May 4, 2014

Small is beautiful!

I really enjoy making stitching accessories, as if you hadn't noticed! Sewing compendiums, scissor keeps, needlecases, tape measure covers are such fun things to make (see some here) not to mention pincushions. I never tire of designing them. But these items are small so there is always the question of how to finish the edges. It's a bit different to making a quilt!

They can have binding but joining the binding by machine on a small item is almost impossible so other methods need to be employed.  (I have a tutorial on binding small projects on my tutorial page.) The Lovely in Lavender needlecase uses this method:

Small felt items are no problem at all as they can be joined on the edges with a blanket-stitch. The Shell of Roses needlecase and scissor case use this:

For something different, I used a closed buttonhole stitch on the design below - just a sneak peak for now as it will be published in Embroidery & Cross Stitch Magazine shortly:

A very easy method for finishing small projects is simply to join the pieces right sides together, leaving a gap for turning. When turned right side out and the gap stitched, there is a neat finished edge. However, I always feel as if such an edge needs something else to really finish it off.

See the running stitch around the edge in the Roses, Roses sewing set? It takes away the 'plain' look with a minimum of fuss:

For the Charmed by Silk pincushion and tape measure cover, I finished the edge off with some fused pearl beading:

and went for gold with the Enchanted Joy scissor case and tape measure:

Here's another idea. The Christmas door-knot ornaments are edged with gold braid:

My all-time favourite for lifting a project out of the ordinary is to use a twisted cord.  They are super easy to make (I cheat by using a bobbin on the machine to do all the twisting), inexpensive (just a few metres of knitting or crochet cotton) and so versatile. Add an extra length and you can attach your scissors to your needlecase: 

I love the twisted cord on the edges of the Rose Delight Etui:

I added some picots when I attached the twisted cord to the Roses are Red pincushion and scissor keep:

 So there you have all my secrets on making small projects beautiful. I'd love to see a photo if you use any of these ideas in your projects!

Hubby and I had a wonderful 5-day holiday last week. The weather was beautiful, scenery magnificent and the birds we went to find were very obliging and were happy to show themselves long enough for us to have a look.

Crystal clear water:

delightful creeks:

pretty moss:

wonderful birds:

Now it's head down, tail up, to finish two commissions by the end of this week!

Happy stitching,


Ondrea said...

Val, I am so sorry for not visiting for such a long time. LIfe got in the way and so did computer problems. All your things are so pretty and practical. I shall check out your tutorial. Hope you are well. Angel hugs.

KaHolly said...

All of your little accessories make me hunger for my sewing machine! Have been traveling/visiting for over a month now, but plan to be 'home' in one week. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pics. Lovely bird. What is it?

Sherry said...

All your beautiful projects are such an inspiration. I enjoy your posts so much. I'm hoping to do a little stitching on my Apples of Gold today. Looking forward to your next post.

Frog Quilter said...

Beautiful items you have made! Love the nature pictures. Did you do any fishing?

Barb said...

As usual, your work is just beautiful and sweet. Too many to pick a favorite!!!