I’ve recently resumed working in my studio after months recuperating from my fall and broken wrist in January. It was a bad break that required surgery to put in a plate and several screws. Two orthopedic surgeons told me the break was too complicated for them to fix and that I needed a hand specialist. Now, I look at the x-ray of my wrist and appreciate the intricacies of the hand surgeon’s fine detailed work. I’m glad that I waited the ten days after the break to have her do the surgery in Boston. Today, after 2 months of hand therapy, I’ve regained most of my wrist’s rotation, but still have limited flexibility and strength. Even though the break was in my subdominant left hand, I need the full use of my wrist to hold materials that I stitch with my right. As I work, I can feel the tendons in my hand and wrist pulling and aching, but I’m determined to sew! My physical therapist told me that she will work with me another month, to see if we can get back as much use as possible.
Before the accident, I was going to spend the winter making borders for all 50 of the original illustrations from my upcoming book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes . So, I have a lot of work to catch up on.
The pictures now need to be given borders and mounted on stretched backgrounds before being framed under glass for the traveling exhibit. The illustrations were photographed a year ago for reproduction in the book and now can be reworked for their 2nd life as framed pieces of original art. I just finished the border on the double-page spread for the rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. There was already a felt border, but I needed to finish the outside edge. I made a scalloped pattern and cut around the outside so that the corners were rounded.
Then, with some variegated cotton thread (Watercolours by Caron), I sewed a blanket stitch around the curved edge. I added a decorative curly-cued chain stitch made with 2-ply variegated embroidery floss (DMC).
The scalloped border looked too flat, so I sewed 26-gauge wire to the underside, near the outside edge.
I embroidered the date and my initials to the bottom border. Then, I bent the wire to make a wavy edge, just like you’d do with pie crust around the outside edge of a pie pan. The felt artwork is then sewn to a stretched piece of upholstery fabric.
Here’s the finished picture. In the book, the words from the rhyme will be printed in the large open spaces and the book’s gutter will be in the center.
Note: See other posts in the Pocketful of Borders series here.