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Lacy Snowflake

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 and evergreen branches coated in frost. Why not bring some of that beauty into our homes with a lovely, lacy cutwork snowflake?

Lacy snowflake in the window
Lacy snowflake in the window

 

Cutwork is a needlework technique where portions of fabric are cut out and the resulting holes are 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!

Machine Cutwork

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’ll also need a snowflake design and they’re 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.

Paper Folding Diagram
Paper Folding Diagram

 

You can draw your design on the folded paper first or just start cutting.

Paper snowflake cut out
Paper snowflake cut out

 

Then, unfold the paper to reveal your masterpiece! You might also enjoy creating your design digitally on one of the many snowflake-designing websites.

Paper snowflake unfolded
Paper snowflake unfolded

 

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. I have better success with the kids’ Crayola markers. Make sure the marker color shows up against your fabric.

Trace snowflake onto Solvy
Trace snowflake onto Solvy

 

For a lacy cutwork snowflake, layer two pieces of fabric wrong sides together. Pin the marked Solvy on top.

Two layers of fabric and Solvy
Two layers of fabric and Solvy

 

Sew through all three layers with a straight stitch on the marked lines.

Straight stitch on marked lines
Straight stitch on marked lines

 

Cut out the fabric close to the stitching but leave the Solvy uncut.

Cutting fabric snowflake
Cutting fabric snowflake

 

The Ultra Solvy will stabilize your fabric and hold your snowflake together.

Lacy snowflake cut out
Lacy snowflake cut out

 

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.

Satin stitch lacy snowflake
Satin stitch lacy snowflake

 

Once the stitching is complete, soak the fabric snowflake in water to dissolve the Solvy.

Dissolve Solvy in water
Dissolve Solvy in water

 

The result is a lovely cutwork lacy 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 tomorrow to learn how – in just one easy extra step!

Lacy Snowflake Centerpiece
Lacy Snowflake Centerpiece

Kathy is a multiple international-award winning quilter specializing in appliqué techniques in a “contemporary traditional” style. She lectures and teaches all over the country at guilds, shops and quilt shows and is a CQA/ACC Certified Quilt Judge. Her work has been featured in magazines, and her designs are available as individual patterns as well as in her book “Sewflakes: Papercut Appliqué Quilts”.

8 Comments

  1. Karen J

    Great tutorial!

  2. Nearissa

    It looks very easy, I think even I could do it and my tables will look pretty with them on. Do you have a Bio? My maiden name was Wylie but my dad’s dad broke away from the family and moved out here to BC. All I know is we have relatives in Ontario.

  3. Julie

    Your snowflake is so beautiful!! I would love to win and try one to:)

  4. Carolyn

    This is my first time commenting, but I had to give my opinion. I love snowflakes and this project is exciting and beautiful. I’m going to share with my quilting circle. THANKS

  5. lorraine mabbett

    Thanks for the giveaway for Valentines day.

  6. Linda E in AZ

    Lovely and it looks pretty easy. Thanks!

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