Sunday, March 2, 2008

Where to keep your teensy scraps and thread ends

So every once in a while as you are busily strip piecing, you come to a piece of fabric that lays there in quiet rebellion and absolutely REFUSES to measure out in any reasonable manner--say, maybe, a remnant of your most favoritest of all time fat quarter--and no matter what you do, you know there will be waste on both sides of the piece, and it just doesn't make sense... and then it dawns on you, this fabric doesn't WANT to be part of a strip pieced fabric--no, it wants to be something else. And you know exactly what it wants to be, without words, because your efforts to work with and understand this fabric have allowed the cotton fumes full access to your brain. You and the fabric are now One in the creation of something NOT strip pieced. *insert fumely-induced Zen-ness here... ohm*

Now the fabric submits gladly, even eagerly, as you measure and cut.

Yes, my dear ones, I took pictures. *grin*

Step one in my day: uninstall the Self-Installing Cat Accessory, Module Two. This one is Cleo, and her eyes are not actually blue; they're green/gold--but she was actually this cute. *wink*

Step two: Cut fabric into squares, two 5", two 3", two 2.5", and one 3" from contrasting fabric (that you pulled out of your scrap bag!); also cut rectangles, two 1.5" x 5" and two the same size or a little larger from the contrasting fabric.

Step three: round off the corners on each square piece (or cut into actual circles, if you're that ambitious).

Step four: Run gathering threads around each circle, and gather into a bag shape--turn right side out if necessary.

Step five: Gather your stuffing--in this case, a ziplock bag of cut-off corners and miscellaneous scraps too small for me to do much with, plus lots of thread ends--and stuff that baby, honey! Do the 5" piece first.

Step six: Sew it shut. Repeat for other 5" squircle.

Step seven: Sew them together. Do this at the very center first, and then sew another round or two of stitches just a little farther out. Use a running stitch that goes into each piece alternately, top, bottom, top, bottom, and pull your stitches tight so that the fabric comes together and covers them completely. Your goal is to have the join be both sturdy and invisible.

Step eight: "Can I say that looks strange?"

"Yes. But don't you dare say what it looks like, or I'll be forced to quilt a toilet seat cover."

*laughing* "I won't say what it looks like--I promise!!"


"That looks really strange..... what is it?"

*turning piece every which way, looking for up* "A head and body....there, see? this part is the head."

"Uh... okay." *vamooses back to the Land of Sanity, where one forces a lil frog to spit colored balls into a never-ending chain of more colored balls, always striving to make the frog spit faster so one can set new records: Zuma!*

Step nine: Take picture with spool of thread for scale. Head and body fully joined, and turned to the best side for the front.

Step ten: Gather and stuff the 3" squircles for back feet; sew them shut. Sew each one to the front of the body, down low. Take picture with front feet still unstuffed and on ironing board behind piece--realize it looks like Piglet that way. File thought for future reference. We are not making Piglet today.

Even though we could if we REALLY wanted to. *nods*

Step eleven: Take a lil break, stretch, relax... be back at the ironing board in five seconds cuz it's all coming together now!

Step twelve: Gather, stuff and sew on the front feet (2.5" squircles). This gets tricky--you run out of room by the last foot and have to angle the needle, bend the feet and/or body, do whatever it takes to get that foot ON there securely. In this case, I chose to put the foot down onto the bottom foot and sew it to the body and foot both, as much for room as for cute.

Step thirteen: Admire! To scale, even.

Gather, stuff, and sew on the tail. Don't worry if it seems too contrasty; the ears will fix that.

Step fourteen: Make ears. This is way faster and easier on the sewing machine than by hand, but either works. Put fabric right sides together and sew in a popsicle stick shape: long sides, rounded top. Leave the bottom open for turning.

If you don't trim the seams or clip the corners, your ears will not need stuffed--but you will probably curse me as you struggle to turn them right sides out.

I certainly cursed me.

It WAS worth it, though; they had just enough body on the edges and plenty of droopiness in the center--hard to accomplish with stuffing in the way.

Step fifteen: Gather the insides of the ears (the contrasty fabric). Do this with the alternating running stitch again, left, right, left right of an imaginary center line. Be very careful not to catch the backs of the ears in your stitches. You want to make the fronts smaller than the backs so the ears can be shaped. Try to make some parts of your gathers with very tiny stitches and some parts with long stitches.

Odd though it seems to me, the tiny stitches are the straight parts of the ear and the long stitches are the bendy foldy parts. If you experiment, you can make the ears twist, bend, fold, droop, or stand upright.

Note the Thread Heaven box--the thread twisted and tangled terribly until I raided my cross-stitch n beading supplies for the Thread Heaven. I am so sold on this product! It works miracles!

Step sixteen: Sew the ears to the head. If you set them wide apart you magnify the Cute Factor. Sew them like you joined the head and body, alternating stitches and pulling them tight so the fabric makes them invisible.

You can make them stand more upright by sewing the back down securely a little higher up than you sew the front.

Experiment with the ears; sometimes they look absolutely adorable if you face them down and let them droop off to the sides, sometimes they need to stand up and face forward or to the sides. Each different position will change the personality; choose the one that most appeals to you, but don't let it break your heart if it won't sew on that way. Sometimes the magic happens when the ear DOESN'T cooperate, yanno?

Step seventeen: Adding the second ear. This is where the personality really begins to shine!

Step eighteen: Almost done!!

Step nineteen: nobunny is ever fully dressed without a bowtie.

Experiment with various colors until you find the one that makes your bunny sing. Sometimes it takes two or more. I used white and golden orange together to make a closer match to the golden yellow stripe in the fabric.

Step twenty: Feel the thrill of job satisfaction--a job well done! Know that your teensiest scraps now have a home. Ah scrapbunny, how I love you!

Step twenty-one: Give him away. *grin* scrapbunny has a good home on a work monitor now, and every time Gryph looks at the work puter, my love will shine out. It's a good thing!


  1. Very, very cute. Lurve Scrap Bunny.

  2. Lisa Boyer has stollened my words! I was going to say just that!!


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