My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How to finish the edges of mini textile art

I've been making some teeny little wall hangings.  And by teeny, I mean a few inches across.

Finishing the edges of these little artworks is always a bit tricky.  I use a heavy weight vilene in them to stabilise and stiffen them so they don't really lend themselves to a traditional binding, and they are too small for that anyway.

I have used a close zig-zag stitch along the edges but that takes a lot of thread and can gobble the corners if you aren't careful.  And I have messy backs from my embroidery that I'd like to cover too.

Then my talented friend Shirley let me in on how she finishes her bookmarks that she makes.

First, you iron a fusible web like vlisofix, mistyfuse or steam-a-seam onto some coordinating fabric.  Then you trim a piece of that fabric to about a quarter of an inch bigger than your little piece of art.

To form a hanging loop so you can display your artwork, use a piece of embroidery thread and take a large loose stitch through the backing fabric, fastening it with knots on the wrong side.

Tack down the fused fabric on the back of your artwork then trim the corners like in the photo.  Fold the edges of the fused fabric tightly over to the front of the work and fuse them down.  Fuse the back securely.

Stitch along the folded edges to secure.  You can use a contrasting or matching thread, a decorative stitch or plain machine stitch, or you can do what I did and use an embroidery thread in the bobbin (I'm using my hand-dyed silk/cotton blend) and work from the back to make it a feature.

Make sure you remember to sign and label your work, then hang it on the wall to enjoy.  These three are now keeping my hand-dyed threads company in my studio and gallery.

The middle one (Tree Hug #2) is 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches and the other two (Tree Hug #1 and #3) are 3 inches by 3 1/2 inches.  They are for sale at $12 NZD each or $30 for the set.  Email me if you are interested!

Edit:  These are now sold, thanks for your interest.


  1. Thanks for the good demo, information. Would you mind if I pin it on my board on which keep tutorials? BTW, I really like the compositions also.

    1. Hi Diane, go for it! I don't mind anyone pinning and passing on any little tutorials I do, just include the link back to me and I'll be happy. Have fun sewing!

  2. I've really been enjoying making ATC cards recently and whilst I have got better at finishing them this method is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. Your little pictures are stunning.

  3. Pinned, and it is linked to you. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for this - I am definitely going to try it. I've been looking for something small that I can try to get into gift shops but they need t be small and relatively inexpensive . Making small art quilts and finishing this way might just be the ticket.

  5. This is a great idea and could be used for ATCs as well.


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