Sew Creative with Doodle Stitching Techniques

Turn Sketchbook Doodles Into Art with Doodle Stitching by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

Sew Creative with Doodle Stitching Techniques

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Turn Sketchbook Doodles Into Art with Doodle Stitching by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

Doodling—we’ve all done it with pen and paper. Those same concepts—drawing squiggles, circles, rectangles, and silly shapes—can be done with fabric, trim, and/or stitching. Why should you doodle at your sewing machine or with fabric? It’s a great way to use fabric odds and ends while being creative.

Watch the new Doodle Stitching TV show online now. You’ll also find details, tips, and techniques in the new Doodle Stitching bookavailable at Nancy’s Notions.

Collage Doodle

A Collage Doodle is where I’d like to start in Doodle Stitching Part Two. Gather buttons, small pieces of fabric, leftover ribbon, and a little stitching to create a greeting card or a small piece of wall art. The process is spontaneous with artsy results.

Note From Nancy: If giving as a greeting card, apply card stock behind the collage prior to stitching around the outer edges.

Fuse ‘n Doodle

Next, doodle with fabric and your iron! Cut rectangles and squares that are backed with fusible web, arrange on a background fabric, then press! After adding ribbon and button accents, you’ll have an art piece that was made with odds and ends of fabric, yet looks like it could be hung in a modern art studio. See how easy it is on Doodle Stitching Part Two.

Daydream Stitching

When you’re doodling on paper, most likely you’re not paying much attention to what’s happening around you, as I was known to do in history class. When you’re brain is not thinking of the task at hand, it’s the BEST time to experiment with simple, doodle-type free-motion stitching. For those of you intimidated by the process, put your brain in neutral and daydream while stitching. Watch online as those doodles transform with sewing machine and thread.

Squiggle Monograms

When I think of monograms, my mind’s eye sees large, preciously stitched letters. Hmm, not so if you’re doodling. The same type of impact can be made with squiggle stitching, creating the shape of the letter, or stitching the negative space around the letter to make the un-stitched fabric “pop” with distinction. It’s a 20-minute stitching exercise that will satisfy the doodler inside you; watch now.


The Book: Doodle Stitching

  • I’ll guide you through my fun techniques for painting with thread and scraps of fabric. Don’t worry about perfection—these techniques are made to give you beautiful results, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned sewist.
  • My signature style of stress-free techniques and easy projects inspires and empowers. Plus, I’ll show you how to translate pencil-sketched doodles onto fabric with your sewing machine.


Doodle Stitching Book

  • Full color photographs and illustrations
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Double-wire binding so that pages lay flat when open—no more struggling to keep your page from turning or bending; plus it’s easier to keep your book right next to you as you work
  • Soft cover, 40 page book by Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy

Watch Doodle Stitching (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.

Turn Sketchbook Doodles Into Art with Doodle Stitching by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

Where/when would you doodle in a sketchbook?  Leave a comment below to be eligible to win a copy of the Doodle Stitching Book, from Nancy’s Notions.

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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38 Comments

  • Stacie Pinkston
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle whenever I am making list or filling out my schedule.

  • Ilana Joffe
    October 27, 2016

    Doodle stitching is a really cool, interesting idea.

  • Kimberly Hubbard
    October 27, 2016

    It seems that nowadays we spend so much time on the phone – on hold. This is when I doodle. Having watched your show on doodling, I now see new ideas within my doodles. This is fun!!!

  • Madeline
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when I need to take a break and re-group my thoughts.

  • Leslie
    October 27, 2016

    I love doodling flowers on paper and fabric!

  • Leah
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when I am in a meeting. The repetition actually helps me stay focused.

  • Nancy Norris
    October 27, 2016

    Many a pattern has started out as a mindless doodle. It can be very creative.

  • Monica AD
    October 27, 2016

    I admire doodling 😉

  • Jane Roach
    October 27, 2016

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to watch the vids! I doodle when I am making phone calls. It keeps me centered on the call at hand and allows the creative me play!

  • Marilyn D.
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when I’m thinking about quilting a quilt.

  • Marilyn Mundt
    October 27, 2016

    I love to doodle waiting for the doctor appt/dentist appt to distract me for what is “coming”. I can get lost in a world so far away from the present.

  • Barb S
    October 27, 2016

    When I need a kick-start to begin a project I’ll doodle in my sketch book, I have also attended the “Daring Doodler” class in Sisters Oregon where like-minded doodlers gather to share techniques and inspiration.

  • Robyn
    October 27, 2016

    I would doodle infront of the TV while my hubby watches basketball!

  • Cindy Schultz
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when waiting for my computer to reboot, watching TV,
    sitting in the car. Wow, I loved watching your “Doodle: show.

  • Kim H
    October 27, 2016

    I love having a notebook to not only doodle, but I also jot down ideas for patterns and projects.

  • Susan Spiers
    October 27, 2016

    Doodling can be done anywhere-even on a scrap piece of paper-would love to know how to paint with thread and fabric-what a great concept!

  • D Pepin
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when thinking through a work project or challenge, and also when I am deciding on how to quilt a sewing project.

  • Arlene Aughey
    October 27, 2016

    I love doing this at night while I am watching TV – I sort of let my mind wander all over and draw in my notebook at the same time – some pretty cool designs come out that way!

  • Lynn Petrich
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle when I am thinking of new projects and how they should look and go together. I doodle when I have to sit and wait for a while…on an airplane or in the car when going on trips.

  • Kathe
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle in a small notebook, especially when traveling. I want to try some doodling with free motion on my sewing machine.

  • Melanie H.
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle in my sewing project workbook, as I try to draw out what is in my mind before I start prepping my fabric.

  • Donna Fecteau
    October 27, 2016

    i doodle in a small note book I keep in my purse.

  • Mary Deeter
    October 27, 2016

    I doodle while I am on a long phone call. I need to keep a sketch book nearby instead of the scrap paper I usually have.

  • Bonnye
    October 27, 2016

    In my purse I carry a small notebook to doodle. When an idea pops into my head, I reach for my notebook. This keeps all my ideas in one convenient place.

  • Chris
    October 28, 2016

    I use a small notebook and doodle when I’m stuck in offices waiting on appointments.

  • Joyce Wilson
    October 28, 2016

    A truly spooky thing happened once while I was mindlessly doodling and watching tv. I looked down at my writing tablet and saw that I had written in large letters “we see you”. Yikes! I don’t go for all that paranormal junk, but I have to ask myself who is “we”? I have a collection of buttons, ribbon lace etc. Now I can use them up for little gifty’s this Christmas.

  • Penny M
    October 28, 2016

    I like to doodle while watching TV sometimes. Especially, if I get an idea for something and want to see if it will work, tweak it a bit, and think about how to make it happen.

    Love your show.

  • Bonnie
    October 28, 2016

    I like to doodle when I am waiting for an appointment or when I need to relax. I have never tried doodling on fabric, but it looks like fun. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Tina
    October 29, 2016

    I doodle waiting for my daughter at her piano lessons.

  • margaret
    October 29, 2016

    I doodle after I watch a quilt/craft show or look at an instruction book – gives me inspiration

  • Kathy E.
    October 29, 2016

    I am always doodling! I practice when I’m trying out a new FMQ design, when I’m making a grocery list (gotta make it pretty!), when I write names on cards, envelopes and tags, and even when I paint!

  • Vivian
    October 30, 2016

    Doodling on fabrics is a really cool idea. I love to try.

  • Peggy V
    October 30, 2016

    Started to doodle since your last post, just in the early stages!!! Interesting!!!

  • Veloris HIPP
    October 30, 2016

    I DOODLE WHEN QUILTING BABY QUILTS. SOME HAVE BEEN OUTSTANDING.

  • Daniela M
    October 31, 2016

    I doodle every time when I am answering a phone call…

  • Mary
    November 2, 2016

    I doodle when on the phone, watching tv or trying to thing of quilting ideas. This would definitely take me to the next level of doodling!

  • Patty Schultz
    November 7, 2016

    I have always wanted an embroidery machine, but I am becoming more interested in free machine embroidery, and the endless options it offers in creativity as well as various projects and mediums! I want to try doodling on bags, apparel, pillows, curtains, wall art, gift cards and tags, scrap booking embellishments, just to begin with! I doodle my ideas during phone calls, meetings, waiting and visiting.

  • Lisa Stephens
    May 16, 2019

    You make it look so easy…I can do this attitude has encouraged me…thanks

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