Yesterday morning, I finished setting up a slate frame for my little goldwork class. Having run out of twill tape, cotton webbing, and any other stuff pre-made into sturdy strips that I could sew onto the sides of the linen for lacing the frame, I had to improvise.
When dressing a slate frame, you can manage the sides a couple ways. You can double-fold the edge of your ground fabric, like I did in this tutorial on dressing a slate frame, or you can sew extra strips of strong fabric tape (like cotton twill tape or cotton webbing) onto the sides of your fabric, and lace through the strips. Both ways are described in different books that touch on the subject of dressing a slate frame, and both ways work.
Because of the type of linen I’m using on this current class project and the smaller size of the project, I decided to go for the side-strip method. But I didn’t have any strips of anything on hand. And since the town I live in is one of those “geographical oddities” (40 miles from everywhere!), I decided to rummage through the cupboards and come up with another solution.
Really, any relatively strong fabric would do, but I didn’t want to use a more expensive linen or a too-flimsy cotton muslin. Aha! Perfect! I found a length of cotton twill fabric hiding in a fabric bin. I haven’t touched the stuff for years, and I can’t even remember why I have it. But – finally – its Moment to Shine arrived! I cut two-inch strips along the selvedge, used the overlock on my sewing machine to finish the unfinished edge of the strips, and had my tape!
It really worked like a dream. And the fact that it’s blue doesn’t bother me at all, either.
And another happy thing I discovered about the slate frame for this project: it gets along quite well with my Needlework System 4 stand. (That’s a link to my review.) I’d call the slate frame medium-large. The tapes are about 16″ wide on the roller bars, and the side slats are about 20″ or 22″ long. It’s not a little frame, but it isn’t “huge” either. And the stand with the frame clamp holds it just fine.
I bought this particular slate frame from Hedgehog Handworks. It’s fairly light, and that’s why it works in the Needlework System 4 stand. If it were much heavier or any bigger, the stand wouldn’t take it.
Now the project’s ready for the fun part – the stitching! I’ll let you know how we get on!