Liberty Scrap Challenge – June Edition

by Nova on June 27, 2012

Leila’s gorgeous  pouch is a pretty hard act to follow this month in the Liberty Scrap Challenge!

I always get that little tingle of excitement when I unwrap my scrap pack from Jo each month & the inspiration cogs start whirring :) love that feeling.

When I started cutting & playing with my scraps it resulted in this whimsical , pebble inspired, scrappy, scribbley, doodley sampler hoop for the sewing room wall. An ideal project to show off every last teeny tiny scrap of Liberty that you can’t bear to part with & also a nice reminder of all your faves in one little spot.

You can make this project any size you like. My hoop measure 8″ but you could go bigger or smaller or a different shape hoop. I really like the oval shaped ones . Or if hoops aren’t your thing you could go square or rectangle and stretch your fabric over a canvas or pop it in a regular picture frame.

The hardest part was picking which scraps to use!

I made the Liberty pebble shapes using freezer paper to create the rounded edges – this technique would work with any simple curved shape applique so if you fancied making something similar with circles for example, this method would work great too! A larger version of the applique would make a great pebble inspired quilt I reckon, but that’s a whole other project for another day perhaps…..

If you prefer you could use raw edge applique instead, much like the raindrop drawstring pouch I made earlier in the challenge.

the covered pebbles in the picture above are a super simple make too – use felt or chop up a vintage doily and sew together with rustic stitches or a blanket stitch to encase a  smooth pebble :)

Liberty  Scrappy Hoop Sampler Tutorial using Freezer Paper Applique

What you will need:

  • an embroidery  hoop
  • A piece of fabric that will fit inside your hoop. Cut it approx 2″ bigger all round than your hoop size,  it’s better to know you have enough to fit  easily & comfortably into your hoop & you’ll be trimming it back later. I used some Essex linen (Robert Kaufman) in steel colourway.
  • some favourite scraps
  • tailors chalk or a water soluble/disappearing ink fabric pen & a pencil
  • freezer paper
  • sewing machine
  • iron & spray starch
  • needle & thread
  • embroidery floss & needle
  • paintbrush & water based glue  – one that will dry clear – I used modge podge.

How to:

Using your tailors chalk or similar, draw around the inside of your hoop directly onto the base fabric

Again, using your tailors chalk, roughly draw some pebble type shapes onto your base fabric, this will give you an idea of a layout for your scraps & also how many pebbles you can fit inside your hoop (depending on size 0f hoop & size of pebbles you want to use).  This isn’t an exact science, more of a guideline for placement & size.

Next, using your pencil, draw  your pebble shapes onto the dull size of your freezer paper & cut out. The beauty of pebble shapes is you can tweak them as you go at this stage so that you get a nice assortment of pebbly shapes. I laid mine out on my base fabric as I went to get an idea of shapes & layout.

Once you are happy with your pebble shapes, iron the freezer paper onto your scraps with shiny side of freezer paper to wrong side of fabric.

Trim around the freezer paper leaving a 1/4″ or so seam allowance, you don’t have to be too exact or neat.

Using your machine, sew a gathering stitch around the freezer paper shape. You can sew a gathering stitch by hand if you prefer but I find I get a more even gather with the machine.

Gather the stitches around the freezer paper shape.

& press around the edge. Spray starch is useful  here to obtain nice crisp edges but it’s not essential.

Flip it over & you’ll see you  have a nice neat curved edge! hurrah!

Use a pin to help you extract the freezer paper template

Pop your base fabric in the hoop & pin your shapes in position – this is a very relaxed project & you can see from the chalk marks on the base fabric that I totally changed the placement!

Use a thread colour to match the base fabric and stitch your pebbles in place. You can machine applique them if you prefer.

Once all your pebbles are sewn in place you can doodle all around them with your embroidery floss. As I was using chalk to mark my lines &  didn’t want the line to rub off before I got to it, I drew a scribble around each pebble  as i went along and then did a simple running stitch over the marked line before moving onto the next pebble.

Alternatively you could draw your scribbles all at once if you use a water soluble or disappearing ink  fabric pen. You could do it before you pin & sew your pebbles in place too if you like.  You could also free motion a scribble line with your machine if hand stitches are not your thing.  Whatever works for you!

When you have finished embroidering your scribbles, remove your work from the hoop, you might like to give it a careful press at this point. Iron it upside down on a towel if you do so that you don’t squash & flatten  all those lovely hand stitches you just made.

Lay your work back on the hoop, right side facing down.

Use a pretty piece of fabric to line the back of your hoop & to hide the back of your work. If you are adding a label, sew it to your lining  before you lay the lining in the hoop. Place your lining fabric on top of the main piece with right side facing up & pop the back of the hoop in position.

Pull your fabrics taught & tighten up your hoop. Be careful not to overstretch or warp your fabrics, stretch them evenly.

Trim off any excess fabric, leaving enough to fold back over towards the inside of the hoop – about 1/2 inch or so, it will depend on the depth of your hoop. It’s easier to trim the lining fabric all the way around first, then trim the main piece.

Once you’ve trimmed all the way around, grab your pot of glue & paintbrush and working a small section at a time (about 2 inches, apply glue directly onto the inside of the hoop &  fold the lining fabric down onto the hoop smoothing it down with the brush as you go. Once the lining is all glued down, go around again in exactly the same way gluing down the main fabric. You will get creases so don’t worry too much but the finished effect is a whole lot prettier  than the back side of stitches, particularly if  your hoop is for a gift.

Allow to dry.

& you’re done!

Hang your Liberty Pebbles somewhere where you can see them often!

If you make a pebble hoop we’d love to see! Share your scrappy Liberty projects in our Flickr Group :)

Find all the tutorials from the challenge so far in one easy spot!

More Liberty Scrap Challenge News!

Last month I shared some Liberty scraps in a giveaway. Yay! Maryanne from Sew Together has been following along with the challenge, building up to sewing with her Liberty stash so she was the ideal winner of the Giveaway Guest Spot to help her on her road to sewing with her Liberty. If you’re fearful of sewing with your precious Liberty tana lawn, & understandably so, then  scraps are a great place to start!

Here’s  a sneak peek of 2 projects Maryanne has made with her scraps…

Sweet Liberty Suffolk puff headbands – you can find Maryanne’s  Tutorial here

& these gorgeous scrappy coin purses – you can find the tutorial to make your own right here.

Thank you so much Maryanne for being a fabulous guest challenger x

Do you fancy winning some Liberty scraps & being a Giveaway Guest Challenger…? Leila has a pack of Liberty scraps courtesy of the Organic Stitch Co  to giveaway if you’re up for the challenge – leave a comment to let her know on this post on her blog.

& we have more Liberty inspired treats in store. yes we do! eep!

Jo & I are excited to announce some up coming Guests in the Liberty Scrap Challenge..

July – Krista from Poppy Print.
August – Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts
September – Katy from I’m a Ginger Monkey
October – Kerry from Very Berry Kerry

& as if all that lot aren’t exciting enough, we might just be cooking up a little something special for the end of the year too……

Jo tells me her assorted Liberty charm packs are selling like hot cakes so quick sticks over to Jo’s place  if you’ve been hmming and hawing about stocking up on some!  They are such a great way to build a mini stash of Liberty & for inspiration I just spotted this sneak peek of something rather gorgeous going on over at Krista’s place. yum!

& why not spread the charm square love?  I noticed Carmen has posted a thread in the flickr group about a Liberty 5″ charm square swap. Sounds like fun!  Contact Carmen via her flickr mail for details.



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerry June 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

That hoop is so ‘you’ Nova! Organic and free and stitchy! Love it


Flying Blind June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Wonderful – as ever – and thanks for the finishing tips, so obvious really, but I so needed to be told!


Katy June 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Ooh, very pretty! Funnily enough when I read about freezer paper I was thinking you were about to do a completely different technique, so that was a nice surprise :)


Jo @ a life in lists June 28, 2012 at 5:49 am

Eep! Another amazing one! Absolutely adore the beautiful backing as well – stealing that idea for when I finally get round to my embroidery. I know I say this every single time, but I can’t believe how you keep coming up with such fab ideas! I swear I would have been out of inspiration by about March :)


Karen June 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

Another lovely liberty project – I don’t know how you come up with all these great projects, but please keep going.. they’re fantastic!


Mary June 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

Love the look of this. Thanks for such a thorough tutorial!


Emma July 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

What a fun way to make use of scraps. Thanks for sharing.


beth lehman July 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm

this idea is a gem! i love it!! i wonder if my girls wouldn’t like to try something like this!


James July 5, 2012 at 12:44 am

Of course, it goes without saying I’m far too masculine to pay any attention to your work but I thought I would comment anyway. With the intention of impressing the wife and exposing my feminine side, I took a look at your whimsical, pebble-inspired, scrappy, scribbly, doodly creations if I may quote you and actually found myself rather enjoying your interesting little ideas.

So much so that I went to work on the building site and proceeded to take out my embroidery hoop at lunch break and began to fit fabric over the hoop with the intention of beginning my new wife-impressing project.

You would not believe the somewhat negative reactions of some of my Tarzan type workmates but I pressed on and began the first stage based on your instructions. A building site is a great place to find suitable pebbles and before I knew it, I had work colleagues suggesting ideas for scraps of material to use for my design.

Yes I’m being silly, but I just wanted to say in all seriousness that looking through your blogs, I fell in love with some of your ideas and love the concept of creating things so beautiful out of nothing. I like the idea of being a part of your own home by creating things yourself and playing with simple ideas appeals to me greatly. Just don’t tell my workmates I told you that.


Pippa July 11, 2012 at 7:57 am

The hoop project is just fabulous! I love how it turned out, especially with the hand stitching.


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