Border control

One way of finishing pieces of stitching, whether they become bookmarks or table mats or bell pulls or patches, is to give them a decorative and sturdy border (“hem” would probably be a better word, but “Hem control” wouldn’t have been such a good title smiley). The emphasis is on “sturdy” – it’s easy enough to work a line of running stitch and fray the fabric up to it, and I recently saw a finish where the fabric was frayed up to a border of Kloster blocks, but although that would probably be fine for projects that get stuck on cards, or the tops of boxes, they probably wouldn’t stand up to a lot of handling.

At the moment I’m working on several sets of small and even smaller designs specifically intended to be used with foam items like the notebooks and purses I showed you last week, and also with smaller foam shapes to make ornaments. Some will use the frayed-edge finish, some will be attached with buttons, and some will have a more use-proof finish. But as I am stitching the models, I am reminded why I use these first-class, grade A borders so little. They are very time-consuming! On the other hand, they do produce pieces which will stand up to handling, and which can be displayed as they are, or easily attached to a background (for example a cushion or a bag). Below are a few examples of long-lasting borders: hem stitch (not used in the pieces I’m working on at the moment), four-sided edging (shown here on Percival, used as part of the design on Faith Hope & Love and the Guildhouse needlebook) and buttonhole edging (progress picture for Art of the Needle; not cut out of the surrounding fabric yet).

Hem stitch border Four-sided edging Buttonhole border

3 comments on “Border control

  1. Can I just say how much I hate buttonhole borders? Your little hemstitching is lovely, though. How’s it done? Doesn’t look like the one I do, which leaves a small straight stitch on the front of the fabric. Yours looks very smart

  2. Hate the look of them, or hate working them Serinde? I’d agree on the latter!

    Yours sounds like antique hem stitching, where you pass the needle between the layers of fabric making up the hem. I used ordinary hem stitch, where you see the perpendicular stitch on both sides of the fabric. I think antique hem stitch is usually considered the nicer of the two because it is nearly invisible!

  3. Definitely hate working on them. I always pull too hard, so that when finished they never seem to lie flat. I can certainly admire them done by those with more skill!

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