Do samplers always, or almost always, get framed?
How do you find a good framer?
The one thing I've had framed in the last ten years was a medium-sized watercolor. I took it to a local chain store, one that offers regular deep discounts. Even so, the price was alarming. (I could have brought home five more watercolors for the cost of framing the one.) A sampler will need more special handling and I'm terrified of what it will cost.
The very old antique samplers were never meant to be framed at all, and have narrow turned hems. Many old Dutch samplers have beautiful hemstitched edges.
The first sampler exhibit I saw was a collection of 17th century band samplers, and they were not framed. Instead, a piece of fabric (maybe linen or a linen-look cotton) was stretched over something like a frame for an artist's canvas. The covered frames were an inch or two bigger than the samplers on all sides, and the samplers were very gently basted onto the stretched fabric covers. There was no glass over them.
I am very tempted to try this myself. Stretcher bars come in a lot of sizes, so it would be easy to build a custom frame and cover it with fabric. The Scottish Band might look quite handsome hemstitched and mounted on a blue cotton velvet.
Does anybody else go through this kind of dithering when they finish a sampler? Right now it's pinned up on my quilt design wall where I can admire it, but that's not going to work long-term.