Friday, October 24, 2008

Bed Canopy Border

Yesterday I completed the last three of five panels for Michael S. Smith. The panels will be used as bed drapes and canopy valences for a project in Rancho Mirage.

The border is inspired by eastern European traditional cross-stitch embroidery and utilizes computerized technology. The pattern was selected because it works well with the character, colors and images of the room’s area rug.

Typically the embroidery process includes the use of stabilizing backings. These backings are generally tear-away or cut-away paper like substances that remain in part under the embroidered thread. This pattern has large areas of cross-stitch like pattern worked on a woven hemp fabric from Rose Tarlow Melrose House. I decided to try something different – a water soluble backing. This allowed me to soak the completed panels in water to remove all the backing thus allowing thread on fabric only and a gentle, appropriate drape to the fabric.

After soaking the fabric overnight, I rolled the panels in toweling to absorb as much of the water as possible, then I steam pressed the panels dry to finish them properly. The result, though time consuming, results in a beautiful, flowing, natural flowing fabric.

There are many challenges in our industry – I always look for ways that I can use the best of current technology to give the richest look possible; the best of both worlds, so to speak. Although the process is time consuming, I had the help of my associate, Darlene Dando and her amazing 4 head embroidery machine to speed up this process and love the end result.

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