Just finished! (Click on photo to see the enlarged photo – the panel is laying on my bed which accounts for the receding top)
This morning, I trimmed some threads, added a bit more stitching to the guys. Then off to the fabric store to see what I might find in the way of fabric for the border. Neither fabric store near me had anything better than the three possibilities I’d pulled from my stash. In the end, after consulting with the gals at Sew With Vision, I decided on the “mid” colour intensity option. One of the gals had a good suggestion – what about adding piping between the inner and outer borders?
Great idea! Sew With Vision didn’t have any solid fabrics that worked, so I went down the street to Atlantic Fabrics. They had a dark grey/brown Kona cotton which matched the browns in the border fabric perfectly. I auditioned various shades of blue, some greens. I even tried a black, but the best choice was definitely the brown.
I knew before I started I’d have to make the piping – actually it’s not a difficult job when you’re using a piping foot – I turned out four strips of piping very quickly. The secret to applying the piping is to do it in two steps – attach piping first, then border fabric on top of that. I measured 1/2″ from the inner edge of the inner border, marked it with a heat erasable pen, lined the inner edge of the piping against my line and stitched it in place. I trimmed the excess piping as close to each corner as I dared, then marked 1/4″ on the piping fabric, aligned an edge of the border fabric (2 1/2″ strips) and stitched a second time. I ended with a very neat, narrow piping with the border fabric abutted directly against it.
Then I added a muslin backing. I trimmed my muslin to the same dimensions as the panel, pinned it, and stitched the layers with the muslin on the bottom so it would not shift position. I added a sleeve for a dowel/curtain rod at the top, incorporating it into the top seam. Finally, I turned the panel right side out, pushed out the corners, pressed it flat, hand stitched the opening in the panel bottom as well as the bottom edge of the rod sleeve at the top. When the wall hanging was turned right side out, the muslin backing was a wee bit larger than than the panel, so using a zipper foot, I carefully pulled back the piping from the inner border and stitched all layers as close to the piping as I could so it wouldn’t show. That seam was successful – the muslin doesn’t peep out along the bottom edge of the panel.
Now to find a place to hang it!