Using Up Those Embroidery Test Sews

I would have to call myself a fabric junkie. I love solid colored fabric and prints and buy it even when I have no earthly idea of what I will do with it. I have so much fabric that my daughters always come by and "shop" in my sewing room before making a trip to the fabric store.  And I save every little piece.  Surely I will use it for something.  Hence my sewing room sometimes looks a little like the storage area of the basement.  Then there are times when I go to make a project and still do not have the perfect piece.  You would think I would learn but I still save every test sew and fabric scrap. It is an obsession!

Here are some ways that I have tried to use up some of my piles:

Fabric Squares 1Fabric Squares 2

These simple squares are great to use as coasters and hot pads in the family room.  You will see them somewhere near the TV in all my relatives houses.

How to:

  1. Simply cut the test sew into a square.
  2. Cut a border strip of  1 ½ inches or whatever size you like.
  3. Sew the two sides and cut even.  Then sew the top and bottom and square up.
  4. Cut a piece of batting and a back from coordinating fabric
  5. Place the front piece face up.  Top with the back piece face down.  Then the batting on top.
  6. Using ¼" allowance sew around the square leaving an opening at the bottom to turn.
  7. Put your hand between the front and back and turn right side out.
  8. Turn the opening in even and sew shut.  Quilt if desired.

Another great way to use test sews is to make them into appliqués.  Here is a quilt and pillowcase using some from testing ATG.  And here is a link to download the appliqué square in case you would like to try it yourself.  Appliqué Square

Quilt and PillowcaseQuilt and Pillowcase

Click the links to go to the Happy Animals Alphabet and Happy Animals collections.

I am really trying not to add to my stash this year until I have used up much of the stash that I have in my sewing room.  (If you read the blog here on making green bags you know how I used up a lot.)  But unless they ban me from the fabric store and quilting shows I think it is a losing battle.  Does anyone else suffer from this?

OK, its your turn to get creative with your test sews.  Let me know what you do as I still have stacks to use up.

Take care,


Comments (8) -

love the coasters, I had some given to me from an American friend at Easter, and they had been filled with rice and cinnamon stick. Not done here in Auz, but will now start the new trend !!

evelynrandell 8/1/2009 9:26:29 AM

You could also make them into fronts of greeting cards.

nancykellis 8/1/2009 11:48:13 AM

I love all your projects, the pillow covers are great, it is always great to see how to use those samples that we sew out. Thanks again

pyracantha 8/1/2009 1:31:56 PM

I love the idea that weir has...I've seen these coasters and hotmats with fresh scents but haven't seen a pattern or ideas on what to put inside.  I l would love a link to know the "how tos".  Thanks for the wonderful ideas of how to use test sews.  ;>) MS

Great idea. I have made them into cards. and lavender bags


humminbird 8/1/2009 9:44:36 PM

Have an addiction to FABRIC or stashing stuff, HEAVENS NO!!   NOT.....About the middle of June I decided I wouldn't go in any fabric establishment til I really needed to.. WELL, that lasted a month anyway - was having withdrawals, just had to go walk around in a lqs, just for fun!!  I have sooo much fabric anyway, all I really need to do it go through it to 'shop'..ololo

Loved your quilt, very unique..


mborghorst 8/3/2009 2:04:06 PM

My favorite sewing store gave us some squares to try some of Margaret Tully's techniques after a recent demonstration of a serger and the Ellisimo embroidery machine.  I made a bowtie quilt square and even quilted it on my embroidery machine using the autostippling from Quilt Works.  I sewed it to the outside of a canvas tote bag, making a pretty pocket and covering up the logo.  It turned out beautiful.

What great ideas, I like the applique one the best of all.  


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