Sadly, today's Behind the String does not have a picture so you will have to use your imagination. Ready? Go!
First, picture a stamped cross stitch piece.
The piece is a wedding sampler with two bears on it. Think cutsy.
Now, take the piece, roughly wrap the fabric around a 8x10 piece of cardboard and stuff it in a cheap 8x10 frame.
You cringed, didn't you.
So, this was a piece that one of my friends made for one of my other friends as a wedding present. It was hanging on the wall in her dining room and in addition to being horribly mounted, I discovered it was also stained. The friend that stitched the piece actually was my roommate at one point and I know that she would eat sometimes while stitching, so this didn't surprise me.
After starting at it through several D&D sessions over at the house, I asked my friend if I could take the piece and attempt to clean and remount it. After all, it was nice of her to stitch it but apparently she didn't know a lot about mounting a finished piece. My friend agreed, so I took the piece back to my dorm room.
I set about disassembling the piece. It had been taped on the cardboard with masking tape (shudder, shudder). I soaked the piece for awhile and most of the stain came out. There was a lot of excess fabric, so I trimmed that off and carefully remounted the piece on a piece of sticky board (probably not the best choice, I admit, but I did not know how to lace and mount at that point in time).
It looked 10 times better after being re-framed.
The moral of the story: if you are going to take the time to stitch a thoughtful present for someone but you don't know how to mount it, for heaven's sake, ASK FOR HELP!
And that's the story behind the string.