Playing with Scrim

Having finished Glacial Flow, this was a week for play!

During my studies with Karen Ruane, one staple that I have added to my supplies is cotton scrim.

Cotton scrim

This loosely woven material is even more porous than what we in the U.S. called cheesecloth. I am sure that it has many uses. My friendly internet reference, Wikipedia, describes it as gauze and suggests that it is used in curtains, bookbinding and upholstery. In Karen’s classes, we use it as a base for making ‘lace cloth’.

The process of creation begins simply. Placed in an embroidery hoop, under the needle of a sewing machine set for free motion quilting (feed dogs raised), stitching over the scrim in tiny tight circles creates a lacey cloth texture.


sample of start of lace cloth

Simple circular stitching on scrim before an processing

While still stitching on the machine, you can add bits of shiny fabric, silk, pieces of actual lace, or anything that you care to experiment with.

creating lace cloth with shiny bits

Using shiny bits in machine stitching



Samples with lace and other fragments added


The real fun comes after you are done with your sewing machine. Hand-stitching totally changes the character of the pieces. I have used some of my early pieces of lace cloth in the embellished bags that I have made.


machine made lace cloth in sample pouch

Tiny piece of lace cloth used in pouch

machine made lace cloth in pouch

Lace cloth embellished in pouch

I plan to embellish the pieces that I have been creating this week with more hand stitching even before I use them in a project. The possibilities are endless and the pieces can easily develop into works-of-art on their own. To give you an example of the potential, here is a piece that Karen has on sale on her website. The words that come to mind for me are exquisite, delicate…..what do you think?

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  1. Now this looks like great fun!

  2. Oh! That’s what scrim is. I’ve read about it before but I wasn’t sure about it. Your posts are very informative. Thank you. And the piece you’ve shown in-process looks lovely.

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