Friday, 31 August 2018

Tutorial: Scrappy Liberty Bookmark

I know for sure that many of you (just like me) have a bag or a jar hidden somewhere in your sewing space filled with the most precious scraps. Those tiny pretty pieces that are too small to be stitched together, but still impossible to part with. Well, if you are a lucky owner of a bag or a jar like that, then this tutorial might be exactly what you need.

I am going to show you how to turn the tiniest snippets into a bookmark or maybe a gift tag, but keep your mind open and let this idea tickle your imagination and create something else using this method that doesn't require a sewing machine. Only a hot iron and a fusible web/adhesive.

A small note about the fusible web (adhesive) that I use: in the photo below you can see two types of a fusible web. The top one is a very thin spider-web-like fusible that works just perfect for lawn fabrics (even if you use a few layers of the web). The bottom fusible is more like a plastic mesh that is fine for quilting cottons and linens, but is too rough for lighter fabrics and especially for Liberty. 

Just to show you the result, I applied both types of the above adhesives on the back side of that small piece of fabric with the bunny below. As you can see the top part of the piece if smooth, but the bottom has a mesh-like pattern that pretty much ruins the fabric. So please be careful when it comes to fusible adhesives, test it first on a small piece so you won't ruin your precious scraps.

OK, let's get started. Gather your precious Liberty scraps. Make sure to iron them before we begin so that they are nice and wrinkle free. I am using the scraps that are left from my Tenderness quilt that are mostly triangular in shape, but it does not really matter what shape or size your scraps are.

Other things you will need:
  • fusible web
  • hot iron
  • sharp scissors
  • rotary cutter, ruler and mat
  • fabric ink
  • stamps
Take a large piece of fusible web and place it on your working surface. The best place to do this is on top of your ironing board so you won't have to move the "mosaic". You might want to pin the piece of  the fusible on top of your board, make sure to place a piece of cloth or paper under the fusible to keep the board cover clean. Take a pair of small very sharp scissors and trim pieces as you go if needed. Arrange them all together leaving a small gap between the pieces. The gap will create a lovely effect of a stained glass. Make the "mosaic" as big as needed.

Once you are happy with the arrangement, place a piece of baking paper on top of your "mosaic" to prevent the iron sticking to it, and press well with a hot iron.

Using a sharp rotary cutter, trim the piece to 2" by 5" or cut it into pieces of required sizes if making a smaller bookmark or something else. 

Next bit is quite fiddly, but if you stay patient and go slow, it's going to be just fine. Slowly and carefully peel the fabric off the paper (or peel the paper of the fabric - whatever works better for you) making sure not to pull the pieces apart and not to stretch the fabric. Take your time and if any pieces fall off, you can always reapply another layer of fusible web just under that area.

Once that is done, take a piece of white cotton and apply fusible web on the back. Do not peel the paper off! Then place the "mosaic" piece in the middle and again cover it with a piece of baking paper and press with a hot iron to fuse.

Using a sharp rotary cutter and a ruler, trim the background fabric leaving a 1/8" boarder.

Quite a few people asked me about how I made the linen base. Well, the trick is the fusible web. It's simple, I use this method for making gift tags also. Take two piece of linen and apply the stronger fusible web on the back of one or both pieces. I am using the plastic web for this step because it makes the linen stiffer. Then peel the paper off and fuse both pieces of linen together. 

Take your pretty mosaic and place it on the linen base leaving a bigger space at the top for stamping. Mark the placement of the mosaic. If you are not using fabric stamps, then fuse the mosaic to the base with a hot iron, but make sure to cover it with a piece of baking paper to keep your iron clean.

If you are using a fabric stamp, pick a stamp you like and using a fabric ink, stamp it in the top left corner or anywhere you like. Then fuse the "mosaic" to the linen base.

Using a sharp rotary cutter and a ruler, trim the bookmark and you are done! Very simple! It's ready to be used or gifted to someone special.

If you do use this tutorial and want to share your make on Instagram, please use the #stitchingnotespattern hashtag and be sure to tag me too @stitchingnotes because I would love to see what you make. If you are using any other media, please link back to this tutorial. Thank you! Happy scrappy time! Larisa xox