Scraps to Jewels!

Linda’s started stitching this beautiful hexagon quilt top using English paper piecing. She’s working in silk fabrics which is creating a lovely lustrous result. It’s satisfying, because working at this small scale means she can use up even quite small scraps.

But we all know that any project still generates some waste, and after cutting out the hexagons from the silk scraps, there are snippets of silk left over. Even though they are small, they are too precious to throw out!

Linda’s been making embroidered and beaded brooches from the tiny scraps.

If you’d like to give this a try, here’s what you’ll need:

(Of course, you don’t have to hand stitch a hexagon quilt first! Just save any small scraps from your quilting, embroidery or dressmaking projects)

Fabric scraps (silk or cotton will be fine)
Felt for the backing of the brooch
Fine net or tulle
Fusible web (Linda used Bondaweb)
Sewing machine
Decorative thread – metallics or rayon look great
Tiny seed beads
Sew-on brooch pin or safety pin

Step 1

Iron a piece of double sided fusible webbing to the front of a piece of silk. My fabric was approximately 3 inches square to allow for trimming of ragged edges later. You could work larger and cut several brooches from the stitched confetti fabric if you want to make extras as gifts. Remove the paper backing to expose the glue layer.

Step 2

Snip tiny scraps of silk to cover the whole of the fusible surface. Try to avoid overlapping shapes too much as they need to make at least some contact with the fusible to hold them in place.  Any small gaps will allow the colour of the backing fabric to show through so it’s not the end of the world if it isn’t totally covered.

Step 3

Place a sheet of fine tulle/net over everything – then cover with baking parchment and iron to fuse all the loose shapes. I used a black tulle but as it hardly affects the colours of the confetti any colour you have will do.

Step 4

Free motion stitch an all over design with the thread of your choice. I used Madeira Heavy Metal in gold. Keep the stitch lines closely spaced to suit the scale of the brooch. You can stitch any design that you like, swirly lines, spirals, loops, angular shapes. It’s a great opportunity to practise your freehand stitching skills.

Step 5

I like to add a layer of felt to the back of my brooches to make them firm. Place the stitched square onto the felt and straight stitch around all four sides to secure. Trim excess fabric close to the line of stitching. This added layer of felt also hides the back of your freehand stitching so don’t worry if it wasn’t neat, it won’t be seen!

At this stage, you can also add the brooch pin. Attach this securely with hand stitches worked just through the felt layer.

Step 6

Adding beads with every blanket stitch makes for a decorative edge. The beads you choose could pick out one of the colours of the silk or match the thread colour. You can use all the same colour or stick with the scrappy theme and use up an assortment of multicoloured beads. The result will be neatest if the size of the beads is the same.

And here’s the finished brooch!

These are pretty quick to make, especially if you do start with a piece of confetti fabric large enough to cut a number of brooches from. They make beautiful gifts so make several and treat your friends!