Friday, October 5, 2012

Scrap Love: Embroidery Tutorial

Who doesn't love a scrappy project?

Embroidery tutorial using scrap fabric squares

Not just the look of them but also the fact you're squeezing a little bit more life out of your much loved fabrics.


(Downside: it encourages scrap hoarding. Big time.)

This technique can be used with scraps of almost any size - these fabric tiles are one inch squares.

My cutting template came from an empty plastic milk bottle. I wrapped it in waste cloth and warmed it under a low iron to relax the curve, then stashed it under a big stack of heavy books until cool. Opaque plastic works best as you can easily trace a template straight from the grid on your cutting mat.

Trace a bunch of shapes on the paper of your double-sided appliqué interfacing:


Then iron onto the wrong side of your scraps:


Let cool and then cut them out.


Another great thing about one inch fabric tiles is that it's easy to test out designs on your cutting board, using the grid as a guide.


Replicate the one inch grid on your chosen backing fabric with water soluble marker:


One of the problems with fixing the tiles in place is the need to put waste cloth on top of them before ironing. If you lay them all out it is near impossible to keep them all in position as you place on the cloth - so I iron mine on one line at a time.


I just iron each line lightly and quickly, enough so they won't move, then move on to the next line (don't use steam or your water soluble grid will disappear).


Once I have all the lines in place I then give the whole piece a thorough going-over (hee) with steam or a bit of water on the cloth to make sure those suckers are well stuck.


I like to further fix my squares with hand sewing and always draw a guiding grid because I am terrible at keeping straight.


Then it's up to you what you want to do with it! It's a very colourful, scrappy canvas for whatever purpose you decide.

I chose to embroider over mine. I sketched out a design and used the old window light-box trick to trace it onto my canvas. (If your design is very fine this method won't work so well, the tiles make it hard to trace though.)


It takes a little more effort to bunch through the extra layer of fabric, but nothing too difficult.


I finished this one off using my usual method:


And it's now having a lovely time in its new home in New Zealand. Hi Sarah!


So if you're holding on to those last tiny scraps of Mendocino or Flea Market Fancy (original issue)  why not put them to use so you can enjoy them everyday?

Tuesday I'll be back with another little project - my very first English Paper Piecing (EPP) attempt as part of the Travelling Pic Stitch Blog Hop. Check out Chelsea's gorgeous work if you want to see how it's done.

Anyone can join in (there are prizes!) so check out the details. All you need is a needle and thread, paper and fabric. And fingers. Fingers really help.

À mardi!


  1. You are such a clever girl!! Your projects are are always so unique and striking!

  2. how on earth do you do it girl. i turn my back for a few weeks and return to find all manner of travel stories, amazing pics, crafting goodness and shenanigans of four wee kiddies. i'm worn out (and a wee bit envious) just reading and drooling. missed you xx

  3. Très jolie Tour! I just organized all my scraps ;) Will have to give this idea a try.

  4. Great tutorial, and the result is so pretty!!!

  5. Ah, cela me rappelle quelque chose....

  6. C'est une super idée - merci de l'avoir partager avec nous!

    Je te souhaite une belle journée

    Meilleures salutations de la Suisse :-)

  7. Oh cool, thanks for sharing the tute for this!

  8. What a great idea,I have a mountain of scraps that I just can't dump.Going to o mosaics .x

  9. This is really awesome Kirsty!! I love the way it looks with and even without the embroidery -- very cool! ;)

  10. OMG I have a bunch of triangles of gorgeous Art Gallery Fabric leftover from a quilt.(.Knew I was hoarding them for a reason) how cute would this be using up some of those ---love it..and love that I am posting after @Maureen Cracknell Handmade (my latest idol)..thanks so much Kristy..your site is luscious...cannot wait to dive right into it!

  11. sorry I meant Kirsty--have a wonderful day!!


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