William’s Border – the background..

As you can imagine, it took me some time to decide on the way I was going to tackle the border. Since the “sky” is going to be underside couched in gold, it needed something to contain it, and I felt that it had to be a colour which wasn’t already dominant in the design – so not grey, and not brown.

Blue somehow became the obvious choice, and then I had to decide how to do it. I wanted the colour to have a bit of variation to make it less stark, but at the same time, calm enough to settle into the background. So I have three different shades of blue in the needle at once, and the base layer is surface satin stitch.

That isn’t at all stable, so it is going to have trellis couching over the top.

The first layer has a slightly watery look to it, not at all unsuitable for someone who travelled as much as William, but I wanted to calm it down some more, because, remember, it’s merely the background for broom and dog roses! So the hatching (the trellis part) uses the two darker shades of the three.

The final stage is tieing stitches, in the lightest blue. I’m really pleased with this, as it has produced the right control of the threads, and the light blue glints like a gem at the crossing points.

The outer edge will have the same as the inner edge, but in the reverse order. Soon I will have to finalise the ideas for the broom and dog roses, and when I’ve done that there will be no excuse to avoid the underside couching, the prospect of which is slightly unnerving me..


  1. Karen says:

    The trellis works really well for the border and those little ties really are like jewels. I imagine the ground covers quite quickly with those long satin stitches; also it’s really effective mixing the colours in the needle.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    That has come out very well. The blend of shades lifts it and the trellis couching ties it together figuratively as well as literally. I am looking forward to the broom and roses.

  3. Carolyn Foley says:

    So much work in this border. It has worked well.

  4. Lin says:

    Those tying down stitches really do sing out like little beads. xx

  5. An excellent choice and execution of the border. The flowers will look stunning against such background.

  6. Looking very fine, the blended threads have worked really well in creating a much more interesting border than flat blue and the trellis draws it all back together again. Your acetate trial run for the placement had been very successful hasn’t it, what a clever idea. You map and dig images are looking much more balanced now as well. Well done for all you’re achieving. It’s going to be marvelous when it all comes together. One tentative query though, about the underside couching, how are you going to manage the turns at each end with the inner border already stitched down? Just thinking back to the stela, I assume the gold thread will be finer as the technique requires it to “pop” through to the underside, but still, it’s got to turn at each end (I worry about these things!!).

  7. Linda C says:

    Interesting border, it looks like it took a lot of work.