After admiring Cindy Russell's work, I decided to try that fancy little edge that she does so well. It's really not difficult, and I wanted to share how to do it with everyone. Here's a close up photo of the edges. I'm not tackling drawn thread technique or mitered corners, because Krista already has a spiffy video that says it all.
Here's how to do it:
1. Pull a single thread from each side of your work, where you want the outside edge of the work to be. For this, I counted 63 threads from the edge of the embroidery.
2. Find some pearl cotton to match your ground cloth as best you can. I used 30 ct linen, and DMC #8 pearl cotton (the kind that comes in little balls).
3. Starting in your first corner, backstitch in the gap you created when you pulled your thread. I backstitched over 3 threads. Don't pull your backstitching too tightly, the tension shouldn't pull the threads apart, but it should lie fairly flat.
When you get to the next corner, terminate your backstitching and weave back through a few threads on the back side to secure. Do this on each edge.
4. Finger press your cloth to the back side of your work, so the backstitching is at the very outside edge of the fold. This may take a bit of patience.
5. The backstitching will form the little loops like magic! Then you can proceed to fold your fabric once more to form the hem and make the corners. I finger pressed the entire piece because I didn't want to iron in any skin oils, etc. into my work.
When I finished, I pretty much doused the entire piece with Spray & Wash, let it sit for about half an hour, then washed it by hand. I use slightly warm water and dish soap. I like using dish soap because it cuts through any oils, etc. on the work. A textile artist suggested this to me a while back, specifically Dawn dish soap. It works great!
6. Then I rolled it in a towel to get the excess water out, and blocked it on my rotary mat.
7. After it was dry, I put it on my ironing board, FACE DOWN on a clean white bath towel. I sprayed it with filtered water until it was damp, then I pressed it with fairly high heat. The towel keeps your stitches from getting compressed so they look nice and plump. I never press needlework on the front side.
To be clear, I didn't think of this myself. I tried to copy the fabulous Cindy Russell, who is the queen of hemming! I skipped the drawn thread work on the inside of the hem, though, because I wanted a super simple look for this piece.