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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Better background

I am partway through stitching my banner when something better comes along. That's the advantage (or trouble) of continuing to seek out whitework pieces. I have been stitching my message on a tablecloth which is showing signs of wear. It is whitework and large enough to hold the words, and it's the best thing I had available.

Now I have a bedcover and matching pillow cases. The detailing is beautiful and I can't pass up the opportunity.

More to the point, using bedlinen as compared to table linen brings out the site of domestic violence, in particular sexual violence so much more strongly.

To use the bedcover as my base I have to resize my lettering and start stitching all over again.

I continue to refine my process, but here are the basics.

  • Trace the letters onto vliesofix,

  • activate the heat-sensitive glue by ironing onto background fabric

  • cut out the letters

  • trace the entire sentence onto the background cloth using water-soluble pen

  • peel the backing paper off the letters

  • place the cut-out letters onto the background

  • iron in place

  • stitch along the edges of the letters by machine (this image shows zig-zag stitch, but straight stitch works better) this helps to secure the letters in place and provides me with some holes to help my hand stitching

  • stem-stitch around the letters by hand

  • stem-stitch around the letters a second time to make it clearer (the previous banner was somewhat transparent, but this fabric is opaque, so it takes more to make the outline clear enough)

  • when all the stitching is done, wash out the blue pen

  • wash the entire piece because it's been in my lap and in my hands for many days

  • iron it well

  • add starch and iron again.

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