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Sewing a Stained Glass Snowflake

by Kathy K. Wylie

Have you ever tried sewing a stained glass snowflake?

Cutwork is a needlework technique where portions of fabric are cut out and the resulting holes are reinforced with embroidery. We have learned how to create this heirloom needlework in a fraction of the time making lacy snowflakes, glittery snowflakes, and snowflake quilt blocks. So what would happen if we placed different colored fabrics in the snowflake cutouts? A stained glass snowflake, perhaps?

Stained Glass Snowflake


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • clear heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer such as Sulky Ultra Solvy
  • washable marker
  • fabric for the snowflake
  • assorted fabrics for the cutouts
  • fabric for the background
  • small short-bladed scissors with sharp-pointed tips
  • embroidery thread

Trace your snowflake onto clear heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer using a washable marker. I find fabric markers don’t show up well on the Solvy; I have better success with the kids’ Crayola markers! Pin the Solvy onto the right side of the snowflake fabric, making sure that the marker color shows up against your fabric.

Fabric and Solvy

Sew through the two layers with a straight stitch on the marked lines. Then, cut out the fabric close to the stitching but leave the Solvy uncut.

Stained glass snowflake cut out

Choose a stained-glass fabric for the first set of cutouts and position it under the snowflake, right side up. Pin in place.

First fabric for stained glass snowflake

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 first set of cut-out edges.

From the back, trim the stained-glass fabric close to the stitching. For fun, I top-stitched around the satin-stitching with embroidery thread that matches the stained-glass fabric. Here’s how it looks from the back and the front.

First fabric: back and front

Choose a stained-glass fabric for the second set of cutouts and position it under the snowflake, right side up. Pin in place.

Second fabric for stained glass snowflake

Satin stitch around the second set of cut-out edges. From the back, trim the stained-glass fabric close to the stitching as before.

Second fabric: back and front

Continue in this manner, adding stained-glass fabrics, satin-stitching, and trimming until all the cutouts are filled. Layer the stained glass snowflake onto the background fabric, matching centers, and satin stitch around the outside edges.

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

Dissolve Solvy in water

So many possibilities, so many snowflakes! At least these cutwork snowflakes don’t need to be shoveled! We hope you’ve enjoyed learning this updated heirloom needlework technique while making lacy snowflakes, glittery snowflakes, snowflake quilt blocks, and sewing a stained glass snowflake. The blizzard isn’t over – we’ve got one more snowflake on the way. See you tomorrow!



Pauline January 17, 2015 - 4:10 pm

This stained glass snowflake is wonderful – I think I will need a really good and sharp pair of small scissors for the job. Thanks for tutorial on using Sulky stabilizer.

Brenda Chaytor January 17, 2015 - 10:26 am

I am just learning machine embroidery. So I have been experimenting with different types of stabilizers. I read whatever info I can to help with my projects.

Dawn Jones January 16, 2015 - 4:57 pm

This snowflake is beautiful. I’m new to quilting but I would love to try this.

Carla A. Canonico January 27, 2015 - 2:29 pm

If you take your time at the beginning you can really develop a sense for quilting. Keep at and be patient with yourself! We’re rooting for you! Glad you enjoyed it.

Nancy Hilderbrand January 16, 2015 - 8:35 am

would love to make astained glass snow flake

Chris January 16, 2015 - 4:13 am

I really like the looks but not sure I have the skill or patience.

Carla A. Canonico January 27, 2015 - 2:31 pm

Good things are simpler than they look and they a little time. Give it a whirl!

Diane Pfluger January 16, 2015 - 2:43 am

the snowflakes look really cool.

Pam S January 15, 2015 - 11:18 pm

This is gorgeous! Thanks so much for explaining the process. I definitely want to try Sulky’s Ultra Solvy.

Linda Brown January 15, 2015 - 10:43 pm

I have never used a stabilizer before….I would love to try it though…..

Sarah January 15, 2015 - 9:28 pm

Wow, this snowflake is breathtakingly beautiful!

Pam B January 15, 2015 - 6:06 pm

Hiya!!! That snowflake is sooooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous. I love stained glass and the look is fantastic. Just think, combining two loves into one—the sewing machine and stained glass. Thanks so much for the tutorial and the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam
pamspretties57 at gmail dot com

Carla A. Canonico January 27, 2015 - 2:32 pm

Yes! It’s a great combination! Stained glass is very eye-catching! Enjoy!

Michele Timms January 15, 2015 - 6:51 am

I’m not sure if this is where I leave a comment for your giveaway, but there is no “Comment” spot on that post! Anyway, I’ve tried a few stabilizers and have heard that Sulky is top notch!!


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