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Using Basic Stitches to Make Border Designs
Borders make an excellent frame for a stitched phrase or as a way to finish off a smaller motif. And beautifully embroidered borders don't always require complicated patterns.
All you need to do is look to some of your favorite stitches (or perhaps a few new ones you want to learn) and put them together! It only takes two or three different stitches and a whole new border design appears.
Use your new border stitch combinations as a frame on all sides of a geometric shape or as a line above and below a design. A line of stitches looks great running along the hem of table linens, dish towels, and many other items. You can also work most of the designs on a curve.
Start with this collection of five stitch combinations as you explore layering your stitches. But that's just the beginning. Try making your own borders with the stitches you love and then give six more stitch combinations a go!Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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Cross Stitches and Sheaves
It's helpful to start with guidelines drawn on your fabric for the top and bottom of the sheaf stitches. After some practice, you should be able to stitch them consistently and probably won't need the lines.
Stitch the sheaf stitches with about 1/4" between each stitch. Stitch a cross stitch between each.
Alter the size and spacing of your stitches to create a different look. You can also add another color to this by making the horizontal line on the sheaf stitches another shade.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Fly Stitch BracketsContinue to 4 of 6 below.
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Argyle-Style Herringbone Lines
Stitch a line of herringbone stitch, then add lines of running stitch in the gaps. Two stitches should fit nicely between each section of the herringbone.
Try working this with tied herringbone or adding other stitches for a more detailed design.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Chain Dotted with Knots and Crosses
Start with a line of chain stitching. Alternating on each side of the chain, embroider a french knot centered above or below each "link" of the chain.
Add a cross stitch between each french knot.
You can also create this with the french knots and cross stitches only on one side of the chain stitching. This is especially good for embroidering the border on a curve.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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Filled Cretan Stitch
For a fuller border, combine open cretan stitch and ermine stitch.
Embroider a line of open cretan stitch. In each space, add an ermine stitch, with the top of the stitch extending past the edges of the open cretan stitch.
Try making the stitches different sizes and proportions. Leaving more space around the ermine stitches will give it an airier look while keeping things tight will look more solid.