Thursday, March 12, 2015

Introducing Chicken Scratch + Sewing Staples

Hello Papertrey Ink folks and Happy Spring! Well, almost. But I'm feeling it, aren't you? Like deep in my bones. Bring on the renewal and the sunshine and the warm weather.

Cheery gingham is certainly contributing my  happy mood. You've probably popped over from Nichole's blog. My new product line for March, the Chicken Scratch Collection, is being featured today for the first group post. I've seen a few projects and the DT ladies did an amazing job. They exceed my expectations. Just absolutely beautiful stuff.

You might be looking around for Chicken Scratch projects from me. Unfortunately, nothing has made it to me in time with mail delays and the weather. Which is OK. I've been doing this for over five years and to have it happen just this once, is a pretty good track record. Besides, all the Chicken Scratch goodness is on its way to me, so it won't be long before I get to play. And of course, I'll share when I do.

So, as a result, I've had ample opportunity to do some other things with it. Like build an inspiration board for you. And create some "sketches" on the computer to share, so when you get the Chicken Scratch Collection, you are all ready to play and infused with inspiration.

So..Chicken Scratch. Pretty whimsical name, right? Chicken Scratch is a type of embroidery done on gingham fabric that some say looks like the pattern chicken feet would make in the dirt of the chicken coop. Yep, it doesn't get any more "vintage" than that. :) LOL!  It is also called depression lace, Amish embroidery, or simply, gingham embroidery. All of which speaks of its homespun, county look.

 In Chicken Scratch, the squares of the gingham act like the squares of cross stitch fabric. The corners and lines of the pattern show you where to place your stitches. There are some rather unique stitches to be made, that make up classic "chicken scratch" look. And in using these stitches on a gingham background, you work with the light, dark, and medium tones in the fabric, highlighting each in a different way. When viewed as a whole, the color of the stitches combined with the highlighted pattern of the gingham gives a very unique look and pattern. All of which, I thought would be great for a stamp set.

Here are some inspiration examples. You can view my entire Pinterest Chicken Scratch Board here.

Original Source

Original Source

Original Source

Super pretty stuff, right? I might have sent my Mom that pin this morning of that summer tank. Told her I'd do the embroidery if she made it for me:). I'd love to have that. 

Now that you've seen some examples, I've taken the images from the stamp sets (I have both the Chicken Scratch and Super Gingham being released), the Chicken Scratch Cover Plate, and the Chicken Scratch Paper Pad and made some computer examples for you. You can download the PDF here for easy reference. 

I hope you are as excited as I am to be using this fun, vintage style of embroidery.  As you can see, you can go as easy or as complicated as you like. We've worked in lots of short cuts (Chicken Plate Cover Plate, Gingham Paper) to make it easy to accomplish too.

Now, while I have you here, I have another Quick Stitch Sewing Staples Kit project for you. I really wanted to turn those Scissor Keepers into carrots for Easter!

I found these marshmallow bunnies on a lollipop stick at Target. They are from Just Born, like those yummy peeps everybody likes this time of year. I thought they'd be perfect for this!

I love how they look like they are popping out of the carrot. These were really easy to stitch up, by not reversing the running stitch. The handle on the orange carrot part, got cut off.. The backside is "green" and has the handle, but after I put these together, you didn't need to use the handle here either. Whatever you decide to do if you are planning on recreating this.

For the grass, I cut green tissue paper with the Tissue Favor Die. Love how nice and fluffy it is.

The Floral Cluster Die from the Sewing Staples kit was used to make these paper flowers. I adore these in paper. Just the right amount of detail when stitched. Sentiment is from Birthday Classics: April and the tag is from Tremendous Tags.

Here's a carrot upright. These things are BIG! Ten inches with the candy. Would make an impressive little something.

OK. That's it from me. Thanks for stopping by. More inspiration for Chicken Scratch below. All the Chicken Scratch stuff will be available March 15th at at 10 PM EST and the Sewing Staples Kit is available right now! Fabulous.

Nichole Heady
Betsy Veldman
Dawn McVey
Maile Belles
Heather Nichols
Melissa Phillips
Danielle Flanders
Laura Bassen
Laurie Willison
Ashley Cannon Newell


Scissor Keeper Carrots
Quick Stitch Sewing Staples Kit
Stamps: Birthday Classics: April
Dies: Tremendous Tags, Tissue Favor
Patterned Paper: Orange Zest and Summer Sunrise Collections
Cardstock: Orange Zest and Summer Sunrise


  1. Erin, I love the chicken scratch concept. My mother made identical styled dresses for herself, my sister, me, and her close friend-each in a different color of gingham and each with an embroidered border near the bottom of the full skirt. Perhaps this special memory is why I still have a love of gingham. Anyway congratulations and thank you for bringing chicken scratch to the world of stamping and papercrafting and thanks for the patterns. I look forward to seeing your creations.

  2. Oh my, I see where this is going... A whole new world of stitching patterns and dies for the world of papercrafting! I LOVE this Chicken Scratch concept, and gingham is one of my favorite fabric patterns. (I haVe a fabric collection too ;) We look forward to your projects using your new stamps and dies.
    In the meantime, your little carrots are TOO CUTE and those bunny peeps just the perfect insert. Am always looking for some new for the Easter baskets and these absolutely fit the bill this year! Thanks Erin!

  3. Hi Erin,

    What will that imagination of yours tell you to do next! Love what you did on this project!!!

    María Alba

  4. Love your Easter bunny treats. so inventive.

  5. Love the carrots! And your chicken scratch kit really rock!

  6. Those bunnies popping out of carrots are adorable!! What a great idea! Love seeing the things you do with this set apart from the original intent!!

  7. Love your chicken scratch designs and can't wait to see your projects - looks like a lot of fun! And speaking of... those carrot favors are so fun and fabulous!

  8. Tried to find the scissor carrot keepers? What are they? Would love to make theses carrots! All so cute!!

    1. Sherry! Glad you like them. The Scissor Keepers are found in the Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit at I just made them into carrots to show a different use for them. Here's the link:

  9. Erin, what kind of thread did you use to stitch the carrots together and how many strands?

  10. Kathy...I used a single strand of crochet thread. Best of luck!

  11. Tell your mom I want a shirt too :)