framed/finished professionally. I would also be able to avoid ending up hating something I was happy with when I had finished stitching it.
    Of course, finding a reliable finisher is a problem. Around here (SF Bay area) the middle of the road go-to is Michael’s. As with any chain, they vary widely. It’s trial and error, you may have to train them, there’s a lot of turnover. However, one of the most skilled turbo-stitchers I know has a local Michaels which does everything right, even lacing! This woman does huge elaborate samplers and they look amazing!
    I’ve had no success with Michael’s, but my store has high turnover. The last straw was a piece I had to take back three times because they couldn’t get it lined up properly (they never did). They would exercise infinite patience on a tacky poster, but couldn’t figure out that the mat edge must match the fabric grain. Same people. After having the concept explained a jillion times. And don’t get me started on sticky board.
    I had success with the framer recommended by Needle in a Haystack. She was conveniently right across the street, and did wonderful work. Unfortunately she found another career. I found a good framer at Fast Frame. She’s gone too. They are a franchise so may need training as well, but the framing options are fantastic.
    My latest find is Hobby Lobby, but there’s a catch here. A local guild stitcher who does beautiful work herself works at a convenient location, so there I go! I’ve been told that Hobby Lobby hires art students for the framing department, and they all make an effort to do needlework properly. Prices are good here, the drawback is a smaller selection of custom framing materials and mat colors.
    Bottom line: Ask a million questions at a new place – who does the needlework and how much do they do? See if they “get” straight grain of fabric. Run away fast if you hear anything vaguely related to sticky board.
    Your experience with a highly recommended art gallery doesn’t surprise me much. Sounded like somebody resting or his/her laurels and answering criticism with condescension and intimidation. “well, it’s only women’s work.” I don’t like confrontation either, but YOU are the expert in this conversation, and THEY obviously don’t know what they are doing if they can’t deal properly with a standard technique.

  122. You are right! Two problems – but I noticed that it was significantly off-center first. Then, when I saw the tangential view it was painfully clear that it was rippled. Shame on them! Such an unprofessional job should be pointed out to the business owner and reframed at their expense and according to your deadline. And I would not use them again.

  123. Paying out so much cash and being disappointed is really frustrating. You must have a working relationship w another framer-perhaps they can redo your piece. I thought the same on centering and the ripples are just not acceptable. Once your piece is complete I would go back to the finisher and ask for a refund, along w providing a look at how the fix looks

  124. Since this is for an important project, I believe you should redo the framing because if you see a problem, others will, too. Centering is the big one. Ripples will be important over time as the item hangs and “reshapes” that fabric along that pulled bias line. Fix it before that happens.

    Now that you’ve had a day or more to consider your objections, and come up with a proposal, I’d add one more step to your proposal. Before bringing it to the framer to ask them to reset the frame, why not call them and tell them your concerns, your proposal and ask if they will agree to reframing pronto, so you can make your deadline–including with no charge, maybe even refunding the price, or offering to do another project for you gratis. Get the rules straight with them before bringing it back to them, including ensuring they will call you if questions arise as they do the work. Or even try to stay with them as they do the work so you can oversee it and be 100% happy with the job as well as get it on time. I hope they will work with you.

    I agree with your urge to reframe the piece for display without the ripples in the frame for whatever purpose–exhibtion, photo for book, etc. You will always be unhappy with it if problems you see are not fixed. I hope you are able to make the changes you want in time to meet your deadline.

    Your description of the piece as made leaves me with a question. What is the purpose of the backing fabric? I assume the framer adds a paper or other barrier to the open air so dust will not accumulate on the embroidery but I cannot think of another reason you would use that second layer. Would you tell us? And how is it attached? Do you baste it around the edges or have some other method for fixing it in place?

    As for the ripples, since fabric does stretch and weaves (and weavers) are different, too, it’s not impossible that the ground and backing fabric stretch in dissimilar ways. Perhaps the backing can be tacked on, not basted, so it will allow the framer more leeway in stretching the pieces together and let them set perfectly in the frame.

    All the best with resolving this satisfactorily.

  125. Mary, I did notice that the piece wasn’t centered. So I don’t think you’re crazy there 🙂 as for the puckering, yeah it would drive me crazy. I think I would go back to them and ask them to take it apart and tell them you could help them get it not to pucker. It’s too bad you don’t know somebody else that would be willing tou give it a try for a small fee, that might be more willing to work with you. What a shame !

  126. Hi Mary,
    Have you previously worked with a framer who did quality work? If so, go to that person and explain your dilemma, including your time constraints. You will probably get help.

  127. Hi, Mary–having worked as a framer and as an enthusiastic embroiderer, I would redo the piece the same way I make burses for churches!

    After unframing and unmounting the piece, figure out where you want it in the frame and take tiny stitches in the foldover part of the piece to align it with the center point of your mounting board;

    I always mount the burse embroideries with a layer of Mega-thin batting on top of the board (Thermore is what I use). It softens the whole look;

    Hand-lace the piece on the back (you’re the expert!);

    Pop it back into the frame;

    You’re good to go once you’ve glued a new piece of craft paper on the back!

    There is NO WAY that the framer should have left wrinkles in the mounted piece!

  128. Hi Mary, such perfect and beautiful piece. I guess I have been just darn lucky none of mine have rippled and I am no where skilled as you! I think I would reframe it if knew how to frame.
    I always lace my crazy quilt blocks, but not my crewel/embroidery. Guess I’ll do that the next time I need something framed.
    It’s such a gorgeous piece.

    All the best, Jeannette

  129. I agree with you. As a daughter of a professional artist I have had many many artworks framed. I would be unhappy with the ripples and the positioning. I think the framer you used should have asked you precisely how you wanted the image positioned when you first took the job to them. That’s what my framer does on every piece. If they couldn’t eliminate the wrinkles, they should have discussed that with you as well, if not before accepting the job then at least when they first realized it was a problem. If you can bring yourself to do so, I would take it back and ask them to rectify these two issues right away so that you don’t miss your deadline. They need to make it right. It is a beautiful piece of needlework and I think the frame is very becoming and appropriate. A good framing and matting job is so important to a finished work of art. You have my sympathy.

  130. You are too kind hearted Mary Corbet! You should have stood your ground and refused to accept it as it was done. The ripples do not bother me – I didn’t even see them. However, I immediately saw that the piece was not centered — that bothers me a lot. I hope you used a credit card to make payment so you can dispute it. This framer is not very professional in my opinion.

  131. Tough choice. First , they should have contacted you about the issue, that may be your only negotiation tool. I would think your best bet would be to communicate with the framer you will be taking it apart and fixing it yourself and asking them to reapply the backing and other finishing elements in the shortened time frame. Also , document each step you do to show the framer . I’m sure you’ll get lots of suggestions, hope one or more of them help. Your work deserves to be represented in the highest of display.
    Good luck!

  132. Hi Mary,
    If you have time and since you have experience stretching fabric, you should open the back, stretch it and return to the framer and show him/her that it is possible to do it without wrinkles and have them close the back. What they did was unacceptable and they should have called you when they had a problem with it. It is a beautiful piece and please tell us what book it will appear in.
    I am so pleased that I was able to order the leafy tree kit! Perhaps in the future you could have us stitchers preorder and prepay for a kit, then you will know how many to prepare.
    Have a great weekend!

  133. I have a framed piece that has some ripples, but that’s because I framed it myself so it looks “homemade”. But a professional shouldn’t make a mess of it. Two pieces of fabric is a problem? Nuh-uh. Nope. No excuse. Take it back and ask them to fix it right then while you’re there.

  134. Your piece is beautiful and deserves to be framed properly. I agree your piece does not look centered, and unless you agreed to that ahead of time, there is no reason for a framer to do otherwise. Regarding the ripples – they are not acceptable, especially knowing that you have been able to successfully frame other pieces with similar backing. We happen to be fortunate to have a local framer who is most cooperative, and willing to redo pieces whenever there is a problem. Sometimes that takes a while to develop.

    Is there a manager to speak with at the framing shop? Hopefully the person you dealt with is not in charge. It’s hard to get a good reputation without consistently doing a good job. .

    I would not send the piece to France until you are satisfied with it, so it seems you need to re-do or lace the piece. Putting a backing and hanger on it are minor and could be done almost anywhere if the original framer is not cooperative. In the future consider lacing the piece and having the framer do the rest. Some are willing to work with you. Good luck!

  135. Good Morning Mary,

    Thank you for letting us know about your plight with the framer.

    It is indeed a substandard piece of work and I hope our answers will support you.

    I have a lot of framing done myself and never have I had as messy approach and rude reaction to your concerns.

    Take it back and ask for it to be redone immediately and in a timely manner so you can meet your deadline.
    That is what you paid for so go get it.

    Good luck and happy weekend to you all ~ Louise.

  136. I would take it back to the framer and insist that they fix it. Offer to show them how if they insist it can’t be done. You paid good money for it and you deserve to have it done properly. You shouldn’t take it apart and fix it yourself – that’s their job.

  137. I didn’t answer your questions.
    Get it redone, whether you do it or somebody else. When you are happy with it, take it back to the so-called expert and show them what it is supposed to look like.
    I noticed the “off-center” right away, as that’s the only thing I could see on my screen until I saw the angled photo. That by itself would have caused me to pitch a fit. What reliable finisher sends a piece out that’s not centered unless it was specifically requested that way? Makes me think they had the intern do it “Women’s work”, after all.

  138. You obviously will not be happy until it is fixed and fixed correctly. Only option because of time restraints, will be do it yourself. I would call the place and tell them that it is not satisfactory and it has to be shipped to France in a matter of days. No excuse, they should have called you with the wrinkle problem. Will they: fix it right now to your satisfaction or do you need to fix it and they refund your money.

  139. I too have had pieces ‘professionally’ mounted – frustrated the hell outa me to get it back in that condition.
    In your instance, along with the ripples, is massive spacing problems. I would tear it apart & do it myself.
    I once had a piece I had worked months on to give as a gift, a dated piece. Took it in, went to get it an it was twice the mess as yours is. I literally blew my cool, tho was proud I did not raise my voice nor swear. They promised to fix, went back & they had destroyed the item trying to recenter without removing the stretching system, Needless to say, it was now a salvage operation to get the gift there in time. SO to prevent such another escapade, I took classes, bought a miter box & a small band saw, & learned to cut wood & matting on my own. I also sometimes cut small designs in the matting that match a design in the piece, offsetting the project rather then going for exact center. Takes practice tho, an exacto knife an tons of practice matting! Helps to be OCD!! Good luck!

  140. Take it back, speak to the manager/owner, explain your deadline and ask them to repair in a timely manner. I don’t think you can submit your work looking like that. Beautiful BTW. Just stunning.

  141. Hi Mary,
    As you are so close to your deadline and you have experience of framing your pieces of work, I would jump into the correct the piece
    my reason for taking this path is the framers has already said ‘…she would not straighten the double fabric…’, so taking your work to the framers will not help you because you need to post to France on Monday. Before correcting the mistakes, I would take photos as you have done, and go to the Framers. At the Framers, explain you are very unhappy and need your money back. If the framer has a review box, you can give accurate freeback, if the framer does not give your money back. I am sure if someone
    asks you for a recommendation for a framer, I am sure you will not be recommendation that framer.

    If, you had more time, I would have said, take your piece back the framers and explain the errors and the remedy you want. This way the framer will learn and not make the same mistakes on someone else’s framing.

    I wish you good luck and have fun .

    ps I saw the same mistakes as you. As your piece will be a book, I thimk your piece needs to be 100%, otherwise people like me will think this piece does not look very good.

  142. Mary, I have found it does not matter if the framer is reputed to be the best or you go to Michael’s with a great coupon. It is the framer and the work they do that matters. I have found a wonderful framer at my Michael’s. My pieces come back looking better than I expected and if something is off she fixes it right away.

    Find someone you can work with regardless of reputation or cost and stick with them.

  143. I absolutely would let the framer know of my dissatisfaction. If you can call a manager, do that; if not, talk to the framer herself. If that doesn’t resolve the situation, be sure to let that person know that she has lost your continuing business over this, and that you will be unable to recommend her to others in the future. I usually add that I will feel obligated to talk to people I’ve recommended to her in the past, and let them know of the situation. You might mention your vast connections in the needlework community.

    If that doesn’t work, I think I’d redo it myself. It will bother you forever if you don’t give it a try.


  144. My husband use to do needlework framing and I know how much time it takes to get a piece stretched correctly. Not to my memory, have we ever had anyone put a backing fabric on their pieces. This bit is just to let you know that we have a bit of experience.

    You are in a position that I would say that the piece needs to be re-stretched. This piece will be featured in a book with your name probably attached to the piece. You are an expert in stitching and you don’t need an inferior framing to be attached to your name and in a book that will be around forever. You have no choice but to have this done correctly. So, even though it will pain you, you must take it apart and stretch it the correct way. I would contact the framer, tell her or him, that you will stretch it and ask them to finish putting the piece in the frame for free. That should satisfy both of you. Actually, the framer has the easiest job of putting it back into the frame so they shouldn’t complain about doing it for free. Unless there is glass involved, it would only take them a few minutes to do the work.

    You did a wonderful job on this piece. The colors are perfect and the framing compliments the piece wonderfully.

    I have followed you for years but have yet to get the courage to tackle a project of needle painting. I can only use DMC threads when I do start and most of your stitching shows the more expensive threads. I don’t want to tool up for those until I know if I would like to do it or just admire the work of others.

    Keep up the wonderful articles. When they come in my email, I always open your emails first. I even bought a couple of your ebooks. I figure that is my start.

  145. My personal experience with an “upscale” framer is that unless I go see how things are going it seems the frame competes with the piece we have laboured and cried over ( now you know, I am a bit of a diva). My idea of a good framer is one who can balance both the frame and the work. Like a good music conductor blending the sound of voices or instruments to achieve a cohesion of beauty this is important to me and necessary.

  146. Hi Mary,
    I would take it apart and redo it myself. If possible, I would centre it and lace each layer of fabric separately .
    Best of luck with this.

  147. I would correct the issues with the ripples, then take it back to the store and ask her to reseal the piece. If there is a discussion from her, you can politely explain that the piece was well framed (don’t get into the off center issue), but it could not go forward professionally with the wrinkles. You’ve undoubtedly done more stretching than she has. If she says a word, tell her that it’s your reputation, and her’s that you’re protecting. Further she should have contacted you prior to completing the piece for discussion. I think she probably does not know of you, your knowledge and experience in the field. If she had, I think your original experience would have been different (I hope!) Best wishes and good luck.

  148. When asked, I noticed right away that it was not centered … how frustrating for you … arrrggghhh!!! It amazes me how someone can call themselves a framer and take so little care to get things right. As for the ripples, the excuse was really lame. Does this person know that this is your livelihood??? The framer should make it right with either a monetary reduction or a “re-do” but if you’re like me I hate confrontation and would probably end up doing it myself anyway. If you’re more courageous then I would make a call to the framer and let them know that you intend to redo the internal framing and for them to put on a new back and hanger. So sorry this happened to you … your time is your most valuable asset and you need people you can depend on. Hope it all turns out OK.

  149. While I, too, don’t particularly like to deal with people when I’m upset, I would have taken a deep breath and insisted it be redone. Whenever I am paying a professional for a service of any kind, I won’t accept anything less than professional quality results. Customers should never be expected to pay for a job poorly done.

  150. Oh Mary how disappointing to see such a great piece of embroidery in a sloppy framing job. If it was me, first I would be angry, then I would cry my heart out then I would redo it myself. Changing the orientation of the framing works for me, the piece is whimsical and diamond frame too! Please let us know how it goes and now you can strike this framer from your list of contact!

  151. I always lace or pin mount my pieces before taking them to my framer. I’m sure he could do a decent job mounting them but I’d rather know how it was done and if there ARE any problems later there will be no one to blame but myself.

  152. Actually, the first thing that I noticed was the off center framing of the piece.

    I couldn’t see the ripples until you angled the frame.

    Your work is outstanding. I would not send it to France looking this way. It detracts from your standard of excellence.

    If it has to go on Monday, you might have to do it yourself.

    I would first call the framing shop and speak to the owner. Tell them the situation about needing to mail to France for the book, etc. Maybe the owner can do the recentering and the stretching in time.

    If not, I would ask for your money back in entirety and then either do it yourself, or take it somewhere else.

    You also might want to leave a yelp review so no one else thinks they’re a to notch framer… at least for embroidery work.

    Congratulations on the book honor in France!


  153. At first glance, I didn’t see the pucker in the picture but this is not done professionally at all. I think I would take it back and point out what should be done.

  154. I can’t ind others comments. I’ll try commenting first. I don’t usually ask to have something redone, but other friends would never accept a poor result.

  155. I would steel myself and take it back to the framer. If it was just something I was keeping for myself, I’d try doing it on my own, but since I’d be sending it to (France or someplace important) I would rather have a pro framer fix it. However, Mary, since you are not me, and no doubt much more adept, if facing that guy is just too difficult (he really should know better), go ahead and try to fix it. I would not send it away with the ripples.

    I saw the off-balance problem right away.

  156. What I noticed first was that the embroidery was not well centered . I think between the mal centering and the ripples, the framer should do it over. If I have an ” attached lining” I will stretch both layers separately.
    Myself, I seldom get commercial framing but use readymade frames and adapt designs to fit if need be. If I get it wrong, I take it apart and try again. The labour time, even for an amateur is not that long and I would expect better results from a professional.

  157. I would take it back to the framer and tell them (without an audience) that it is not acceptable. If they don’t know how to do this type of framing they should have told you beforehand. I gather it was quite an expensive job so there should be no wrinkles-period. If they couldn’t get it right they shouldn’t have framed it as is. I know and they should know how much time and perspiration (ladies perspire!) went in to this piece. Good luck!

  158. I am NOT an expert at embroidery (I’m a seamstress, alterations). the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t centered. I would fix it myself and take it back to the shop. They need to know that who ever did the framing for you isn’t worthy of their reputations. A person can’t get better if they never know they caused a problem. Especially since it is going into a book… just my 2 cents.

  159. I would undo it, lace it yourself etc.. If this puts your deadline in danger, that is if the framers can’t do their bit in time for you to mail it on, why not email the person/company expecting to receive it all and get them to agree an extension to the deadline?

    I could see the “ripples” in the fabric immediately and don’t think the photo can be sent as it is!

  160. What caught my eye was the brown line along the left edge of the frame. What is that? That may be throwing the centering off. The ripples are unacceptable. I feel that the framer should have called you to discuss the issue. Just my opinion.

  161. In my opinion, this is inexcusable. A “professional” would have tried to work with you so that you were satisfied.

    The backing fabric did not magically appear – it was there when you brought the piece in and the framer should have recognized the added challenge at that time and either expressed concerns or refused the sale Sometimes you need to pull and secure the two fabrics separately.

    I wouldn’t bring the piece back to this framer – I would have no confidence in their work or professionalism. However, I would tell them that I was very dissatisfied and that I would never recommend them to anyone. Further, I would certainly share my experience and the name of the framer with local folks who might utilize this framer. (Posting the name here would be overkill and could have legal implications.)

    I couldn’t see the pucker in the photo of the entire piece, even when I enlarged it. Maybe the pucker won’t be an issue for publication. I

    Keep us posted. Good luck.

  162. I did not notice the ripples right away in the straight on view, but I did notice it being off center right away. The ripples would definitely bug me, as would it being off center. If you don’t have time to take it back to the original framer, maybe there is someone else local that could help?

  163. Since the ripple wasn’t readily visible in a photo, what immediately caught my eye was that it was considerably off-center. Remarkably so, actually. Unacceptably so, even if done by a lower-end framer. And the ripple was visible, after you said there was one and I looked for it, without seeing your close-up photo first.

    I’m not a confrontational person, either, but I would definitely take this one back and insist it be redone, and not just redone, but redone according to a generous schedule you set to make sure you can make your deadline – and tell the framer why you need that deadline met. If the person isn’t willing, then a) demand a refund on everything but the actual frame and b) ask that framer for a recommendation of someone who can do it right the first time, and on time to boot! 🙂


  164. When I looked at the piece, your first image, the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t centered.

    I don’t think I would risk undoing the frame but I wouldn’t want to leave it as it is. I think the framer has to be made aware of the issues and taught how it should be done. I think the framer’s answer to your question about the ripples was just an excuse and a way to flip the blame. The framer will keep doing it wrong if not corrected.

    Also, I would find another framer.

  165. I wouldn’t touch it until I got my money back. It’s exactly this sort of thing that means I have hangars filled with unframed pieces. I have a hard time trusting anyone to not mess it up. Especially with how expensive it is to have it framed. The off-centeredness is bad enough but the ripples are completely unacceptable, especially since this is for a specific purpose.

  166. Oh my! I would not ever want to go back to that framer. That is just sloppy. The first thing I saw was that it was not properly centered. Then the enlargement showed the puckers. I cannot imagine how anyone who is experienced at framing needlework should even be happy to send such sloppy work out. Yes, I think you will need to/want to take it apart and stretch it properly, because this does not just reflect on your framer but on your work.

  167. I feel your pain. I’ve had the same experience. I took mine apart and stretched it myself and the next time I will do that before I take it to the framer.

  168. Mary,
    I am a non confrontational person too. I would not have accepted the piece with the ripples. They should have called you and asked what you wanted to do.

    I would call them and inform them you will have to fix the piece yourself and you would like a new back and hanger.

    I do like the piece on the diamond shaped it shows off the piece better.
    I do love the piece.

    I had an idea on the leafy tree. Let us print off the directions put the floss in the tube with the linen. That would reduce the need for the extra box and cut down on shipping. I forgot what else is in the kit but this might work.


  169. I also don’t like confrontations, but as you said, I don’t feel like paying top dollar when something doesn’t meet my expectations. That being said, ripples and off center placement are big deals. I would take off the framer’s backing, straighten and stretch, and then take it back to her and show her how it should have been done. I would then request that she redo the backing so you can get it mailed on Monday as you originally planned. If she refused, I would probably not ask for money back, but I would make my displeasure known on Yelp or other social media. It is becoming a major source of pride and income for many businesses, and negative reviews are often the basis for a response from the vendor to the dissatisfied customer trying to make things right. That could be in the form of a partial refund or it could be an opportunity for you to show the framer how things should be done in the future.

  170. I would take it back you spent good money for a job not to your satisfaction. There should be something that can be done. We as consumers have to stop putting up with poor quality jobs.

  171. Hi Mary,

    I’d take it back. Have her re-do the work while you stand there. Let her know what worked and what didn’t. You paid for a professional and she gets to do her job.
    As she removes the paper, you can see what she did and you can discuss that directly with her. Have her centre the piece (that’s what I saw when I looked at your 1st photo) and restretch your work correctly.
    If you do it yourself, then she gets away with doing shoddy work.
    You are sending this off to France to be included in an important book and you want your work to represent who you are.
    Good luck,

  172. With your deadline you’re kind of stuck doing it yourself… I framed needlework (among other things) and I agree the puckers are inexcusable. If I were having problems with a double layer I would have contacted the customer and asked if I could separate the layers, first stretching one then the other. (Really I can’t see why she had a problem in the first place). And yes, it is off center. A sloppy job. Looking at the quality of work given, one would expect equal care given to finish the piece. Fix it and take it back to show her. If she doesn’t put a new back and hardware on for you, never go back.

  173. One of my careers was a draftspeson and worked extensively on grided paper. Having worked with grids was what lured me to counted cross stitch and hardanger. So I’m pretty familiar with evenness. I didn’t see the ripples from the initial picture but what I did see was that the piece was not centered exactly like you further illustrated. That would drive me as nuts as the ripples.

  174. “If you want a thing done right…” The framer basically blamed you for her mistake. That’s very poor customer service. When you return it for re-backing, it would not be too much to request the next framing to be done at no more than the cost of materials.

  175. I would go back to the framer or find another one who could sort it quickly for you. Then I likely wouldn’t go back to original framer, however I would let them know how unhappy I was at being blown off like that. What about customer service? Love the piece Mary!

  176. I don’t know if I would trust them to re-do this in time to meet your deadline. I would certainly take it back (or call) to let them know that you are re-doing their work and you will be taking it back in for them to finish the back with paper and a hanger. At that time definitely let them know the work was unacceptable since you had to re-do something they said wasn’t possible. Possibly ask for a discount on your next project, assuming you would go back there again. You are a good person and I’m sure you won’t be confrontational with them, just assertive as is your right. Good luck; I look forward to hearing the results.

  177. I would take it back to the framer. This is something that costs and should be done right. All the work that was put into it and then to have it rippled in the frame. This would not sit with me very well and I would want to have it re-framed.

  178. I would not accept this. But I have a needlework framer I have used for years and could not imagine her handing it to me like that with no communication. The only reason my framer would have presented me with an uncentered piece is if I had requested it. She would have recognized rippling fabric as a problem & called presenting me with explanations & options before continuing. Do you have any prior relationship with this framer to draw on? If you can meet with a person with authority at the framers soon I would do that first, emphasizing the problem,
    your timeline & its reason, but be prepared to leave & redo it yourself if you cannot feel confidence in them. Maybe dangling a possibility of “framing by..” would provide needed incentive. I would contact them with my dissatisfaction even if I was not going to give them the chance to correct it, but it has to be done in person with piece in hand to be effective. Good luck! And let us know your outcome.

  179. I did notice it was not centered after you asked “What’s wrong with this.” I also don’t like to be confrontational but as a person wanting to do good work, I would want someone to come back and have me fix the problem. I say go ahead and get their help fixing it. Best of luck.

  180. First, I would NEVER go back to that framer again.
    I am so fortunate to have a framer who would never release a piece she didn’t approve of. She stands behind every framing job.
    Second, If I could frame something myself, I would take it apart and lace the pieces properly, something my framer does superbly.

    I recommend you do it yourself. Then, take it for help with replacing the backing paper and hanging wire if needed.

    That will insure you meet your deadline.


  181. That finished product is totally unacceptable! Or the person you spoke to and whomever did the job don’t really have an understanding of the work. Have the framing shop do the job over, if there’s time. If you are sort on time, do what you can, as you suggested, and have the framing shop close it up again.

  182. I would definitely remove the wrinkles. If you believe you have the skills to do this, then do it yourself. Take it back to the framer and have it backed and hangers placed.

    There is no excuse for shoddy work from a professional. The framer should have called you to discuss the problem and then you could have helped solve the problem or just taken it to someone else. Perhaps the framer had someone else handle this project (without supervision by the professional).

  183. Sorry Mary, but the first thing I noticed about the beautiful embroidery piece you had framed was – it was not centered!
    Where I live in Canada, we had a fantastic framing place – a couple of years ago they decided to go out of the framing side of their business and concentrate on their artwork. I was devastated because every piece of embroidery (hardanger, needlepoint, a large Emie Bishop embroidery sampler) was framed to perfection.
    Now I am struggling with a Brazilian Embroidery piece that I had framed elsewhere: I specifically instructed the framer to make sure the glass didn’t touch the raised embroidery – when I picked it up and got it home, I see that the glass DOES touch the embroidered flowers.
    Like you, I wonder: should I take it back?
    When we spend so much time and money on creating something beautiful, we should expect that framers will appreciate our creations.

  184. I agree with you about your piece not being correctly framed. Since this is a professional framer, I would bring it back ASAP and explain why you think is should be re-done. Framing is a very expensive and that is why I will only buy the frame and then mount and finish it myself ( and then the only one I can “blame” is me! As with embroidery, cross stitch, or needlework in general, when you put so much time and effort into working on a piece, it deserves the same to frame.

  185. Hi Mary,
    Actually I didn’t notice the ripples. Being off center is what took my eye. I don’t know if that is good or bad. All I know is it can drive me crazy!
    I would bring it back to the framer and point out these issues. Let the framer know what the plan is for this piece. He may think differently if he knows it is going to be published. At least get your money back if he can’t or doesn’t want to correct the problem.

  186. The first thing I noticed was that it was not centered properly which really bothered me. The ripples were not noticeable in the head on photographs, and may not be noticeable in the photos for the book. If you have a deadline you might send it on. But for your own sanity I would take it apart and re-frame it.

  187. Noticed that the needlework was not centered first, then the wrinkles when you turned it. Yes, it needs to be taken apart and YOU stretch it and center it.(UGH!!!!) You don’t want to take a chance that the wrinkles show in a photo. And, YES, you then need to take it back to the framer. IF she doesn’t give you satisfaction, it is her loss.

  188. I would take it apart, fix it myself, and take it back to the framer for new backing, pointing out that it certainly IS possible to stretch it as is. And to please replace the backing now. Like “while I wait” now.

    Also, I did notice the centering problem right away, so I’m guessing this framer is off your list! It is a beautiful piece and deserves the very best!

  189. I had this happen to me once, repeat once. It made me nuts every time I looked at it. Yes, you will tell the framer you will take it apart, fix it, and she will put it back together again. And then you will kiss her goodbye.

  190. If this was done professionally they don’t know needlework. My guess is when you open it up it has not been laced either. My framer is noted for his museum quality framing and he would never have done such shoddy work. My advice….take it to the framer, have them open it up so you can see inside. If they will not do anything you advise at that point do it yourself but make sure you let them know you find it completely unacceptable. I’d even ask for a refund if I had to do it myself. I wouldn’t trust them with needlework in the future and I would tell them that. Sometimes we have to teach the professionals that they don’t know everything. When it is fixed it will perhaps be more centred. I would teach Them!

  191. Hi
    It is a beautiful piece of embroidery. The first thing I noticed was that it is not centred. For that reason alone, it would be going back to the framer. The ripples are inexcusable. I usually do not sew the backing fabric to linen, on the advice of my framer, as linen stretches different than cotton or muslin backing. If the framer was not willing to correct this problem I suggest you take it apart and lace yourself correctly. You will not be happy with the piece until you do so, and will not hang it for display for that reason. It is too beautiful to hide in a corner closet.

  192. I noticed the imbalance in the framing immediately and that would have been my impetus to return it to the framer as unacceptable. I would call and schedule an appointment when the framer will be there to take it apart in front of you so that you can point out how to restretch it and to get rid of the ripples. Explain that this is going into a book and it must be sent in perfect condition for the editors. That takes some of the onus off of you. Good luck! You’ve worked hard and you deserve satisfaction for the money spent!

  193. Hi Mary – I would have to fix it – even if it was to hang in my own home. But for a book that you are included in – it just has to be right. and I would take it to the framer and show them how to do the two fabrics pieces just right.

  194. Dear Mary,

    As always, your needle work is perfection and, as a Thai friend would say, entertaining to the eye. The vibrant colors are a total delight.

    You r right to be dissatisfied with the framing. It, too, should b perfection, and the sloppiness is unacceptable. Know what you mean about not wanting to b confrontational, but sometimes it is warranted…framing/matting is expensive! And, why should pay and b dissatisfied.

    Off my soapbox now. Would you please tell me, is Fantasia available anywhere for purchase? It is a piece I would like to do.

    Thank you!

    Pat O’Connor

  195. Just my opinion, but I think if you paid a premium price, it should not have ripples.
    Take it out, stretch it yourself, and then take it back for a redo of the back finishing.
    Just saying…

  196. The first thing I noticed (before I saw your last photo) was that the design is clearly NOT centered properly. I didn’t notice the ripples, but I’d be upset, too, if I’d noticed it. I’m also somewhat non-confrontational, but given the price & reputation of the framer, you deserve better and will obviously need to rehearse your approach, take a few deep breaths, and ask for it. I suggest approaching them by explaining why you came to them in the first place: their reputation, insufficient time to tackle the job yourself (pointing out that you have experience, esp w/projects using backing fabric). Show them your depiction of the uncentered motif, and maybe bring 1-2 self-framed projects which used backing fabric). Tell them you wish you could give a positive Yelp or Google or Facebook review, but cannot do so based on this job as it is. Offer to undo, reposition, and secure the piece to the mat board if they’ll agree to close up the back within a day of your returning it to them, given your deadline.

  197. Their attitude indicates that your definition and their definition of good quality framing is quite different. With your expertise in this field, your definition has to win hands-down. Therefore, because you aren’t happy with their work, I would hesitate to have them fix it. I would do it myself, then I would take it back to have them redo the back. I would also ask for a partial refund.

  198. Hi Mary,
    I didn’t notice the ripples but it was obvious that it wasn’t centred (my engineering background I think). I haven’t much experience in having exquisite embroidery, such as yours, framed but my pieces I have always stretched and laced myself.
    Personally, I would not take it apart but take it back and ask if they could show you their framing method so that you could understand why the two pieces of fabric caused a problem. Explain that you have a deadline and ask if there is a solution that could be achieved quickly . If you have an impasse then you’ll have to do it yourself I think.
    If it’s going into a prestigious book you want it right because, even if other folks don’t notice, it will always niggle you.
    I hope that you get a good outcome,

  199. I am a Master Certified Picture Framer and I would not have left you with ripples. I’m not certain what you will find when you open it but it should not include any adhesive. A combination of things could be done if there are issues with lacing through both fabrics – lacing the lining over an acid free mat backed with acid free foam board and then pinning (using stainless steel pins) the linen layer into the sides of the foam board. Just lacing should allow the image to be positioned properly for viewing and then the pinning would hold it in place. If you are comfortable with handling the art stretching, the frame shop should be gracious enough to finish off the back again.

  200. I feel so bad for you and I know you are going to take it apart and fix it. I would photo document the process and let the manager of the shop know. How wonderful to have it included in a book. Best of luck.

  201. I can see why you are disappointed. I would be,too. I tend not to be confrontational, also, but I think you are right in demanding a better job in framing especially since you paid well for it.

    Not fun, but I think it would be reasonable to take it back, ask for the framing to be perfected and then ask them to ship it “priority” so it arrives within your deadline.

    Since the delay was not of your doing they should make sure it arrives on time. You might have to go back and inspect it before it is shipped to be sure it meets your approval to set your mind at rest.

    I further would not use that framer again and would not recommend it to others.

  202. Dear Mary: if it were me I would take it apart and do it correctly since the framers didn’t do the right job and you already took it home and also paid for it. You would also see how they did it that way which obviously wasn’t done right and also would not use that particular framing place again.

  203. I think you have to do it yourself on the stretching – she already told you she can’t do it. I would take it back to her and ask her to redo the back. Maybe she will be interested in how you did it. You never know. Don’t leave it the way it is.

    I once had a silk scarf framed and it had crease lines still in it after he framed it – he said they would not iron out. I tool the scarf to my dry cleaners and they pressed it right then and there so I could take it back to the framer the same day.
    good luck

  204. I noticed the spacing right off. Sometimes I’ve seen it done for artistic effect – top to bottom. As to the ripples, I’ve taken something back, even as it happened after I brought it home. Ripples are unacceptable.

  205. I couldn’t see the ripples in the fabric on the direct facing photo but noticed the off center problem right away and it seems to me that I would expect better from any qualified framer. I think I would have brought up the problems before leaving the store and asked them to do better.

  206. Hi Mary,
    I am 100% behind you on this framing issue. The job is unacceptable and no you are not being unreasonable. You took your work to a professed expert needlework framer who gave you 75% at most.
    Honestly from my monitor I did not see the ripples. My eye went to the off centered and to the right distraction. After you pointed out the ripples I was horrified for you. Oh no, no, no.
    After the hours of work and effort you put into your work and I am sure the framing was costly, nothing but 100% will do.
    It’s sad really that people consider themselves expert in their fields yet when they give us less than expert work we are supposed to pay the money and be happy with the results.
    Frankly if you can straighten this out yourself I would do it and see if you can negotiate an agreement of a refund of some of your money.

  207. Hi Mary,

    Oh No!!!!

    The first thing I noticed when you said something bothered you, was that the motif was, as you observed, closer to the top/right corner and did not appear centered correctly. That’s the kind of thing that will never stop bugging me, if I don’t fix it. That being said, it can be a challenge to know exactly how to “center” a motif that is not symmetrical.

    What a shame about those ripples! I totally sympathize with the challenges in being assertive when you are unhappy with work you’ve paid someone to do. I’ve always had this problem. Although they always say it’s best to speak up immediately if not satisfied, I think you might be able to go back and say something like “Your work came so highly recommended to me that I did not expect to encounter any problems. I was caught off guard when I saw those ripples and did not sufficiently express how disappointed I was. This piece will soon be shipped to France to be photographed for an important book and a rippled ground fabric (is that what it’s called?) is unacceptable. Would you be willing to let me work with you to take the piece apart and re-position it? I have framed several backed embroideries myself and have never had a problem with ripples. It’s really important that we get this right.” (If she agrees, you can also address the matter of centering the motif the way you’d like it.)

    I’m going to be on tenterhooks waiting to hear how this plays out! Good luck Mary!


  208. Mary, you’re on a deadline, I think you are going to have to do it yourself. That said, I would go back to the shop, show them how you fixed the problem and get a credit or your money back. Take photos of your process, and show them after you get the picture off to France.

    My last pro frame job came to $175.00! I had to go home and put a cool cloth over my face and have a lie down. I’m back to doing my own framing, and pay only for matting.
    I also like the black frame.

  209. My very first thought when you said something was not right was…it’s not centered. So you’re not crazy, and I would do as you first suggest–fix it yourself, and have them redo the back–as long as it can be done by your deadline. Show them that yes, it can be done.

  210. I would have to reject it. I’ve put up with unsatisfactory work too many times and I’m at an age where I’m tired of being on the losing end. I’m sure you paid a pretty penny. You should not accept less than professional work. Not only is it not centered, but the ripples. It’s like they said, oh well. Tell them after looking at it and several people making comments, you’re sure they wouldn’t want people to know what kind of work they do.

  211. I don’t know if this is good advice, but I’ll give it anyhow.

    First, I had a similar experience, except not with framing. I have a silver dresser set (brush, comb, mirror) that was left to me by my beloved grandmother. It was beautiful, polished(!), and much loved. The glass of the mirror was beveled on the edges, pretty thick, and wrapped in silver, so it was just lovely. Unfortunately, one day the mirror got knocked off the dresser and – yep- the mirror shattered. I was heart-broken. Eventually, I remembered that an old “friend” did glass repair, so I took the mirror to him and asked if he could “replace” the mirror? I used the word replace. He said, “Sure!” Just like that. He’d have to order that particular glass thickness, and he’d need about a week to do the work, but no problem. I was delighted. Until I went to pick it up and saw that the edges weren’t beveled. He said, “We don’t do beveling.” Like you, I was upset but didn’t know what to do about it, so I brought it home, and there it sits – unbeveled.

    I believe we were each dealing with the same problem – dishonest people. In my case for sure, and I assume in your case, when presented with the item, the worker could have said, “We don’t do beveling” or in your case “Because this is two fabrics, I might not be able to pull it flat.” Then we would have known up front there might be a problem, and could make our own decision, instead of them making a (sub-standard) decision for us. Or in your case, the woman could have called you when she couldn’t get the ripples out. But they chose to keep quiet, do the “work”, and then charge us for it, knowing we probably wouldn’t be happy with the result.

    In your case? I’d take it apart, fix the ripples, and take it back to her to finish the backing, as you suggested. After that was done satisfactorily, I would tell her that she won’t get any more work from you, and, if she’s still being un-apologetic, that you will share this episode on your blog, with her name, the business name, and the address – not in “revenge”, but to warn other stitchers about potential problems.

  212. I’d take it back, have a discussion with them about how to stretch both fabrics together, and ask them to re-do it. It isn’t acceptable as it is. And if you try to fix it yourself, they will wash their hands of the problem
    What a pain!

  213. I totally agree with you on all counts! Personally, I never allow anyone to stretch my stuff. I always do it myself & supply them with a pre-stretched, pre-centered piece over acid free foamcore wrapped in a towel. After having a high-end (& VERY expensive) framer with dirty hands destroy a piece, I simply hate turning my pieces over to anyone. I found a young woman at a framing shop that knew how to frame but had never done needlework before and I trained her about how to handle the fabrics that she frames. The cost is minimal because I do most of the work myself and she is SUPER careful. She was mesmerized by the embroidery and treats it with reverence. I am so sorry that happened to you… and with a deadline too! There is no excuse for that.

  214. I would have my framer center the piece , at the very least, as that is the bare minimum required of a framing professional. The ripples were not evident in the first photo, however who always views an art piece straight on? You definitely should have been notified when the framer noticed a problem in stretching the fabrics together. I am saddened when I see this lack of care in handling your work of art.

  215. You have to redo – the ripples will only worsen over time. While mounting the ROYAL SCHOOL OF NEEDLEWORK way,
    It does give you better finishing. I immediately noticed that it was not centered. If this is to go into a book, preserved for posterity – the framing needs to be better. The other nice thing about RSN mounting methodology – it is easily reversible with no harm to the embroidery.

    A beautiful piece but remount please. Most framers – even the “experienced “ ones rarely mount surface embroidery – most to crass stitch or needlepoint mounting. The care needed for surface embroidery is not practiced with enough regularity.

  216. A very poor framer. I would not have accepted it to begin with. Yes, the ripples would bother me immensely (I am detail oriented!) and also the off center thing. And once seen it would bother me forever, and I bet it will bother you too…. So, if you are like me, it will need to be redone by “someone”… whoever that may be. If you do it yourself, I would then trot right over and show that woman that “2 layers of cloth do not have to ripple”… Good luck.

  217. Hi Mary! I rarely comment on things but a I had to this time. I noticed immediately that the piece was not centered!! Then when you pointed out the ripple I was more than indignant! My first thought was not to hesitate but take it back immediately. However, I know you could do better by opening it up and redoing the work yourself and then having the back finished off by the framer or, preferably, by another framer. You have photos of the unsatisfactory work produced and your concerns recorded in this post. You are a business woman and relied on a professional framer. Anything less than your satisfaction is unacceptable. I suggest you contact the framer immediately. Standing up for yourself (and your work) is not confrontational – just good business practice. If a resolution can’t be reached with her then a refund for a portion of the bill should be received to offset the additional work needed to properly frame your beautiful needlework! I now step down from my soapbox and let others of your faithful readers have their say!

  218. When you first asked, I didn’t notice the ripples but did notice that it wasn’t centered. I think the ripples would bother me if I paid someone to frame it professionally. I know how expensive it is to have something framed and i would bring it back. Since you have a time limit I guess you would have to find out how long it would take for them to fix it. Still a big inconvenience for you. Hope you can get it resolved.

  219. So the first thing I noticed was that it seemed off center, even though it is framed on point, I noticed that. I did not notice the rippling until you showed a close up but I would absolutely have been furious about that. It’s like paying a professional long arm quilter for a quilt that is rippled on the top or bottom. Should NOT happen and you are correct, they should have contacted you. If it were my piece in the same circumstances I would go back to the shop, explain the situation and ask them if there is any way they can fix the rippling and try it more centered and if they still are rude and cut you off, then I would either try to fix it myself or take it to another framer IF you can do this within your deadline. And then I’d write a Yelp review as it’s surprising how many people look at Yelp. I take a lot of Yelp reviews with a grain of salt because a lot of time it’s a disgruntled employee having a friend write the review but still. I personally would like a bit of color in that outer mat but again, this is a subjective thing and if it’s going in a book, you want the embroidery to be the star not the matting and framing.

  220. Hi, Mary. I hate confrontations but I would have the framer re-do the job. Why should you pay a highly recommended professional to do a job and then have to take it apart and do it yourself?! If she is the only person working there it will be a struggle but there’s a higher issue here. As for the balance, yes, it does appear slightly weighted to the upper right but that’s the charm of an asymmetrical piece and it does seem centered overall. Good luck, Mary.

    As an aside, if the framer won’t work with you on this you might want to suggest your internet community is anxiously awaiting her professional resolution to this little “glitch” and will want to know what the amended outcome is.

  221. I would be VERY disappointed about that pucker!

    If you weren’t on a deadline, you could have taken it back and calmly approached the framer with an attitude of ‘let’s start over’ and try to fix this.

    I’ve had a few pieces professionally framed that I wasn’t fully happy with the results, but not due to centering or puckering. My disappointments have been because of my own choices.

    Once I returned the piece to have it redone with non-glare glass because the glare on the regular glass made it impossible to enjoy the needlework! I thought going with cheaper glass would be fine but it wasn’t.

    I hope you can fix it to your satisfaction because your work is BEAUTIFUL!!

  222. The first thing I noticed is that the piece was not centered. The right side pf the white mat seems to me to be wider. Then as fo rthe embroidered part, seems it could have been pulled a bit to the left.
    I could not in all good conscience send a piece that has ripples.
    You are on a time crunch so if you need to mail it by Monday, I guess I would do it myself. I would be worried they would make it worse.
    But I would let that framing store know in person or writing that you will not be using or recommending them to anyone else for not communicating an issue they obviously had or willing to work with you to remedy it. That is Not good customer service.
    Hope all goes well.

  223. “I’m sorry, but ripples are completely unacceptable. If there is an owner, you should speak to them asap about the issue. Another option would be to go back to the framer and show them how to tighten both fabrics at the same time and have them put the backing on.. The problem you have is your time constraint. Do what you need to do to get it in the mail on time, even if you have to use another framer to put the backing on after you have centered and tighten the fabric. If the framer is the owner of the business and is not willing to work with you can’t do much more than to leave a review on their facebook page or website. Sorry I can’t be of any help.

  224. I noticed that it was off center but that didn’t shout at me. I could not see the ripples until I saw the closeup picture. I would definitely do something about it, even for my personal enjoyment, but this is not just for your personal enjoyment. I think I would contact the framer and tell them their work was not satisfactory and them give them a choice of either having you correct the ripples and them putting it back together or have them do the whole correction.

  225. Hello, Mary,

    Your “Fantasy in Silk” is truly that – exquisite. In my humble opinion, the fabric waves need to be corrected but I am not an expert on that.

    As for the centering, I believe it is best presented as it is positioned. In photography for instance, there is always more space left in the direction a subject is looking (if you try changing this with a piece of paper, you will see that it gets “uncomfortable” looking. I think with your piece, the main body of the work is centered; the purple swirl part being slightly out of center give the piece life and almost movement. I think if you perfectly centered it, it would detract from its presentation.

    Anyway, it is truly lovely and deserves the best!

  226. I would take it back and have them redo it, the first thing I noticed was that it was off-centered. I also don’t understand why they couldn’t stretch both fabrics. I think if you redo it yourself and get the ripples out of the fabric and then take it back to them to finish the backing, won’t they charge you for it? They should at least discount the price charged.

  227. Yes, it is usually better to think it over if you are emotional. YES it was not professional work, nor was her response. Still, at this point, I would re-stretch and re-center it myself, and take it back to have them put the frame on – and wait for it.
    A phone call to arrange for the re-frame portion, or a personal visit, would be sensible. You can ask them to view it as a new job. I know, that means paying, but you can offer, and if they are truly professional, they should decline. Oh, well. that’s my 2 cents.

  228. Framing is expensive. If this is a place you have had numerous pieces done, they should have known
    how particular you are about your art. I would take it back and have them re-do the piece with you standing over them.

    Especially if this project is going in a book!!

    Your needlework is top quality so should the framing!!

    Good luck.

  229. Mary, that is appalling!!! I noticed how off center it was in the first picture which I think is just as bad as the ripples, which are horrific. It draws your eye to the frame instead of the stitching. If time wasn’t an issue I would definitely take it back to the framer and try to work out a solution. Given that it will be included in a book and time is of the essence I would either take it apart and redo it yourself to your own satisfaction or call around and try to find someone who you know can fix it properly.

    I’m assuming the photos for the book will not show the back of the frame, so even if you can’t fix up the back to a high standard (the paper, etc.) at least you can center the design and smooth out those terrible wrinkles and have it present well from the front. Sending it as it is will not due justice to your incredible work and I think you will be disappointed if you don’t redo it. Best of luck and please keep us updated!

  230. At first glance, the piece looked off center. That alone would be irritating enough! The rippling would be a constant source of frustration every time I looked at the completed piece. Because of this I would definitely take it apart and fix it so I wouldn’t always be reminded of how disappointed and frustrated I was on the day I picked it up. The time, energy and care that’s put into embroidery should elicit joy, not frustration! Good luck!

  231. How disappointing to get such a poor framing job from a supposed professional framer. Even before reading the details, the first thing that caught my eye was that it wasn’t centered properly. When you showed the close-up of the piece and we could see the wavy material it looked like that person didn’t even bother to stretch the piece. Totally unacceptable work in my opinion. It’s too bad you didn’t have time to insist on it being redone properly at no charge, although I don’t know if I could trust that person to do it correctly anyway. It really does need to be re-stretched, re-centered and re-framed at no extra charge to you.

  232. Hi, Mary,
    As a former professional framer, I immediately noticed that the art is not centered. However, on occasion I intentionally have not centered art. In this case, if you intend to hang the project as a diamond, the off-center approach works.

    I didn’t see the ripples in your first photo, but they are clearly noticeable in the second photo, and are absolutely not acceptable, especially for a piece travelling internationally to be photographed for publication! I think you should have been contacted during the framing process to discuss the issue. I would return it to the shop and tell the framing manager, as kindly as possible, that the result is unacceptable and why. Would they want their shop’s name published as the framer of the project in its current condition? If none of their framers are able to do a satisfactory job, they should give you a refund.

    With your time constraints, you may have to stretch the project yourself.

    From your description, I suspect that their choice of plastic fasteners is the limiting factor to their success in stretching. Despite many developments in stretching techniques, lacing by an experienced needlework professional remains the gold standard. Best of luck to you!

  233. In the first pic, the centering mistake was the first thing I noticed. How could your beautiful work be displayed in less than a perfect setting?
    I’d call and tell the framer about the centering mistake and mention that both pieces of fabric were intended to be stretch together. I, like you, don’t like confrontations, but you’re the paying customer. I would ask about her redoing it (if you’d trust her a second time) to your specifications, or if she would refund the cost of your order less the frame because it will have to be redone. Then you could make adjustments yourself and take it back to someone else for new paper and hanger.

  234. Hi, I would have it redone. Certainly when you know it’s possible to do so. If you are able to stretch it yourself, someone who is a framer by profession should take pride in her work and make sure she does at least as good as you do yourself.
    And yes, I noticed that it isn’t centered but more to the right upper corner. Where I would prefer it moved more to the lower left corner, so there is some space at the right. It should be more ‘grounded’, now it seems to float away.

  235. Honestly, the first thing I noticed on the (gorgeous!) Fantasia framing was it didn’t look quite centered to me. Overall though, I doubt that would matter to most as the piece is so fluid. BUT, the ripples in the material? Not good, more so as you want the best showing for the France book deal. Equally non-confrontational, my first thought would be to fix it myself, then go back to the framer, tell her what the piece is for–and the immediacy–and ask her to please finish the back again. Perhaps she’ll be gracious and do it, or if all else fails, you’ll just have to finish the back yourself–at least you’ll know it was done right! I would definitely not use this person again, however. A framer proud of their work and business (my father had his own shop/art gallery so I know the difference) would never have sent you home with those ripples, let alone not made any effort to please you, her customer. Yikes, and this is a professional?

    Hope it all works out. The piece is truly beautiful and deserves the best showcase.

  236. Dear Mary, My 2cents: The pieces and framing choices are just lovely. As far as your two issues: The piece, I believe, is centered correctly; not mathematically, but by the visual “weight” of the piece. If it had been centered with all margins even around the stitching, it would look “off”. Any decent framer frames by the visual weight of a piece, photo, etc. Having said that, you may have picked a framer that is good, but they clearly don’t know what they are doing with needlework. There is no excuse for the ripples from lack of stretching. Is this the first time you have used them for needlework? I have learned several lessons the hard way with professional framers. If you ask them if they frame needlework, everyone of them will say yes. Doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. I have learned to ask many specifis to determine exactly how they plan to frame the piece, including stretching, pinning, lacing, mounting, pins, and anything else you can think of. Unfortunately, these werehard and sometimes expensive lessons to learn. Personally, I would restretch it myself. You would never be happy otherwise. But if you want them to remount and finish the framing after you stretch it, discuss with them first before taking it apart. Find out if they will do it, discuss why you are not happy with it, and what would they charge, if anything. If they want a repeat customer, they should finish the job free of charge. Believe me I have learned the hard way to speak up. Remember, it’s your money, time and effort. I cannot imagine any reason why the framer couldn’t stretch both materials together. Your work is beautiful and deserves to be properly framed. Please let me know if you have any questions about my experiences. I usually lurk only, but hopes this helps you make your decision. Best of luck,


  237. I’m sorry your piece was poorly framed. I think unacceptable that a “high end” framer would send this out. You are right that you will likely stretch it again yourself due to time constraints. I would take a few photos of this to share with the framer and ask for assistance with the backing paper and a credit or refund of some sort. Yes it is difficult and uncomfortable holding folks accountable but as I’m sure you can remind the framer ….”I know your wonderful reputation in framing and satisfied customers couldn’t possibly allow me to leave again without resolution.” Just a thought.

  238. Oh, Mary! It is heartbreaking to have this result. My two cents worth: First thing I noticed was that the piece was not centred… the next photo was where I caught the folds. The framer I use may not be the most expensive but he is talented – and always asks if I am happy with the framing before I leave. I can tell you if he made these errors I would not be happy and would tell him so. If I were you, I would not go back to that framer, ever. I would do my very best to fix it myself — I’m sure you could do it very successfully. The frame is not that complicated, rather plain (which is good as it does not take away from your stitching) and should not be a problem. Good luck! Enjoy your trip… and, bring back lots of ideas!

  239. I think with your experience you should take it apart and stretch the top layer. It probably doesn’t need much, but it does need to be flattened. It’s obvious you blocked it to perfection. Maybe work side by side with the framer? If they refuse, I would think it pretty easy to recover the back and replace the hanger yourself, maybe using a touch of super glue when replacing the little nails in their holes.
    I completely understand your quandry. I’ve been mulling over a piece for 22 years that’s been bothering me. Two small kimono needlework pieces were framed with a beautiful piece of Japanese silk with horizontal and vertical lines cut to cover the two-opening mat. The framer did not position the silk as I asked and I’ve been tempted all this time to take it apart and shift the silk. I’ve pretty much decided to do so—soon!
    Good luck to you! I look forward to hearing more about the book. Your inclusion is well earned and deserved!

  240. I would take it back to the framer first & express my dissatisfaction with the results. I would think stretching the fabric without ripples would be a given. Is she the owner of the shop? Tell them your dilemma with the time deadline & the destination of your beautiful piece. If they’re good they should redo it for you immediately at no charge. Yeah I know I’m harsh.

  241. Any framer worth their salt would guarantee their work. I would take it back and do a more hands on approach with them. Also, explain that this piece will be highlighted in a book and do they want to be known as a framer who can’t frame a piece straight and leaves ripples in the piece. You have a large following and while you did not name the framer, we could probably figure it out so they should know about you blogging regarding the frame job.

  242. I have had almost all of my work framed by “professionals”. I have had only 1 framer who I consider excellent. I have taken back pieces that I was not happy with. Sometimes they have fixed it with no additional cost. Yes, I would take it back. I agree they should have called you if they couldn’t stretch it properly. If they can’t or won’t fix it I would ask for the fitting fee to be refunded. It is very expensive to frame, and should be done properly the first time.

  243. A “Professional” framer wouldn’t have been satisfied with the final finish of this framing order. With the deadline of the shipping and final destination, do the rework yourself. It’s not worth waiting for her to “work it in” and still not be happy with the results. Once you are finished, take a picture of it and then return to the “Professional”. Show her the before and after picture and ask for a full refund of her labor.

    By the way, this is my first time to comment even though I have been reading your blog for a few years. I have learned so very much from you. Thank you for sharing your tutorials and wisdom. You work with shading is breath taking!

  244. I’m sure in person the rippled fabric show up but not in the photo until you showed it close up. What I did notice right away was the design wasn’t centered. This framer should be ashamed of this. Who does that and surely she could tell it wasn’t centered.

  245. I forgot to mention in the previous comment. I did notice that it did not appear to be centered. I am very fussy about those things. I can always tell when something is not even, centered, etc. My husband thinks I’m nuts until he gets out his level or measuring device. Another reason to take it back or get a refund.

  246. Mary:
    I love this piece and am hoping to be able to stitch it someday – but yes, I noticed it was off-center immediately. As for fixing it, as you paid a good price for it, I would return it to the store, explain both problems and that you, as a very experienced, internationally known and published needleworker, KNOW it can be stretch properly, and that you are working on a publication deadline. Ask them if they would prefer to correct the problem themselves – with a deadline well before your shipping date – or they can give you a partial refund and you can do it yourself.

  247. Take it back Mary, on both counts. I noticed the design being off centre straight away – sorry – and as for the puckering, no professional framer should have left the work in that state. Professional framing is expensive here so needs to be very well done to justify the cost.

    Like you I shy away from confrontation but we put a lot of time and effort into our work and it deserves the best!

  248. About your bad framing job, take it back to the frame and make a fuss. I had a framing business and any good framer would appreciate knowing there is bad work of theirs and people are not satisfied.

  249. Mary,
    I believe a professional framer’s work should be spot on or they contact the customer and give reasons why it won’t be and let you decide how to proceed.
    I did see that it was not centered. Again, a professional framer should definitely have the work centered. There’s no excuse for that.
    I feel that you’re gong to have to redo the work since it’s for a book . You wouldn’t be happy if it didn’t look it’s best.
    If you weren’t on a time crunch, I’d take the work back to the framer and insist they do a better job but you don’t have the luxury of time. Let the framer know you’re unhappy. After you redo it, if you can take it back and show her how it should look o take pictures and show her. I’m guessing that you paid? Hopefully by charge so you can file a complaint with you charge company if she doesn’t refund anyMoney!
    I just think that she should be held accountable for less than professional work. So much time and effort is put into our work !

  250. I agree with you that there are issues with this framing job. First off, the diagonal of the design doesn’t line up with the diagonal of the frame. (The “off” centering disclosed by the black lines picture can be fixed while they fix the other.) Second, the rumples. And all they came up with was “can’t stretch double layer of fabric”? As in, it’s your fault they framed it poorly? Nope.

    Yes, they should have called you. For one thing, you’re not going to be the only person who after making a thing wants a well done frame.

  251. Gee, this is a big disappointment isn’t it. I noticed right away that the needlework is not centered and much farther away from the left side than the right, in my screen view. I needed your close up to see the ripples but I think the excuse of two layers doesn’t hold water. I would definitely take it back and ask that your needlework be reframed, centered and with no ripples. But since it needs to be mailed in a few days that might not work. In a jam like that I would take the backing paper off and see what you see. Possibly you can at least stretch it smoother. One more thing, if is to be photographed for a book wouldn’t the photographer center the embroidery?

  252. On first glance, I thought that the piece might be tilted. Since it was a stylized abstract I wasn’t sure. But I saw in the second photo your concern. I agree, that is not acceptable. If you hade it all stretched and nice in your hoop, why can’t they? Especially, if they used stretcher bars. If they just wrapped it on foam board or mat board, I can maybe see the wrinkles being there.

  253. At first glance the design being off center was unacceptable, it was All I could see. When the winkles appeared that was a second strike. I would not submit this as is to any publication.
    Your work and reputation is excellent. The problems are the fault of the framer and should be corrected by them, gratis. I understand your deadline is urgent. I can’t advise an expert on what is the most important aspect for you and your work.

    good luck with your choice

  254. Mary,

    I was sorry to see the mess your framer made of your lovely piece. You are correct it is not centred. Plus as far as the ripples are concerned, I would take it apart and lace it yourself. Even under the tight time constraints, you will be happier in the end. Best of Luck.

  255. I would absolutely march right over to the the framer to correct both mistakes. I noticed the spacing problem the second I looked at the piece. The ripples are not noticeable in the original photo so would probably be ok for the book but the spacing is just not acceptable. Good luck.

  256. I usually have mine framed at AC Moore. Very pleased with them. I would definitely take it back and have them redo it for the ripples and for not being centered. Especially after paying a fortune to have it done. Sorry to say this, but you shouldnt have taken it without them redoing it. No excuses from them. It is off center. The ripples I couldnt see in the pix.

  257. Totally unacceptable. I notices the ripples and the fact that it was not lined up right away. You need to march right back and demand your money back and do it yourself. If she is a true professional she must apologize and return your money or demand that she redo it immediately. You do not have to accept shoddy work from anyone one. I sure wouldn’t . So put on your big girl panties, head high, shoulders back and ask nicely but firmly for things to be rectified. As I said that work is unacceptable and she should not be allowed to get away with it.

  258. Unacceptable. You’re too nice. If they were not able to stretch it properly, they should have contacted you before finishing the job. And, no, it’s not centered. That alone is not acceptable.

  259. I usually take my piece to the framer and select frames, mats whatever is needed and then I do the stretching and assembly myself. If I were you I would go ahead and correct it myself then take it back and have them take care of the back. They should be able to do this while you wait. How frustrating!

  260. I would be in the car going back to have it done correctly while I wait. Not just because of the ripples but because it is off center (which was the first thing I noticed). If I am paying a professional premium pricing to complete a professional job it better be prefect when I pick it up. If there is a problem they encounter they should be on the phone to discuss possible solutions that will be satisfactory for the job I am paying for.
    I do custom sewing and will rework/remake any item a customer is not satisfied with at my expense because my name is on the line to let something like this leave their shop is unacceptable in my opinion.

  261. Hi, Mary. I can’t believe a professional framer would even send that out the door and think it’s okay. Was the framer the owner of the shop? If not, I’d take the piece back in and ask for the manager or owner and explain your dilemma. If they’re upright and stand behind their work, they should redo it at no cost to you. And even if the person who did it is the owner of the shop, there should be room for negotiation (I agree on the balance issue too). I hate confrontation too, but that’s unacceptable work. Keep us posted.

  262. To be truthful I hadn’t noticed the ripples until you gave a close up but i had noticed it wasn’t centred. If it were me I would undo it, lace it myself and tell them I want it re framed. Your art is stunning and this beautiful piece, as well as your hours of work demands the best. I would get them to re do because I would have paid for my art to be professionally framed and they haven’t delivered the service for which they were paid.
    It amazes me that they said it was because you used two layers of fabric! That’s ridiculous…I always use a backing fabric and even I can stretch both (and I am nowhere near as skilled as you!)

    Just my opinion.

  263. Your needlework is beautiful and deserves to be shown off in a manner that highlights the workmanship.

    Bottom line – if you’re not happy – and you clearly are not, call and speak to the owner of the frame shop / gallery and reiterate why you are disappointed and ask them how they suggest that this be remedied so that you can put it in the post Monday.

    If they will not fix the problems – I would tell them that you intend to express your displeasure as a review on Yelp and that wen asked about their service you will not recommend them to anyone.

    Hope this helps,


  264. Regarding the centering portion of your quandary, I think it’s actually well done. Often when framing asymmetrical items, a framer thinks in terms of “visual weight” not just how close the nearest bit is to the edge of the frame.

    So in your beautiful piece for example (which I absolutely adore!!!) , looking at the left/right aspects, you can see the right side has a swirl of red and of purple with nothing below them, just open white.
    While on the left side you have the purple swirl with red dot, the big green leaf, the red dagger shape, all bordering the left edge, plus the bud form at the top that almost touches the left edge – so visually this side is much heavier. Also, that little open circle near the middle where your attention is drawn also pulls the visual center a bit to the left.

    If you were to re-crop the piece at geometric center in Photoshop for example, it might seem that the white space in the lower right quadrant becomes much more prominent, and makes the design feel lopsided.

    Regarding the top/bottom aspects, “visual center” always appears slightly higher than actual center. For example if you place a dot in the geometric center of a square it always looks a bit too low. Almost all professional framers will make the bottom edge of a matte for example slightly wider than the top side of a matte, as it will “visually” center the artwork. I suspect that’s why they have it slightly raised.

    Regarding the fabric not being taut, I have no idea, it seems they should have been able to do that.

  265. Before I read your article, my critics voice muttered “that’s not centered”. And I have an eye defect where I don’t see shapes properly.
    I wish you didn’t have to send it off soon and I also wish you didn’t have to take it back. But if think that if you’ll end up apologizing for it, I would go back to the framer. (Don’t we always point out our errors in our crafts?)
    And no, I wouldn’t accept the ripples either.
    You have paid a professional for a professional job. You deserve to receive it.

  266. Hello Mary,
    I am sorry for the lousy framing. I would take it back and ask them open the frame and tell them that you have stretched similar pieces and maybe you can tell them how do you do it. They have to center the embroidery. If it is going into a book, it will be there forever.

    Good luck to you
    PS – It happened to me too, I had a Brazilian embroidery that I took to a professional framer who does lots of embroidered pieces. The flower petals were folded over the center and when I complained he said he tried his best and could not unfold it.

  267. If this were my piece…I would remove the back, lace it up properly and then take it back to the shop with the receipt and explain to the “so called” professional that it can be done right…then have them repaper the back ….
    you might also explain that this piece is going to be included in a publication and that her reputation as well as yours is jeopardized….maybe they’ll understand …
    Good luck.

  268. If I had the experience level you probably have I would open it up myself and see what I can do to fix it. Not sure if I would go back to the shop or not.

  269. Dear Mary,
    Errors or misjudgments were made, and the shop should re-frame your piece. If it’s a large shop, speak with the store or framing department manager instead of the person who did the work. Requesting correction of a framing job is not confrontational. You paid for a professional service which was not completed satisfactorily and, as a consumer, you have the responsibility to bring the matter to the provider’s attention. Any reputable frame shop should re-do the work without question.

  270. Hi Mary. I would have been more than miffed by the ripples. I like to think I would have taken it up directly with the framer, but I’d probably go home, stew, and come back. Since it sounds like you have the skills to lace it properly, I’d recommend doing that and getting them to reinsert in frame. Also, I immediately noticed that the design is unbalanced in the mat opening…the motif at upper right threatens to tip the whole thing over on its “nose” because there’s insufficient white space on that side.

  271. Mary, Framing is an art in itself. The person who framed this may be good at the frame part of the project, but is obviously not good with content that is not just a picture. I’ve had this trouble with tile setters in bathrooms where I want a pattern. Some of them just don’t get it, and I have to be very careful when showing the layout. Next time you might ask the framer to send you a pic of how they are choosing to orient the piece, so you can approve it. I would also give some respectful feedback to this framer, to the effect that in the future, they should contact the client if they are having trouble with fabric media.

  272. I did notice that it was not centered.

    As for the ripples, I would take it apart and re-stretch it myself, then take it to the framer and ask them to re-do the backing. Otherwise you may not make you shipping deadline. The framer may refuse to do it because she is not able to, or just take her time and put you at the bottom of the list of pieces to work on.

    P.S. I always do my own stretching, after discussing the finished size with the framer, and get the correct size of mounting boalrd to stretch it on. Cheaper, and I know it is done right.

  273. OH my, the same thing happened to me only I did not notice it until it was hanging in a show. I was mortified and I framed it so I could not blame anyone else. Right when the show was over I took it apart, I still have not restretched it. Your work is so amazingly beautiful you would probably be happier to restretch it yourself. Although I think the comment from “June” stated very well what you could say to the framer. So sorry.
    Your blog is wonderful thank you.
    Have a nice day.

  274. I’m afraid I noticed the off-center issue right away. And the ripples would make me crazy too. I suspect you are like me, too much of a perfectionist to settle for this obviously amateur job. The piece is far too beautiful and deserves better treatment even if you do have to do it yourself.

  275. My first comment would be do they even know you and your work ? I consider you one of the leading experts in needlework around the world. You aren’t an amateur. . Good luck with whatever you decide. The framer definitely owes you a refund.

  276. That is an exquisite piece of work and THAT PERSON should certainly have contacted you before passing off a shoddy piece of finishing with a lame excuse like that!
    At this point, your best option is probably fixing the ripples yourself. (After that,I would probably take it back and ask for new paper backing. If there is an
    objection, remind THAT PERSON that the embroidering world has seen the quality of his/her original work.I can appreciate that you might not wish be that confrontational.)
    Bottom line though is that you would probably trust your own work more.

    Best of Wishes for a Good Outcome!

  277. The framer should have been embarrassed to give it back to you in this state. It is very shoddy work by them. My first thought was that it was off center (which isn’t that big a deal) as I couldn’t see the ripples in the picture. But the ripples are utterly unforgivable.

    To my mind, something this important is probably going to be better fixed by you. You know the material and you know the image. It is probably the only way you can get it done exactly the way you want it.

    If you decide to fit it yourself, and don’t want to confront your original framer, ask someone else. But you’d probably be better off letting them know your thoughts. They need to know when it’s been done badly so that they don’t do it in future.

    Whatever you decide, good luck. I think its gorgeous (ripples and all!).

  278. Oh, so sorry that you had to go through this with the framer. I would want a refund on the labor and fix it myself. I don’t think they can get to fixed in time.

  279. Well, the first thing I noticed with the first photo WAS the centering, maybe because until I saw the close up below I didn’t catch the waves/ripples. That seems nonsense to not be able to stretch two layers of fabric.

  280. I would fix it myself, especially considering the time constraint you are under. Would you trust them to do a better job the second time if this is an example of their attitude on the first go? There was an interesting suggestion of Photoshop alteration to eliminate the wrinkles. Perhaps they could also center the embroidery? But I know you take pride in your work & wish to present your best, so this may not appeal to you. I hope it all works out well for you. We who follow your work are shocked at this affront to your skill!

  281. It’s so very disappointing when a situation such as this arises.
    Since this project will exemplify your very best work, I would expect the framer to have done the same.
    And, since you can redo it yourself, if time allows, and if it were me, I would have to fix it.
    If I didn’t, and knew I could have, it would bother me a lot, and especially since it is to appear in a printed book, forever, as is.

  282. Personally I think the framing is not of an acceptable level. If the framer couldn’t complete the task to a professional level they should have returned the embroidery to you unframed and cancelled payment.
    Personally, I completely understand not wanting to confront in the heat of the moment but I would have to return to them.
    I would go back calmly and as pleasantly as possible and start with something like – I have a problem I’d like to discuss with you.
    I’d explain that you didn’t want to respond hastily but that the more you look at it, the more disappointed you are and you are sure they wouldn’t want you feel like that.
    See what they say. If they stone wall you can always take home and dismantle yourself (if you’ve altered first they could dispute how it left their shop).
    Worst case scenario, if they refuse to improve or refund, I’d leave but happen to have mentioned that you would be sharing your disappointment with your followers, and do so.
    Good luck. I love your emails although the standard of your work is a little out of my comfort zone, I do appreciate the inspiration.

  283. I was very disappointed with your framing thing too. With the time constraints I would take it apart and relace it. I would also contact the framer and state how disappointed you are in her poor work as the piece is destined for an international function etc. Point out the fact that you would like to see her contact the owner of a work if she is has trouble framing rather than blundering about and potentially ruining a project. Finally, let the business know that you have shown your friends who will not be taking their business to her. I live in a small town and this can actually be extremely detrimental to a business.

  284. I was very disappointed with your framing thing too. With the time constraints I would take it apart and relace it. I would also contact the framer and state how disappointed you are in her poor work and suggest in the future to contact the client before messing about. Do not use that business again, tell your friends.

  285. Mary, is the framer you spoke to the owner of the shop? If not, I would ask to speak to the owner and ask for his/her help. The ripples are unacceptable and you are correct it isn’t properly centered. I always back my silk with muslin and have never had ripples. If it were my piece, I would probably take it apart and re-do the stretching. I have reassembled smaller pieces myself but I would hope the shop would at least do that for you at no charge and in a timely fashion. I am o sorry this happened to you and your beautiful work.

    I have worked with some good independent frame shops the different places we have lived. Most dislike stretching embroidery. I often was able to have them cut the backing board for the embroidery for me. I then would lace it and return it to the shop for them to mat and frame. It usually saved me about $20 and they were usually happy not to have to stretch the embroidery.

  286. Embroidery Frame Up
    I understand your hesitation about confrontation, personally I would feel the same way. They did a bad job in not just stretching it properly, the centering is also something that would annoy me to no end.

    That being said, I would take it back and point out the flaws again, explaining that you are not happy with the finished product. If you paid a high end price and did not get a high end job, that’s wrong! If they still stick to their guns, explain to them that you will be returning with the work after you have correctly stretched it so they can redo the back of the frame. Then see what they say.

    You could also mention that this work will be on display and would they like to supply their business card so everyone could see the “quality” of work they do. (Wouldn’t that be bad for business? )

    I have one piece that I had professionally framed years ago and am still happy with the results. Don’t settle for less!

  287. I did not notice the ripples at first but at first glance saw how off center it is. I don’t like confrontation either but this will be published and could affect your reputation. I probably would try to fix it myself but the framer should accept responsibility and do the right thing.

  288. I like the Diagonal Design best. The other would bother me.

    She may have cut the support cloth to close for it to be stretched. Many professionals are not that well versed in framing fine needlework.

    Maybe you need to take it back and have her open it(with a witness) to see what happened.

    Considering a time shortage . if it is photographed straight on the ripples might not be visale or could be removed from the photo the .

    Your work is exquiste and you will want to get those ripples out when you can.

  289. I agree that it is off-center (I noticed that as soon as I looked at the picture) and that the ripples are a significant problem. It seems irresponsible and maybe a little lazy on the part of the framer to leave it as is. If they really felt they couldn’t address the problem, they should have contacted you to say so, and agreed upon a resolution. At this point, given your time frame too, it seems best to restretch it yourself (and center it as you want it), and do as much with redoing the back as you have time to. It’s the front that will be photographed, after all, and I suspect everyone in France has had some issue with a framer and will understand if the back isn’t perfect.

  290. It will always annoy you if you leave it. All that beautiful work and all you will notice are the wrinkles and the fact that it isn’t centred correctly. It looks like it hasn’t been laced but stuck down. Shame on the framer for such poor work.
    Good luck. Barbara

  291. I noticed it was off-center right away. That would bother me. Your work is beautiful. I’d hate for the framing to over shadow it. Good luck.

  292. I would complain, too. Usually, it is quite expensive to have one’s piece of art framed so you can expect a decent job.

  293. I am with you – I hate to be confrontational BUT the framer is responsible for a quality product – no excuses. Dealing with art as they do, they should have high standards and a guarantee of their work. It would drive me crazy to look at a piece knowing that I could have done a better job. Soooooooo….fix it since you know you can. Take it back expecting them to redo the back. If they won’t I am guessing that you can “mcgiver” a fix. Better a ripple-free front and a wonky back. Just saying.
    Love love love your work. A very pretty piece.

  294. I didn’t notice the ripples at first but I did think it was not squared. I had a piece of gold work framed for a granddaughters 18th birthday and it came back from the framers with her initial pulled out of shape. It was disappointing and expensive but like you I just took it home.

  295. My husband does all my framing for me. He used to make the frames when we needed an odd size, but we lost our source for affordable frame molding. My dad used to frame them for me before my husband came along.

    I admit that I don’t lace the pieces, but my pieces will probably not survive long enough for that to matter as we have no children and when “we go” some assortment of our sisters and nieces will go through and probably toss it all out. I know this as we are taking apart our family home and my sisters have told me to take my mom’s embroideries or they will go. (I might take 2 of them – and the one that is framed will need to come out of its frame for storage at my house.) My sister-in-law has less appreciation or interest and will toss them without a second look.

    Lately unless a piece is something that I plan to actually hang in the house, I do a soft finish on the pieces and do not frame them. I am basically making small quilts out of them – but generally small enough to not need to actually be quilted. This allows for much easier storage in a drawer (we have very limited wall space) and makes it much easier to bring them to embroidery demonstrations.

  296. I noticed that it was off-center immediately. I guess that would depend on how it is meant to be hung though. The diamond placement is quite attractive and does not read as off-center.

    I would probably re-do the stretching myself to be sure it was done right in the short amount of time available, and request the framer re-do the back. I *might* ask them if they would like me to show them how to stretch two fabrics together for future reference. If they were snarky at all, I would not use them again. Might not use them again anyway. However it is possible that it is a shop with multiple employees, and your piece was given to a person with less experience. Talk to the manager. I would expect a discount on a future order. Ripples like that are not acceptable.

  297. I would take it back, Mary. This really isn’t a quality job, particularly when you need it for a book. I recently had to have a piece reframed because there was a slight water mark on the piece that I hadn’t noticed. I had them take it apart and I stitched more background over the mark. They reframed at no charge. Their attitude was that every step of the lacing and framing could be reversed. I like the piece hung from the corner – that’s interesting, but it’s still not equidistant on all sides from the frame. Would they let you go “backstage” when they unframe it so that you could show them how it’s done?

  298. Yes, redo it! Nothing looks more unprofessional than ripples in a framed piece. No one ever blames the framer, only the artist. This has been such an issue for me in the past I now discuss the framing with the framer and take the piece home and mount it myself and then return it to the framer for the actual framing.

  299. Well, Mary, I know exactly how these little things will nibble away at your overall satisfaction. When I first looked at the piece, I couldn’t see the ripples in the fabric, but right away I could see that it wasn’t centered in the frame. Then, of course, when you present a close-up the ripples are clear. That would drive me crazy every time I looked at it.

    I don’t frame my own pieces because I think a professional is supposed to have the tools and expertise that I don’t have to do a better job. So, I also know how much it costs to have a piece like this custom framed. But more important (at least to me) is the time, effort and personal care we each invest in a piece of embroidery – especially one we like enough to frame.

    If it were me, I would take the piece back to the framer (a supervisor or owner) for a face-to-face discussion (now that you have had time to think about it). I would tell him/her that the quality of the work is not what a reasonable person would expect from a professional. If they think you are too fussy, well, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is exactly why you went to them in the first place. Think of the stitches you did or would have been willing to unpick because they weren’t — if not perfect — at least executed to your best satisfaction. That is the level of quality and attention to detail one should expect from a professional framer.

    As for the time crunch, if they can’t or won’t do it in a day or two, you could tell them you have to take it apart because it will be photographed and the flaws would be obvious and expect them agree to reframe it when it arrives back to you. Or, since you have to essentially re-do their job, you could ask for a refund of any labor costs involved.

    I have just had this same quandary as I was unsatisfied with the quality of the upholstery on a custom-ordered chair. (Puckers and poor alignment of fabric) I used much of the very same language and explanations above. They took it back to have it re-done with no problem. The outcome, however, is yet to be seen.  It is to be re-delivered next week.

    Good luck. Let us know.

  300. Hi Mary,

    Let me start off by saying I AM a picture framer. I was one of the first folks to take and pass the CPF (Certified Picture Framer) exams that the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) established. (A long time ago, now!) That being said, ONE of the things to look for when choosing a framer is someone with professional connections and/or certifications. That does not mean that there are no good framers out there who don’t have those connections – it just says that someone who is active with the professional association(s) and/or has the certifications has access to and has done the research, learning and studying to gather the needed knowledge to meet the standards of the industry.

    Now, to address your “issues” with this piece. I, personally, would definitely open up the frame, and properly center and correctly stretch the needlework. That presentation is NOT acceptable. From what you’ve said about the conversation when you picked it up, I’m not sure that taking it back and asking the shop to re-do it would give you the results you need. IF you are comfortable doing that part of the correction yourself, I’d do so. THEN, if you need to have it put back into the frame properly and don’t have the tools to do that yourself, you could return to the shop, explain your time constraints, reasons for making sure it was right and done quickly and ask them to please re-install the piece into the frame.

    Hopefully when you open the back of the frame you’ll find the ‘framed package’ easy to disassemble and can use the existing materials to re-stretch the piece. Depending on what you find, you *might* need to ask for a new or different mounting board.

    I find neither the rippled fabric nor the improper centering of the work acceptable. I’d encourage you to make your complaints known politely and constructively. One way a shop gets better is to know that its customers want and expect high quality work. Good luck!

  301. This happened to me a while back. My framer is used for years retired. I had stitched a repro sampler on 34 count linen. Took me some time, and I had located a really nice antique frame, and I had as anxious to see the piece framed. My local framer option was a fairly new framing/antique business owned by a couple who had purchased a beautiful former post office building. Others had used him and they had no complaints, so I closed my eyes and took my special piece to him. When I picked it up, I could not believe his work – the piece had not been stretched and wasn’t centered. He chose not to mat it after I had expressed my opinion when I left it, and his price was completely off for the unprofessional job. I didn’t accept it, expressed my displeasure and he agreed to do it over. When I went the second time, hoping to pick up at least an improved piece – well, he did kinda stretch it, still no mat, and still not centered. Well, I paid him, told him I wasn’t satisfied and left. It hangs in our home, but I still don’t like it but don’t feel qualified to reframe it myself (am sure I’d do worse). At some point I’ll probably find another framer, but for now, I regret my choice.

    My advice to you is don’t ship it off being dissatisfied, because when you see in in a completed book from the publisher when you feel that way, because you’ll be sorry forever!!

    Your work is so gorgeous, and you are such a perfectionist with your work I feel you’ll regret not fixing it!!!

  302. Mary, I would definitely take it back as you’ll never be happy with it.
    I’d be inclined to do it myself then take it back for them to do the backing – maybe take photos of before and after to show them.
    It’s a shame to put so much work into something as beautiful as this and not having the final step perfect!
    Good luck

  303. Mary,
    How disappointing for you. This is a beautiful embroidery. I think you should take many pictures of the poor job. If you paid with Visa or Mastercard call them and file a complaint. Usually, they will take the charge off your account until the matter is resolved. Call the owner of the shop and let them know how dissatisfied you are with the work and about the credit card notification. After you fix the bad job take more pictures.
    Congratulations on having your work selected to be included in the book. All your work is very lovely.

  304. I noticed it being off centered first. I feel as you do. This was a professional framer. They should redo it for you. What would be the reason it was off centered.

  305. No, no, no, no! This is not acceptable framing!!! You are a professional embroiderer! I cannot believe that the your excellent quality work could not be perfectly centered and stretched by an “experienced-in-framing needlework” professional high-end framer!! This framer needs to make good on a framing job “badly done!” That said, since time is of the essence, you may have to take it back and stand over them to make sure it’s properly re-framed in a timely fashion!
    You are the best advocate for yourself! And I believe you can make them correct the error.
    Be firm and do not take “NO, can’t be done for an answer!” They need to frame it to your satisfaction. Otherwise a full refund is in order and I would publish the company’s name so this doesn’t not happen to others. Are they aware of the destiny of this beautiful piece? Put your game face on, take it back and firmly insist it be properly framed or fully refunded. If the deadline to France cannot be adjusted, then and only then, you might do it over yourself and have them finish the back, but at no additional charge and with a prorated refund for having to correct their error.
    The piece is just so beautiful it truly needs perfect framing!

  306. You paid for this to be done right. Talk to the manager. Clearly explain your expectations and have them do it over again. Perhaps give them some tips on how they can get the wrinkles out and center it better. If they are not able to do a satisfactory job, ask for your money back.

  307. When I looked at it the first thing I saw was that it was not centred. Living where I live in Canada I’ve had just a few choices for framing. They have always dialogued with me to make sure that the piece would look proper when I went to pick it up. I didn’t see the ripples because it was a head on shot but the ripples were evident when you showed the other view. I’m sorry that this has happened but especially when you have a tight deadline. Maybe taking it back? or offering to work with the framer? or do it yourself because of the deadline. I don’t know how it could be fixed other than what you’ve already figured out. Good luck.

  308. The main point is that you are not happy with the frame job and it needs to be corrected. I would do what needs to be done and that means take it back. I don’t think that this framer has the level of professionalism that you are looking for and that’s what matters.

  309. Fix it; not right; will bother you forever. It goes out under your name so it has to be right. The “centering” bothered me at first glance.

  310. Hi Mary,

    While I still custom-order frames and mats, I have decided to do all the actual lacing and framing myself, for exactly the problems you have encountered. The last piece I had professionally framed wasn’t centered to my liking, and I figured that if I told the framer to redo it, chances were I still wouldn’t be happy since their eye didn’t see “centered” the same way mine does. After taking the paper off the back of the frame, adjusting the piece so it was centered, and closing up the back again, I decided that in the future it would be worth my doing the job myself from start to finish, so I’ll be content with the completed work. I don’t particularly like the task of framing things myself, and I really don’t like doing the lacing, but it is preferable to paying a lot of money for someone else to do it, and then not being satisfied.

    I’ve learned a lot about framing by doing it myself, and one of the most important details I’ve picked up is to choose a frame with a deep enough rabbet (the depth of the frame from the front of the glass to the back edge of the frame, for those who aren’t familiar with the term) to allow enough space for glass if desired, spacers to keep the needlework separate from the glass, any mats being used, plus the board the piece is laced onto, and ideally a backing board to hold it all together before being covered with paper.

    Personally, I would definitely redo your piece if it were mine, particularly for something as important as a book! Doing it yourself is the only way to be certain you will be satisfied with it. And it is a gorgeous piece, by the way!

  311. I feel your frustration and disastisfaction, Mary and like you I have a huge problem with confrontational situations and especially when I am upset.
    In this case, I feel that your options are very limited as a result of time constraints. I’m afraid, since the framer doesn’t know how to stretch evenly the two layers, you’ll end up having to do it yourself. It obviously can’t stay as it is. Especially since it’s going in a book where close up photography and lighting is sure to show the ripple. If you unpick the framing and relace the two layers this weekend and rebuild the layers of the frame, you’ll be ready to get it resealed at the framers Monday morning ready for posting.
    Except that there is still the issue of the embroidery being off centred…if there is enough fabric to reenter it, I’d do that too but I’m worried the frame may have cut off excess fabric. Also the fabric might be stretched at the corners which means you’d have to sort that out too.
    If you are feeling really strong, I’d show the framers your before pictures of her work and compare to yours and tell them you are not happy paying for their sub standard work but you will pay for the materials that you have in the frame. This seems very fair to me but if like me you can’t face the discussion, I guess you take it on the chin and chalk it up to experience but not use them again.
    Fingers crossed.

  312. I am a needlepointer and an Interior Designer. Have framed and had client’s stuff done for years. Your piece is not centered. I would also be unhappy with ripples. Validating your comments totally.

  313. I’d take the whole thing back for redo at no charge. I immediately picked up the off center and it would drive me crazy. The ripple is not excusable. If she’s that great, she should have the expertise and desire to do a job well. This was not of expert quality. And it needs to be corrected immediately, with your help to get rid of the puckers, and she needs to pay the extra shipping to France that will be necessary to meet your deadline.

  314. One framing job—two issues! I understand your surprise then reluctance to argue when she simply told you she couldn’t correct the issues, when you clearly knew they could be corrected, It doesn’t matter if you are willing to accept a sub-standard job, the fact is, that it was not done correctly. This framer is obviously either inexperienced at working with fine embroidery, or she is lazy. The job needs to be correctly re-done. It is not simply your satisfaction, your reputation could be damaged by this poor presentation. —BUT, could you sleep tonight if you leave it with this framer to possibly ruin it? I don’t think I could.

  315. I would take it back and ask for it to be fixed. One would hope the framer would appreciate the opportunity to fix their poor work. I had a piece to go into a show once and it was fine at the top but hadn’t been stretched at the bottom – it was sooo crooked. The framers fixed it immediately as it was due in that day. I wouldn’t be able to live with it being not centred or the wrinkles. If you don’t quite trust that your framer will fix it, I’d take it to one you trust. All the best xx

  316. I think due to time restraints you have no choice, but to relace the piece yourself. I would expect them to fix the back though. Depending on their response to this, I also would not have a bit of problem posting online a review of their service. I would do this after I told the person my opinion of their “attitude” about my dilemma. I would not send the piece with ripples if it was going to be put into a book. Good luck! It is a beautiful piece no matter what you decide!

  317. It is so disappointing that your beautiful work has not been finished as it should of been.
    To avoid what has happened to you, I stretch and centre my embroideries before taking them to get framed, I have never had a problem getting the two fabrics taut.
    Go back to them and let them know what a crap job they have done and how this situation can be resolved, you will centre and restretch, (you couldn’t trust them to do a good job now doing that) and they will fix the back of the frame along with some form of compensation on Monday so it can still get posted on time. If they don’t want to play ball, then name and shame them.

  318. I prefer to have the framer cut the mat board to the required size. I then lace the embroidery myself and return it to the framer for framing.

    If I were you , I would undo the backing of the frame and relace the work. When almost completed, ring the framer ahead of time so that she can be ready to replace the backing while you wait.

  319. I would be upset if my piece came home from the framer with ripples, or not properly aligned in the frame. I think you should take it back and ask her how she stretches and why she did not center the piece properly. If you have time, I would make her correct the problems. Not only is framing sometimes the most expensive part of a project, but all the time spent making a beautiful work of art deserves proper attention to these details.

  320. I didn’t notice the ripples at first until I saw the second picture where it was obvious. I did notice right away that it was off-center. I do not know how to frame so I would not be stretching it myself. I would definitely take it back and have it restretched and centered properly. Your embroidery is too beautiful to have it ruined by poor framing!

  321. Having something framed should be done correctly – too much money is spent to have it done right. I would take it back and have them correct it even if I had to tell them how to do it.

  322. I can see why you’re dissatisfied, Mary! Given you have a deadline, I would be inclined to fix it myself and then take this blog to the manager of the gallery (assuming it’s not the person you were dealing with) and ask for a hefty refund. It ought to cover both their labor charge AND an allowance for YOUR time and effort. (We almost always frame my needlework ourselves, avoiding such problems, as apparently you do as a rule too.). Now I’ll have a look at what others who responded more timely have opined!

  323. As Marcia said you have seen it, it bothers you and as time goes on I suspect it will bother you more. Redo it yourself, as time is critical and when you have a clear head and no time pressure, go back to the framer and express your concerns. After all you paid for a service which didn’t meet the required standards and the framer should know why you will not be returning to their business.
    That way your head is cleared and your embroidery is presented as you want it.

  324. Dear Mary,

    Fantasia is Silk is really fine. The framer MUST do it again and pretty speedily, I would think, considering your time constraints. I hate to say this but it just looks like your absolutely gorgeous work ( and time and experience . . .) have not been respected, which sometimes happens when people who just don’t fully understand a craft or artform. So, on this occasion, my counsel would be to be confrontational.

    Also, my dear, it is so lovely to hear that you are also a musician. I am a professional accompanist and recitalist. One of my current students is an oboist and we’re working with some beautiful works. I’ve played the Morricone piece you referenced, a particularly lovely work.

    Good luck with your framer, Mary.

    With kind regards,

    Christine McCarthy

  325. You paid a lot of money to have the piece framed. I would make them redo it. You said the framer is well known, they should have offered to redo in the first place. Or refund the money . Helen

  326. I noticed it not being centered before I noticed the ripples. If it were me, I’d be tearing it apart because I know I would never be happy with it. And, I would want to see what they did to make it have the ripples. Then I could go complain. I bet they didn’t do it properly.

  327. Hey Mary:

    I agree, the piece is not centered. I would be very upset over the ripples too. unfortunately, that “so what, who cares attitude” is very prevalent in today’s business world. people just don’t give a d*mn and use no initiative.

    as to what to do about it, if you weren’t under a deadline i’d be tempted to tell you to take it back and have them make it right. another issue in my mind is what will shoddy framing due to your reputation if pictures of it are going into a book. if it were me i think i’d take it apart and do it right. confrontations are never a good thing and never pleasant but i think with everything at stake you should really talk to the manager and/or owner of the shop and make your displeasure known even if you take it apart and fix it yourself. if nothing else, at least write a scathing letter.

  328. I think you should take it back. I noticed the lack of centering first — the rippling didn’t show on my screen in the first photo — and that would bother me, but the rippling is plain unacceptable.

  329. The off-center part isn’t so bad, but the ripples? For inclusion in a book which thousands of people will see, for years . . . I’m with all those advising you to take it apart and do it right. The back of the frame will not be photographed for the book, so you can get that part taken care of when you get the piece back.

    Let the framer know what you’ve done and why (with pics), and see what they’ll do to “make it right.” The should have at least called and said they were having a problem.

  330. Take it back. The ripples are just unacceptable on a piece of needlework. And I don’t like the centering either. It’s a lovely piece and it deserves better. I am extremely precise with my wonderful framer. She puts temporary stickie notes on all four sides of the piece to designate exactly where I want the frame. And, I ask exactly how she stretches and secures the piece on the back. Your story is a warning to all – discuss upfront potential wrinkles and other common problems, such as off-grain framing.

  331. Can’t see the ripples in the first pic you posted. However I did think the piece was not centered correctly. I would not have let it slide with the framer. I certainly would not ever use that particular shop again.

  332. I am sorry about this whole situation and the waste of mental energy that could be employed elsewhere. I think you have three questions that only you can answer:
    Do I trust these (clearly incompetent) framers touching my work again?
    What would I advise a dear friend or protege to say and do?
    Am I willing to accept shoddy work on behalf of the framer’s future clients? (Don’t forget that tacit acceptance is an endorsement of sorts.)
    Like you, I have swallowed comments and reactions in similar situations, fearing to be “impolite” or “demanding”. If you had been standing beside a friend as they picked up their disappointing item, would your advice have been “don’t make a scene, just accept it? I think we are far too willing to undervalue ourselves and our needs.
    You paid for a professional service. Nothing about the experience says “professional”. Would you treat your clients in this manner? I’m sure not-having seen the care with which you assemble kits. Good luck!

  333. Personally I would take it apart and redo it myself, because often that’s the only way to get it done right. If you took it back to the framer, you might get it back – still not done right and with no time left to correct it.

  334. Oh Mary! I feel your disappointment – and frustration! I don’t think your beautiful embroidery received the professional presentation for which you paid. If I were in the same predicament I would take it out of the frame, lace it to remove the wrinkles and you could also reposition to centre the work. The position of the piece in the frame jumped out at me as soon as I saw it at the start of your discussion. Commiserations…

  335. Oh Mary, that is so frustrating! Sometimes, especially as women, we are so afraid of conflict! And with a time limit, you are in such an awkward place! I would like to encourage you to return to the framer and try to educate them. You are telling a truth, you are not accusing them of badness, you are simply stating what you know to be true. It IS possible to stretch two pieces of fabric, one might need to use techniques different from stretching/framing a single layer, but it is possible, and necessary. Secondly, use I statements, not accusations. I was disappointed, I think maybe you have not encountered this kind of work before. I think this is not up to the standards your business has the reputation for producing. I can help you understand this more.
    You don’t have to be mean or ugly or a victim. But you can stand up for what you know to be true.
    And, you can pray before you go! I am praying for you. I love your work, your website and your teaching. Be strong. Have courage!

  336. Hi, Mary. Commiserations on your framing quandary. I noticed the poor positioning of your lovely work in your first photo. Inexcusable. That’s why framing rulers exist. The ripples add insult to injury. I would NOT take this back to this “high-end” framer. I would have told the framer that the framing did not live up to the high-end reputation, when I picked it up. I would have explained the importance of the piece, that being the reason you had requested framing from this company. I’m pretty sure I would have firmly informed the framer that I had done better framing jobs on my own. If you were not facing a deadline, you could allow them to TRY to make good on the work, IF they offered. Under these circumstances, I think you should stretch and re-position the stitching on your own. If you carefully note/photo the backing as you deconstruct, I believe you should be able to satisfactorily replace the backing. I certainly would not recommend this framer to anyone personally requesting good quality framing advice. I think they deserve a public negative review, to protect other stitchers, but I would not do this – the ramifications could be ugly. I do think it worthwhile to inform the framer that you will NOT publish a negative review by name, but you will certainly NOT recommend their service.

  337. Because your beautiful work is going into a publication you want (and need) it to be as close to perfect as possible. Taking it apart and fixing it yourself would solve that issue. If the back doesn’t show in the publication then all would be well.

    It is possible that the “framer” would not fix the back and even get nasty about it. In that case I would never use the framer again and not hesitate to recount your story to anyone who wanted your opinion.

  338. How awful, and how dismissive of your skill! First thing I noticed was the unequal left-right margins. The ripples don’t show in the photograph on my screen, but that’s very different from looking at the piece itself. I see two problems with taking it back: time, and no guarantee that you will get a better result (with the risk of worse).

  339. It is not often that I am moved to comment, but your article on framing has me seeing red. Nothing nicer than a well-framed piece, but also nothing more annoying than a couple of glitches that bug you every time you look at them. Sometimes you can get used to it, in the name of keeping the peace, but, truly, sometimes you have to speak up.

    I would really not be happy on both counts with that framing. I would def not let that go in a book! Does this lady know who you are? I would promise her free advertising on your blog if she does not correct it!!! Perhaps even email her the link to what you have already written, and give her the opportunity to see all our comments and make it right.

    I recently had 6 pieces at the framer. One piece had a piece of hair stuck under the glass and they fixed that easily. The next had a silvery/ champagne frame and the frame that was sent to them was quite different from the sample – more goldy colour and looked dead next to the sparkly light blue material of my project. they personally rang the supplier and asked him to look for a piece that was more like the sample but none could be found so I chose another frame. And another had to be restretched as the borders were not right. Luckily my preferred mode is staples! All done graciously and (unexpected) a $40 voucher to use on my next purchase for MY trouble.

    I always make sure which stretching method the framer is using before I choose them. And I always clarify what gaps top, bottom and sides if necessary. Otherwise it would be standard practice to leave a larger space at the bottom of the picture. Perhaps she thought you were going to hang it as a diamond and did this??

    Also I can see that this piece would probably have been traced on before it was embroidered. Was it centred diagonally at this point? Perhaps the framer focussed on making sure the threads were straight along the edges as her first priority, rather than looking for centre lines?

    Anyhow, def needs fixing is my view.

  340. Take it part, re stretch and take it back in pieces to the framer. Also show them the picture showing it was not centered.

    Some years ago I had a similar problem – two pieces which took over 12 months to complete and when I finally picked it up the framer had readjusted each piece from the way I had requested. I left the shop in tears after paying way too much for the pieces. When I pulled them apart the lacing was almost none existant – a couple of threads pulling it together.
    I still am annoyed at myself that I did not stand on my feet and say – not good enough and I will not pay for such a shoddy job.

  341. Hi Mary, the first thing I noticed was that it is not centred in the frame. To my eye it is too much to the right. If you measure it, it might be technically correct, (I don’t know) but a good framer should be able to make “eye” corrections so that it appears centred.

    As for the ripples, I’d head off back to the framer and get the whole thing redone on the spot. That is ridiculous nonsense to say 2 pieces of fabric can’t be stretched together! I don’t see how they could be done separately! I reckon she just missed catching it correctly. I’d also expect some recompense for your trouble. In Australia I would expect a refund.

    Hope you can get it off to France on time. It is a beautiful piece of work.


  342. Looking head-on at the first photo and knowing something was wrong, I realized it was off-center. If I had it hanging around my house more and more I would notice that it was off center and eventually that small amount would be like the Grand Canyon in my mind. The ripples when I saw them were totally unacceptable and the framer KNEW this comment was going to be coming from you so she had prepared her ‘defense’. I don’t like arguing with staff any place, but the older I get, the more I am willing to. If I can’t get satisfaction at the time I walk with my feet so to speak. I haven’t been back to the major national Pizza place with the red roof for years after a waitress insisted that all the dough in a pan pizza which had been pulled to the edges of the pan giving about a 2-3″ wide crust and am 1/8-1/4″ thin bottom in the middle was how she saw them all the time. As I had been going that particular place since probably before she was born and knew that wasn’t how it was supposed to look, I have not been back.

    Mary, I wish I could counsel you on how to deal with this, but other than marching back into the framer’s and demanding an immediate redo before you make sure that the book it will appear in says – “awful framing by such and such a store”. You have seen plenty of embroidering items and know-how they should look and I doubt is you are the only stitcher that uses fabric in the back. And yes, she should have called you.

  343. It is such a beautiful piece of art. I would not send it the way it is. I could not see the wrinkles on my computer, but when you showed it close up they were very obvious. I did notice that it was off center and that also is very obvious even to a non-artist like me. I’m not sure I’d trust the framers to redo it correctly. If you can redo it yourself then that’s what I’d do and then have them put the back on it. They owe you some if not all in refund. They would not want you telling others to go elsewhere for framing because they did a poor job with you work.
    You deserve to have your lovely piece appropriately framed. Good luck!

  344. I noticed that it was not centered immediately. The ripples would bother me a lot. It would be all that I would see when I looked at the piece. I question how expert the framer really is. In deciding what to do, I would choose what worked best for getting the piece where it needed to be in time. And I would never use the framer again.

  345. You will not be happy with your beautiful embroidery unless you have the motif centered properly which is what stood out to me first having only seen it head on (first photo). After seeing your angled view, do you really want to see your work rippled and possibly repeated in printed copy? The professional framer should have called you immediately when the problem was presented. The frame and mat are so pretty with your embroidery. It was a good choice. Good luck with your time constraints.

  346. Right away I noticed it wasn’t balanced when framed. Meaning, it wasn’t centered! NOT professional. It is pushed to the right.
    Then, I noticed the ripple. It absolutely can be laced flat with 2 fabrics. It just takes a second to do it right.
    Yes, I’d certainly quickly re-lace it to unpucker and center it. I’d show the framer your comments from your readers and hope that they will take more time and pride in their work. I hope you can get this fixed before sending it off. Of course, you can send it with the backing removed and have it re-backed when it comes home.

  347. Hi Mary,
    The “ripples” happened to me with a piece I had framed. Even though I took it to
    Michaels they absolutely took it back and fixed it. By the way, our Michaels did a beautiful job. I did notice the spacing….oh my. I’d never use that frame shop again. They should make it all right.

    Peggy Miltier

  348. I didn’t notice the pucker in the first photograph but it did strike me that it was off-balance. I think this will always bother you unless you fix it yourself. You can’t trust the original framer to re-do it properly since she doesn’t believe she did anything wrong!

  349. Hi Mary, take a deep breath, be as professional and polite as you are, take it back to the framer, explain your dissatisfaction and request it be done properly at her expense. I agree about the centering and the ripples. I find it somewhat incredible that she thought the piece was properly finished and ready to be picked up and paid for. IMHO best regards, Lynn Stiglich

  350. I say bring it back and tell them you are not pleased. Even if they do nothing, you have expressed your opinion.

    I usually stretch my own work before bringing it to the framer. Then I know it is stretched correctly. Also, framing embroidery is different than framing photos and art. A framer experienced with textiles will know to size and orient the mat to match the embroidery, not the supporting board used to stretch the piece

    I have gone to our local Michaels’s because of a good deal, and unlike another poster, I’ve never gone back: it was the worst experience ever. They misplaced a piece for three months; found it; it was completely askew (see the above about emb. vs. photos); I helped them measure it – they turned the measurements 90 degrees, reframing it horizontaly although it is a clearly vertical piece, then told me I didn’t understand framing… mmmhm. I then brought it to my favourite framer to redo. I never even said who did the original framing…apparently I wasn’t the first to come to them for a good job after a bad experience.
    My preferred framer has been in business many years and I dread the day they decide to retire. As noted, I usually lace my own work but I’ve also walked in, dropped an unmounted piece on the counter and said “do whatever” and left. I’ve not yet been disappointed. I’v recommended them many times. Most become regular clients.

  351. I feel your pain. I have worked for years trying to find a framer who know how to properly frame needlework. I went to a shop to pick up a baby sampler for a great nephew we were going out of state to visit the next day. I discovered my mistake (wrong year — put a 9 instead of an 8) I asked them to remove it from the frame so I could make the correction while at the shop and they could reinsert in the frame. I was horrified to see that the framer had cut chunks of linen out of the corners to wrap it and tape it to the board. At that point, I didn’t say anything but they haven’t done any more for me. I just hope the framer I know now will continue working.

  352. I would fix it myself, march it back to the framer and show her that a backing fabric doesn’t affect the framing. Laziness? Didn’t want to take the time to do it correctly? Both? I would then tell her to re-do the back while you wait. That’s the LEAST they could do since they screwed it up! Doesn’t sound like very professional people to me. Looking at the first photo I didn’t see any ripples until you showed the close up. I thought (looking at the photo) the left side was a bit more narrow. Things play tricks on my eyes anymore. Aging is not fun.

  353. Turn it 90 degree and then it looks balanced – left hand down. Looking at the first photo I thought one side was narrower.

  354. That horrible frame job is beyond belief. I believe that the only way it will be ready to ship Monday is for you to re-do it. BUT, before you do that, take it back and either talk to a manager, or, if is the framer’s personal business, talk to her. Tell her all of the issues with it. Tell her that it isn’t fit to display because of these issues. Tell her you are going to have to re-do it so it can be shipped Monday and that you cannot rely on her to fix the multitudes of issues. And, ask very nicely for a refund. She should, at a minimum, refund all labor costs. If she doesn’t, so be it. Lesson learned. But, I think if you don’t stand up for yourself, you’ll regret it forever. Don’t beat yourself up down the road because you failed to stand up for yourself. Also, if you have one with a backing that you framed bring it with you to show her that it is possible.

  355. For this very reason, I now lace and frame all my own work. My first Birth Sampler I had ‘professionally’ framed, I’ve now noticed since that it has ripples and therefore I know it hasn’t been laced properly. The other framer I used, advised clients that he didn’t do lacing and tells them that he will glue the embroidery to the back of the backing board. He said the client just doesn’t want to pay that kind of money! Before I stretch my embroidery, I tack a blue thread on all sides where I want it to go over the edge of the mat board or foam core board. Then you can adjust accordingly. The only thing I buy from a framer now is the mat board for the front.

    I wouldn’t worry about the centring issue but you as a professional submitting a piece for a book is a different matter. Go ahead and do the job yourself to your satisfaction. I also purchased from a framer, the extra strong brown backing sticky tape and you can re-attach the hanging wire.

  356. I would probably leave it as is for myself , and it would drive me cuckoo every time I looked at it.

    Since it is am important piece, I would take it back and kindly and firmly let them know that it is not up to your expectations. Explain where it’s going and (implication)that it is their name also that is to be advertising.

    I really think they should have done better on both the ripples and the centering. If you wanted it off center you would have requested that.

  357. Hi Mary, I understand your angst – being that I saw the picture, I didn’t notice the wrinkles, but they shouldn’t be there and a master embroiderer would probably be critical of it (the framer, not you!) I noticed the larger space on the left hand side before anything else. So I definitely suggest hanging it at an angle – maybe that will make the wrinkles less noticeable?? If you’re running on a deadline, I think I’d leave it – trying to fix it before the deadline may mean it won’t get done. One thing can lead to another, but it is very annoying for you!

    Good luck!

  358. The ripples must go and my 1st step would be to go to the framer. As you noted, so much about the job is truly elegant, so you could lead with that, but you don’t want either of your reputations attaced to those ripples! If the so-called pro won’t work with you, then try your own adjustment. Regardless, good luck! It’s a lovely piece of work!

  359. Hi Mary – I was horrified when I saw those ripples!
    This is really unacceptable – especially when you are paying a lot.
    I am really surprised the framer thought it was okay.
    I would take it back & jump up & down until they fix it.

    PS. I’d love it if you could consider making the Leafy Tree availble as an e-book

  360. If it was a gift for a non-needle worker friend I would probably let it go. However, this is your professional reputation since it’s going into a book and it will just grate on your nerves every time you think about it if you don’t fix it. I would fix it and take it back to the framers to finish the back. Am not sure what to do about the framer herself — maybe speak to the manager.

  361. Hello Mary. I know all too well how frustrating this is. I have had similar problems with the so called professional framers. The very first thing I noticed is that it isn’t centered! As I scrolled down on my phone (that’s how I’m viewing this) I saw the ripples. I cannot imagine how the framer could be satisfied with their work. You simply must fix it yourself because of your deadline Your work is so extraordinarily beautiful and it deserves the very best framing. Thank you for sharing your expertise with all of us. Not only are you a remarkable needle artist but you are an excellent teacher.

    R Corbello

  362. Hi Mary, from my own experience you will never be happy with the completed piece unless you remove the ripples and centre it properly. Especially if this is a special piece as you have stated. It looks like it was given to someone who was inexperienced in framing and they have done a lesser job on the framing than they should have. If this is the quality of the framer, I wouldn’t be going back as I’m sure you won’t be either. I lace all my embroideries before taking them to the framer now. In Australia you would b lucky to find one that would even lace the back, most just stick it on the back of the framing board. Horrors!

  363. OMG! =( Sine you are against a deadline, I would carefully take off the back and fix the puckering, then put the back on again. You’re not photographing the back, right?

  364. I don’t think it should have left the framing shop with those ripples. Unacceptable! I realize time is an issue, but I think the shop should redo it properly in your timeframe. I frame a lot of my own needlework and acknowledge that stretching two layers of fabric is tricky but not impossible. Ask the shop if they would be proud to have their name displayed next to this piece at an international event. Good luck

  365. It definitely is not centered!

    As far as the ripple goes, if it were hanging in my house, the ripple is the first think I would see every time I would walk by — I would definitely take it apart and redo it.

    But your piece has to go to France on Monday! Is it going to be photographed? The ripple does not show in a face 0n photograph, so it that is what will be done with it, I might send it as it is.

  366. I noticed it was not centered not the wrinkles. It would bother me when I paid good money for a service that was not done well.
    I guess I would open it up myself and fix the needlework to my satisfaction and take it back to them to reseal the back. That is the least they could do for shoddy work.

  367. Since this piece is going to France and being part of an important endeavor, I would lace it myself and take it to the framer to reconstruct. That is not a professional framing job. It would help her see how to lace the piece correctly to avoid another dissatisfied customer. You paid for a certain service and she should redo it. Good luck!

  368. I have also been very disappointed by a high end framer. She made all the right sounds when we were discussing the details, but the piece is rippled all the way across the bottom and the top. I have never taken it apart. I think it is lack of courage.

  369. So frustrating! Yes, I did notice the ripples and that it was not centered and I would get this sorted over the weekend , at least the ripples.

    I have had two similar experiences. The first has one a specially cut mat, shaped around a snow globe design – not inexpensive and when I went to pick it up the mat went around the top of the globe but over the corners of the globe base. When I pointed this out, the person explained that they had seen the error but decided not to fix it as no one would notice as the embroidery was so lovely; she then refused to fix it. The second (different framer) flattened a dimensional element of a piece by adding glass although the order sheet had in big capitals “NO GLASS – 3D design” I will not use either place again and tell others about my experiences with both!

  370. well Mary let me say that it was a big mistake walking out of there with it – miffed or not – when you were dis-satisfied – and well you should have been ! It sounds like you paid a pretty penny for the frame job so I would call the frame shop owner and get this settled pronto to your satisfaction. Don’t take it apart till you have them fix it.

  371. I noticed it being not centered immediately but I am a person that always can detect something like that. It would bug me so much that I would at least fix that. As for the ripples, it does seem like an excessive looseness. Surely, they could have done better than that. I’m sorry that you had this experience especially on such a beautiful, distinctive piece that will be photographed.

  372. I would have to march back and gently, but forcefully, explain that it’s just not right and you’re hoping that they can re-do it, stretching it properly as you know it can be done. If they say they cannot do it, they are incapable of doing it, then I would point out to them that they should have called you and let you know that before finishing the job. I would ask them to give you a discount since you are not pleased. It does not have to be a confrontation unless they want to make it so. You have not lost anything in doing this and you can still do plan B, i.e., doing it yourself.
    I think we have to speak up when these things happen. If we don’t, the experience will be repeated by those who follow you. There will be no incentive for them to improve the quality of their work.
    If they have a website or on FB and they do not help you, I would comment there that you weren’t happy with the quality of their work. That’s all I would say.
    Just my opinion and you asked…ha.

  373. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the thin black border next to the embroidery adds to the “not centred” look and is, in itself, neither straight nor even. Some of the ends appear to touch the maroon border and others do not. Maybe it is meant to be like this, but to my eye it is “wonky”. (Australian for not quite right!)

  374. OH Mary, I been out of the country and just read “Frame Up”. I did a Repro of Bayeux Tapestry. When I went to pick it up there was a grease mark on my linen! I brought it to their attention and what did I get… “Well, I guessed it was there when it was brought in!” I lost it. Why would I bring in something with a stain and it not be mention in the note…. Y’all allow it to be stain, didn’t inform me and framed it that way… MANGER please. She inform me and the framer that it would be taken and cleaned as best as possible and reframed. They did a very good job on cleaning. Plus, she gave me a discount, which I used on my next piece.
    The first thing I noticed was it wasn’t center! I would take it back and explain to them. Have them remove the backing and check the linen/muslin to see if there was a cause for the wrinkle. If so, then take home or fix there. Then have them reframe. Oh, center the piece, please.

  375. I think the framer took a short cut. The material on the front is what is most important to be stretched properly. I am afraid you are going to have to take it apart and determine what they did to stretch it and to better certain it. Hopefully they didn’t cut the material, which I have seen happen. IF you can lace it I would take it back to them ASAP to get the back put on and the hanger. By the way, this is a glorious piece.


  376. Not good enough Mary. That was a push over. You paid for a good job and their work was second rate. Complain. Tell them you will not recommend their work to anyone. Goodluck.

  377. Dear Mary, what an awful quandry you should never have to face. I would be so wary of asking the framers to touch your precious work again. Did they not value the piece for the exquisite work that it is? If you are confident of lacing/ re-blocking the piece which of course has a backing fabric then go ahead and do it yourself. I would then take it back to them and offer to show them just how it should be done, if they do not offer to re-do the paper and final finishing touches which it will then require, I would be letting them know that you have a wonderful following on the internet with your embroidery and that you would now not recommend them to any of your followers. This would be a great shame as your work is well known and respected internationally. Possibly I would go one step further and indicate that you could name them on your website, but; if you do not like confrontation then take the more passive approach Good Luck.

  378. Mary, I did not see ripples until you pointed it out…but I could tell it was not centered as you pictured in the last “ squared “ photo. Mary that bothered me more. I would have said something also, but your time crunch maybe an issue.
    Here’s an idea ..if time permits take it back redo it in her presence and ask for some kind of reimbursement …for not doing satisfactory job and also show her how it CAN be stretched.
    Good luck

  379. Infuriating! And unprofessional. The spacing drives me crazy, it is so obvious. You should have to hang it at 45 degrees to compensate.
    Since you are on deadline, the only solution is to do it yourself, take it back to show them, and expect some rebate to be offered. If a rebate and apology are not offered, no more business to them, and an honest Yelp review.

  380. You’re absolutely right — it’s floating too high and too far over — and it’s not smooth! That will look bad to the folks in France — they’ll think nothing very good comes from Kansas (sniff!). I am so sorry this happened to you. Couldn’t you tell beforehand that the woman was a slob? And not tactful at all! [Too many younger people never heard “The customer is always right!”] If you do the straightening, can you get someone to finish the framing or sell you the supplies to finish the job so it looks just right? I would withhold approval and/or give her a two-star review somewhere. I just came thru something similar, only medical. A bad review on yelp! got wonderful results. Good luck, Mary!

  381. I didn’t see the wrinkle in the first photo. I did notice right away it was not centered. I had a similar thing happen to me. I took it back. I now lace all my own work and take it to be framed. Personally, I would redo it. I know the timeline is looming but I would take it apart and fix it properly. You will not be happy with it until you fix it. There is NO reason the fabric couldn’t have been laced properly.

  382. I would smooth it out and ask them to fix the backing for you. I second Marcia in that you’ll feel better if you do. It is a shame there isn’t time to make them re-do the job. There’s a concerning lack of skill if they can’t stretch two layers of fabric. I didn’t notice it myself but agree it also isn’t centered. I’m bitterly disappointed for you, and cutting you off like that is poor customer service. I use a thin piece of quilting batting behind my cross stitch pieces for the knots and uneven bits to sink into and if there’s open work I also add a piece of white fabric behind. I stretch each layer individually but I doubt I’d have any problems doing two layers together. It isn’t hard to do, I’ve never had wrinkles like that! If an experienced framer is failing like this they should stop framing needlework.

  383. The ripples would bother me. I did notice that the work wasn’t centred but the design makes it not so noticeable. It’s a difficult one and reminds me that next time I get a piece framed to discuss these details wit the framer.

    Where I live there are only a couple of framers and everyone’s looks the same. I do realise that cost is an issue but with all the work and time one has put in its worth spending the extra.

  384. Mary, this is not acceptable and your framer isn’t proficient in framing needlework obviously. I would take it apart and re-stretch it myself. I have done many that are stitched with a backing fabric. Stretch using small straight pins all around the edge. Begin wit a center point on each side and pul and stretch as pins are placed moving from center point to each corner. Pins should only be stuck into the mat board on the edge so as to secure. You may need to go around and re-pull in some areas to get rid of any ‘ripples ‘ in the fabric. Once you are happy with it, take it to your sewing machine and using a denim needle with mercerized thread zig zag the fabric edge to the board. Place double sided acid free tape at the back, fold the fabric back to it and remove the pins. Placing linen tape on the edges will secure this for a lifetime or more. Reframe it and put your own brown paper as a backing with the hanger last. There is no need to lace this piece. The above technique works every time and is much less costly. I live in Canada, am a needle arts teacher and have taught for over 25 years. My professional framer showed me this techniques and I have taught it to many of my students. There aren’t very many framers that can frame needlework in a perfect way. Mine is an amazing woman. I also agree with the centering. It is off center. Do take care and I hope this has helped. Happy Stitching!

  385. Hello Mary, what a beautiful piece. I think your instincts are right. You should open it up and reset it to your own satisfaction and insist that the redo the back. Sending it as it is, with its obvious problems will just not do.

    I wouldn’t have taken it in the first place. Its not professionally done and her response was defensive which tells me she was aware of the problem but wasn’t gong to take responsibility for it.

    Over time I’ve developed the skills to handle recalcitrant service suppliers. I was raised to be polite and not to make a fuss which took a long time to get over! Now, if work is not up to standard then I insist it is redone and persist until they do….in the nicest possible way of course

  386. I noticed the unequal spacing immediately, but that’s me and many won’t see it. Didn’t see the wrinkles until you angled the piece. It’s poor professional work. Make it right yourself or it will always bother you whether in or out of your sight. I teach Boutis and I always tell students not to go by a stitch that irks them. It will always do so if they leave it and it will always be noticeable to them if not to anyone else. Having said all, your work is fabulous and it deserves the best presentation possible.

  387. Don’t spoil a beautiful piece. I would take it back, get them to unframe it, lace it yourself to your satisfaction and then get them to reframe……and ask for a discount! I have never had a wrinkle problem with a backed piece. Your work us exquisite. And yes it is not centered!

  388. Hi, sorry about your framing. I’ve heard a lot of people comment on lack of know-how from framers who can’t seem to do needlework well. Yes they should have asked you before continuing if they had a problem with the two fabrics. The first thing I thought was it didn’t look centred properly. Only you know the extent of confidence in your ability to fix this. I’m a learner but I’d probably be cross enough to give it a go lol. Good luck! Still your beautiful work 🙂

  389. As soon as I looked at the picture, I said aloud: “It’s not centred!” I would re-do the stretching and lacing (and have done this so many times now). I was most upset, but unlike you, it was not my whole reputation on the line. The closest framer to me at the time was a full day’s drive each way and after that, I would get them to make the frame, mat boards etc. and I would lace it myself then go back and have them seal the back. It took a lot longer, but I hated the way my work looked when it was offset and pulled out of shape in a couple of places. Your framer, being so reputable, should not mind “re-sealing” it for you. You can always tell them that it will be in an international publication and will likely have their name on it as the “framer” and would they welcome that sort of advertising. It is definitely shoddy work.

  390. Hello there!
    Have read your framed embroidery dilemma.
    As someone who gets very up tight about things being “perfect” I totally sympathise. However, trying to be logical….
    In an ideal world, it should go back to the framer for the job that you paid for to be done correctly. However, time is not on your side if you need to post it off to France asap and if, again like me, you don’t like confrontation, do you want to put yourself through that stress? Either way, you won’t use that framer again.
    You obviously have some framing experience, so could have a go yourself. As you say you don’t know exactly what’s inside though, potentially it could go wrong and dare I say it, end up worse?
    I really would send it as is. It is a beautiful piece and I think that is what other people will be concentrating on when looking at it (mostly head on!!). It is a textile piece rather than a painting, so if people notice, they probably would be thinking ripples must be quite normal anyway?!
    In terms of the positioning, I can see what you mean once you pointed it out. It is so organic in shape though, it is far from obvious.
    I am relatively new to embroidery. I did a little as child and have come back to it over 30 years later. I seem to spend more time unpicking than stitching at times, so what do I know! Hopefully this may help though.
    P.S. Have been finding your YouTube videos invaluable. Thank you!

  391. Hello Mary
    The first think I noticed was that the embroidery wasn’t centred, which is a very basic error for a supposedly high end framer. It is further compounded by the awful stretching (or lack of it) and they should have told you what they could or couldn’t do with it.
    Really you should return to the shop and either demand a refund or ask them to redo it, as in its present state it’s not fit for purpose. In any case don’t ever use them again. As time is so short though, I would just somehow get in done properly.
    Have to say as well that, for me, the frame doesn’t do this beautiful piece justice.

  392. G’day Mary,
    I’m sorry about the framing problems that have arisen after all your work and expense.
    I would suggest opening it, re-stretching it, centred correctly (I noticed) and returning it to show the framer it can be done, and how it’s done. I feel the framer should refinish it for you post haste, you’ll have already done the fiddly part and hopefully they’ll have learnt a valuable addition to their trade, and satisfaction for yourself.
    Good luck for a happy ending.
    Cheers, Kath.

  393. Oh Mary, I would take it apart fix it yourself as you are obviously more skilled that the framer! You will never get satisfaction from that framer as obviously they are not skilled to your standard (or mine for that matter) . I would then take it to a framer you have used before and trust to have the back redone! It’s very disappointing and annoying considering the time frame! Will you be able to fix the off centering and still get it to sit within the existing mat frame or would that have to be redone also. On a positive note. I love the simplicity of the framing. Especially the fillet!
    Best of luck fixing it

  394. I can understand your disappointment and I would redo it as it would bother me the longer I looked at it. I’ve had the same thing happen at a couple of shops locally and I don’t go back. It’s so disappointing. Like you, I’m not confrontational and like you, I did let them know that I wasn’t happy. I now only go to a shop that’s 2 hr drive, one way. Her work has never disappointed me.

  395. I think you could open it up and make it right and ask them to reseal. They should be able to do that while you wait. That way this pretty piece can be included in your France trip. If there was time, I would ask them to redo the job.( Hopefully they didn’t trim the work, they wouldn’t do that would they? ) The centering would bother me forever. If they don’t feel that they can fix it, ask for your money back, return frame and mat , and start again somewhere else. I hate confrontation too, and I probably would have reacted the same way. Sorry you have to go through this.

  396. Hello Mary,

    First I would take the embroidery back to the person who did the framing. If they aren’t willing to correct the problems, then I would find someone else to do the corrections. Since you are experienced at working with 2 layers of fabric,perhaps you should correct that part of it, then take it to another reputable framer.

    I know I wouldn’t accept it if it were me. It is a beautiful piece and you should expect perfection.

    Keep us posted on how this works out for you.


    Annette Haggerty

  397. I would take it back. I could not see the ribbles on internet, but definitely could see that it was not centered. They made two big mistakes and they should correct their mistakes.

  398. To be honest, I didn’t notice the ripples in the first picture. But I did think ‘it’s not centred’. It’s so beautifully embroidered it’s a shame to leave it with ripples. I’d redo it myself and take it back for finishing. Then you could point out that you managed it ok. Seems strange that they are not used to framing embroidery with a backing fabric. And then I’d ask for a discount. And never go there again! Good luck

  399. I would take it out the frame and stretch it properly. It will always bother you when you look at the piece. It’s amazing what some framers will tell you when they are incapable of doing the job properly. Good luck. Regards Bridget

  400. How disappointing, especially when the piece is destined to be a part of something important. While the position of the embroidery is the secondary issue, I suspect that your framer had noticed the ripple from the start as she seemed to be ready to jump in with a reason. I’ve made the mistake in the past of miscounting the width of a project and joined the original fabric to muslin in order to have it framed, and had no problems with rippling. I think you are entitled to express your disappointment with the result (for both reasons) to the framer and that she should put her big girl professional panties on and sort it.

  401. I can understand your disappointment Mary, When someone comes highly recommended as a framer of embroidery, you expect to have a professional job. I noticed immediately that it was not centered and as already stated, you will always see both that and the wrinkles. Given that there’s a deadline, I think that I would do the corrections as you are skilled at such and then notify and return it ASAP on Monday to have it sealed and wait. Very disappointing service.

  402. You paid for a high end professional job which you didn’t get. If you dare (and have time), I would call the owner(who may be the framer) & tell them this isn’t acceptable. They should absolutely correct both issues you showed us especially considering the future of this lovely art piece. I’m hoping this all turns out well for you.

  403. Hello Ms Mary,

    Your are absolutely right this is not acceptable. I would probably have done the same thing you did. I would wish I would have told them this is unacceptable, and requested they fix it but would have been too untrustworthy by then to give it back to them. To fix the problem I would probably take it somewhere else to have it corrected. I know that would be more of an expense but I would still do that. I would also like to think I would send the owner a before and after photo along with a copy of the receipt showing them what it took to correct their work and ask if they would consider refunding me anything for having to correct their work. Of course I really wouldn’t expect a refund of any amount but do think I would ask. All they can say is no.

  404. Hello Ms Mary,

    Your are absolutely right this is not acceptable. I would probably have done the same thing you did. I would wish I would have told them this is unacceptable, and requested they fix it but would have been too untrustworthy by then to give it back to them. To fix the problem I would probably take it somewhere else to have it corrected. I know that would be more of an expense but I would still do that. I would also like to think I would send the owner a before and after photo along with a copy of the receipt showing them what it took to correct their work and ask if they would consider refunding me anything for haven’t g

  405. Mary, I’m with you on this one. I can see it’s not centered and there’s no excuse, the framer should’ve done a better job. The ripples would bother me most. However, you paid for a service you did not get and it’s unacceptable. Since you’re working on a tight time frame, I would fix it myself and return it to have the back re-done. Hope it all works out for you!

  406. Hi
    It’s not centered and that alone would bother me each time I looked at it, enough so that I’d get it fixed. The ripples were avoidable and also really detract from your polished work. They should have called before proceeding. I’d call them and do the conversation on the phone that didn’t feel comfortable in person. Assertive, not combative. (Sometimes those feel like the same things to those of us who don’t like conflict , but they’re not). Fix the ripples yourself since they don’t know how, have them reenter and finish the back. Maybe that can be done after the photo shoot. Good luck!

  407. Me- I would bring up all the issues with the framer and explain that not only was ‘she’ recommended as an experience needlework framer, but she also did not discuss any of her limitations before accepting the job. The wrinkles, regardless of noticeability are not proper as is the off-centering or unbalanced framing by the mat.

    Of course if the job cost next to nothing… I might just take it elsewhere and never go back to the first!

    Good luck with the dilemma.

  408. I have had almost the same situation. I took a crazy quilt piece that had fabrics, laces and buttons from my grandmothers so it was very special to me. When I went to pick up the piece I refused it and had them do it over. They still didn’t do a proper job but it was better.
    My advice is to re-stretch it yourself. I agree about the centering. You’ve got this!!

  409. I would not try to fix it myself, even if I had your skill set, but would march back in – at a busy time – and demand satisfaction in a loud voice. Also, if they have a FB page, add a negative comment. I think the lack of centering is noticeable and the ripples will show as shadows in the photography. It should be hung as the square. And, kudos, on such a lovely work of art.

  410. My first impression was that the piece was uncentred, and I think that would bug me, increasingly, over time, if I had to live with it. I would imagine the problem with the two layers of fabric is the plastic tab method she used. I always insist that my framer laces the work in the traditional way, and if they’re not happy about doing that, I take it to another framer who is. Sticking the fabric down , either with plastic tabs, or some other adhesive is much faster and easier for them, but the result is never as good.

  411. no you shouldn’t be miffed; you should be “angry”. Your framer, unfortunately does not know how to frame needlework. My support for this comment comes from my certificate classes at the RSN. The silk shading and gold work modules all require a backing fabric. When mounting that piece at the end you have to stretch both fabrics. It’s hard and takes a lot of time (+ 8 hours) but can be done. And ripples “must” be absent before it can be turned in for assessment. May I suggest Michael Mixon at Hanging Around Hoover in Hoover AL. You would have to mail it to him but he does a wonderful job and knows what he is doing.

  412. Take it apart and fix it. Wrinkles are not cool! Also, center it when you redo the piece.

    Take it back to the High End Professional and educator her to how you fixed it so she will not make that mistake again. She should appreciate your help. I’m afraid I would have not taken it home and had them open it right then and helped them fix it (in a nice way)!

  413. I think you should take it back, show them their errors and ask them to correct them explaining your deadline. It never hurts to ask and it lets them know you were unhappy. Don’t sit and stew. If they can not accommodate, try to fix the wrinkles yourself, at least you tried. Not being centered is unacceptable. Isn’t it their responsibility to get that correct? I would like to think they would “drop what they are doing” and take care of your problem because you are a good customer. Good Luck

  414. If it were my project I would take it apart, etc. The ripples are a game changer, centering I could live with, not happy but okay. such a beautiful project deserves the best framing.

  415. Mary- I am sure the framing was not cheap, so I think it was unacceptable that she treated your concerns in the manner that she did. I would open it up and fix it yourself if you are able, as it sounds like you know how to, and you are under time constraints, in addition, I would take pictures to show her how you did it to show her it is doable. I would also address the positioning in the frame, again with your pictures. And THEN, I would tell her you would not be back, nor would you be referring anyone to her. If you can give her an online review, I would give one addressing the issues. Hope this helps, Roxane

  416. I absolutely understand your frustration. I would have done the same, stayed silent and paid but would be fuming inside! The piece not being centred is unforgivable as far as I’m concerned. The wire or hooks on the back of the frame show you which way they thought it should be oriented – as I’m sure you showed them when you dropped it off – that they didn’t centre it to the orientation is amateur. The ripples – really unfortunate and should be fixed. You should have to settle for less. I’d open it up just to see if it can be pulled straight. If yes, I’d take it back and show them and have it done again. If they are worth their reputation, they’ll make it a priority and do it ASAP. Please let us know what you end up doing.

  417. I noticed almost immediately that the needlework was not centered in the frame, and this should have been obvious to the “professional” framer. I have framed many of my own needlework pieces, and I always use a ruler to check that the piece is centered. At a minimum, this routine aspect of framing should have been done. The ripples were not noticeable to me in the head-on picture until you pointed them out. I would have to go back to this framer and, at the very least, ask for some kind of a refund. Since your pictures show the “off-centeredness” of the framing and, since you have a deadline for this piece, I would probably fix it myself before going back to the framer to prove the ripples could be removed. I would also let this “professional” framer know that you will spread the word to not use her services.

  418. Would not accept the framing – would take back and try to work with the framer on getting the ripples out – I can’t imagine that my framer would ever try to give me something like this!

  419. I would definitely take it apart and redo the stretching myself. However I would make sure that the framers were aware of your displeasure!

  420. Mary,
    I would take the piece apart but if so and you want the framer to replace paper on back they may reuse because you messed with it. I also like it at 45 degree angle.

    Good luck.

  421. Two mistakes should at least mean not paying full price.
    And yes, I noticed the wider left margin immediately. (Often farmers leave a larger bottom margin, so I would have likely let that go, if it had not been specified to be equal when I placed the order.)

  422. Hi Mary,

    That is a beautiful piece of work. I think the ripples should be fixed unless you know that the photo for the book will be sympathetic; if they will be sure to shoot it head on. If they can/will do that it may be best to send it to be sure to make the deadline.

    As for it being uncentered the Framers may have positioned the piece because they thought that the side they choose for the deeper margin was the bottom. Framers are taught to leave a heavier bottom margin as it is meant to ground the work. But I do think they should have clarified which “side” of the piece was the bottom. If they had done that you would have told them to place the the piece with the same margins all around. I think that the piece being uncentered may matter more than the ripples. They should fix it.

    I hope it works out for you.

    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

  423. I would take the frame apart and do it correctly myself, documenting the procedure step by step. Then I would take the record of what I had to do to correct it to the framer, discuss it, and ask for a refund of labor charges. I would probably find another framer to use in the future. Your needlework is beautiful and deserves to be displayed properly, especially if it is a gift.

  424. Sorry, but you must reframe the piece – it will not “stand”. I could not see the ripples on my monitor until I looked at the second picture, but I did notice it was off centered. You can not use this for a book. If you can do all the work, I would not worry about the paper on the back. Surely you can pick up some acid free heavy paper to place on the back and the hanger should be able to be reused.

    Sigh, this has happened to us all – various stories, but I have had several items re-framed.

    Good Luck

  425. I would remove the ripples! It doesn’t matter if no one else notices. YOU know it is rippled. If the framer you took it too is as good as she says she is she will fix the back for you. If not, don’t use her again.

  426. I took a piece to my daughter-in-law’s favorite framer (not mine) but I did it for her so I took it where she wanted and she picked what wanted. He did a bad job which I pointed out to him requesting a do over which he did. It still could have been better but I didn’t have courage to say so. However, it bothered Karen, my ‘d-i-l, so she took it back. He redid to her satisfaction. This was a diamond shape on canvas; I had done basketweave maybe 1/2” around for framing ease but he had a lot of trouble getting the mat cut properly.

  427. First thing that I noticed when I looked at the picture was that it was off center. I don’t know if that would be a lack of fabric going all the way around to allow it to be centered, or perhaps in the way that it was stretched. Or I guess I should say not stretched. I did not see the ripples until you showed the photo where they were very evident. My framer guarantees their work, it is a small locally owned art shop that is expensive but does great work. They would never be dismissive to a customer’s concern. If I were in your situation I would take it back, explain the importance of the work and the time crunch, and offer to work with them on the stretching if they could do it in a timely manner. If they don’t want to do that you could discuss the options of you stretching and them reframing. I wouldn’t expect money back but I would expect the repair job to be a priority and at no extra cost. I would explain it as a learning experience for everyone, in terms of customer service (call if there is a problem before completing a job) and a demonstration on stretching and centering textiles that have layers. Good luck, and be sure to let us know your decision and the final outcome! Thank you so much for sharing. I learn so much from you! I wish I could be there to be your advocate. My job is enterprise risk management – what are the things that keep companies from achieving their mission/goals, and how to mitigate so the the risk does not become an event such as you are experiencing. If they allow it to continue it will happen again – it won’t be an isolated incident. The risk is to reputation, customer satisfaction, and loss of future business/income.

  428. Mary,
    I would take it apart and do it myself. The framer did a lousy job. That means that they can do a lousy job again. It is very difficult to find a good framer for embroidery work here in the States. And professional framing is ridiculously expensive. I usually find some inexpensive framed pictures, remove the pictures and use the frames for my embroidery. Of course only if I like the frames. It turns out to be much less costly and I managed to find good boxed frames for my ribbon embroideries.

  429. Hi Mary
    You DO have a problem. Sending it off like that is like sending your child to school with clothes that should be ironed and you didn’t.
    Everyone will be judging your piece and WILL notice the ripples. Some will also notice the “not in the middle”.
    I would have a very hard time sending it as is.
    The framer would probably NOT do a great job on a re-do either .
    The old saying “If you want it done right, we have to do it ourselves”. You need to ask for your money back.
    I know , I don’t like confrontation either, but sometimes we need to take the bull by the horns. 🙂
    She should not be charging people for shoddy work. You would be doing all a favor by being honest with this framer. Hugs. Good luck. :))))))))

  430. I, too, avoid conflict — especially face-to-face. I agree with everyone that it needs to be fixed. Maybe you need to restrict it and have the framer re-finish the backing. Only fair. If you had more time, I’d be tempted to make them redo the whole thing, but they might take their anger out on the piece….. Can you send an email to the framer (another way to confront), explain your situation. You are unhappy with their work. The piece needs to be in France – to be photographed for a book – it isn’t centered, and the fabric isn’t pulled tight….. Do they have any suggestions about how to remedy this situation. Put the ball in their court….

  431. I would have been just as disappointed in the framing job as you are. I’d take it back if they can get it fixed before your deadline. If not, send it to France and get it fixed when it comes back. There is no excuse for this kind of sloppy job. Not centered and with wrinkles! Inexcusable!

    Mary C.

  432. I would take it apart and mount it myself. Possibly photo each stage as you undo their work to prove the issue isn’t using 2 layers because I use two and can mount it and not get wrinkles, but I do lace it, no tape or clips. Photos may help when asking framer to redo back, unless you can get new brown tape for back and DIY.

  433. I would redo myself. If the framer could not do it correctly the first time, I would be Leary of what they might do the second time. I would not leave picture as is. I would only see wrinkles

  434. I’d take it back!! Get a refund. This is unacceptable!! Contact me off line – I have a very professional museum quality framer (Her shop does all the framing for a large regional museum). She has done framing for many national professional stitchers, and would NEVER allow this slop out of their shop. She has framed many two fabric pieces perfectly.

  435. I would march that piece right back to the framer. That is not acceptable. And yes I noticed right away that it was not centred. Not someone I would recommend unless it was dealt with in a professional manner.

  436. Mary,

    There is nothing “confrontational” about pointing out unprofessional and shoddy work in a mature manner, especially to “the boss.” You are dealing with a business, one that has an enormous investment in word-of-mouth referrals. If there is an employee who (a) is doing unprofessional work and (b) has an attitude when a customer is legitimately displeased with the work then “the boss” needs to know that right away. How many other customers has the business lost to exactly this situation? More than one, I’ll bet. How is “the boss” – or even the employee if she has any self-respect – supposed to know this if no one says anything?

    You have the “before” pictures. Because of the time limitations, I would take it apart, restretch it, and return to the shop. You might give a head’s up call, making sure “the boss” is there at the time you go. After explaining the situation, including the time limit, I would offer to wait while the reframing is completed (plus you are there for the final reveal).

    In addition, you might take a number of these reviews with you – I noticed (what turned out to be) both the ripples and off-center placement right away – and we are people who haven’t seen the original and we got it!

    After the piece is safely shipped you might offer to work with the shop as to how this technique is done correctly. Since one thing I consistently see in your blogs is the admonition (in polite and humorous ways) that any part of this process needs to be done correctly, efficiently and with an eye for beauty, I think you are correct to assume all elements of the partnership are the best.

    Good luck.

  437. I’m with you, Mary. I too would be dissatisfied with the framing. The last two times I have had professional framing of needlework, I have gone to the framer, chosen the frame, mats and type of mounting desired and explained that I prefer to do my own lacing of the piece to the mount. The framers agreed and cut the mounting board. I paid, took the mounting board, and promised to return the laced needlework within the next day or two.

    This allows me to position the piece exactly the way I want it and has the added advantage of minimizing the framer’s handling of the embroidered piece.

  438. I had an adobe window needlepoint framed as a square. I was really mad because it showed the canvas and was obviously wrong. I had asked them to frame it to match design, curved top. My husband was surprised I raised a fuss. They fixed it after I asked to speak to a supervisor and said “why in the world would I want blank canvas to show”
    We want our creativity to be the way we want it. Complain and take it back.

  439. I had a Mexican adobe window needlepoint framed as a square. I was really mad because it showed the canvas and was obviously wrong. I had asked them to frame it to match design, curved top. My husband was surprised I raised a fuss. They fixed it after I asked to speak to a supervisor and said “why in the world would I want blank canvas to show”
    We want our creativity to be the way we want it. Complain and take it back.

  440. Oh, wow, Mary! If your high priced framer didn’t do it right the first time, she probably won’t do it right the second time, either. You’ve got great photos of what’s wrong with the framing and you know that you can take the paper off the back and fix it properly yourself. In your place, I would do exactly that, and I would take pictures along the way (e.g. of what you find at the back, of the proper stretching that you’ll do, of the finished product). I, too, find that I am not at my best when upset, and can often express myself better in writing. You may want to write to her about your dissatisfaction and the fact that it is clearly possible to stretch the piece properly with the backing. Though I doubt you’d be refunded, there’s no harm in asking for a partial refund. It sounds like there won’t be time to get the brown paper on the back again, but that’s a small issue when it comes to display. Good Luck!!! and thank you a million times over for all your generous sharing of embroidery instruction! It’s made a huge difference to me as I’ve fallen in love with embroidery all over again after a zillion years of not doing it.

  441. I have experienced a similar situation. This is not a professional job. A professional would have squared it and noticed the upper right corner, if there were any doubts, a phone call would have been made to ask some simple questions (or possibly request a return visit to go over specifications). The ripple is simply unacceptable, a poor excuse for sub-standard work. If you are able to remove the ripples yourself, I would do that since you are pressed for time, then take it back for the backing replacement only, which they should be able to do while you wait. I would request a partial refund. Finally, I would look for another framer, they are clearly not up to the task.

  442. I am sorry for your problems with this project. In my experience with my own projects is that if something is bothering me, it will always bother me and therefore needs to be adressed. And since you asked us to look for problems I did see the unbalance of the framed composition (it would so bug me).

    So, out of all bad options available, I would vote for you to restitch the fabric and have them redo the back. This piece is after all going to be imortalized in a book! And I think they were highly unprofessional in how they dealt with your project, especially with a reputation for being able to do these types of projects.

  443. Hi Mary,
    I have given up on having the framer stretch my embroideries. I am always happy with the frames and now just take my finished and stretched piece to the framer. I too have successfully stretched a piece of embroidery with a backing fabric. I did it in two separate steps, first the backing fabric, then the silk. It was a little nerve wracking, but all turned out well. Since your embroidery is so beautiful, yes, I would take it apart and restretch it before sending it off.

  444. When I looked at it head-on, I thought it was the centering that you were upset with, because it is definitely not centered. I didn’t see the ripples until the next picture, up close. That is definitely not acceptable. I don’t think you should have had to pay for the labor of getting this framed where you did. Good luck in figuring out what to do.

  445. The framed piece is not centered. That was the first thing that I noticed. Actually I could get past that. Sloppy work by the framer, imho. They may be wonderful with photographs, but I personally would hand off my hard work to them based on this example. Puckered fabric seals the disappointment.

  446. I almost always do my own lacing, even if that mean an additional trip to the frame (first to decide on frame and mat choices, second to turn in laced piece). That way I know it’s as smooth as possible. And there was no excuse for that off-center finish!

  447. I had a piece done at the framing store a friend warned me about but it was in my budget so there I went. Of course, the fabric started to droop after a year. I opened it up to find out the framer had used plastic “pins” (they’re placed in there similar to a nail gun) and in some places, had pierced the fabric up to four or five times! What a hack job! The framer blamed the fabric. I had it redone at a different place (the framer also said the fabric was not easy to work with) but used metal pins. Hopefully, this one will last longer!

  448. First impression I had was the embroidery is not centered in the frame. That just isn’t acceptable and the framer should have never left it that way. Framing is expensive and the reason I’d use a professional framer is to ensure the piece is centered and stretched properly. I’d be asking for my money back.

  449. I’d take it back…because it also seems to me that the maroon matt on the left side is thicker or its shifted when she’s been framing it. Unsatisfactory, URL also find another to do your future hand pieces !!

  450. The ripples would really bother me so I would take it apart and fix it myself since the ‘framer’ already told you they couldn’t do it correctly. And while I had it apart, I would also center it properly. Then I would take it back, show them the corrections you made and ask them to put it back together.

  451. Mary,
    My first thought when I looked at the first picture was this: “Is that how the design is supposed to be centered?”. It seems unbalanced to me. I feel o.k. about saying this because you are not the person who framed it. 🙂 As for the ripples, I would be very, very miffed about that. I would like to think that I would make the framer re-stretch and reframe it, but I hate confrontation, too. I would probably take it apart and straighten out the ripples, but I also think you should not have to do that. Framing is not cheap, and since this one was especially expensive I believe the framer should live up to their reputation and correct the situation to your satisfaction. — Michelle R.

  452. Mary, I emailed you directly earlier today but as I re read your article I had a thought. If the framer did not use a minimum of 1/8 inch foam core, I’d get a piece of that or 1/4 inch and a package of stainless steel ball point straight pins. Use them to reblock the piece based on centering it with equal margins on all sides. I hope there is enough fabric on the margins to allow you to reblock it. A backing piece of acid free mounting board could stabilized the extra fabric without the necessity of lacing it before replacing it in the frame with the matt that you have.

  453. I would take it back if you have time, otherwise do it yourself. When I first looked at the piece I did not see the wrinkles but noticed immediately that it was off center. That would bother me.

  454. I’m the framer at my local needlework shop. Probably 95% of what I frame is cross stitch with no backing fabric, but here is my take. If there were no puckers in the fabric after it was stitched, there shouldn’t be any when it’s stretched. If time wasn’t an issue, I’d say take it back and ask them to redo it. If they refused or said that was the best they could do, I’d ask for at least a partial refund. Since you’re in a rush, I think your best bet is to restretch it yourself. They should be able to pop it back in the frame while you wait. You’ll never be happy with this piece if you leave it as is. I would hope that if any of my customers were unhappy, they’d let me know. After all the time and effort that goes into stitching a piece, it shouldn’t be ruined by a bad framing job. I’m guessing your framer isn’t a stitcher.

    The centering issue is a little trickier and somewhat subjective. I find for oddly shaped designs such as this, people have different ideas of where you should be measuring to center. The two widest points as you have done in your diagram, or something else? To me, if you moved it further to the left, it still might seem off center because what appears to be the center of the design (red semi-circle with stripes) wouldn’t be in the middle. But since you’re taking it apart to restretch it anyhow, you can play with it a bit and see what looks right to you.

  455. Mary, I agree with you. If I am paying good money for a product or service I want that product or service to be equally good. Initially I couldn’t see the ripples but I immediately noticed the centring. And the other thing I noticed is that the matt is the same width all round, while good framers make the bottom a little wider.

    I would definitely take this back. Throw a little tantrum if necessary, but make it right for you.

  456. As others have stated, I too would center the design and fix the ripples. Then approach the owner/“professional framer” with the piece as it should have been done in the first place, along with your article. The money spent may or may not be refunded but at least you know, when it reaches its final destination, it will be presented in a way consistent with the quality with which it was executed and it merits.

    As a fellow “pro” they should welcome your knowledge, insight and judgement.
    This should be viewed as a chance to collaborate, share expertise and further one’s craft. To have someone of your caliber and reputation, care enough to aid them in the execution of their job should be looked upon as a privilege. A true professional never stops learning nor is afraid to further abilities.

    You demand the best from your self. It isn’t confrontational to ask someone who claims they are an expert to approach their craft in the same demanding professional manner. Being complacent allows mediocrity to prevail over true talent.

  457. What boggles my mind most is that a framer would stretch the lining rather than the face fabric if they claimed they could not stretch both. The off center spacing bothers my eye and it will probably always bother yours too. If it were mine, I would open it , relace it and hope that it can be recentered at the same time. The paper should take any framer five minutes to replace and the hangar should be able to be reused. This makes me so sad, that you have to deal with this when you are already racing to get everything ready. I am going to go hug my framer. Hugs to you too

  458. Hi Mary,
    I would agree with your idea of taking the embroidery out of the frame & then stretch it yourself. Then ask the framer to replace it in the frame with new backing etc. It will always bother you if you don’t. I have an embroidery which I accepted from a framer some years ago. The poor stretching of the work still annoys me 15 years later!!
    The RSN website gives great instructions for stretching embroidery and although it is a lot of work, the results are fantastic.
    Good luck and best wishes.

  459. How close do you have to be to see the ripples? Two feet? They don’t bother me as much as the fact it isn’t centered. That can be seen at any distance.

  460. I would stretch it myself and then go back and insist they reframe while I wait.
    It didn’t show up on your first picture but I did notice that it wasn’t centered.

  461. I am sorry about your beautiful piece. But l would get it fixed. It is not sitting right and the ripple should not be there. To me the job was done to get it out of the way quickly as they could. And if you can notice it then others could as well see it.

  462. Hi Mary,
    Sorry to hear about this frustrating contretemps. A lack of customer service and professionalism on the framers part. So obviously not centered.
    Just a suggestion seeing you have this deadline.

    What about sending it to France as is explaining your dilemma and getting them to reframe it over there? I am sure that they will be delighted to help you sort this problem out.

    You can then sort out the rest with your framer when you have more time and less emotional about their obvious error. This situation might even h