This is only a test. . . .

I have wanted to try this technique for 2 years but something always gets in the way.  Such is life. This is a technique to make a doily or table runner or even a table cloth if you are that ambitious.

As I recall the instructions, which I cannot find anymore, you are to make some edging free standing lace (fsl) with matching corners to approximately the size of your project.  (See my fsl blog for instructions for creating fsl.) 

So, here are my beginning pieces.  I am making a sample project before I try to do something really large, so the pieces are not large, I can do them in a 4x4 frame.  I am making 4 sides and 4 corners.




Because I have done fsl many, many times before, I know to attach the pieces before I soak/remove the water soluble stabilizer.  I have trimmed the stabilizer, Badgemaster, of course.

On the left is Badgemaster and on the right is a 'heavy' water soluble stabilizer found in many embroidery stores.  The arrows point to where the other stabilizer failed.


Since I don't sew, I did use glue.  Please don't stop reading now. . . . I know that is a (modest) sin, but the lace touches at only two brief places and I needed to be able to be sure that all 8 pieces were going to be a single piece when I was done.  As it turns out, the glue may have been an advantage.  Keeping the pieces square is challenging and the glue allowed me to adjust for a little time to be sure it was a good angle.





Putting them together before soaking guarantees that they will fit correctly whereas if I soaked them first, I run the risk of having one piece getting just a little crooked.  That would put the entire project out of alignment.

 After soaking I am using my brayer because I want the corners to be in alignment and the brayer will lay my pieces flat and their are a lot of curls in the design as well.   Deviation would ruin the project.


I am taking a piece of fabric, about 2" wider and longer and lay the fsl frame on it.  I tacked it carefully so that there would be no pinches.  When I do something like this, and because I am not a good seamstress, I tend to pin the fabric more than most sewers would. 



I have read where some embroiders put these together and frankly, they make it look easy and here is an example.  It really looks nice!


I can honestly say that I am glad this was just testing out the technique.  I ran into a great many problems starting with the fact that the lace fell apart after the soak.  There were places where the lace should have been attached but was not.  There were places where the stitching unravelled.  This was a more frustrating project than I had thought.  Not evertything works the way we would like it to.


I tried to attach the lace with my long unused sewing machine and determined that it needs to go to the shop for a cleaning and reset of virtually everything.  So, I attached the edge with a simple whip stitch.  With everything going wrong, I just did a single edge so I could see some of the finished project. 


Other than the problems encountered, I thought it looked pretty good.  If I were to do it again, I would be sure that my FSL design was a better quality and held together.  I don't think I would ever want to do a large project because of all the time involved. 

I guess you can see for certain that I just share what I do, not just the great things that happen.  My experience may not be your experience.  If I missed a step, I would love to hear about it.  Another thing that this project showed me was that it is important to do a test sew out and if I were going to do something large, be sure to do it on a small scale first to learn and grow!



Comments (2) -

Project looks great! Just hand stitching some tack stitches might work ok before soaking?

I would also iron the piece of fabric I was going to attach it to before attaching, or you may end up with some unwanted wrinkles when you are done.

MooMommy (love your name!) - I kept playing with the project and decided that I wanted to try again soon with a different design.  

I would like to do a Christmas table runner and will be on the lookout for that.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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