Scrappy Bits Applique – Meet Penelope

We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Sewing Tips

At a recent Sewtopia Sewing Club we featured a super easy technique to create artwork or landscapes using scraps. This giraffe came into existence much quicker than expected. Thanks to Shannon Brinkley’s “Scrappy Bits Appliqué” book and her very own online course, anyone can do this!

Sara demonstrates a different sewing topic every month at Sewtopia Sewing Club. Click here to see the next topic you don’t want to miss!

Using a Facebook campaign to solicit giraffe names and the Sewtopia Sewing Club to vote on their favorite name, may I introduce you to Penelope.

Penelope started out as a pile of scraps placed over the drawn shape of a giraffe on interfacing. After a quick tacking down of all the raw edges with clear thread, Penelope was carefully hand cut with scissors into her final shape.

Penelope BEFORE

Penelope AFTER

Once the shape has been cut it can be applied to anything – pillow, tote bag or a simple background fabric.

As I was satin stitching around the giraffe, my mind did wonder off to thinking what possibilities an embroidery machine could present. Using the Scrappy Bits Applique technique to create the “appliqué” portion of an embroidery appliqué design can give your next embroidery design a totally new effect. Here I was played with two reverse appliqué designs built-in to the Husqvarna Viking EPIC embroidery machine.

I also realized that this technique can be used for any picture or silhouette one can imagine. One of Shannon Brinkley’s lessons touched on different shapes that the scrappy bits could be cut into. The easiest is to just to attack the fabric with a rotary cutter.


Scrappy Bits Applique “Bear”

Jill was also inspired by the Scrappy Bits Appliqué and completed these two projects. The bear is a downloaded PDF pattern from Shannon Brinkley’s website and the leaf design is one of the projects from the Scrappy Bits Appliqué book. If you sign up for Shannon’s online course you get to select one of her online downloadable patterns as part of your class curriculum. Jill selected the bear and I selected the giraffe.

Pattern from the book Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley



Shannon’s patterns print off in 3-4 sizes starting from a nice wall hanging size to baby quilt size!

Another suggestion was to cut scraps into circles which no one in their right mind probably has time to do…unless you own an AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter and the AccuQuilt GO! Circle 1.5″, 1.75″, 2.25″, 2.5″ die.

I chose the AccuQuilt die with multiple circle sizes and went to town! I decided to turn the Sewing Mastery logo into a Scrappy Bits Appliqué silhouette using circle scrap shapes.



Every month we present a different Sewtopia Sewing Club topic at 10am, 2pm and 6:30pm. One of our customers, Terri B., attended the morning Scrappy Bits Appliqué Sewtopia Sewing Club session. When I checked my phone before driving home, I noticed I had been tagged in an Facebook post. What I found made my day! Terri had traveled back home (not a short trip either), went to her sewing studio, pulled out a few scraps and used her AccuQuilt fabric cutter and her AccuQuilt GO! Dancing Umbrella die to inspire this quick project. She photographed the process, wrote a blog, quilted and bound the quilt!

As a presenter this is the ultimate compliment – to see students be so inspired that they implement what this learn immediately!

Just one more reason not to miss an Heirloom Creations Sewtopia Sewing Club lecture!

Started But Not Finished (YET)

This was a project that was also inspired by the Scrappy Bits Appliqué technique. This watercolor image depicts a new structure being built in Sioux Falls, SD over the river in our downtown.

At the time I am writing this, I have pulled together the fabric and sketched out the outline on to interfacing. The concept of the Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley has opens my eyes to a new way of creating artwork with fabric.

Please join us the second Tuesday of the month for a new Sewtopia Sewing Club topic each month!