myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

A Journey of Some Scraps

I’m not the sort of quilter who keeps every last little scrap, in fact I’m pretty brutal with the sizes of scraps I throw away (otherwise I would be drowning in them even more than I actually am!), but when I finished making this 3D Improv Dresden block the fabrics were so pretty and looked so good together that I couldn’t bear to bin them.
The block was made as a class sample for my Stitch Gathering workshop in September and I used mainly fabrics from our goody bag, including beautiful Cloud 9, Michael Miller and Lotta Jansdotta fabrics. The background is from Euclid, the gorgeous range of printed Essex linen designed by Carolyn Friedlander.

I was feeling a little frazzled and over stimulated the day after the Stitch Gathering, so I turned my phone off and went to my sewing room for a little relaxing play time.

First of all I sewed the big scraps together, these were the off-cuts from the strips. I made a nice scrappy panel. Then I sewed the little scraps together, these were off-cuts from the Dresden wedges and I had enough to make two pieces, one big and one small, which I bordered with strips of Euclid.

We were very lucky to have Carina Envoldsen-Harris visit us to teach workshops at both myBearpaw Studio and the Stitch Gathering and I was so inspired by her work. Carina is a fabulous embroiderer with a few excellent books of motifs to her name. She taught a class about embellishing patchwork with her beautiful embroidered flowers. So I decided to have a go.
I’ve been a bit obsessed by teasels recently, there is big patch of them that I can see from my sewing room window and I love their shape and their ‘spikyness’.  So I drew up a design and (because I had left the lead to my light box at the shop) free-hand drew it on to the scrappy panel.

I then spent some lovely relaxing hours embroidering the teasels.

I totally love the way this turned out! 
I had intended all along to turn it into a zippy pouch but put it aside until my next workshop which was a week or so ago. 
I used it as my class sample (loving the fact that the fabric had started off as another class sample!) and made this rather fetching pouch using the other scrappy panel for the back.
I may not have mentioned it yet but I am going to QuiltCon in Savannah next year and this little beauty will be coming with me so I can show it off in the workshops I am taking!
But what about that other scrappy panel I mentioned? The small one? Yes I still had a little more life to squeeze out of those scraps yet!
This one got the matchstick quilting treatment with a variegated pink Aurifil 50, together with a few rows of hand quilting with DMC Perle 8.
And then it became a cute little needlebook!

Which of course goes perfectly with my pouch (those QuiltCon ladies are going to be SO impressed!).

So there you go, a journey of some scraps. Instead of binning them I turned them into two (excuse my bragging) beautiful handmade items and had lots of fun along the way!
So next time you go to bin your little scraps – think again!
Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesdays!


  1. loving the embroidered flowers on the quilt think this is what I must try as I love to embroider. Liking how you have used different sized dresden plates in your project not seen that done before it is so effective and I love scrap pieces too unlike you I hoard time I did something with them!

  2. Oh my, this pouch is just beautiful. I love the colours, the embroidery, and the design. This is so inspirational, I would never have thought of adding embroidery in this way. Thank you for sharing. The Quiltcon ladies really will very impressed with your matching set. x

  3. Wow, wow, wow, Jo! What a pretty pouch! And wow again! Your needlebook … is so colourful and so neatly stitched I love using scraps … you've certainly given me ideas …. and your embroidery is is truly amazingly beautiful just wonderful! I'm so glad you've shown us!
    Barbara x
    blogging @ The Flashing Scissors

  4. You know I have a similar scrappy panel lingering in a drawer , different fabrics but……you are such an inspiration Jo. I love the stitching over the patchwork, what a great wee project and finished article. And Savannah- wow!!

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