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 ). 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).