Thursday, 11 March 2010

Make A Shape

This is a great way to play with some of your smaller scraps.

What you’ll need
Fabric scraps; there’s no such thing as too small scraps for this technique. Some triangles add pattern and texture.
Water soluble stabilizer (I use Vlieselin which I buy by the meter; any sort of water soluble stabilizer will be fine)

Fabric marker (this works well on Vlieselin; you might want to check the directions for your brand)

A shape; I have used a small plate for this sample. Any shape without too much detail will be fine, but it might be a good idea to try a simple one first. You will find a picture of my little monster-in-progress at the end of the tutorial.

And what you’ll do
Draw your shape onto the stabilizer using a fabric marker.

Cut the stabilizer down to a square/rectangle leaving approx ½” all around the shape. Cut another piece the same size.
Cut your fabric scraps into smaller pieces if they are large. Mine are approx 1”-2” long and 1/2”-1” wide; some triangles, some smaller, some bigger.

Place the stabilizer on your table; drawn lines facing up.

Start covering the edge of your shape with fabric scraps. Make sure the scraps cover the line and overlap a bit.
Cover the rest of the shape. Create a pattern on the top if you like.
Make a sandwich by covering the whole thing with the other piece of stabilizer.

Pin the layers together starting at the outer edges.
Turn the sandwich and check that there are no pins close to the line.
Take the sandwich to your sewing machine. Start stitching on the wrong side of the sandwich where the line is visible.

Sew a seam on the line all around the shape.
Turn the sandwich around and start quilting. Remove the pins as you go. You can do straight line quilting or free motioning; one layer of stitching or several; one thread or several.

Sew two more seams on top of the one you stitced on the line.
Cut around the stitched shape using scissors and leaving a 1-2mm edge around the shape.
Wash away the stabilizer. Be careful so that the pieces will not fall apart. There will be some residue left in the fabric making it a bit sticky when wet and stiff when dry. This is a good thing as it helps keeping the shape.

Place the shape on a towel to dry.
I have pinned my shapes to ready made quilt sandwiches (fabric, batting and backing spray basted together), and free motion quilted them down.

The crown in “Pink Princess” is only quilted around the edge; the circle in “Ball of fire” is quilted all over.

Monster-in-progress - from taupe scraps

to this shape just waiting to dry.


  1. Great tutorial, even us non-quilter types could hand this, since it is collage-ala-fabrique!

    Love it.

  2. The red sun looks great, Nina Lise. As always