I love using hand-dyed fabrics–whether they’re cotton batiks, silks, or other blends. It’s the reason I created the “ruched frames” technique for locker hooking–to showcase the gorgeous colors and layered hues. You can use this technique to highlight any beautiful fabric because with locker hooking, some of the hand-dyed design is often hidden. I recently added some new 3/4″ wide fabric strips to the Color Crazy line for this reason alone.
One of the designs I created to show off beautifully dyed fabric is an easy to locker hook ruched frame mat. You can download the free locker hooking pattern and create one in your own custom colors, or just buy the Color Crazy kit or canvas and Color Crazy fabric strips. This pattern uses 3.75 Mesh Canvas. The kits use Color Crazy’s hand-dyed and woven fabric or flannel strips.
These mats are super easy to locker hook and don’t take much time to finish. The images above show the process: cut canvas and frame it, locker hook ruched frame and center area, stitch on yarn padding and stitch to wrap and cover to create ruched frame. Sew in tails, glue on tile and add an optional backing. It’s so rewarding that you can finish it quickly!
“If you haven’t tried locker hooking yet, be sure to read the Top 10 Locker Hooking Tips, and practice on a small coaster size piece first.”
It usually takes me some time in the morning and afternoon to finish one if I work fast… but don’t rush! It’s better to take your time and be sure to pull up loops that are 3/8″ high for this design as the tile needs to be framed nicely. When stitching on the ruched padding, don’t cut strips that are longer than 1 1/2 yards to avoid excess fraying. Overlap stitches as needed for great coverage. Add a backing for added protection. I use them under baskets of fruit and as trivets. You can buy the Color Crazy kits that include all materials (the tools are sold separately), or buy the 3.75 mesh canvas and fabric strips in your favorite colors and create your own.
The Secret Garden Mat kit includes silvery threads in a metallic yarn. The varied colors are like paintbrush strokes on the ruched frame.