Playing with Fabric Scraps

Playing with Fabric Scraps

Hello again. I know its been a long time since I’ve posted and I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to the blog in my place.  I definitely feel it has enriched our community and broadened our scope.

Because of health issues in our family, I haven’t been doing much creative work.  But managed to do a little fabric manipulation with fabric scraps.  I had bought a book a long time ago by Ann Small, Layered Cloth, The Art of Fabric Manipulation. Anyone who knows me or followed me knows I love texture.  I was intrigued.  Plus it was something I could work on a little at a time.

Like  everyone else, I collect all things fiber and found a stash of five fabric pieces I had bought at a thrift store. Perfect, but I needed one more for six layers. No problem.  I had an old Egyptian cotton sheet laying around I had used several years ago to make small pillowcases.

I wasn’t too concerned with colors, but it worked out fairly well. I cut five inch squares out of each cloth. They are different weights of cotton and or blends.

My first sandwich. Excuse the shadows the light wasn’t very good.








The book gives many examples of patterns.  I was really excited to experiment. I started in the middle and using the width of the presser foot to make the next row.

I assembled a variety of tools, not knowing which would work best going through five layers.








The blue scissors proved to be most useful on most of them. Although my hands were not happy with me.

If you look closely at the pic above on the right, you’ll notice how stringy the one corner is.  This is because it was cut on the grain.

For the next five sandwiches I alternated fabrics and designs.

After stitching and cutting, I roughed up the samples to get them to open up.







After being washed and dried.








The circular design was difficult to cut through the layers.  I had to use the seam ripper to open it up far enough to get the scissors in and hope I’d get through the first five layers and not cut all six. The finished piece is very thready even after washing twice, dried in the dryer.
















On the following one I decided to slash squares. So I used a piece of  stitch and tear  to draw my pattern then stitched it to the sandwich and followed the square pattern. Again I had to use the seam ripper to get started.








After stitching, slashing, washing twice and drying, here is the result. I found it interesting that not all squares opened, but every other row did creating it’s own pattern.

Here are all six of them together after they were washed, dried and trimmed.

I have to say the pink is my least favorite, but it was a fun project to see how different each pattern turned out.  I’m sure using different fabrics and perhaps even using a tie dye type fabric you can get some really fun outcomes. Have you ever tried this?

I’m not sure what I’ll do with them now.  Any suggestions?

15 thoughts on “Playing with Fabric Scraps

  1. Love these, Marilyn, really interesting experiments. I think the slashed squares is my favourite but they’re all great and look very good together. I’d probably mount them as a group on a box canvas

  2. What a lovely project! The textures and patterns are pretty – especially the green one. The transformation after washing and drying is a pleasing surprise isn’t it?

    Do you know anyone who messes around with resin? Annie bought me a lovely fabric coaster (drink mat) about 4 inches square – there is a cork bottom, then silk embellished fabric trapped beneath a smooth layer of resin.

    Did you put them in a pillowcase or similar before washing and drying? The youngest creative member of our family did ‘textile slashing’ last year and I was amazed that the laundry machines didn’t get clogged and stop working.

    1. Thanks Lyn! Yes, it was interesting to see how they turned out. I like the green one as well.

      I don’t know anyone who uses resin. And I don’t think I’d attempt it, but it sounds like an interesting idea.

      I didn’t use a pillowcase and as a result I have socks with a lot of snippets attached. If I did it again, I’d definitely take your advice and use a pillowcase. 🙂

  3. Yes, this slashing technique was quite popular years ago…..often even used in wearable art jackets (super heavy) and not all that flattering for the body but eye-candy none the less! Thank you for taking the time to reintroduce and share it for others to enjoy.

  4. These are fun experiments Marilyn! Glad you got to do something with textiles again. I think I tried this a while back but I can’t remember what I did with the piece. Probably still lying around somewhere. They do look like coaster size but I like the idea of mounting them on a canvas as Lindsay suggested.

    1. Thanks Ruth! They are a bit bigger than a normal coaster, but I’m leaning towards Lindsay’s suggestion. It was good to play with fiber again. I’ve missed being creative.

  5. Marilyn I’m glad you have managed some fibre creativity (hope your hands recover) and that you are posting again.
    Like others I remember doing this slashing (or chenille) before, with interesting results. You have brought it (& various memories) back to the fore again. Thank you.

    If you use a pillowcase for anything with ‘bits’….turn the pillowcase inside out before filling. The bits then don’t catch in the seams etc.

    1. Thanks Antje! It’s interesting you called it chenille, it does look like that. I hadn’t heard it called that. Great tip about the pillowcase! Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed a little peek back in time and craft.

  6. I tried making some faux chenille once but it didn’t turn out half as well as yours! Your fabric choices were obviously much better than mine. 🙂

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