Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sewing Around the House

I didn't get as much quilting done as I'd hoped last week, but I did finish some projects that have been waiting in the wings for a while. The first, and my favorite: the cat mat.

or should I say, the fish mat?
This was a project in a recent Stitch magazine, I think the summer issue. I did most of the work over the summer, at my mom's house, but didn't have anywhere to buy the vinyl covering, which is a must for anything that will live under a tuna dish! I was hoping for iron-on plastic, but the best I could do was regular old clear vinyl. I cut two pieces slightly larger than the fish and just sewed around the edges, outside of the fish itself. It's not the perfect solution, but I think it should hold up to the average tuna splatter. Anyway, it was well received:
...or at least not rejected outright.
A few weeks ago I made some dinner napkins. I have a tendency to buy fat quarters of cheapo fabric when it's on sale at Joann's, and I had amassed quite a stash. Napkins were a nice way to use a lot of that up and not have to worry about "wasting" expensive fabric by getting it stained and washing it all the time. Since I had a lot of fat quarters, I ended up with a lot of napkins.

It was kind of nice to sew something so simple! I just stacked all the fabric in a pile and trimmed to pieces to about 17" square, paired up all the pieces, and sewed them into squares, leaving an inch or two open for turning. I quilted them with a few swirly loops (got to bring out my compass + memories of 9th grade geometry!) and then hand stitched the openings closed. And voila! One of the best results of this (besides 12 reusable napkins, of course!) is that we finally figured out how to use this amazing bowl:
 It's hard to see in the picture, but it's this beautiful blue glass bowl. It looks great with the tablecloth, but we never could find anything to keep in it.

Until now! This way the napkins are always available, no matter how big the mess.

And one more thing the house still needed? Coasters. Oh, so glamorous, coasters. And another great way to practice my free motion skills.
These are just 4.5" squares of sheet scraps with a square of batting in the middle, then FMQd with flower designs.
Action shot!

As I was cutting out the fabric scraps, I thought to myself, this is easy and fun, so I'll just cut out some extra that I can give as gifts! I cut out two extra squares, but then I started to wonder... do people actually enjoy getting coasters as gifts? I know I'm happy to have these guys, but we had a specific need. When people actually need coasters, don't they just buy some and stop worrying about it? Wouldn't a gift of coasters just seem unnecessary either because you didn't need any, or you already had some? I don't know; I feel like if I'm going to give somebody something I made, it should be a little more interesting than coasters. On the other hand, I have given people coasters before. Maybe I was just a lame gift giver then to? I don't know...
I also made a purse last week, but failed to photograph it. I shall endeavor to do so soon, although it does need a bit of tweaking still. Stay tuned!

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