Monday, October 20, 2008
A Simple Little Border
I thought I'd talk a little bit about putting borders around your stitching projects. There are so many creative ways to finish off your hand-stitched pieces, that it always helps to have more options to consider than just matting.
Many years ago, when I was doing lots of cross-stitching, I came across a Danish stitching magazine called ARIADNE. Even though the whole magazine was in Danish, the designs were so beautiful, they didn't need much translation. I was particularly smitten by their botanical designs. They seemed much more sophisticated than our early American patterns; and that might be expected, since Scandanavian stitchers have been doing cross-stitch for many, many years.
What also struck me, as I poured over every issue I could get my hands on, was how simply they finished off their needlework pieces. It was a huge revelation to me! They simply added a stitched line around the central image. Look at the mushroom piece above. See how they stitched a cross-stitch border - skipping every other space - around the grouping. Doesn't it create a lovely, yet elegant border?
Here's another small but pleasing Danish piece:
Again, a simple cross-stitch border line in a neutral color works to set of the central design, and by creating a wide border of the same fabric, gives the piece the LOOK of a mat, but without the cost of actually cutting one to fit. The advantage of using this technique is two-fold: it saves you money, yes...but more importantly, it also creates a very calming border area that doesn't detract from the stitched center. As you look at the photos above, notice how well that white border space keeps your eye focused on the stitchery in the middle.
Here in America, we tend to do a LOT of matting - single, double, triple and even all sorts of custom-shaped matting. But as these two Danish pieces illustrate, sometimes LESS can definitely be more pleasing to the eye.