On the Edge

A fiber postcard finish

by Sherry Boram

Interesting yarns and threads love to come to my house and play. Many of them are remnants from a hand weaver’s studio, others are left over from a lifetime of sewing projects, and some attach themselves to me as I walk through fabric stores. With all of these lovely raw materials, I was obligated to find a use for them besides couching them on the surface of quilt projects. Lo and behold, they work well as a framing finish for postcard edges.

Choosing the Fibers:

• COLOR — The most important quality.
• TEXTURE — Shine, sparkle and nubs can add a nice touch.
• SIZE — Not an issue. Small yarns like pearl cotton and floss may be twisted together and thick, multi-ply yarns may be divided.

Try These

Novelty yarns, florescent nylon twine from the hardware store, ravelings from heavy weight fabrics, and strips of rolled fabric. Squishy yarns and firm fibers will have a different effect. Metallics combine well with any fiber. Experiment!

Here’s How:

The technique is easy. Applied with an open toe foot and zigzagged stitching, it secures the raw fabric edge and provides added color and interest. I prefer using monofilament thread, as it doesn’t detract from the cording.

Step 1. When your creation is ready to finish, stitch around the postcard 1/8th inch from the edge if the fabric is slippery or apt to ravel, though most cottons do not require this. Rounding or clipping off the corners makes turns easier and neater as you apply the cording. (If making a card-backed postcard, you can round off the corners of the card to match.)

Step 2. Place the edge of the postcard at the center of your open toe foot with the cording aligned next to the postcard. Set zigzag width to accommodate both the cording and the needle’s left swing into the postcard. Leave an ample tail of both threads and cording to hold on to as you begin to stitch.

Step 3. Continue stitching around the postcard and overlap the ends, backstitching to secure.

Step 4. (For card-backed postcards) If you have cut the postcard and the backing card exactly 4″ x 6″, the added cording will be just enough to let your backing fit without showing from the front. Line them up from the back and secure with two binder clips. After topstitching the card to the postcard on one side, the two layers will not shift and you can remove the binder clips, get them out of your way, and finish stitching.