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Trellis + cross stitch = awesome stitching frame

Trellis + cross stitch = awesome stitching frame

with 5 Comments

Here I go again, designing yet another cross stitch scroll bar frame. I’ve done several versions of this in previous posts, I’m just constantly trying to make my stitching as pain-free as possible. I’m usually reclined on my couch or on my new chair (literally it’s a hammock-style deck chair I’m using indoors as it has a great recline on it and supports my head really well). So any kind of frame stand or holder that’s designed to be used while sitting upright is hopeless for me, being upright is one of the most painful things I can do to myself.

I have done several variations for the frame stand. I’ve used a small piece of wood that makes a little “leg” that can prop it up at the back, and then I also experimented with an overhead holder using an extendible arm lamp. I’ve also recently been experimenting with using the little wooden leg on the front and some re-jigged cube sides from the dollar shop to make a little frame. The cubes are small plastic-covered metal grids that would lock together at the corners to make small shelving units, storage cubes, etc. I’d broken some in half then taped/wired them together lengthwise to make a gridded version of the wooden leg that the side frame nuts could sit in and be supported (in the pics above). It was mainly working but I was still not 100% comfortable working with that frame, I didn’t like how it sat on my lap as it was harder for me to sit comfortably. I often like to prop one leg up as I’m reclined, so having a frame that had a base that sat on my lap wasn’t overly practical in that sense.

So this time I took the idea of the gridded sides (as I liked being able to change the angle and height of the frame just by moving it around and hanging it from the side nuts) and went to the dollar shop to see what I might be able to turn into another frame. I saw some plastic garage sale signs I thought would be easy enough to cut into, but I kept looking. I wandered into the garden section and I saw some large pieces of garden trellis – they have a wider base and a narrower top. I thought that might be just the right thing as there were some crossbars that would work to hang the nuts from and the base was wide enough that the frame would be stable when over my lap. It would also sit over my lap and not on my lap, which meant I could tuck my legs up however I wanted. So I bought two of the trellis pieces (for a whole $1.50 each) and headed home to do some experimenting.

So far, it seems to be working well. I did use the same elastic band (with a small hook on one end) to keep the tension between the two sides close to the frame itself. It’s high enough off my lap that it easily goes over me and I can pull it as close to me as possible (and still have space under it for one of my arms to reach the back of the piece). I can adjust the height of the area I’m stitching on by scrolling the fabric up and down, which helps to reduce fatigue and tension in my neck, arms, and shoulders. The only thing I’m not sure about is how well it will work once I get to the edges of the piece, as I’ll have to stretch across my body a bit – I won’t be able to move the base of the stand as it’s sitting directly on either side of me. I’ll cross that hurdle when I get to it, and maybe I’ll come up with a brainwave in the meantime. 🙂

Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

5 Responses

  1. Crystal
    | Reply

    How do you keep your fabric tight on your scroll frame? Do you have or can you do a tutorial talking about the best ways to set up your scroll frame for working? Fabric is always in my way so I am trying to switch to a scroll frame but can’t get the fabric tight.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Crystal! There aren’t really any tricks, some scroll frames are simply better at being able to be really tightened and some aren’t. I pretty much gave up trying to get my fabric drum tight, you do get used to it being a little looser. 🙂

  2. Chrissie Arlington
    | Reply

    Sometimes you gotta do what you have to. There is a company in Calgary Hearthside Craftworks that has a frame originally designed for a wheelchair user. Now a lot of people are getting them because you can sit in a recliner with it etc. http://www.hearthsidecraftworks.com/ maybe you will see something that inspires you for future projects.

  3. Chrissie Arlington
    | Reply

    Sometimes you gotta do what works. There is a company in Calgary called Hearthside Craftworks that has a frame originally designed for people in wheelchairs. Now a lot of people are using them. You can even use it sitting in a recliner. http://www.hearthsidecraftworks.com/ have a look at the design and you might think of another idea too.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Thanks very much Chrissie, just had a look and their stuff is great! I did end up figuring out a solution, I made little legs out of wood for my frame so it sits on my lap like a lap stand. They were really easy and inexpensive to make, and it works really well. 🙂 If I need a sturdier solution though, I love some of those ones you linked to though! 🙂 Here’s the link to the blog post with my “solution” for now, you can see what I did. https://peacockandfig.com/2015/05/rear-leg-design-for-scrollbar-sewing-frame/

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