Saturday, 2 May 2015

Use those scraps- make applique patches for EVERYTHING!

Want more stash busting ideas? Well read on! This make is about making embellishments for your work and it uses tiny amounts of bits and pieces that you usually have left over from larger projects, you know, that odd button or the last few flower embellishments on a metre.

Continuing the theme of bright and happy and diving once more into the bottomless scrap basket, I have had a new idea which I think that you just might like - applique patches! 
This little make uses bits of fabric, felt, buttons and ribbon and other cute embellishments. You can then use the patches on all sorts of things. They make great finishing touches for everything from bags to pot plants and you can use them on clothing too. Have a look at some applications...

I made a quick crochet cover for an ugly and cheap plastic pot and hot glued a patch to the front. Mixed media is fun and very on-trend!

Here a patch is adorning a bag (you can find the bag pattern in the shop if you love this one). You can see from these two that these patches are versatile and can have different 'moods'. So how do we make them?

You will need to go hunting for a few things:
scraps of fabrics
scraps of felt
fabric glue
ribbon and braid
pinking shears
water soluble maker
thread and free motion embroidery needs for your machine (this varies a bit so I won't go into detail. Check your sewing machine book)
Handy to have:
a Sizzix big shot and some dies. This makes the job easier but it isn't essential
Hot glue gun

You also need a few images. I tend to stick to the same ones in various combinations. Flowers, hearts and birds are all good. The deer is another one - anything which makes you feel happy and suits the project will work.
Consider making these a few at  time and storing them in a box for when you need something special.

Okay, let's get started. I am going to do four at a time to show you how versatile and easy this is. We will make two hearts, a circle and an oval to begin. You need four pieces of felt and your pinking shears first. 
Here are four basic shapes.... 

Print them off in a couple of sizes and make templates from card. Then all you have to do is trace around the shapes onto the felt with the water soluble maker and then cut out with your pinking shears. Here is what we have now...

Notice how bright the colours are? These are more summery, you can use different colours for different times of the year; think red and grey at Christmas, pastels for Spring. I think that you get the idea!
Next, find some fabric to go with the felt colours and then cut that out with normal straight scissors so that it is about 1cm smaller. Glue the fabric shape to the felt. Here is where we are now...

You can add another layer to some....

And then it is time to embellish! Anything goes here so enjoy yourself. I like heart motifs and flowers but as I mentioned before, birds are good too and anything else that takes your fancy.

By the way, one of the best places to find applique maotifs are children's colouring books. they are already line drawings and you can change the size easily.

Here are some of my ideas based on bits and pieces. There are still some layers to go on some - as you can see, these look simple but there are lots of steps for you to get your teeth into.

The next thing to do now is to set your sewing machine up for free motion embroidery. Check your manual for specific details.

We are going to use black thread too. This will keep the colours from becoming gaudy. Go around the motifs to anchor them on now with the black thread. Go around some of the larger parts of your design twice. Then it is time to give each one an individual personality.

Number one is the oval. I have left this one quite plain with the four hearts...

I thought that the fabric was busy enough without adding to it!

Number two is the large round one....

It now has a flower shape cut off a long row of them - you can buy these by the metre wherever your buy ribbon and lace but mine come from here. An orange button finished it off.
Number three is a heart with flowers...

Some leaves and a couple of buttons worked wonders. 

Finally, the smaller heart is a variation on the third....

This time a small bow and some more of those flowers that you cut off the row worked well with some yellow buttons. 

I love these and they are so handy. Make them in bulk when you have time and keep them in a box. I use them for brooches (just add a brooch bar to the back). They are super bag charms and they look great on crochet pot covers, cushions, key rings and just about anywhere else.

Here are some more ideas....

I originally designed these motifs to zing up my crocheted pot covers but they really can go anywhere.

Thank you so much for visiting! I have enjoyed your company and I hope that this tutorial is inspiring. Go check that scrap basket!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx