Sunday, June 06, 2021

Snippet Exchange

Exchanging Snippets
In mid-February I exchanged the background of my snippet with Dorothy, another member of the Out of the Box (OOTB) Fibre textile group. We had until May 17th to finish embellishing our partner's snippet background and exchange them for the final reveal during our monthly virtual meeting.

Snippet background

A snippet is a small piece of something. You've probably heard of a snippet of music or video. If you Google "snippet roll" you will find that they are generally narrow lengths of embellished fabric that are often rolled around a piece of wood, such as a dowel or tube.

Dorothy's background
My background

Dorothy's background was made of purple fabric that she had hand-dyed, as well as a square of dyed cheesecloth. She has a lovely gradient of purples there. My background consisted of two strips of rather wild coloured fabrics that ranged from light blue to deep purple and fuchsia. I bought this fabric years ago when Ricky Tims came to Ottawa for a presentation.

Embellishing a snippet

The snippet that I was to embellish hung on my design wall for at least a month. When I finally started putting things to embellish it aside, it slowly came together. I filled a small basket with threads, yarn, buttons, hand-dyed scraps, lace etc. 


The first piece of fabric that I stitched on was the long pinkish sliver on the left. I used Kimono silk thread to attach and sew when I didn't want the stitching to stand out. Otherwise I used my hand-dyed perle cotton as well as other embroidery thread.

First pieces of fabric
Adding various elements

Top of the snippet
One evening I stamped a couple of my hand-dyed fabrics. The swirl next to that first piece was stamped and then I just added random cross-stitches. On a piece of purple and blue fabric, I stamped on some birds. I added them at various places to add a little bit on cohesiveness. I embroidered around that first bird but since the result wasn't worth the effort, it was the first and last bird to be embroidered.

Here are the details of the completed snippet in three images. 

You can see that I added a lot of different fabrics. The colours that matched the background were easy to find while the contrasting pieces were more difficult. That's why I added that first pinkish piece - to remind myself to use contrast.

While colour is important, I also wanted to use contrasting textures in the fabric scraps. Here is a piece of voile from an old skirt that is attached to the first pink fabric and the printed swirl. 

Layering fabrics is a great way to add contrast and interest. At the bottom of this image is a layer of silk organza, a scrap of a dyed t-shirt and finally some dyed cotton velour.

Middle of the snippet
In the middle section, you can see a couple of other stamped birds that I didn't bother to outline with embroidery. Near the middle, Dorothy had used a purple cheese cloth so I added a piece of white silk organza to add some depth. 

I couldn't resist adding a small scrap of fabric with violets - it was just so perfect.

The fabric that starts in the middle and goes all of the way down the right side is the back of a skirt where tulle had been attached to the dark purple slip underneath. What you see is the sergered stitches. I thought that it might add interest to a piece at some point. 

Yarns and thread

Since I wanted to use many yarns in the piece, I started by couching some fuzzy dark purple yarn to create the top flower. 

Bottom of the snippet
I wanted to cover the stitching on the background piece, so I alternated between couching yarn and embroidery stitches.  

I also couched a piece of cheesecloth and added beads for interest. Many are small pieces of amethyst from my mother's broken necklace.

At the very bottom, you can see a white piece that is sort of lacy. It's a piece of FMQ on soluble fabric that I made a couple of years ago. I backed it with purple semi-transparent fabric.  


I added a couple of fun purple buttons with white dots on them for a little bit of whimsy. There is also a beautiful hand-carved flower button near the bottom.

My Snippet

Here is the lovely snippet that I received from Dorothy.

My snippet made
by Dorothy
Dorothy used embroidery, appliqué, and beading. She added a few pieces of cheese cloth, some fun buttons (stars, an inch worm, bees, sewing machine, etc.) as well as ribbon that looks like a measuring tape. 

She made the swirls from foil that lines the inside of many food containers (I'm going to have to try that!) as well as two hand-made flowers.

I attached the snippet to those ice cream sticks that I roll up my hand-dyed thread on. It now hangs in my studio.

My new snippet roll.

My June OMG
June's One Monthly Goal (OMG)

I will be sandwiching my son's Version 2.0 quilt by the end of the month. Hopefully I will have gotten further along but at this point I'm being prudent by just putting the sandwich as the goal.

What I learned
  • The blank background was very intimidating but when I started to gather possible materials, it became less daunting.
  • I found it difficult at first to work on such a narrow background. 
  • When I found my groove, it was a real delight of slow stitching to put this together. 
  • I found it hard to part with the piece but I got such a vibrant, joyful piece back. 
  • Our snippets are so different. I can really see the influence of the workshops that I've taken from Stitch Club.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties, including Free Motion Mavericks which is being hosted by Muv. I will also be linking up to Patty's June's One Monthly Goal as well as other fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, Peacock Party, Beauties Pageant, Off the Wall Friday, Monday Making, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021


  1. Those snippet rolls are very many techniques and textures!

    1. Thanks Kathy, they are perfect for experimenting on! Take care.

  2. Oh c'est beau ! Très délicat, et superbement décoré, j'adore ! Les deux sont magnifiques, le tien, et celui reçu en cadeau !

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. Ça été beaucoup de plaisir à faire, une fois que j'ai commencé. Bonne fin de semaine!

  3. Very pretty snippets. Lots of textures and patterns on both. Good luck with your OMG for June. Happy stitching this week.

    1. Thanks so much Kate. I have a date with my girlfriend on Monday to sandwich Version 2.0.

  4. This is really interesting seeing the different approaches you have. You definitely have the magpie approach, and as you can guess, I instantly zoned in on the spotty buttons. What beautiful presents you made for each other!

    1. Thanks Muv, it was very different and in our group we saw about a dozen different approaches. It was a lot of fun and no one had anything the same!


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