As putting this embroidery in a hoop is a no-go, I went in a different direction.
A while ago I read Badass Cross Stitch’s post about framing your embroidery in a square frame and I vaguely remembered the instructions, so I cut out a square of cardboard from an empty box of laundry detergent and then decided to cut out a second square from the same box and tape them together with masking tape so they wouldn’t curl. I got started pinning the embroidery to the cardboard. Then I went back and looked at the instructions, and I discovered she was using foam board.
Having no foam board and not wanting to get any, I proceeded as if I did have foam board. I also used safety pins instead of straight pins to anchor the fabric around the edges of the cardboard because I was too lazy to go in the other room to get my straight pins.
It all worked out just fine, as you can see above. I’ve got a strong square of cardboard, the material anchored down, and even a slightly off-kilter felt backing and a string to hang it.
Yay for vacation time that allowed me to get this done. I’m quite pleased with the result.