Borders are a way to confine and separate the elements of an embroidered design . . . BUT even more importantly:

They offer up fun stitch combinations that make a project satisfying.

Here’s a look at borders in a few of the Stitched Stories patterns.

Back-stitched layered scallops

Lucky Circle’s round shape is defined by the interlocking scallops in two greens.

Take a closer look, and you’ll see another border of deeper scallops, each one with a yellow satin-stitched circle.

Partial border of text

Two-thirds of the the circular shape of Mushrooms is created by the elements themselves–and then another third is curving text.

This quote from Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle deepens the theme–and gives you a chance to use little back stitches to render text. This text border is in the same brown as the other border elements: the earth and tree trunk.


Broken and doily-styled

The border on Start with Coffee has scallops like those on a paper doily. The little satin-stitched circles evoke doily openings.

The border is interwoven with the other design elements: nested circles and rays represent the morning sunshine.

Signage-styled rings and rivets

The border on Mistletoe Farm is meant to evoke metal signage with two back-stitched rings and little satin-stitched circles–like rivets or nails.

A broken border–with the tree and other elements spilling overtop–gives the design energy. The Gestalt principle of closure posits that the viewer’s mind will fill in missing parts–and is, thus, more engaged in taking it all in.

Matching bottom borders unite pieces

Both Garden Rabbit and Garden Hen (and Garden Cottage not shown here) have a scalloped plaid bottom border.

The layered border is so much fun to stitch with the lowest horizontal lines in back stitch, the verticals in outline stitch, and the yellow, topmost line, in chain stitch.

Band Sampler Borders

Horizontal borders breaking up the sections of a design are key to our traditional samplers–like Home Sampler shown here.

There are simple borders–like the dark blue, three-petaled lazy daisies in the top row and the green scallops below the second house.

The banner border is the most elaborate. The little banners are filled with a variety of motifs: straight-stitched bursts and stars, satin-stitched circles, and layered grids in blue tones.

Mirrored top and bottom borders

Peacock Dreams includes several simple borders–but the boldest borders are at design top and bottom.

Alternating pomegranates and circles are filled with layered grids. A thin scalloped line in back-stitched green finishes it off.

An in-the-hoop design of rows

Beehive is a design structured around rows and borders. Gold honeycombs are at design top and bottom. A row of clover around a beehive comes next. Right below the clover is a border meant to evoke a fence and flowers: brown straight stitches and brick-colored lazy-daisy loops.

The border just below the beehive is like a trellis with long pink straight stitches anchored by gold “+” signs.

Always looking for stitch combinations that have you eager to stitch

Each time I start a new design, I’m thinking about what to include that will have you excited to embroider—and one of the ways to discover new and engaging combinations is BORDERS.

I’ll finish with a look at several horizontal borders in Peacock Dreams.

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Embrace the beauty and charm of the season with one of our summer-themed embroidery projects.

We've got bold colors, trendy motifs and engaging designs all perfect for your summer stitching.