Monday, May 24, 2010

Stitched Tree is Finished

I finished up this little stitched tree recently. I don't really like it. However, I learned a few things along the way. I tried a new "binding" technique. I drew a line around the edge of the piece then laid black yarn on the line and zig-zagged over the yarn with black thread. After the first time around, I trimmed the excess batting and backing away close to the edge of the zig-zag stitching. There are two layers of yarn on this and I zig-zagged three times around. I like this finishing method and will use more in the future.

One of the problems with doing this finishing technique is that the sewing machine tends to eat the quilt at the corners. I've tried this technique in the past only to give up and use traditional binding because a corner got so mangled that I needed to just cover it up. If you look closely at the photo above you will see little threads dangling from each corner. I removed them after taking the photo but I wanted you to see them because I used these to prevent my machine from eating the corners.

Here's how it works: (1) Cut four approximately 6" pieces of thread. Any color/kind of thread will do just make sure it is strong. I used black because I was going to be sewing with black and I figured that if I sewed over it, it wouldn't show if I used black. (2) Thread a needle with one of your 6" pieces and stitch it into the corner about 1/4" to 3/8" from the edges. I just went in from the front and out the back. Do not tie a knot because you will be removing this thread later. You just want equal amounts of this thread hanging out from the front and back. (3) Do the same on the remaining three corners. (4) Now you can zig-zag around the edge of your piece. I started in the middle of one side and sewed all the way to the corner. Then turn the piece and continue sewing up the next side but pull on the corner thread to help the machine get started at the corner without eating the corner. Just pull back on the thread. Continue sewing around the edges, pulling on the corner threads as necessary to keep the corner from being eaten. It worked great for me!

So I'm glad that I didn't really like this piece when I finished it. If I had I probably would not have been brave enough to try a new finishing technique on it for fear I would ruin it.


Stephanie in Michigan said...

Interesting finishing technique. I have never heard of it. I like your technique for making sure it doesn't eat the corners. I wonder if you put a piece of stabilizer behind it (tear away or wash away), that might help, too. Would you use this on cotton, which might unravel more than wool would? Or do you just use it when you're using fabrics that won't ravel? Why don't you like your piece? I think it's rather interesting. Lots of texture.

XUE said...

This is beautifully done & must have taken so much patience & hard work!