Saturday 30 August 2014

LE: Beautiful Bountiful Berries

My berries are a lot like my hearts: but smaller and fiddlier! Again, finding the right fabric was tough but I was lucky enough to find some in my stash. I thought long and hard about ruby red berries which just felt so logical, but they really stuck out too much against my scrappy fabric. Then I thought about pinks but gave up on that for the same reason. I had settled on the idea of a rust, brown or mustard coloured tones as all these work so well with my fabrics - but felt they weren't authentically 'berry' enough. Then I found this fabric - I really don't do a lot with anything from the purple family, its a colour that doesn't immediately speak to me. But it works perfectly as a berry colour - its a bit red and blue - just enough but not too much and it blends in with all my scrappy mid tones beautifully. And the yellow helps it blend in with my browns without disappearing completely.

I really enjoyed seeing how many of you worked your own berries. With so many of them to do, its really something to consider in terms of shape outcome and time. I did think about embroidery. But decided that I couldn't do justice to perfectly round berries and anything less than perfect little spheres would have proved to be too frustrating.

Here's what I'm doing: cutting the berry pattern shape from wash away fusible - that's the white circles you see. Then, putting this cut out shape in the center of a larger circle - that's the circle drawn onto the fabric.

The circle I'm using for the larger circle is precisely drawn thanks to the aid of this plastic template called a "Mathomat", I purchased it for a few dollars from my local newsagents. And it has a circle that works well for this purpose.

You can see how much turning margin I have all around the circle: I'm cheating because this extra fabric will actually be my 'filling' so my berries aren't completely flat. It's just enough without being too much. 

So, the end result from the back looks something like this

I'm going to make all my berries before I start hand stitching them down on the background. With tasks like this, I break the preparation down into 'parts' because I personally think that I create slightly different work on different days and I like to get it all out in one 'lot' so that its as uniform as possible.

In all, the pattern calls for 96x berries. This means I'll make 100x as I always make a few more in case any turn out wobbly ;)

I'll be breaking up my berry turning preparation with a few hours of Hungarian stitches for my stems. But for now, I just have to keep on turning...


  1. That's a berry nice color choice Esther!
    It's funny how fabric can look so different once in place, like how the ruby stood out to much.

  2. Thanks for sharing your method, Esther! So, is there additional stuffing in your berries, or is that just excess turning allowance that gives them such a lovely fullness?

    1. Thanks Rebecca, there is nothing extra to pad out the berries, the excess fabric is enough and if you hand sew them down, they will be evenly plump.

  3. Beautiful fabric for the berries Esther... And thanks for sharing your method.

  4. I was struggling to make perfect round berries that were pretty tiny. I was looking for help online and found a great solution. It was to use sequins! They are small and light, cheap and lots of sizes. My little berries are perfect. I just could NOT cut perfect circles. Try this sometime, it works! And they are not too flat!


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