How to position your fabric onto an oblong stitching frame

with 2 Comments

In a previous article, we looked at how to use a small embroidery hoop, but that doesn’t help us much for large projects. For those, here’s a useful way to place your fabric onto an oblong stitching frame, so that your fabric remains clean as you stitch 🙂

You’ll need:

  • a wooden stitching frame
  • some stitching fabric (linen, evenweave or aida)


1. You need this type of stitching frame, with 2 removable rods. Make sure that both rods are positioned so that the twill tapes (on which to tack the fabric) are directed towards you. NOT facing each other.

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

2. Then prepare your fabric. This is optional – you can stitch without doing anything to the outside (I often do, to be honest, but as I’m writing a tutorial here, I might as well be thorough 😉 !!)

So iron it, and hem it. (Here, I’ve used my overlocker, but you can just as well do a zig-zag stitch with your sewing machine, or even just a simple whip stitch by hand.)

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

3. Place your fabric over twill tape on the upper rod, and whip-stitch it keeping the fabric as straight as possible.

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

4. Now here’s what to avoid! Don’t wrap the fabric over the lower rod as you’ve done for the top one.

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

Instead, wrap the fabric under the rod and back over. Whip-stitch it in place.

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

Why do this? (After all, the instructions that come with the frame often tell you to go over both rods. Why do it this weird way?…)

The main reason is to keep your fabric clean: as you’re stitching, your hands will be resting on the lower rod, you’re likely to touch it to turn your frame over, etc. Over time, there’s a real risk that the fabric gets grimy… Not good. If it’s curled up on itself, and the back is showing, it doesn’t matter so much, does it 🙂

The second reason is more like a positive side-effect than an actual goal: it tilts the fabric in a slightly more upright position, which makes it more comfortable to stitch 🙂

6. Now that your fabric is mounted on your stitching frame like a scroll, roll it up to make it taut and tighten the screws at the back of the frame.

Oblong Frame Tutorial - Faby Reilly Designs

Et voilà !

A few design ideas you may like, for which this method works really well:

2 Responses

  1. Shazie
    | Reply

    Well, I’ve never thought of having the top scroll like this, I’ve always done the bottom one like that, I’ve always had the top like the bottom. I’m going to give this a try, thank you Faby for writing this tip up. Never too old to learn something new.

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      So pleased you enjoyed this tip, Shazie 🙂 Hope you find it useful too when you try it out! Happy stitching xx

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