Welcome to the second part of how to mount your embroidery. If you missed the first part check it out here. Today we are looking at the herringbone stitch that attaches your embroidery to the calico covered board we made previously and the final backing that neatens everything up (my favourite part).
For this you will need the following;
- Sateen fabric, or a cotton or linen.
- Buttonhole thread
- Curved needle
- Glass headed pins
- Fabric Scissors
Before we start stitching we need to fold one corner into a mitre, to do this, fold diagonally across the corner. Making sure the raw edge of the fabric is at 90 degrees to the board.
Using a mellor or large tapestry needle, take it down into the point and bring it up to make a nice fold. Make sure the crease in the fabric runs along the edge of the board.
Pin in position.
Repeat the process on the other side so that you are left with a mitred corner. The points should not quite be touching and should also be even.
Before you start stitching, remove the pins from the corner and cut about an inch away from the diagonal fold line that you will have made from pinning it into position. This helps to remove some of the bulk and makes it easier to stitch through at the corners. Pin the corner back into position using the fold lines you have already created.
You can then begin stitching. Using your curved needle and buttonhole thread, secure your thread along the side, where there was no glue and just before the corner you have prepared. Secure by working 2 or 3 stitches over the top of one another.
Work a herringbone stitch along the edge towards the corner, making sure you are catching the calico that was glued to the mount board underneath. It is important to make sure that your herringbone stitch is an even, consistent size and each stitch is taken slightly behind the previous stitch.
Continue to work your herringbone stitch up to the corner. When you reach the corner, take one stitch over the two folded edges, over-sewing from one side to the other and pull tight.
Using your mellor, pull all your herringbone stitches tight and work another securing stitch over the stitch you have just made.
Working from one side to the other, slip stitch down the two folds of the mitred corner, making sure you bring your needle ever so slightly backwards on each stitch. This helps to pull the two sides of fabric nice and close together.
Make sure you stitch right up into the point and pull your stitches very tightly together.
You can then start working your herringbone stitch along the next side. Remember to always tighten up your stitches before you work the corners and also before you finish your thread. Also don’t forget to pin each corner as you come to it.
Once all the stitching is complete you can then remove the pins from the side of the board. Take your mellor and rub the side of the board with the rounded edge. This will help to remove all pin holes.
To help remove some of the bulk from the back you can cut down the each corner fold line towards your stitching.
And then cut out the flap that has been made from the first cut.
Then you need to cut your fabric for the back. This can be a sateen, cotton or a linen. Cut your backing fabric so that it is approximately 5-7cm bigger on each side.
Starting at the centre of one of the long sides, fold under your fabric and pin in position.
Place pins along the edge of the board about 2 inches apart, making sure the fabric is on the grain and there is an even rebate along the side. Make sure that a pin is put in each corner.
Repeat the same process on the opposite side, again starting in the centre.
To get a good tension across your fabric and keep it nice and tight, you need to pin the fabric to the board in the correct way. To do this, place your pin into the backing fabric straight and then pull towards yourself and slide into the board. This pulls against the fabric and makes it nice and taut.
It is worth noting that it is best to fold the opposite side a little short of what you need, then when you put the pin in and pull back you can get even more tension across the fabric.
You can then pin the shorter sides. Remove the two pins in the corner and fold the fabric underneath. Start at the center of the edge and pin in position leaving a 2-3mm rebate from the edge of the board. Next pin the corners, these can be a little tighter to pull in position so you may need to roll out some extra fabric.
You can then fill in the spaces with more pins.
Repeat this process along the final side and you are now ready to stitch.
Thread up your curved needle with a length of buttonhole thread and secure the thread along one edge underneath the backing fabric with a knot and couple of stitches. Bring your needle up along the edge of the sateen and take a stitch about 5-6mm long, along the edge of the sateen.
Take your needle back down into the embroidered fabric slightly behind where you brought the needle out of the backing fabric. Take a stitch approximately 5-6mm long, following the edge of the backing fabric.
Take your needle back into the fold of the backing fabric, again slightly behind the previous stitch. Continue to work along the edge until you reach a corner. You want to make sure that you work right up to the point of the corner in the sateen. Then when you start the new side, make sure your needle comes down into the embroidered fabric.
Continue to work all the way around, removing the pins as you go. Do not slip your stitches underneath the backing fabric as this will cause the fabric to slacken off. You should have a nice, tight tension across the backing fabric.
I hope that you have found this post helpful. Mounting your embroidery is not one of the easiest things to do and using the curved needle takes quite a bit of practise and getting used to.
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