Cross stitch stands

Cross stitch began as a portable hand project. In university, I would pack the supplies for a Christmas ornament in a zippered sandwich bag, stuff it in my pocket and stitch while waiting at the bus stop!

As my projects grew in size, I thought more about stitching stands, but didn't give it serious thought until I hurt my arm.

I looked at commercial stands available. I thought all of the scroll stands looked flimsy. Some of the table models looked sturdier, but then I'd need a table in the living room too!!

I even looked at quilting stands. They had sturdier designs but were large enough to hold a queen sized quilt - or used a 24" hoop to hold the fabric - which wouldn't work on my projects, most of them are on the 12x18" scale.

Stitch StandMy custom stitching stand! Note the removable post section to adjust height!

After watching me struggle with ways to cope after the injury, my husband's mind started to work! He sketched and researched commercial stands, then created one that would work for me.

Christmas morning at my in-laws home, I was given a post bracket. "Great", I thought, "now I'll be building a deck this spring!" Then I got a heavy 1 inch thick board with several drilled holes...I opened parcel after parcel: wood pieces, steel, eye bolts, I had no idea what it was.

Fortunately, he knew! We took all the parts home and in a few minutes the stand was together!!!

The stand is excellent. The base is heavy enough to be stable, but flat enough to slide under an arm chair or sofa. When I'm using an office chair, I sometimes wish the base was smaller, (I stub my toe on it) but it's great with the bigger furniture.

The 4x4 post is cut into sections, so I can raise or lower it depending on the height of the chair I'm currently using. Each section has a hole where a dowel fits, allowing the entire post to swing like a door. What a great feature! I sit in the chair, swing the scroll towards me and I'm ready to stitch - when done, push the scroll away and get up! No scratching floors by dragging the chair or the stand - Yay!!

Stand backBack detail of the holder

A large eye bolt holds the scroll frame to the post. This is very cool because it allows the scroll to spin, making it easy to start and end stitches on the back.

The scroll style holder has fixed bars 12 inches apart. At first I thought this would be a disadvantage - how would I work on smaller projects? I haven't had an issue yet - but I think I could attach a sleeve to each bar and baste the Aida cloth to them. That's what you do with most older scroll frames.

When working with longer pieces of fabric I roll or fold the excess up and use large binder clips to hold them to the sides of the project. You can see a small white clip on the evenweave - I was using that to hold up just one corner of the fabric because I was stitching very close to the lower bar, but usually I have the larger black clips to hold the fabric up.

Stitch Stand DetailDetail of the scroll stand

You can see the clips I use to secure the fabric to the dowel - they are the grips from a Q-snap frame. I have Q-snaps in 2 sizes - these are the ones from the 16 inch set - the grip is about 14 inches long with a serrated edge inside that firmly holds the fabric onto the dowel.

I mounted a clipboard onto the scroll to hold the pattern and floss I'm working with. It worked really well at first, but the clip part broke and I haven't replaced it yet. When I do replace the clipboard, I'll use a flat board because I move the stand around the room it is not always on the same side of my chair. The binder clips work great to hold the pattern, my notes and floss so I'll keep those!!

When this frame was built, we intended to mount a light fixture somewhere above the work surface. I want something with a flexible arm like a desk lamp. I was given a floor model Ottlamp a few years ago that illuminates very well. I'd like to mount it to the post, and I think it can be done - we'll see what DH thinks!!

Sewing with the stand is AMAZING! I can have one hand on the front (usually my left) and the dominant hand on the back to make stitches quickly. If I my arm is sore, I can just use my right arm, moving it above and below the stand.

When not in use, I slip a pillowcase over the entire scroll. It keeps the project dust-free and prevents someone (adult, kid or canine!) from catching the threads. It's also a good way to hide my work so I don't see it and want to stitch all the time!

I love this cross stitch stand and there is very little I would change about it. Have you ever used a stand?

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