Friday, July 6, 2007

Finishing Edges

When I began my June page for the BJP, I decided that one way to challenge myself was to make my standard format an irregular shape. I did that, not really thinking through what it meant in terms of finishing the edges. So, even though I'm really happy with my page for June, I'm trying to find some better ways to finish irregular edges on future pages. (My blog should be up and running with photos of pages later this summer.) Any advice? For June's page, I did a combination of back stitch and then couching the bead thread and running additional rounds of thread through it to get the beads to look the way I wanted them to look. How do other beaders handle finishing the edges of bead embroideries? My background for stitching is cotton quilt fabric fused to a very heavy-duty interfacing (like Stiff Stuff). Thanks for any advice anyone can provide.

On to July's page; I've got it all packed for a trip to northern Michigan, where I hope to get in some good quality beading time along with a little fun in the sun.

5 comments:

Robin said...

Good question! My answer would depend on what I wanted to do with the piece... frame, stand-alone, applique on to something, or other...

I'll give you my stand-alone solution... 1) If I want it soft, I simply clip as needed and turn under the edges, basting them lightly to the back of the piece. Then I scan (or xerox) the back side of the piece. The scan will be my pattern for backing material. I use Ultrasuede Light for backing, which I cut out and sew to the piece using the picot edge stitch. 2) Variation if I want it stiff: Copy the scanned pattern reducing it by 10%. Use this new scan as a pattern for template plastic (or use a plastic file folder). Cut out the plastic, and sandwich it between the piece and the Ultrasuede backing.

Hope this helps... Robin

a2susan said...

I'm facing the same problem, because my pieces are circles. For June I used ultrasuede to bead on, but for July I used a patterned cotton fabric with the acid free paper, so the pattern of the fabric will show. I may try Robin's idea, especially of making a template using the copy machine, but I don't know how to nicely turn under round edges.

Where are you going in Michigan? I live in Ann Arbor, all the way in the south-east corner. Enjoy your trip.

Robin said...

To a2susan ~ The trick is to sew a small in-out running stitch around the outside edge of the fabric, about 1/8th inch from the edge and then gather it... works like a charm!

a2susan said...

thank you thank you Robin. Yes, it's like a basting stitch that you pull together - I remember from my sewing days. What an education we're getting here!

Lisa B. said...

Thanks very much for all of the suggestions.

We had a fun week in Glen Arbor (about 20 miles west of Traverse City). It's a very cute town with nice art galleries, great beaches, and it was close to Interlochen, where our daughter spent several weeks at camp this summer.