/** Google Analytics script below */ /** end Google Analytics script */

Monday, May 7, 2007

How-To: Mount silk gauze on muslin

Tonight was our monthly EGA meeting. For the program, one of the members (Hi Dorothy!) shared her method for mounting silk gauze on muslin so it can be stretched for stitching. I took pictures along the way so I could share here!

Step 1. If your chart is not kitted with a piece of gauze, determine the finished size of the design on silk gauze by dividing the number of stitches in each direction by the thread count of the gauze, then add 1-2 inches (or as much needed by your framer) all around. Cut your gauze to this size. For example, my design is approximately 160 stitches square, and I'm doing it on 40 ct gauze, so the finished size will be around 160/40 = 4" square. I added a bit all around, so I'm working on a 7" square of gauze.

Step 2. Cut your muslin several inches larger than this. It depends on what kind of stretching device that you choose to use. I will be mounting mine on scroll rods, so I have a long piece of muslin (maybe 20"?) by 12". I didn't have the time to put it on the rods tonight, so I just used a large hoop. Find the center of your muslin. I did this by folding it in quarters and creasing it slightly.

Step 3. Roughly center the gauze piece on the muslin. (Sorry it's difficult to see this in the pic. There's not much contrast between the two fabrics!)

Step 4. Pin the gauze to the muslin around the outer edge, keeping the two fabrics as smooth as possible. (And if you're doing this on a plastic tablecloth, take care not to pin the whole thing TO the tablecloth. Trust me on this. Don't ask how I know! ) If your piece of gauze is smaller than 4" square or so, you might be able to skip this step.

Step 5. With a contrasting sewing thread, take running stitches around the edge of the gauze. I went around twice, staggering the stitches on the second round, since I had a large piece of gauze.

Step 6. With the MUSLIN side up, separate the two layers of fabrics. I used a needle through the muslin to pull it away from the gauze. In the middle of the area of the muslin/gauze sandwich, cut the muslin. Once you get it started in the middle of the area, you can slip a finger inside to keep the gauze away from the muslin as you cut close (about 1/8 of an inch or so) to the running stitches. (I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of this process!) Once the muslin is cut away, you'll have an exposed section of gauze.

Step 7. Put the muslin-mounted gauze on your choice of stitching frame. It doesn't matter if it's gauze-side up or muslin-side up. To begin stitching, it's easiest to find the middle. Here's my trick for finding the middle of any mounted fabric or canvas, if all of the ground fabric is showing. Simply take two long threads, and lay them in an "X", corner to corner, across the fabric. The center of the X is the middle of your fabric!

Step 8. Have fun stitching! I recommend really bright light and good magnification, if needed!


Kathryn said...

Very thorough. Good instructions. Thank you. (Even though I doubt I will be stitching on gauze any time soon. :-) Too many projects, too little time.) I did enjoy seeing your lovely gauze project.

Jeanne said...

Thank you, Kathryn. I don't know if these types of posts help anyone, but they might help _me_ in the future, in case I'm trying to remember how this is done! :-P

Jane/Chilly Hollow said...

I've cut a flap out instead of removing all the window of muslin over the silk gauze. Then I can pin it up out of the way when I stitch and unpin it to cover my stitching when I put it away. This isn't necesary, of course, but it is useful for me.

I love stitching on silk gauze and have the blackberries chart in my stash for someday, actually

Jeanne said...

That's a great idea! It would also help keep pesky greyhound hairs out of my stitching! Thanks for the suggestion. Hopefully I'll remember it when it comes time for the next gauze project! :-)