Are you like me and have tons of cork scraps stuffed into every corner of your sewing room? If the answer is yes, then this tutorial is for you!
Before starting, you’ll want to gather some supplies:
Choose your project. As I mentioned above, I used my Coneflower cross body bag sewing pattern and decided to cut out the exterior front pocket piece in natural cork to use as my canvas.
Gather your supplies. In addition to the supplies needed for your chosen project, you will need:
- Cork scraps ( I buy mine from MM Cork Supply here in Canada)
- Fray Check
- Paint brush (if you don’t have a paint brush, you can use a cotton swab)
- Fabric glue
- Coordinating thread
Let’s get started!
- The first thing you’ll need is a template that you can use to cut out your shapes. I chose a very simple hexagon shape and found a free downloadable 1” hexagon template that I printed out on card stock paper. If you happen to have English paper piecing templates, those will work perfectly.
2. Cut out your shapes. I selected scraps in a variety of colours that coordinated with one scrap that featured a small floral print. Cork doesn’t fray too much but to be safe, I used a paint brush to apply fray check to ALL of the cut edges of my cork hexagons.
3. I played around with my shapes on my canvas until I was happy with the placement and the design. I then applied a THIN layer of fabric glue (ex: Fabri-tac) to the wrong side of each shape, gluing it in place. Place something heavy on top, like a heavy book, and let dry completely before sewing.
4. Make sure you have the correct plate installed for your machine. Do NOT use the straight stitch plate. Thankfully, the machine will give you a warning when you select a decorative stitch and your straight stitch plate is in place. You’ll also want to thread your machine with your coordination thread and switch to a fresh needle.
5. Time to select your stitch. I wanted a stitch that was more interesting than just a simple straight stitch but not too ornate. I decided to use stitch 8 in Mode 1. Since the default when you turn on the machine is Mode 1, all you need to do is press “8” on the number pad and your stitch will show up on the left side of the screen.
6. Before you start sewing on your shapes, I highly recommend that you cut some spare shapes. Practice your decorative stitch so you can decide the best position for your stitch, determine the seam allowance required for a nice stitch and if applicable, the best way to turn at corners.
7. When you are sewing each shape, take your time and keep your needle in the down position (button number 1. In photo above). When you’re done sewing your shape, make sure to end with a lockstitch (button number 2. In photo above). Then cut your threads (button number 3. In photo above).