Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sewing a "Frame" for Salvaged Embroidery


I'm sure people all over the world are doing this, but it's the first time I've ever thought of it: I had thrifted embroidery in my hand that I wanted to make into a pillow cover, but the oval shape was throwing me off. Usually I piece strips around my crewelwork to frame it with color and make it the right size. But how to manage the curves?

1. Cut out the "mat" just like the frame store would do. Square corners on the outside, then the round opening in the middle, all out of fabric. If you're really picky about sizing, make the opening about 3/8 inch smaller than you want the finished mat to look. The rest of us will just not think about it.

2. Lay the mat over your embroidery, pin in place carefully (don't tug on those bias edges cause they'll stretch!). Machine-stitch in place about 1/4 inch from the raw edge of the mat.


3. Choose some good-looking bias binding, and pin in place with the wrong side up. The binding should be unfolded, and its raw edge should be just lined up with the raw edge of the mat, as in the picture. Make sure to deal intelligently with the ends. Fold one up, and plan to overlap the other on top of it, so that the raw edge will be enclosed later. Around curves, pin generously and try to pin in the tiniest bit of slack or ease to allow the outer edge to make it around the corner later.


4. Machine-stitch, using the fold in the bias tape as your stitching guide. Take your time around the curves, stopping with the needle down to lift the foot and swivel the fabric as needed.


5. Gently press the binding back over the raw edge of the mat, refolding the other edge underneath, so that everything is nice and tidy. Pin neatly in place.


6. Sewing by hand, slip-stitch the outer edge of the binding into place. You can gently press and steam if you have trouble getting it to lie flat around curves, but don't make yourself crazy. If you're making a pillow cover, like I always am, tell yourself that wrapping the cover around the pillow form will take all the bumps out of it.


7. Make up the pillow cover, put on Daisy's bed, and admire!

21 comments:

Kimberlee said...

Sew very clever! I love it. Thanks for the demo. Now to find some 'salvaged embroidery'!

Serena said...

Brilliant!

Erin said...

Beautiful! You make it look so easy, I'm almost tempted to try . . . almost . . . :)

Shelley said...

No one else in my world has done this. Looks lovely!

Katie said...

Brilliant! What a treasure! Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

Julie said...

What a great idea!

Elisabeth Black said...

Oh Anna. This pillow makes me so happy. I love visiting your blog.

Lucille said...

Do you think it is one and the same person doing all this fabulous crewel work that you find or do you travel far and wide to source your thrifted goodies?

good_to_be_home said...

It looks beautiful! What a good idea!

Linden Townhouse said...

Lovely! It's wonderful you are able to recycle beatiful handwork.

The Zoo Keeper said...

Thanks for your blog! You're so encouraging!

Anonymous said...

Every day I enjoy your photos, instructions, inspiration, and love for family, food, and all beautiful things. Thank you from a California grandma and cancer survivor! xo

Lisateresa said...

That's a good idea - I wouldn't have thought of bias tape as a frame. I was planning to use rick-rack as a "frame" for a winter pillow, but didn't get around to it yet. I particularly like the background fabric you used.

Sheila said...

I appreciate the tutorial...I have a simialar project I will turn into a pillow now. :)
If you are interested in Redwork embroidery....pop over and sign up for my birthday give-a-way. :)

Anna said...

Lisa, that background fabric is a dish towel from the thrift store! It was a good match.

Heather said...

Very pretty and nicely finished! Miss Daisy must be trilled to have such a pretty pillow adorning her bed! Curves can be tricky, but you make it look so easy! Pinning is key, as you say. I always try to make my job a bit easier by pressing the curve into the bias before pinning it - it works!

Sleepless Stitch said...

That is so pretty!

Lisateresa said...

A dish towel!! I was sure it was some thrifted upholstery fabric. It has an elegant look to it - I really did not expect it to be a dishtowel.

jen said...

gorgeous!

Angela McRae said...

Very well done, and your instructions and accompanying photos are great!

Heidi Garvin said...

saw two turquoise t-shirts with gobs of crewel on them, big giant, multi-colored flowers, while thrift store shopping today. Thought of this blog!

Related Posts with Thumbnails