Quirky Cottage Crafts

Bags, cushions, soft toys, fashion jewellery


Fabric and Texture

I use fabric and texture creation in my designs. I have a 'stash' of leftover fabrics with multiple textures and colours,compositions and designs. I often play with fabrics using heat and felt in combination and sometimes create gorgeous and unusual pieces which I then incorporate in an accessory with applique or embellishment. These are totally one offs as the heat and felt are sometimes a little out of my control and I go with the flow to see where it takes the design. The method could not really be replicated due to this haphazard approach. But I enjoy myself and the creations are sometimes weird but always lovely in their own way and often find a new purpose.

Fabric manipulating and texture creation

Fabric texture creating from scraps is a fun and interesting game to play with your 'stash' which many sweres and crafters collect.... So here's a few simple things you can do to manipulate and alter the fabrics you have into mini works of art or treasures:


1. Collect your pieces

Put together in little heaps the fabrics and accents such as lace, trimmings even brightly coloured wool or yarn.

Move the heaps around as if you were mixig a cake blending flour and butter but using fabrics... lift them in the air and drop them like dice being rolled and at each throw or kneading take alook at the cobination and see what fabrics catch your eye and when something please you grab it out of the heap and lay it to one side... repaet this until you have smaller little group and then concentrate on this selection putting the rest to one side.

 2. Blend and Mix Fabric Pieces

Now place the hosen fabrics and bits and pieces next to and on top of each other haphazardly and rotate and swap things around stopping as you go until you see the compostion you like. At this point I usually take a snap on my phone to capture the grouping and then place to the side.

3. Fix the pieces together

Decide how to 'fix' them together to create a new piece of fabric. Using crazy patchwork or felting with a punching needle if the fabrics are suitabale. Manipulate them in layers and use fancy stitching on a sewing machine or felting using an electric embellisher which uses barbed needles to drag the top layer through the underneath fabrics. Another trick is combining nylon and polyester and other man made fabrics that 'melt' easily with a soldering iron, these can be used to impress shapes and weld fabrics together in a decorative way even 'sandwiching' other pieces between 

4. Fun and Free is the key

This is a fun exercise and there is no wrong or right way to go with the choice of fabrics, the shapes or the methods used... you make your own rules just use the tools safely and carefully

Applique design from internet image inspirations

You can easily make simple appliques using inspiration from photos and pictures you can find on the internet.

Computer image to fabric applique

Even if you can't draw or don't want to you can easily find inspiration for some easy applique ideas using a google search on the internet.

In this example I searched for butterfly and found an RSPB webpage that had a gorgeous peacock butterfly image.

I liked the image because it was simple and at the angle I wanted for my applique.

I clicked on the image so it was full screen and zoomed in to the size I wanted... then I placed a piece of baking sheet over the screen, lightly tacked it there with sellotape and traced a simple outline onto my paper with a pencil.

I used this as a template and cut various shapes out for the 'detail' of the butterfly markings and used this to create an applique butterfly.

It was not actually a peacock butterfly afterwards because I had simple shapes and printed and coloured fabrics in tones and designs to give the impression of a butterfly so the finished design was still beautiful and everyone would recognise it as a butterfly.



Butterfly applique using sewing machine