My name is Linda Kaufman of AMBARTIQUE. I am located in a small village on Israel’s coastline. My studio is an old barnhouse, where I sew, quilt, teach, write patterns and also sell my and other artists’ handmade creations. I love living and creating with intention, so quilting is the perfect combination of everything I love. I work a lot with fabric scraps and I hope to inspire you to do so as well with the following project!
We are going to create lavender sachets decorated by applique and the couching stitch.
The most obvious point – they smell amazingly. They are perfect in drawers & cupboards and make your clothes smell lovely. You can put them between couch cushions, under pillows, in cars or anywhere you would love to smell lavender . Use them instead of chemical air fresheners or fragrances.
For me the best thing is that it is calming. I have ADHD and for me it is sometimes hard to fall asleep, so I always have a lovely lavender sachet put into my pillow case for relaxation.
But wait……there are so many reasons…It works also as a bug repellent. Most people love the smell of lavender, but lice, bedbugs, mites, mosquitos and flies hate it.
You will need the following tools and materials
It’s a great project for using fab scraps and woolrests. I used some linen scraps for the applique sachet and eco dyed cotton scraps for the “couched’ sachets. For the applique design I actually used an old t-shirt fabric and a scrap of fusible interfacing so it wouldn’t stretch.
For the filling you need
As mentioned before, rice is optional. I like it because it prevents the lavender from moisture but also gives it a lovely weight. You could add a few drops of essential lavender oil if you like.
Cut two squares of 4 inch x 4 inch of fabric for each sachet. The seam allowance of ¼ inch is included, so the finished size of the sachet is 3 ½ x 3 ½ inch. You need 2 squares for each sachet. So cut as many as you need for your gifts ;-).
Design 1 is embroidered with a couching stitch (machine version)
Design 2 is embroidered with a couching stitch by hand
Design 3 is applique and sewn on with a zigzag stitch by machine
You can get your PDF Template for the applique shape of a Xmas tree & the 2 different designs for the couching stitch here, but it is optional. Feel free to draw your own. Just make sure that they fit nicely on the 3 ½ inch squares with enough space to sew the actual back and front piece together.
For the couched version you can have fun drawing all kinds of abstract line versions of a tree or any other shape you like. For example a heart or a star. Just check out some ‘’simple line drawings on Pinterest” for inspiration. Just note that the sachets are very small, so the line drawing should be simple.
Tip: If you would like to make use of machine couching afterwards on a bigger scale, you could make a pillowcase or a quilt block. Try out more complex shapes.
Design 1 & 2
As said before, Design 1 was couched by hand and Design 2 with the machine. You can learn both options and use this technique for all kinds of projects.
Instead of attaching a fabric to a fabric surface like applique, couching is attaching a thread (or similar) to your fabric surface with stitches. You have two threads working at the same time. The decorative, thicker thread & the thread you use to stitch the decorative thread down to the fabric.
Draw your designs for the couching on the right sides of the upper side fabric. Make sure to use a heat erasable pen or chalk and place it in the center to leave enough space for the seam allowance of the sachet.
Prepare your machine for couching
Just cut about an inch of a plastic or paper straw and connect it with a piece of masking tape to your machine. See below on the pictures or click on the video link.
Video link on how to prepare your machine for couching.
After you are ready to go, place your fabric square and the piece of wool you want to use for the couching on your machine and start slowly slowly sewing with a ZIGZAG stitch. Press on the video link below.
Video link on couching the design with the machine
I used matching sewing and wool thread, but you could use contrasting colors if you like for a different effect. In the end I hand stitched some little stars on the abstract twigs using the silver thread I also use for the “hand couching”.
For hand couching you could use an embroidery hoop, which makes it easier but it’s not a must.
I worked with fab scraps and didnt have a hoop small enough to fit the fabric. It is perfectly fine to do it without.
In the beginning of the Design make 1-2 stitches to fix the woolen thread and then work your way through the design. I fixed my woolen thread with a few pins on the design and then removed them one by one when I got close to them. See video below.
Video link on couching the design by hand.
For more versions visit my Instagram account, as I am also busy making Lavender sachets as gifts.🙂
Cut out your design and pin it in place on your fabric square.
(I used a scrap from a T-shirt, cause I liked the green. So I ironed on some fusible interfacing before that it wouldn’t stretch out of shape).
Place your fabric with the applique pinned in place on the machine and start slowly slowly sewing it down with ZIGZAG stitch. I used a matching thread.
Once ready I decorated the tree with the ‘’seed stitch’’ also referred to as ‘’rice stitch’’, because it looks like scattered rice. Just make simple little straight stitches placed in different directions. Again I used the silver thread, but you really could use anything you like. Maybe you would like to work with much more colorful fabrics and threads then I did.
It’s all about what you like or to whom you would like to gift your lavender sachets 🙂
If you wish to hang your sachet add a ribbon about 12cm long to the right side of your fabric piece. Make sure the ribbon does not interfere with the seams when closing the sachet.
Then sew the two pieces RST (right side together) with a ¼ seam allowance. One one side pls keep an opening of 1 ½ inch to fill your finished sachet. Best is to mark it before you start sewing, otherwise you might forget to keep it open. I speak by experience 🙂
Now turn them right side out and VOILA!!!
Make your mixture of lavender and rice. I used about 2 parts lavender and 1 part rice. The rice is optional, you cut just use lavender, but I prefer them a bit heavier, so the rice is great for it. I also added 2-3 drops of essential oil, but it is also optional. See how intensive you like your mixture to smell. Video link
Now close them with a simple stitch in matching color and make sure they are really closed well, so you will not end up with Lavender buds falling out. Press on the video link to see how I close it. Video link
Tadaaaaa!! Your sachets are ready for gifting them. If you like you could add little labels on how to take care of them. See below….
Don’t wash your lavender sachet and store them away from sunlight.
You might wonder how long they last. In my experience and what I have researched they can last years. Like I did in this project, you can add rice to absorb moisture to keep the lavender fresh longer. If you feel it has lost a bit of smell, just gently squeeze the sachet once in a while to release the natural lavender oil.
You can toss them in your dryer with your laundry instead of artificial scent. They are good for about 10 loads at least.
A lot of people store their seasonal clothes during summer or winter, so instead of using mothballs use dried lavender sachets. Much better cause not toxic. I know I repeat myself here, but I think it is very important to be as sustainable as possible. Every tiny bit of change counts.
I hope you had fun with this project. For the FREE applique and couching designs please sign up for my NEWSLETTER and you can download it right away. In addition to it you will receive a 50% discount on my NOSTALGIA quilt pattern.
Have a lovely time and a wonderful Xmas
Youtube Linda Friedrich
December 8, 2023
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