If I can find a fast and efficient way to "mark" my seams before I embellish them, in order to create slightly more even stitches, I will use it. Why not? (I use quotation marks because I do not like using actual pencil or pen marks on my fabrics if I can avoid it.)
So I've been experimenting with a few different methods...and they have potential to be quite useful in the future!
Do note how carefully that drawing was done! ;-) This motif is from Joan Waldman's book, Quilt Savvy: Embroidery Stitches.
This is Golden Threads tracing paper that is used by sane quilters for drawing out machine quilting designs, then basting it over their quilts, and machine quilting right through it. (I went to the manufacturer's booth while at the Houston Quilt Market, and they are incredibly lovely people.)
This paper was designed to tear out easily after the stitching is done.
And indeed it did. I had just done the chain stitch through the paper, and added the other elements free-hand after removing it. I don't think I would have gotten the spacing of the fan "blades" or the curve along the top as nice without the paper. Thumbs up on that.
Next I tried the graph paper method that Joan presents in her book.
A narrow strip of graph paper is basted into place, and the stitching goes over it. I thought this would be helpful for accurately spacing the base element of a seam quickly.
And indeed it was. Another thumbs up.
All this must be obvious to so many of you stitchers out there, but I am slow on the uptake in some matters! How to obtain accuracy, for example....I do like the imperfect look of hand stitching, as with my fly stitching here, but it is still good to have spacing right, otherwise the effect of the seam treatment can be compromised by sloppiness.
Finally, I tried good old Tiger Tape. This product was also developed for the sane quilting world, to help get those hand quilting stitches even and perfect!
I planned a simple cross stitch seam here, because.....
.....a continuous line of cross stitch will unify this curve, and after it is on you won't notice that the piecing seams don't line up nicely in that corner of the white border. I use this gambit all the time.
The only problem with the Tiger Tape is that it was rough on that smooth satin when I gently pulled it off, causing some fibers to pull out. One needs to be aware of that, and not press the adhesive tape in place with to0 much pressure.
Here is the third side of the border complete. You can see the cross stitching came out nicely on the left there, and that it reads as one smooth curve.
One side to go! This one is going to have some waste canvas lettering on it.
JoWynn mentioned this book in one of her posts. It sent me scooting off to AbeBooks, my preferred online purveyor of hard-to-find used books. My copy arrived in the mail from London last week, and I am thrilled! There are dozens of alphabets charted out for cross stitchers. I am going to pick one out and work on it this week-end, while my DH and I fly to Los Angeles to help his father celebrate birthday #85.
Back at you Monday!