The possibilities in framing are endless. You never really know what treasured item a customer will bring in to have transformed into a masterpiece—from a wedding dress to a collection of items to board games and beyond.

One piece of artwork that came in recently caught our attention: a portrait of a young woman. At first glance it looked like a painting, but upon taking another look, we discovered it was completely done in needlework. Those of you who have worked in this medium know it can take many hours to complete a piece. This particular design took our customer 14 months to finish. She used a tent stitch on needlepoint canvas with 81 colors of thread; overall, she made 196,000 stitches on this beautiful piece.

The process

The customer brought in the needlework rolled up and we found it was a little misshapen. We laid it out and picked mat and frame colors. Before we could start framing, we needed to straighten the canvas.

The first step was cutting a thick board for stretching and lacing the needlework. We used pushpins to pin the canvas in place.

Pushpins hold the canvas in place Full image of needlework art with pushpins holding canvas in place.

Then we used a process called lacing to sew the edges on the back. This keeps the work stretched and in place without doing any damage to it.

Backside of needlework art showing lacing that is helping stretch out the canvas.

Heirloom artwork

Once we re-shaped the canvas, we removed the pins and resumed the typical framing process. The crew at Wyman Frame cut the mat and glass, assembled it and added backing.

Closeup of needlework with mat border.

The finished product was a beautiful frame that complimented the beloved work that will be an heirloom for our customer and her family. We have high respect for the amount of work that is put into each piece of needlework and will take great care in helping to make it a beautiful piece of art to be admired for many years.

Completed framed needlework.

Bring your family heirlooms, artwork and photographs to Wyman Frame for quality framing that meets your budget, and help provide jobs for people with disabilities at the same time.

Carla Folks works at Wyman Frame, a division of Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1989 and has framed for DRTC for four years.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: