Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Teaching Tuesday - owls, butterflies and teapots

Goodness, where does the time go. Right. No messing about. We've practiced our free machining, and now we're ready to stitch something slightly more interesting than wiggly lines.

How about a bit of applique? 

A while ago now, I forget when, I invented a sort of composite fabric (when I say I invented it, I probably didn't and lots of other people may have been doing this too, but I don't remember seeing it anywhere else).

You get a sheet of Bondaweb iron-on double-sided fusible stuff, pin it to your ironing board (it curls) with the rough gluey side up, and proceed to cover it with all sorts of fabric scraps - all those ridiculously small bits you keep in plastic pots because they're too nice to throw away...only me? Oh dear.

Make sure you overlap the pieces, you don't want gluey stuff getting onto your iron. I think this is Libby's piece:

When you are done, iron the whole lot - use baking parchment above and below for good measure (I've now written "baking parchment!" on the iron I take to class - we live in hope!)

Almost too good to cut up, Maggie!

Then you can draw whatever you will on the reverse papery side, 

cut it out, 

peel off the backing paper, and iron it in place onto your background. 
Here are some cut and ironed-on owls with vacant stares, ready for the next stage! 

I wouldn't use a hoop for this sort of thing, I use a paper stabiliser underneath my background fabric. Sort your machine for free machining as before, and start to stitch - a smidge inside the edge of the shape, rather than right on the edge. I use a black thread, but you don't have to. It does define the shape though. 

I stitch several times around each shape, and I try and stitch all the details - eyes, beak, ears, toes - in one go. So you need to work out how you are going to do this, without too many lines going across places you don't want them. You may need to stop and start again somewhere else.

When I explained this, Morag said that all her animals would be wearing spectacles...

So this is what we tried in class, all completely unique to each person - from the shape chosen, to the mix of fabrics.





Carole, again

A different Carole...who didn't actually use the Bondaweb fabric method, but jumped straight in and cut her fabrics separately - but we won't tell!!

What I love about doing this is the random mix of colours - you couldn't plan that.

Vix again. Superb!

NB My owl's eyes are made from white fabric with a Bondaweb backing, cut out with a hole punch before removing the paper (trés fiddly). The pupils will be black beads sewn on at the very end, by hand.


  1. You do know that I'm going to blatantly steal this idea don't you... But I will admit that you thought of it first.

    1. Gina - I'm sure Iz won't mind a bit of nicking!!

      Tis nifty I have to say!

  2. A really great idea. Brilliant results and I love the owls.

  3. I echo Maggi's thoughts above, owls are one of my favourites, lovely results from the class as well.

  4. They are fab! I love the owls especially and yes, I have a little collection of the sort of sized fabric snippets that I'm sure all other sane people actually throw away too...!

  5. Lovely work Iz, yours and the students ;-)


Thank you for reading! I love reading your comments, and always reply personally if I can.