MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs 7 Comments

Oh gosh…I really hope you will want to try this project, if you haven’t already!!  These scarves are not only beautiful, and one-of-a-kind, but functional, AND a great way for anyone who is new to free motion, to get the ‘feel’ of stitching without alot of other distracting issues such as tension.  And one gets to play with texture, color, and ‘found items’ such as laces, ribbons, threads, cording, and more. I have made well over a 100 of these! Currently they are for sale at Gallery 16 in Great Falls.  You can expect the supplies to cost you around $25.00, give or take.  When I add that cost, it means I charge a minimum of $75.00.   The “Fiber-Art Scarf” class I teach is popular for a good reason.  We hope to have at least several of these classes scheduled at the BERNINA SILVER THIMBLE in Great Falls, in March, April and May!  Stay tuned, or email me for further details. 

Easy and fun; the hardest part is in knowing when to stop!  Classes are popular prior to Christmas and then again for Mother’s Day and Easter, but this is an easy project for any occasion… easily FINISHED in less than 3-4 hours!  *note: hand beading will take you an extra 1-2 hours depending on how handy you are with beads and a needle! 

The items in the first picture below are the basic stabilizers & supplies  you need to get started:

  • 505 temporary adhesive spray
  • Aqua Film topping
  • Aqua Bond water soluble adhesive stabilizer
  • Polyester thread is recommended for strength and durability, but you can use cottons and metallics as well
  • Aqua Bond is available at the shop at Quilting Arts or ask your local quilt shop or machine dealer to get it in stock for you.
  • 90/14 microtex, topstitch needle
  • free motion foot of your choice
  • ribbons, lace, cording, yarns, bits and pieces of fabric (batiks are great because they don’t fray as much
  • Set your machine up for free motion by lowering your feed dogs, and inserting a FRESH  90/14 microtex or topstitch needle.
  • LOWER your top tension as needed
  •  Expect to use two new needles… don’t hesitate to change it if you start having thread breakage. This project is hard on needles as those thicker fibers will dull the tip rather quickly.  Remember… you’re going through stabilizer, glue, and thick yarns, ribbons, etc… don’t be stingy with that needle… it’s not worth it!
  • roll up the scarf as you are ‘quilting’ it, to make it easier to handle (see pics below)
  • don’t forget to check your stitching from the back… just in case you really have serious tension issues!  And sometimes it’s easier to look at the back to see where you may have missed some stitching, due to the reflection and shiny surface stabilizer on the top…
  • be sure to ‘intertwine’ all the stitches, making big and small circles all over the scarf surface, making sure they overlap each other.  You can choose circles, or you can choose straight lines… or a bit of both!  Be sure to catch the edges of the scarf in the stitching so that everything is JOINED together.

How about laying a bit of Razzle Dazzle thread in with the ribbons and yarns… fabulous sparkle, and it adds that ‘crisp’ factor I adore… but choose and play with anything that strikes your fancy!

Don’t hesitate to throw on some of those metallic threads, and I do mean “throw!”  They can be quite dazzling, and easy to sew over as they are just trapped in between the two stabilizers… try it by just unravelling the thread from the cone on the top of your yarns and threads before laying on the top aqua film topping… letting them fall where they may! 
HINT: Be sure to wind the bobbin with the same thread that you have in your top, as both sides of the scarf will show!

“Santa Fe” Hand-dyed yarns

Luscious hand-dyed yarns make up this scarf in it’s entirety… with the exception of adding a bit of silver Razzle Dazzle in with the gorgeous southwest colors!  Simplicity… AND… what a blank slate to add a few creative ‘thread buttons’ with silver metallic thread!!!

Beads… these are attached by hand, and you can expect the beading to take you at least an hour, unless you are an experienced beader.  I can do one in less than an hour, but in the beginning, it took me about two hours to complete both ends of the scarf with beading.  They are optional… your scarf will be quite beautiful without them too!

I use only beading thread for it’s  strength, and a long, slim, beading needle is the absolute perfect TOOL for attaching beads.

 Silver metallic thread buttons… I love adding them!
Don’t think you need to do only straight lines… making lines wavy… angular, and ‘plaid-like’ is terrific fun!

I’ve used chenille, rayon ribbons, wool yarns, and synthetic laces… just keep in mind that sometimes the “fuzzier” fibers (like wool) have a tendency to attract the glue, and that makes it much harder to wash out.
Be sure to soak your scarf in lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes or even overnight, but before leaving it to soak, rinse the glue that starts to fall away, so that it doesn’t reattach to the fibers while the scarf sits in the water…. and rinse, rinse, and RINSE… making sure all that  glue is completely washed out!  You could also sing the song “I’m gonna wash that man glue right out of my hair – scarf!”  See the pictures of the scarves the girls made in the scarf class… my blog entry on here: DECEMBER 7, 2010

Roll up the ends as you work… and don’t forget you can turn the scarf over and work from the ‘plain paper’ side, which really helps visibility, and to see where you may need to place stitches… and there is no light reflecting from the topping, so it sometimes makes it easier to see!

 I like to secure the ends with 4-5 rows of straight stitching, to give strength and a bit of stability so beads can be secured at the scarf ends if desired. This is the picture to the right.

The beads on the blue/green scarf below were “looped” and secured in between the loops.  You can also choose to just “dangle” them, in single fringes… and use a small bead as a knot at the end, and bring your thread and needle back up through the row of beads, to continue adding each line of beaded fringe.

Comments 7

  1. Love your scarfs and free motion quilts…very beautiful i think you have captured the Montana skies very nicely

  2. Thanks for a beautiful tutorial. It's a project I want to make – and have wanted to make for a long time now… I have 4 beautiful teenaged granddaughters that would like one, I hope.
    Thanks again for the reminder!

  3. I am definitely going to try this. I am not good at sewing and I don't know how to do free motion,but I've seen these scarves in person here in Maine and they are lovely. Thanks so much for the information!

  4. i have made 2 scarves but they are sooo scratchy..do i need to rinse them more? plus what coloe thread do you use?

    1. Michele, i have also made scarves that became scratch. In my analysis of that issue, I washed and washed and washed… it made no difference. So I cut them up to use as fiber accents in some other project. I think it largely depends on the make-up of the fibers used. Some natural, and synthetic, just donโ€™t wash out. Iโ€™ve tried hot water and cold water… and Iโ€™ve tried a few wash-a-way stabilizers, and only one worked really well, which name escapes me at the moment, but I believe I put in the posts about my fiber scarves…?

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