Festive Scrap Fabric Challenge

I decided to set myself a bit of a challenge as my scrap bag is really a scrap sack at the minute and a ridiculously full one at that! Seeing as it’s the season and all I also wanted to have a go at something that might help move me towards the goal of doing some homemade things for Christmas too. So here’s what I decided to do: come up with some scrap busting projects that were lushiously festive ❤️ Here are the results:

Project 1 : Christmas cards.

A couple of years ago I made a robin lino print for my Christmas cards. They looked great in black and white. But this year I changed it up. I grabbed all of the reds and greens from the scrap bag and patched pieces together and then printed the robin onto them.

Lino printed robin on fabric scraps

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

I love them individually but also put them altogether and thought they looked great.

Collage of lino printed robins on patched fabrics

To print well on the fabric it needed a lot more ink than on paper, but I soon got the hang of it. The ink I used is not suitable for fabrics that are to be washed but I definitely want to revisit this design with the right ink in the future to make something.

Back to cards… One of the things I really like about the prints were the irregular edges so when I trimmed them down I tried to keep this look and frayed them along the edges.

Robin print stitched onto a card

I sewed this first one on straight but had a bit of an experiment with the next ones which I definitely prefer!

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

Lino printed robin on patched fabrics

Not sure how many I’ll actually get done and post out but I really love them and absolutely love how they have revitalised what were just small scraps. Happy days!

Project 2 : Gift bows

I have a great love of beautiful wrapping and at the moment am currently having a (very long) phase of loving brown paper wrapping with a more rustic feel.  I wanted to have a go at a simple gift bow but using scraps all brought together to make a new piece of fabric.

Originally I had planned to just use some iron-on interfacing for this but when I was rummaging came across this product I had purchased at a craft fair from Kim Thattachi’s stall after doing a workshop with Tina Francis. It’s like a very heavy duty interfacing with a thick non woven fabric side and then a heat activated glue side.  I’m pretty sure it’s called Decovil and is a product made by Vlieseline.

Here’s what I did:
I laid a strip down, glue side up on some greaseproof paper on my ironing board. I had to pin down the corners as it had been rolled up and was a bit unruly.

Next I laid on really small scraps and some gold thread because, well, Christmas deserves bling.

Scraps laid on interfacing

It was kind of a happy mess. Next I popped another layer of greaseproof on it and ironed the whole thing.

Greaseproof paper on top of scraps ready for ironing

Once ironed it looked like a slightly flatter mess 😉

Ironed scraps on backing

It was at this point I remembered my hot foils, also purchased from Kim Thittichai. Where there were gaps in the fabric I laid a small strip of the hot foil (in gold of course) and ironed it to transfer the foil.

Heat transfer foil ready to be applied

I kept repeating this until all of the ‘glue’ sections had foil on them. I actually felt it worked better when I ironed it, removed the greaseproof then pressed to foil to warm sections. The transfer just seemed to work better this way.

Detail of foiled section

Piee with some foiled sections

You can just keep reusing a small piece of the foil, you don’t need much to complete the effect.

Detail of the used foil section

Next I wanted to stitch over it to cement all the pieces into place as where more than one layer had been, the fabric had obviously not completely adhered.

Ready to be sewn with embroidery foot at the sewing machine

I stitched using my embroidery foot  in a random pattern.

Detail of stitching on the piece

This is what it looked like when I was done.

Close up of the finished piece

The final step was to cut up this masterpiece into strips to make a bow.

I had planned to make a bow just like I would with paper, but there was too much of the underside showing, so I turned it the other way up, got my glue gun out (much like my love of staple guns, my love for the glue gun is deep) and stuck it together.

Looks kinda scrappy but gorgeous I think.  I had so much fun making it too.  Here’s to the great plesaure of making beautiful things from very little, recycling and renewing, and projects that include glue guns. Or staple guns.

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

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