Cross stitch tip - get rid of those pesky frayed edges
I admit it. I'm a lazy cross stitcher. Which means that when it comes to getting rid of frayed edges I prefer a non-sew solution so I don't have to get my machine out! I will describe my favourite non-sew methods to stop your cross stitch fabric from fraying while you are working on it.
(And for those of you that are not lazy cross stitchers the sew method is a simple machine zig zag stitch around the edge of the fabric - just the same method you would use to stop any fabric from fraying!)
Pinking shears (or as used to call them zig zag scissors)
Simply cut round the edge of your cross stitch fabric with your pinking shears - this is my absolute favourite way as it's just so quick and it works surprisingly well! Pinking shears are quite expensive but they are a worthwhile investment - make sure you don't buy cheap, there's nothing worse that shears that don't cut. This method is good for large cross stitches as it's just so quick!
Cut a piece of masking tape, stick one half (lengthways) to one side of your fabric's edge, fold it over and stick the other half down to the other side. This method isn't quite a quick as the pinking shears but it does also provide an edge that you can hold onto protecting the rest of your work. Use good quality masking tape as other types of tape can leave a residue behind and you definitely don't want a sticky edge!
There are lots of liquids that prevent fabric from fraying. I use one from Prym which is very effective. Just dribble it around the edge of your cross stitch fabric and leave it to dry for about 10 minutes. Make sure you have something protective underneath your fabric so you don't get it all over your table! The good thing about this method is it is long lasting so you can be confident that your piece wont fray - particularly useful for cross stitch pieces that will be framed in a hoop. The downside of this is that it comes in a small bottle which doesn't last long if you're using it a lot. Better for smaller cross stitches where you want to be sure the edge will last.