Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Silk Scene Lacing

The silk ribbon embroidered Silk Scene is completed. So now it has to be "mounted". Mounting in this case is lacing the entire project to a piece of acid free mat board so it's smooth and straight. Pressing is important to get the hoop marks out. I gently pressed close to the stitching, but not over it, of course. This piece cannot be soaked or washed prior to mounting because the silk ribbons are not colorfast.
First I measured the embroidered piece (not including the fabric surround it's sewn to) to get an idea about what size board I need to cut. About two inches or more distance from the silk edge to the board edge is about right. Unfortunately the total measurements mean I probably won't be able to go with a standard size pre-made frame. Next I cut a piece of white cotton batting for a pad. The knots, etc., on the back of the piece will sink into the padding and reduce the likelihood of bumps on the front of the embroidery. I used a washable glue stick to stick the cotton batting to the board.
Next I laid the silk ribbon embroidery over the board to get an idea of placement. When I was happy with that I pinned it to the cotton batting to hold it in place so I could begin the lacing.
Lacing is attaching a piece to the backing via long back and forth stitches on the back, first worked horizontally, then vertically. The thread has to be able to withstand the tension, so I chose some cotton "Cotty" thread that's about the size of #12 pearl cotton (see spool in above photo), and a very long #5 cotton darner needle.
Lacing requires that you start in the middle of the work and work to one end first. I could not possibly have enough thread in the needle to do one whole side. I had to knot off into the fabric, then start a new, knotted thread exactly where I left off in order to keep the tension just right.
After completing one horizontal half, I turned the work upside down and worked from the center to the other end.
Next was the vertical lacing. This required lots of new threads since it was 13" tall. Again, I started in the middle and worked to one end, turned the work upside down and worked from the middle to the other end.

Lacing can be too tight, or too loose...so you have to keep checking the right side to make sure it's "just right". Below is a photo showing how the right side of the vertical lacing is completed and you can see ripples in the left side that had not yet been laced.
Done. Completed. It looks smooth and even. You can even see the background colors showing up: the pink around the flowers, greens around the dogwood tree and lovely blue in the sky. Lacing is not very interesting to see or do, but it's very important to do it correctly!
The results make all the work worth it.
Now all I have to do to complete this is to take it to be matted and framed

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