Bits & Bobs from a Doodle


The Snowdrops are out! Spring is getting closer.

I have been thinking.

In the course of my thinking it occurred to me that there is no reason why I couldn’t use EPP and applique (which is also a fabric wrapped shape with edges folded under) to create little personalities. So I thought I might invent a character or two.
Meet Bits.


Bits says Grrr….

Bits is made from a collection of more or less unattached shapes (which is why he is called Bits). If I hadn’t been doodling I wouldn’t have stumbled upon the idea of using unattached shapes to suggest a certain quirkiness. It’s also interesting how my mind seems to join up the spaces between and see him as a whole dog.


Bits has a friend and confidante called Bobs. Meet Bobs:


He’s not one for talking. I’ve found that Bits and Bobs like to hang out together, doing not very much.

Bits and Bobs came from a doodle book, or rather set of books that I keep. Doodling and sketching is great to do. Each doodle only take a minute or two, it’s relaxing, fun and can lead to all sorts of ideas. You don’t have to be able to draw. You can make patterns and abstract designs or simple pictures from shapes, like tangrams, all of which would work in EPP, or you can invent more unusual shapes that lend themselves more to applique and embroidery. Some of the ideas might not work in fabric at all but they are still fun to do. Maybe you could make these into a stamp and make your own fabric designs. (more of this a future post).

I use small and affordable booklets in zingy colours, made from recycled paper called ‘Remarkable’ notepads. You can find these at  Each booklet has a tough cover, 50 blank pages (that’s 100 sides) and are ring-bound so they can be opened flat and folded back on themselves, which is wonderful for quick sketches on the go.

IMG_6709You can buy them singly or in packs. I use them to record ideas from things I see around me and things I imagine. If my drawing is a copy to suggest a possible idea I put a C next to it, so that I don’t go forgetting that it’s not my own idea. When the idea is my completely my own I put a little L next to it so I am clear about what’s mine and what isn’t. When you make stacks of drawings every week it’s important not to mix one up with the other.  I am obsessed by drawing Cats and Dogs, as well as People and Houses, so I have a book for each of these, as well as one for fabric picture ideas and another one for a whole mix of other ideas such as backgrounds and borders.

Here is a rough sketch from my ‘People’ notebook. You can see that some doodles are a little bit more serious while others are just for fun. Some of my doodles, like this one, are done on scraps of paper, which I later cut out and stick in my notepad to keep them together.


It’s only a squeak past January; there’s still time to squeeze in another New Year’s Resolution. Why not get yourself a blank notepad, or staple some sheets of scrap paper together, and try some doodling fun. It’s doesn’t have to be an every-day thing. It can be a-when-you-see-something-you-like thing or a when-you’re-in-the-mood thing. But it’s definitely a useful thing.

For this post, I thought I would take one of my doodles and try to turn it into a fabric ‘drawing’. So here’s Bits in another doodle.  I chose the bottom drawing as I didn’t want him barking all the time I was sewing ; ) . I kept him fairly small, so I didn’t bother making very tiny fabric shapes out of his nose, tongue and feet but if I had made him much larger, these pieces would have been easier.


And here’s Bits in fabric. I think he likes being a dog:


Till next time….

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