Monday, February 28, 2011

Technique Class - Hand Stitching 2

I know we've had a bit of a break but as you know I've had a couple of good excuses.

Anyway... Hand Stitching - Part 2

This week we get a little bit more complicated. Today we look at two edge stitches - Over Sewing and Blanket Stitch.
Unlike Running Stitch and Back Stitching which can be done anywhere on a page of project, both of these stitches need to be sewn around the edge of something, so you may want to consider using these for instance to create a decorative edge on a photo mat.
They are both very similar with only one step that is slightly different.
This is what they look like:

From the front they look a lot different, though from the back they are very similar. (Just the angle of the stitch is different really).
As I mentioned above you need to make your holes reasonably close enough to the edge of the paper or cardstock. Mine are about 5 - 6mm from the edge.
Start by securing your thread to the back of the page. I like to use Magic Tape but any sellotape will do. I try to leave a tail of about 3/4 - 1" in length. (Sorry about changing from imperial to metric and back again, but I use them both - I know confusing LOL).
Bring the need up through the hole from the bottom to the top.
Then keep repeating this, every stitch starts from underneath and goes up through the hole. Your stitching always heads in the same direction. Being right handed I find it is easiest to hold the card stock in my left hand then sew with my right. I create like a loop of thread from on top of the sewing (the good side) to underneath and back up again through the next hole in the line. You can vary the angle if you want, though you will find that your thread finds its way into its own natural stitch over the edge of the paper, usually at an angle that uses the smallest amount of thread possible. It has to do with the tautness of the threads and ensuring the stitches don't slip (sorry bit technical there).
Starts of the same and is essentially the same stitch with one extra little twist. You actually catch the needle on the way through to add a horizontal line of thread between the each pair of over stitches.
With the Over Sewing, the needle goes UNDERNEATH the thread, so avoiding it. With blanket Stitch, the needle goes OVER THE TOP of the thread, catching it in place. The picture above shows the the horizontal extra stitch on the outside of the edge, whereas in my example I have stitched it with the horizontal stitch inside of the edge.
It's called a blanket stitch because it was used on the edges of blankets to edge them, instead of sewing a hem. This method used considerable less material so your blanket was larger and you didn't have to buy as much material. Also most blanket material tends not to fray so the stitch could be more decorative as the main purpose of stitching was not to hide the edge and prevent the material from fraying and falling apart.
In this picture, imagine the edge of your photo mat runs along the edge where "B" & "D" are.
I know that is getting a bit technical so to lighten things a little, here is a little sample of some running stitch that I forgot to add to the last blog. 

I used the "In the Garden" In Stitchz template from Bazzill. And once again show the back as well as the front.
Watch for more layouts and projects showing hand stitching in some of my future blogs as well as my final technique class on hand stitching next week.

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