Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Work in progress / Colorful dots applique tutorial

I have been working on a new tote bag. This bag is featuring applique again. I sewed many big and small (and medium) circles with wool felt pieces on the front of the bag. I added some chain stitches around the dots with my treasure embroidery wool. It is DMC Broder Medicis Wool which DMC will no longer produce. This is a very fine weight wool used for canvas embroidery, crewel embroidery, and even counted cross stitch. And this product used to have 180 beautiful color variation which I loved. I am so sad I cannot get these wonderful yarns anymore. I only have a cookie box full of Medicis, so I am so careful when I use them. I really don't want to waste.

Anyway, I would like to show you how I do applique today. It is a brief tutorial. I hope you get some inspiration from this.

First I collected five or six things which have circular shapes in different dimensions like these.

Then trace the circles from things I collected on a felt sheet. I had five sizes in five colors this time.

Place them on the fabric you want to use for a bag or a pillow or whatever you want to make. It is all up to you how many circles you put and what kind of order they should be placed. Thinking balance and color scheme. Recently I like to use quilt basting safety pins to keep the felt pieces on the right place. They won't sting your fingers while you work on applique. That's nice.

Sew the circles on the foundation fabric with blind stitches. I used #25 cotton embroidery floss. The floss color could be matched with the felt or could be contrasted. Each stitches are about 3-4mm apart each other.

The look of blind stitches from wrong side. 

 When you finish blind stitches, it is time to embellish your circles with chain stitches. I used my Medicis wool, but you could use Appleton crewel wool instead, or any cotton floss you already have in your stash would work fine.

And this is how it looks like when you are done. I love to use many colors, but it could be monotone, or a few colors in same tone. It is fun to think about the color combination of felt, floss and foundation fabric. There will be thousands variations you could try.

Oh, in addition, I made bag handles look like these. It sure would be so much fun to assemble all the parts into a bag.
And It was fun! Yes, I already finished this bag and I am so happy! You will see the finished bag soon I promise!

I hope some of you will try to do this applique and this brief tutorial will help you. Thank you for reading. Happy appliqueing!


  1. Thank you for sharing your creativity. It is very much appreciated. The dots are adorable and I have several ideas on how I wish to use them.