Coiling Around Edges

Pine Needle Coiled Baskets by Peg's Basketry Arnoldussen
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I have had to deal with 2 different approaches to edge coiling (starting a coil around an insert, a gourd, a ceramic piece, etc.), depending on what the edge is like. If it is rounded with the holes drilled close to the edge, an extremely thin edge, or has a lip, then it's probably best to let the coil drop in front of the edge, held at bay by the stitches in the holes. If the edge is wide and/or the holes some distance in from the edge, it's probably best to lay the first coil right along the edge, flush with the depth of the insert.

Edge 1

Example 1: This edge has a lip. The coil should be set on top of the lip, covering it. Holes should be drilled as close as possible to inside of lip. Starting end of thread can be buried under the coil. After the first round is completed, proceed as usual, inserting needle in previous coil.

Edge 2

Example 2: This edge is rounded. If you get to do the drilling, try to keep the holes fairly close to the edge, but not so close that the piece will break. Let the coil slip over the edge to front of work; the threaded holes will keep it in place. Proceed as usual with rest of work.

Example 3: This edge is flat and wide, typical of a walnut slice or a wooden base. It is best to place the beginning coil directly on the edge. Keeping it there can be a challenge. Here's a way:

Begin with a very small coil made up of only a few needle clusters. The coil should be big enough to cover the edge of the insert with very little mound. Stagger the connected ends of the needles because it will be necessary to make the coil climb over them in a gradual slope at the end of the first round.

Hide the thread end under the coil by holding the coil in place over it. Slip sewing needle through a hole and begin stitching. Add pine needles to the coil as needed in order to maintain uniform thickness.

When approaching the end of the first round and the ends of the pine needles protruding from the start point, begin to tuck them carefully under the coil. Stitch coil over them.

Next Row

When the beginning stitch is reached, insert sewing needle just ahead of it, between insert edge and coil; loop all the way around the beginning coil. Work the entire second round this way. Also, thicken the coil on this round, bringing it to desired thickness for entire basket. Do this as you begin the second round so as not to end up with a too skinny section of coil. Use good judgment.

Once the second round of coiling is completed, proceed as usual. Some folks do tack the first round a bit with glue. However, I haven't found that to be necessary.


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