Monday, December 28, 2009

Robin's Faux Bamboo Border Erases Leigh

Whenever you add a border to a needlepoint design that didn't originally have one, you can run into problems.  Sometimes there isn't enough blank canvas around the margins; sometimes the signature on the canvas covers part of the border area.  O'jishi has the latter problem.  If you squinted at yesterday's final photo, you saw that the Leigh Designs signature was going to be partly under the faux bamboo border that Robin and I came up with.

If your border is going to be fully covered by threads and stitches (if it is all in tent stitches in a dark thread, for example), this isn't a problem.  You thread up and stitch right over it!  But if you plan to use light coverage stitches or a light colored thread, you can have a problem.  So now we have to erase Leigh.  (Sorry, Leigh, but I said "erase," not "rub out," so you are safe.  No hitman squad of stitchers is headed to your design studio.  LOL)

I generally do this by covering the signature area in tent stitches using the same colored thread that will go on top. In this case I used my tan Felicity's Garden.  Make the tent stitches tight so they don't stick up much.  If the tent stitches are too high, they'll make the top layer of faux bamboo stitches that go over the dark signature lines higher than its neighbors.  We don't want that.  You'll see my tent stitches in the photo above.

Here is the same area after I stitched on top of the "erased" signature.  If you know where to look, you can see a dark shadow, but if you don't know the signature is there, you'll never see it now.

If the thread you plan to use in the border is too bulky to erase the signature or title area, try DMC cotton floss in the correct color.  If you just use 4-5 plies, you'll get good coverage in most cases and it won't stick up very far.

By the way, in the second photo you'll see that I attached a crystal cube bead in the corner, using my coral red thread from the backstitched area in the faux bamboo border.  I wanted to add a subtle decorative touch and a bit of red there and that's the best way I could think of to do it.  The bead is a crystal 4mm cube from Miyuki (color SB3-131 and 138).

Here is a photo of the faux bamboo border with more of O'jishi showing so you can see how it looks from a distance.  I'm very happy with it.  It finishes the edge and adds a bit of coral to the border but does so in a subtle way.  It's just what I wanted for this piece.  Thanks again to everyone who commented on the border, especially Robin who led me to the right stitches.  You all helped a lot.  Knowing what you like and what you don't and why is a great help to a stitcher.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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