Fabric Lucky Clover Specimen Art

I’ve shared that I’m not so good with paper crafts. Especially ones that I have to cut out myself.
For some reason anything I cut out of paper ends up looking like I’ve got a severe vision impairment paired with palsy of the hands.
Not pretty.

While I’m fully aware of my inadequacies, I still have been dying to make some Specimen Artwork.
There are so many fabulous examples of it, I especially love Jen from Tatertots and Jello’s Creepy Halloween Version. So fun.

So what is a paper craft-impaired girl to do when she wants to make Specimen Art?
Make it out of fabric!

Here’s my St. Paddy’s version!

Isn’t it so cute?? I love the little shamrocks. ;)

Here’s a tutorial in case you are paper craft-impaired too! ;)

You’ll need:

1 Frame – I used a 12 x 12 Shadowbox
Fabric for background – about 14 x 14
Fabric for Shamrocks – you don’t need much)
Contrasting Thread
12 x 12 piece of batting
12 x 12 piece of posterboard or chipboard

Start by cutting out your background fabric.
Cut it just a little wider than your frame size.

Decide how many rows of shamrocks (or whatever design you’re doing) you would like. I wanted 5 rows across and 5 down.
Mark out your rows with a disappearing fabric marker.

Now cut out your shamrock pieces. I used small hearts for the petals. The heart measures about 7/8″ from top to point.
I did 4 rows of regular 3 leaf shamrocks (so 60 hearts) and 1 row with 1 4 leaf clover.

(This fabric is from Amy Butler’s line.)

Lay out the center row of shamrocks, with the center of the bottom right heart lining up with the marked line.
Then place the two remaining hearts to the left of that, so that the clover is a little angled.

Lay out the two end rows next, lining them up the same way.

Layout the inside two rows next.

Last, lay out the four leaf clover in the empty row. It should line up with the 4th column of clovers.

I figured out partway through the sewing process that pins were not the best way to keep track of where the hearts go.
Just mark the “V” of the heart with the marking pen, then you can line them up as you sew.

Here are the sewing instructions for each clover:
Start with the far left heart. Sew down the center and then sew up the center of the far right heart.
Turn the fabric 360 degrees and go back over this stitching line.
Sew back to the center point. Turn the fabric and sew up the center of the middle heart.
Turn the fabric 360 degrees and sew back down the center and continue down 4 or 5 stitches to make the stem.
Sew up  the stem and center heart one more time in each direction.
Sew back up to the center from the bottom of the stem. Finish it off with a locking stitch.
(You don’t have to do it exactly like this – just do it the way it works best for you)

Here’s a closeup.

Start with the top row and sew all the clovers down the same way. You don’t have to cut the threads after each clover, you can clip them all at the end of the row.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you look closely at mine (or maybe not even closely) you’ll see that they’re not all exactly the same. That’s ok. ;)

Continue sewing on the clovers down all the rows.

Now that your clovers are all sewn on, write out the word “lucky” in the space by the 4 leave clover with your marking pen.

Take the pressure foot off your machine. We’re going to follow the marked line with machine stitching, just like the Hoop Art last month.

Start with your needle at the left side of the fabric and pull your fabric through as you sew.
(Since the pressure foot is off, the feed dogs won’t be feeding your fabric through. You will.)
The faster you pull, the longer your stitches will be.

Don’t worry too much if you’re a little off the marked line, you can fix it on your second pass.

Continue all the way to the right side of the fabric, then go back over your stitching all the way to the beginning.

Remove your marked lines and dots and press your fabric.

If you like the finished look to be a little padded like mine, place your fabric face down, then place a piece of batting on that, then top it with your posterboard or chipboard.

Hot glue your edges around the posterboard, pulling the fabric tight so that there aren’t any puckers in the front.

Flip the fabric back over. Finger press the clovers up a little so that they stand off the fabric. You can do this by pinching the heart around the stitching.

Pop the finished artwork in your frame and you’re done!

What do you think?
I think it might bring me some luck.

86 Comments

  • Reply March 4, 2011

    Char

    I love this project so, SO much!

  • Reply March 4, 2011

    Chris

    I like this better than the paper versions! It is more texture and I prefer sewing any day. Hmmm, I might have to try something similar. Thank you for the how-to.

  • This is darling!! I love the stitched ‘lucky’… it is a perfect touch.

  • Reply March 4, 2011

    Jaimee

    This is so charming. I love the stitching!

  • This is a darling project! Just lovely!!

  • Reply March 4, 2011

    Sierra

    This is so sweet! I’m not usually one to decorate during St. Patrick’s day but this cute craft changed my tune!! :) Love it!

    http://bluerobincottage.blogspot.com

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    ElizOF

    Beautiful work you put into the coverlets
    Stopped by to follow your blog from the 504 Main blog hop… do comment/follow me back :-)
    Have an abundant 2011! :-)
    Best,
    Elizabeth
    Positive Kismet Blog</a

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Gretchp

    this is so cool! i’m specimen art obsessed! i’m on the paper end of the spectrum so could never pull this off.. but such a cool alternative.. really sorta jealous over here! :)

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    H

    Love. It! Saw this at tatortots and jello. I actually made your cute witchy towel last fall too.

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Rachel

    I love it!!!! What a fu idea!

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Mandipidy

    You are seriously amazing! I didn’t even realize that you sewed the stems and “lucky” at first… that is SUCH a cute idea!

  • Love this! So adorable! I can’t imagine sewing all that individually! Wow!

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    megan

    these are so delicate and pretty!

    megan
    craftycpa.blogspot.com

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Allie

    OMG! Mad skillz woman! I am SUPER impressed! I love this!
    I am going to feature this in a Special St. Patrick’s Day Features this week!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can’t wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Ashley C.

    Oh my! This is darlin’!!

    -Many Smiles!

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    Carri K

    This is super cute, but A LOT of work…my goodness! Love it!!

  • Reply March 5, 2011

    gina

    good golly! i love this so much! How long did it take you? :)gina

  • Reply March 6, 2011

    Aubrie

    Ooooh I love this! Now if only I wasn’t sewing impared lol…
    aubrie @ http://amamab.blogspot.com/

  • Reply March 6, 2011

    Betsy

    Very cute!

  • Reply March 6, 2011

    Kristen

    I love how you sewed it together!! It looks awesome! If you have a chance come link up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings.. http://www.ladybug-blessings.com

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