Monday, May 19, 2014

Custom Dishtowels (and a tutorial)

Last week I found some fantastic nautical fabrics at the local quilt shop.  I thought about it and decided that although I didn't want to make a quilt out of these fabrics, they would be perfect for accessory type gifts.  I thought some more and dish towels came to mind.  After speaking with one of the quilt store employees, I found out they carry dish towel fabric that is pre-hemmed on the sides...perfect!.

Once I got home, I tried making a dishtowel bordered in one of the fabrics featuring blue didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  There just wasn't enough contrast between the towel fabric and the decorative border fabric, and worse, the edges of the border fabric didn't line up well. Then I remembered the foolproof method for making bordered pillowcases that results in perfectly encased seams and aligned borders every time.

I chose the other fabric and went to work using the same method to attach the borders as when I make pillowcases.  Here is the result.

I couldn't be happier :)

If you would like to make a pair for yourself or someone else, here is a link to the tutorial.  Note:  I updated the tutorial after I posted it to clarify the instructions in a couple of spots.

I just pulled these fabrics from my stash. Hmmm...I think I might buy some good European linen and make my own hemmed dishtowels and pair them with these.  They would make great Christmas presents for my wine drinking friends and family.

So, maybe a natural flax colored linen to pair with the dark corks fabric, and perhaps some chocolate linen with the corkscrews fabric?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Some New Artwork for My Sewing Room

A friend of mine went to Panama years ago and brought back several molas for me.  Below are some pieces of this intricate, colorful handmade art. They have been sitting in a drawer waiting for inspiration to hit.  Today was the day!

This morning I got up early - determined to clear my sewing room of two large pieces of furniture I don't like.  Once that was done, of course I got sidetracked by my fabric stash and patterns, and putzed around for a couple hours.  Finally, everything was arranged and put in its place, and I realized the walls were entirely too empty in there.  So what better artwork to hang, than a couple hand made molas?  About a year ago, I found two 11 x 14 frames at Joann's Fabrics on big-time sale, and bought them without having a clue as to what I would use them for.  So, since they are glass float frames, I figured they were the perfect frames to display two of the small molas.  See?

I am so happy with the way these perk up the place. 

I decided to also lay out a some finished quilt blocks.  There is a story behind these blocks - isn't there always?  Back in 2006, a friend of mine from work and I were sent to Minnesota on a business January!  We are Floridians, remember?  Holy moley was it cold, snowy and icy!  

Luckily, she also was a quilter and I had seen an article about this Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee in a quilting magazine - it was one of the 25 best quilt shops in the U.S. according to the article.  So, being the fabricholics we were, we packed an extra empty suitcase so we could bring home "souvenirs" from the quilt shop trip.  We managed to get our work done and then drive to Shakopee - let me tell you - this was one fabulous quilt shop.  It was an old railroad depot building with all the old warm woodwork - the building was beautiful and it was packed full of quilty goodness.  It was one of the best business trips I've ever had!

They had this one quilt on display that I had to make.  The pattern was All About Me (Atkinson Designs), and the fabric was Blossom by Urban Chiks, so I bought the pattern (and a few others), and all the fabric to make the quilt.  So, here we are eight years later and I finally sewed all the blocks to make a large lap sized version of the quilt.

Here are the blocks all laid out.  Now I just have to sew the blocks together, but not today.

Hope you are having a great weekend - happy sewing :)