A nice cording adds so much to a non-traditional edge finish. I love finishing pieces with this technique and it makes uneven edges so much easier to manage. I’m happy to go over it step-by-step with you, since I know that not everyone has finished a piece this way. The steps I took to get to this point can be found here.
After I removed the freezer paper templates, I finished up the quilting, adding details to the leaves. The next step was to decide on the final configuration of the sides, which was just to draw lines with chalk, to have a path to follow along.
Before you cut, sew along the lines with a small zig-zag stitch–works better than a straight stitch.
Sew with a thread that you can see, but not something that will be obnoxious if it’s visible in the final edge. Cut along the zig-zag and you’re almost there! Tip: Be sure to quilt all the way to the edges, since you can’t be sure where you will end up cutting for the final shape.
Here’s what the piece looked like with only the stay-stitching and the edges cut. I took the easy way out and left the top edge straight! Size is about 24 x 36.
Couching is your friend! My machine has a couching foot, which helps to control the yarn I added to the edge. I started with the back of the quilt and ran a line of yarn around the edge. Then I flipped it over and ran a line around the edge on the top. You do this with a small zig-zag stitch and sometimes you are done at this point. You can also edit and re-cut at any point in this process because it’s simple to cut and over stitch. This piece needed one more round of stitches, just thread, no yarn, to smooth everything out. I increased the stitch width and changed from the couching foot to an embroidery foot–you can see where your needle is going much better with that foot.
A nice, broad, smooth edge finish with very curvy edges! I prefer this to satin stitching alone because it makes the edge much more sturdy. And the finished product…
This project started with a painting experiment and grew through embroidery, beading, and quilting. I’m quite happy with it and I’m not going to procrastinate on getting the sleeve sewn on and the label. I want it to be totally done, done, done!