I start by making the piece larger than it will end up being. For the 8.5 x 11 pieces, I made them approximately 9 x 12. After the piece is quilted I use a ruler and permanent marker to mark the final size on the top of the quilt. Then I lay a piece of perle cotton on the marked line and zigzag over it. By doing this before you cut the edges off, you can get it nice and smooth, with neat corners. I use a narrow zigzag. On my Janome it is 1.5. Don't start and end at a corner. The start and stop are less noticeable along a side.After stitching the perle cotton down, carefully trim the excess fabric off, as close to the stitched perle cotton as you can get without cutting the stitching.
Now you are going to zigzag over the perle cotton and the edge again, but before you do that, take a needle threaded with a heavy-weight thread. I use buttonhole thread. Just take one stitch through each corner of your piece and cut the thread off, leaving two long tails, about 3" long.
You know how when you zigzag around the edge of something the corners are a mess and sometimes they get caught down in the hole or hang up on the foot? Well, those thread tails you just made are there to alleviate those problems! As you approach a corner, grab the the thread tails and use them to guide the stitching up to the corner. Stop, with your needle down at the corner, pivot and use the thread tails to pull the corner gently toward the back, under the foot, while you smoothly stitch into the next straight side.When you are finished, you can just pull the thread tails out and discard.
And there's my finished piece with a nice, narrow little zigzagged edge. Isn't that neat?
P.S. A couple of people have asked what size perle cotton I am using. Does it come in different sizes?! The label has a 5 on it—I guess that's the size. It is not nearly as fat as yarn. The finished edge is only about 1/16th of an inch wide. I'm sure you could make it wider if you wanted to use something fatter than the perle cotton.
P.P.S. I am not using a satin stitch on this. The length of the stitch is just the default stitch length. I think the tight satin stitch is often another thing that contributes to bad corners and hangups. The perle cotton fills in under the zigzag stitch so that it covers it pretty well and a satin stitch isn't really needed. I must admit, also, that I have been known to take a permanent pen and touch up spots where the light fabric shows through! If you want more coverage you can stitch around the edge one or two more times.
You are a technical genius. I must try this!!ReplyDelete
THANKS for showing this.....if you don't mind me asking what size of Perle Cotton do you use?
Thanks for the pix and info. I'll have to try it next time I do the zig zag edge.ReplyDelete
Cheesh - I didn't think it was possible. (welll, maybe for me it isn't- LOL). Beautiful, Terry. Thanks for sharing I must try this with my next postcard. Hope springs eternal!ReplyDelete
Wow, you are a genius - very nice edge. What size of perle cotton did you use? It looks like yarn.ReplyDelete
thanks for the tip on zigzag edges!ReplyDelete
Very Neat Terry, thanks for sharing this tipReplyDelete
Great tip! Looks fabulous.ReplyDelete
Wonderful! I have to try this.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip, these edges always put me off for the messy corner risk.ReplyDelete
this is very nice! my questions: 1) do you use the same narrow-sized zig-zag for putting the perle cotton down and for the edge stitch? 2) what stitch length is your zig-zag? is it almost satin stitch or just regular length?ReplyDelete
thanks for this! it's a great idea!
So nicely written. Thanks for a great tip!ReplyDelete
The threads in the corner is a genius idea. THanks for that!ReplyDelete
Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh!ReplyDelete
THANK YOU! ;^)
Once again I am grateful for your sharing. Thank you. Your work is gorgeous, as always!
Thanks for the tute. I will give this a try some time.ReplyDelete
thank you! gotta try this now...ReplyDelete
Only you could make me love a beetle !ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tutorial too !
I'm going to try this! Thanks so much.ReplyDelete
My DMC perle cotton says "8 m" on the band. I thought that was standard. Is 5 bigger?ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tutorial. I think I will experiment with this edge.
That is brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to share your tips and create the tutorial.ReplyDelete
Brilliant. If there was a Project Runway for quilters, you would win this challenge!ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing these great techniques with us. The corner threads will come in handy for many projects, and the pearl cotton idea is fabulous. I will be trying both of them on my next fabric postcards as well as the small art quilts I make.ReplyDelete
Terry, what a neat technique! I'll definitely use it soon. Your work always has that crisp, finished look; thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Terry! This is a brilliant technique and a great tutorial. Thanks for posting it! I'm especially wow'ed by your using the thread tails to help with the corners. Genius.ReplyDelete
Perle comes in #sReplyDelete
3 (thickest), 5, 8, 12, 16 At least those are all that I have seen in the past fifty years.
I have to go and make some postcards now just to try the technique. Thanks so much.ReplyDelete
Brilliant! Did you devise this idea by yourself? Thanks for sharing it with us--that's very generous.ReplyDelete
Thanks be to God!!! I know two pieces that I will be using this on in the next month. I can't thank you enough!!ReplyDelete
excellent tutorial terry, the thread at the corners is brilliant!ReplyDelete
What a neat edge! Thank you so much for sharing this technique. I'm also glad you reminded me about what Ken Smith calls the "leading Strings" technique - that one had slipped RIGHT to the back of the dust filled drawer that is my brain!ReplyDelete
Neat is right! Thanks for sharing that!ReplyDelete
Wow, Terry, what a great technique and explained so clearly with your pictures too. Thanks a lot for your generosity in sharing this with the big wide world!ReplyDelete
Great tips, I am going to have to try this one out! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Just found your blog - your quilts are fabulous! I look forward to seeing more of them.ReplyDelete
Anjea in Austin, TX
Terry, I always admired your quilts, and now you have made one of your secrets available for us - thanks ever so much. Peace and many blessings, AnnieReplyDelete
Wow, what a neat edge to a small piece. Thank you Terry.ReplyDelete
Nicely done! Excellent clear instructions!ReplyDelete
How do you get the pictures lined up with the exact
Instructions? My load willy nilly.
Wow!! This tutorial has been here all this time and I didn't even know it! What a fabulous idea, I will b doing it, and very soon.ReplyDelete
Annie Copeland referred us to this tutorial.
Terry, thank you for sharing this great way to finish any art quilt piece. GladysReplyDelete
This is sooo cool... I think Ellen Anne Eddy does something like this.. I just saw her quilts and held them last week..ReplyDelete
Fabulous look Terry and seems much easier to do than all the satin stitching I've been doing on my postcards. Your corners look so neat. I like the way you tie them off.ReplyDelete
Thank you for taking time to put this tut together and sharing it with us. Love your art quilts too.
Thank you Terry for sharing your knowledge.ReplyDelete
I have taken the liberty of linking this "tute" to my blog.
I make (mainly)A4 sized quilts plus post cards....this will be so HELPFUL.
And I LOVE your beetles
Thanks for this! The corners are always tricky; great tip! BTW, wool yarn works really well on the edges too - I've used it on several of my small quilts (www.gonerustic.com/galleries/art-quilts/journal-quilts/) ... =DReplyDelete
Genius! Thanks for sharing this great technique Terry!ReplyDelete
I will do absolutely anything to avoid a traditional binding technique!!!!! I use rat tail cording on the edges of my quilts that I learned from Carol Ann Waugh.ReplyDelete
Terry, way to go! I will definitely use this on my little fiber art pieces I mail out solo with no envelope protection really adds another dimension.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing.
Bonnie J. Smith