US 3878629 A
An open rectangular frame for stretching a fabric for a needlecraft project during preparation and for displaying the project after it is completed. The frame has a border member of a shape and size adapted to receive the fabric. The border member has a rearwardly-extending perimeter skirt and an inwardly spaced, rearwardly-extending rib that is parallel to the skirt. Generally U-shaped retainers are adapted to overly edges of the fabric and to be pressed onto the ribs, retaining the fabric in the frame. Rearwardly open pockets are provided at the corners of the frame for the selective insertion of the ends of two or four removable legs to support the frame during the fabrication of the project at an angle on, or spaced above, a table and for the reception of angular brackets for holding the frame with the finished projected mounted therein in an upright easel-like position for displaying the finished project.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Grube [451 Apr. 22, 1975 FRAME FOR SUPPORTING A NEEDLEWORK PROJECT  Inventor: John R. Grube, Waterville, Ohio  Assignee: General Mills Fun Group, Inc., Toledo, Ohio  Filed: Aug. 29, 1974  Appl. No.: 501,473
 US. Cl. 38/l02.91  Int. Cl. D06c 3/08  Field of Search... 160/382, 383, 384, 391393,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,678,607 7/1972 Tabor et a1. 38/102.9l 3,762,080 10/1973 Poole 38/102.91
Primary ExaminerGeorge V. Larkin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Henry K. Leonard [5 7] ABSTRACT An open rectangular frame for stretching a fabric for a needlecraft project during preparation and for displaying the project after it is completed. The frame has a border member of a shape and size adapted to receive the fabric. The border member has a rearwardly-extending perimeter skirt and an inwardly spaced, rearwardly-extending rib that is parallel to the skirt. Generally U-shaped retainers are adapted to overly edges of the fabric and to be pressed onto the ribs, retaining the fabric in' the frame. Rearwardly open pockets are provided at the corners of the frame for the selective insertion of the ends of two or four removable legs to support the frame during the fabrication of the project at an angle on, or spaced above, a table and for the reception of angular brackets for holding the frame with the finished projected mounted therein in an upright easel-like position for displaying the finished project.
5 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures FRAME FOR SUPPORTING A NEEDLEWORK PROJECT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION When a hobbyist is preparing a needlecraft item such as an embroidery. a needle-point. or the like. it is customary for the person to stretch a part of the fabric into which the design is being stitched by mounting it in a pair of embroidery hoops in order that the needlework may be performed with ease.
In recent years many hobbists who wish to make such projects prefer to purchase kits each including a prestenciled or pre-printed piece of fabric upon which the borders of a design have been outlined. lengths of yarns of the colors to be used. a needle or hook. or the like. which is necessary for performing the craft and. often. an old fashioned double embroidery hoop for use during the preparation of the project. Some kits also contain a frame in which the finished project can be mounted for display either on the wall or in a relatively upright position on a desk or table.
When a conventional embroidery hoop is used for the preparation of a needlecraft project. and particularly where the size of the piece of fabric into which the project is being worked is larger in lateral dimensions than the dimensions of the embroidery hoop. it is necessary to stretch only portions of the fabric as each is completed. and. sometimes. to press the completed portions between the embroidery hoops in order to stretch adjacent portions for continuing the design being prepared. This is undesirable because it may damage the completed portion and it is sometimes difficult to reassemble the embroidery hoops over a part of the completed project if it has a deep pile. such as a heavy needle-point.
It is. therefore. the principal object of the instant invention to provide a frame suitable for use not only for supporting the needlework project during preparation by stretching the fabric across the frame. but also to enable the frame to be positioned either at an incline on or spaced above a table in order to facilitate the insertion of the needle or hook through the fabric. and which frame also is so designed as to serve as a display frame by the simple substitution of easel-like support brackets for support legs which may be used during preparation.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an open rectangular frame which has a front surface of the configuration such as to provide a neat border for the finished project. a skirt extending backwardly from the front portion and an inwardly spaced rib which runs parallel to the skirt and thus provides an element over which the fabric can be stretched tightly and retained in place by retainers functioning with the frame not DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective showing the open rectangular frame with retaining clips and supporting legs which are utilized during preparation of the project;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view taken from the underside of the frame showing a fabric stretched in place across the frame and illustrating how the support legs may be inserted into pockets at the corners of the frame for supporting the project during preparation;
FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary. vertical sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, bottom plan view of one corner of the frame illustrating how the fabric is retained in place by retaining clips;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary. vertical sectional view illustrating how the support legs are inserted in order to support the frame above the surface of a work table;
FIG. 6 is a view on a smaller scale illustrating how the frame with the fabric stretched thereacross may be supported at an incline with one of its longer edges lying on a work table and its opposite edge elevated above the work table;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but illustrating how the shorter edge may be supported above the level of the opposite shorter edge of the frame;
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIGS. 6 and 7 but showing how all four support legs may be utilized for the purpose of elevating the frame above. but in the same plane as. a work table;
FIG. 9 is a side view in elevation on a greatly enlarged scale of a bracket for supporting the frame and the finished project in an upright display position;
FIG. 10 is a view in elevation taken from the position indicated by the line l010 in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a view in perspective. on a scale enlarged relative to FIGS. 6. 7 and 8, illustrating how the bracket shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 is employed for erecting the finished project in its frame in an upright display position; and
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary. vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but showing how a backing for the fabric may also be retained in the frame according to the invention by the use of the same retainers which hold the fabric in place during preparation of the project.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A frame embodying the invention comprises an open rectangular border member. generally indicated by the reference number 20, and includes two each of longer retainers 21 and of shorter retainers 22 which are of such length as to be utilized along the longer sides and shorter ends of the frame 20. In addition. the frame includes four short strut like legs 23.
The border member 20 defines an open rectangular space across which a fabric. generally indicated by the reference number 24, is stretched both during the preparation of the needlecraft project and. after completion. for display of the needle craft project. As can best be seen by reference to FIG. 3., the piece of fabric 24 is larger than the open space defined by the border member 20 so that its edges may be curled over ribs 25 which extend rearwardly from the elements of the border member 20 being integral with a portion thereof which forms a contoured front face 26. The ribs 25 are parallel to and spaced inwardly from a rearwardly extending perimeter skirt 27 of the border member 20. The border member 20, in cross section. as shown in FIG. 3, also has an undercut lip 28 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) against which the edge of the fabric 24 is pressed by an inner leg 29 of the respective retainer 21 or 22.
As can best be seen in FIG. 4, when a hobbyist is assembling the material for the preparation of the needlecraft project. the piece of fabric 24 is laid across the back of the border member with its edges overlapping the ribs 25. The retainers 21 and 22 are then forced downwardly enbracing the edge of the material 24 over the ribs 25 on all four sides of the border member 20, to tightly stretch the material 24 across the opening defined by the border member 20. The retainers 21 and 22 in the illustrated embodiment of the invention are fabricated from flexible. thinwalled materials so that they will be resiliently sprung slightly as they are forced downwardly into embracing position to retain the fabric 24 in place. The inner leg 29 of each of the retainers 21 or 22 terminates in a flange 30 which presses the edge of the fabric 24 against the undercut lip 28 along all four sides of the member 20.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 2 and 5. the corners of the skirt 27 define at the corners of the border member 20 the outer two sides of rearwardly open pockets 31, the two inner sides of which are defined by wider extensions 32 of the inner ribs 25.
After the hobbyist has mounted the fabric in the frame as described above. two or four of the strut-like legs 23 may be inserted into the pockets 31 to support the border member 20 with the fabric 24 in either of the three positions illustrated. respectively. in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. It will be noted that the upper ends of the legs 23 are tapered as indicated by the reference number 33 (FIGS. 1 and 2) in order that they may be wedged into the pockets 31 and. after completion of the project. may be removed therefrom. By thus employing the legs 23 in any of the three positions illustrated in FIGS. 6. 7 and 8 the hobbyist may support the fabric 24 in the border member 20 above the level of the table. desk or other surface upon which the work is being done.
After completion of the needlecraft with the finished design worked into the fabric 24. the hobbyist removes the support legs 23. removes the retainers 21 and 22 and carefully centers the finished cloth project 24 in the border member 20. The hobbyist then places a backing 34, for example. a sheet of fiber board or the like. into the rear of the border member 20. The backing 34 fits tightly between the inner edges of the ribs 25 and presses the edge portions of the fabric 24 against the undercut lips 28. The hobbyist then folds the outermost edge portions of the fabric 24 over the ribs 25 and again presses the retainers 21 and 22 back into embracing position relative to the edges of the fabric 24 and the ribs 25. The flanges 30 on the retainers 21 and 22 then bear tightly against the edges of the backing 34 to firmly retain the finished project in the border member 20.
FIGS. 9 and 10 show a bracket 35 which has a pair of arms 36 and 37 and a protrusion 38. The included angle between the outer sides of the arms 36 and 37 at their apex (from which the protrusion 38 extends). is somewhat less than 90 degrees. say. in the order of about 80 degrees. After the project has been completed and remounted in the border member 20 as described above. if the hobbyist wishes to display the finished project in a somewhat upright position. more or less as if it were mounted on an ease]. the pair of brackets 35 are utilized. It will be appreciated. of course. that while only one bracket 35 is illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. a pair would be supplied as components of a frame according to the invention. the only difference between the brackets 35 of the pair being that one is right handed and the other is -left handed. In order to erect the finished project as illustrated in FIG. 11, the protrusion of the left handed bracket 35 is inserted into the rearwardly open pocket 31 at the lower left corner of the border member 20, and the right handed bracket 35 is positioned with its protrusion 38 in the lower right hand one of the pockets 31. The outer straight edges of the upper arms 36 lie immediately in contact with the edge of the portions of the frame skirt 27 located just above the pockets 31 and the outer edges of the other arms 37 of the brackets 35 rest on a table or shelf.
Having described my invention. I claim:
1. An open rectangular frame for supporting a needlecraft project during preparation and for displaying the finished project. said frame comprising.
a. a border member defining an opening across which a fabric is stretched during preparation and after completion. said border member having a cross section providing 1. A contoured front face bordering the fabric.
2. a rearwardly extending perimeter skirt at the outer side of said front face.
3. a rearwardly extending rib that is parallel to and spaced inwardly from said skirt and 4. an undercut lip extending inwardly from the base of said rib and meeting the inner edge of said front face.
b. a plurality of removable retainers adapted to cmbrace the edges of said fabric around said ribs along the sides of said border member.
c. a rearwardly open pocket at each corner of said border member that is defined by said skirt and ex-' tensions of said ribs.
d. a plurality of strut-like legs each having an end adapted to be inserted into one of said pockets. and
e. bracket means for supporting said border member and the fabric therein in an upright display position.
2. A frame according to claim 1 in which the retainers are U-shaped in cross section and are resilient.
3. A frame according to claim 2 and a fabric backing adapted to fit into the area between the inner sides of said ribs for spanning said frame and backing the finished project. the inner legs of said retainers pressing said backing and the edges of said fabric against the undercut lip.
4. A frame according to claim 1 in which the inner legs of the retainers terminate in flanges for pressing the edges of the fabric against the undercut lips during preparation of the project.
5. A frame according to claim 1 in which the bracket means have protrusions similar to the ends of the legs which fit into the pockets for assembly with the border