For many of us, winter means snow. While we may not enjoy shovels and slush, there is something so magnificent about a pristine white field sparkling in the sunlight or evergreen branches coated in frost. Why not bring some of that beauty into our homes with a lovely lacy cutwork snowflake?
Cutwork is a needlework technique where portions of fabric are cut out and the resulting holes reinforced with embroidery. Traditionally done by hand, cutwork produces intricate openwork heirlooms closely resembling lace. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easier way? There is!
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- clear heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer such as Sulky Ultra Solvy
- washable marker
- two layers of fabric slightly larger than your snowflake design
- small short-bladed scissors with sharp-pointed tips
- embroidery thread
You will also need a snowflake design and they are really easy to make. I even wrote a book about it! Remember making paper snowflakes when you were a kid? You take a square piece of paper, fold it in half diagonally, in half diagonally again, then in thirds.
You can draw your design on the folded paper first or just start cutting.
Then unfold the paper to reveal your masterpiece! You might also enjoy creating your design digitally, on one of the many snowflake-designing websites.
Trace your snowflake onto clear heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer using a washable marker. I find that fabric markers don’t show up well on the Solvy and have better success with the kids’ Crayola markers. Make sure that the marker color shows up against your fabric.
For a lacy cutwork snowflake, layer two pieces of fabric wrong sides together. Pin the marked Solvy on top.
Sew through all three layers with a straight stitch on the marked lines.
Cut out the fabric close to the stitching but leave the Solvy uncut.
The Ultra Solvy will stabilize your fabric and hold your snowflake together.
Set your sewing machine to a satin stitch wide enough to cover the cut-out edges and the straight stitches. You may want to test the stitch on scrap fabric to find the best settings. Satin stitch around the cut-out edges. Read more about my three-pass approach for an excellent satin stitch in a previous post.
Once the stitching is complete, soak the fabric snowflake in water to dissolve the Solvy.
The result is a lovely lacy cutwork snowflake that you can hang in your window or display as a centerpiece. It looks like heirloom needlework, but it took a fraction of the time! Cutwork can also be filled with embroidery. Join us next month to learn how – in just one easy extra step!
Judy Garden says
That’s stunning. Thank you so much for the great instructions.
Kathy, thank you for sharing this! It is so beautiful and I almost think I can do this! Thank you for sharing you’re knowledge with all of us.