One of my favorite prints in The Ladies’ Stitching Club is this botanical border print. It was inspired by needlepoint and has that sort of needlepoint feel, with a grid underlying the leaves and flowers. Above the border is a gridded, checked pattern. The border itself runs along both selvedges so you get lots of border and plenty of checks between the borders. The better to make things with, right?
I like this print because it’s great for dress hems, like the Croquet Dress. The border can run along the bottom of the hem of a skirt, so it would also make a great Lazy Days Skirt.
And of course I used it as a border on the quilt, like I’ve already shown you.
I left the border on my quilt extra wide, including lots of the checks because I’m planning to do a little embroidery there. I haven’t decided exactly what yet, but maybe some chicken scratch? Like this one:
Chicken scratch is really easy and fun to do because you use the checks as guides for the stitches instead of using special embroidery fabrics or a transfer pattern. (Refer to my old posts over at disdressed for a little more inspiration and information: here, here and here.) And you can make up your own pattern or follow one that someone else designed. Here is the finished apron I made with my chicken scratch embroidery. (We borrowed the kitchen for this photo from our downstairs neighbors, King’s County Jerky Co. You must try the Sichuan Ginger flavor. It’s S’s favorite!)
I think it would be fun to try a giant cross-stitch using the check, too, but here is another idea: How about smocking? This is my first ever attempt, and it was easy and fun! The checks are perfect for making the pleats, since you use the markings to make a running stitching that forms the pleats. It’s a really simple way to pleat the fabric and doesn’t require fancy tools like a smocking pleater. I haven’t decided what to do with my smocking, since I was just playing and didn’t expect it to turn out as well as it did. Any ideas?
Need a few more ideas for using the border? How about adding it to the bottom of a shower curtain or as trim on a tea towel? It might be fun to actually embroider on the border itself, too, making it more three-dimensional. I know you’ll think of more uses, too. I can’t wait to see!
I’m so looking forward for this border print (my favorite from this collection). Borders prints are really fun and perfect for a number of projects (I can see a smocked popover sundress in my future).
The chicken scratch is amazing and your smocking is absolutely stunning!
Thank you for the inspiration, Liesl!
This fabric is beautiful and brings out such creativity! I loved your apron links…I have two aprons that my great grandmother embroidered with chicken scratch. I have been using them since I was a little girl and had to have them draped over my head like a bib. I can’t wait to pass them on to my daughter.
Your smocking is terrific. I would do something totally feminine with it, like frame it out with a little batting and use it to top a jewelry box or use it for the front of a zippered pouch made to hold hankies.
I have a few projects in mind for the border print. Love the smocking samples Liesl – really gets the ideas whirling. Just can’t wait to see it available online … not long now!