Posts Tagged ‘patchwork’

This morning Aria got comfy on the couch with our new pillow and my Colorbrick quilt.  It was a very warm morning…  I didn’t make them to match, per se, but Good Folks make good company.

Living Color Pillow w/Colorbrick Quilt
I put the final stitches on my Living Color pillow last night, while watching “The Invention of Lying” (which was a bust IMO).  The “twisted trees” design is from The New Crewel.  Because getting to the fabric store is just too much trouble for this busy mom, I recycled an old pillow, ripping out its stuffing to fill this new one, and backed my design with some yellow decorator’s weight fabric I had lying around.  Not sure if it was correct to do so, but I used one of those curved, semi-circular needles to hand stitch the bottom side closed.  A straight needle was causing a little ridge of fabric to form, but the circular needle made for a smooth finish.  So, I guess that’s right?

I was very tempted to try an invisible zipper closure via Sew Katie Did‘s tutorial, but in the end I decided to hand stitch it closed.  And, you know, for what it’s worth, I enjoy hand stitching so much that I’d probably just rip it open, remove stuffing, wash and restitch if necessary!  How’s that for stubborn?

By the way, gots to give credit to my mama who suggested a mirrored quilting design on the natural Essex linen/cotton frame.  I do love quilting patterns on solids it seems.

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Lately I’ve been tempted by beautiful placemats.  Tempted?  Yes.  1.  I have enough projects going right now.  2.  We don’t need placemats.  More on that later.  Don’t you want to see the objects of my temptation?

I stumbled upon this gorgeous set in the Good Folks Sewing Flickr pool (oh, how I LOVE that pool!).  They are made and designed by Three Dancing Magpies for a swap:

Testing them out  . . .

Project 1 of Swap

Anna Maria Horner fabric + Patchwork + linen = Perfection.  Lucky swap partner!

Then, Sew Mama Sew featured this little beauty as a “Quilt of the Day” during their April quilt month:

It’s made by Bloomin’ Workshop.  Her “mini quilt” placemat makes me want to test out quilt designs on a small scale like this.  Hardly takes any fabric and definitely takes less time than a quilt.  I’ve been hankering to try quilted hexagons, which are reported to be incredibly labor intensive, but as a placemat not so much.  Tempting.

However, I do declare that there are no placemats forthcoming!  You see, placemats don’t work for us.  They’d be dirty at every meal (those messy kids, never me! ;)).  I’ve heard that you just shake them over the garbage and put them back on the table (maybe any spills would be hidden in the patchwork?), but that sounds like more work to me than simply wiping down our bare table.  Plus, I sew at that table.  It’s already enough to haul out the sewing machine, iron, ironing table, cutting mat and supplies every time I want to sew.  So, plain is my table and plain it will remain.

My Table

Nevertheless, time spent gazing at beautiful placemats instead of quilting my Meadowsweet baby quilt is not in vain.  I think that Three Dancing Magpie’s minimalist patchwork row on linen would be a lovely outer for a make up roll, don’t you think?  And, the mini quilt concept with or without hexagons would work well for a pot holder, which we do need.  And, that’s what I love about browsing other’s work on Flickr.  Inspiration comes in handy and sewing is SO versatile.  Thanks to all the artists on Flickr!

P.S.  Poor, patient Meadowsweet quilt.  I will stitch you tomorrow!

Meadowsweet Basted

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Makeup Rolls for Home & Travel

Oooh, I love to finish a project… but a double project is even better!  My mom requested a make up roll for Mother’s Day after seeing the one I made for myself out of sheer desperation.  Mom chose some of her favorite Anna Maria Horner fabrics, and I stitched it up just right for her make up stash:

Good Fortune for Mama

I simply cannot find anything like it on Etsy or elsewhere.  The concept is from a Mary Kay design I used to death that was made in nasty vinyl.  I just love having all of my everyday make up in one organized roll so that I’m not digging through a dark bag or taking one piece at a time out of the drawer.  And, when it’s time for a trip, it’s all ready to go with protective padding built in.

My mom encouraged me to make another make up roll to attempt to sell on Etsy.  She knows that I have to earn my fabric money, as finances are really tight for us (and most everyone these days, right?).  What she didn’t know is that I’ve been dreaming about starting an Etsy store that would raise money for charity.  My passion for creating is a wonderful way to spend the evening for sure, but I feel it could be something more – a way to bless others.  I’ve always had a heart for children in poverty, so I’ve decided to use a chunk of the proceeds from my Etsy store for Compassion International’s Child Survival Fund.  I’m very excited… and nervous.  Will anyone really buy my things?  I suppose time will only tell.  Here’s my first item for sale:

Buttoned Up in Ink


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This summer I learned to sew! I indulged my new passion with Amanda Soule’s “Handmade Home” (see my review). Because I so enjoyed Amanda’s book, I was intrigued by a new series of crafting books released this year by her publisher. The series, called Make Good: Crafts + Life, produces charming Japanese craft books in English for the first time. I fell in love with ALL of the titles… but first on my list to own was Patchwork Style: 35 Simple Projects for a Cozy & Colorful Life.

“Patchwork Style” is a very modern take on patchwork sewing. Chapters are organized by technique: Log Cabin, Applique, Patchwork Squares, Free Stitching and Square Applique. Some projects I know I’ll complete include designs for potholders (I’ve realized mine are downright embarrassing), a purse (SOOO many to choose from), a log cabin style chair pad (a la SouleMama) and some punchy couch pillows.

But, first on my list was new kitchen rugs. My old faithfuls from Target were disintegrating before my eyes. The very last pattern in “Patchwork Style” is modestly titled “Floor Mat”. I first stumbled across a finished version on SouleMama (again), which was how I discovered I’d have to get the book. I indulged in some fabrics by Anna Maria Horner and sat down at the sewing machine AS IF I knew a thing about sewing.

getting started

This “Floor Mat” is actually a work of applique that’s machine quilted and then backed. To get started, I chose a relatively monochromatic background (I love color, so that’s about as monochromatic as I could go) and started clipping fabrics in random shapes, artistically (I hope) layering them on the background.


Once everything looked just right, I sewed on the collage, layered up my rug “sandwich” and started quilting. It took FOREVER. Apparently, sewing a straight line every 3/8 inch is a LOT of sewing. I couldn’t believe how much thread it took!


My goal was to complete the first rug in time for a visit from some relatives, so I had a deadline that kept me going. IMG_0243I did get the larger rug done in time, and thank goodness, my visitors noticed the rug very soon upon entering our kitchen. If it wasn’t for that deadline… well, I’d be where I am now – working very slowly on this, my second, smaller rug to be placed in front of our fridge. No matter how long it takes, I still find myself craving that sewing time. I am astounded by what can be done, the possibilities and the results. A big THANK-YOU to all the crafting mamas who encourage me through blogs and through real-life friendships to “Make Good: Crafts + Life” in my own home!

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