These started as a plan to use up more of the Indonesian batik scraps but, honestly, they didn't make a dent in the scrap. The other motivation was to use the rest of the backing fabric on the Indonesian batik quilt. I had about 18" of 108" wide fabric at the end of the quilt and that was perfect for 6 placemats.
I'll have to come up with a postcard design to use the rest of batik scraps but I used every inch of the dyed backing.
The background is a gradient fabric that I had in my stash. I don't know what I originally dyed it for but it worked out just fine for these.
The tree and the circles are fused and all of the stitching is free motion.
I had enough of the gradient to do 4 using the blue/orange side of the gradient but I had room on my extra quilt back for 2 more placemats.
The other half of the gradient was green so I made these 2 with green backgrounds. I like both sets. I'll keep the 4 blue ones and give the green pair to Mom.
I'm happy to have another finish for 2018.
Before the bowl hot pads became my 2018 gift idea, I had planned to dye kitchen towels for everyone. Someone in one of my dye groups imported a bunch of them and offered them for sale.
I decided to order a dozen but by the time I talked to myself about it and wanted to have "enough just in case", I bought 3 dozen! So it could be that I have a head start on my 2019 gifts.
I dyed 2 past week just to see how they take they dye and then are wonderful. They are made well and even the thread in the hems dyes. I used Jacquard Color Magnet to screen the images. The Color Magnet causes the fabric to absorb more dye where it is printed. I could simply screen print the images after I dye the fabric and I will do that when i want the image in a different color.
I've used Color Magnet before. You might remember this tablecloth that I printed with Color Magnet and the dyed . It took a lot of time to print that cloth but the effect was worth it.
Through the next year I'll use the new hand towels to play with different techniques and I should end up with a great stash of gifts.
My Christmas prep projects are done. The hot pads are all made and postcards are in the mail. Chris and I are going shopping for my Christmas gift today (a shooting vest, my jewelry days are over!). So now I can get back to some of my own projects and the first one is to use more of the Indonesian batik scraps for some placemats.
I've seen this idea of trees with circles for the foliage for a while and have been wanting to do a version of it. I remembered this tree stencil and thought it might work. Fortunately cutting circles is easy because I have several circle dies with my Go! Cutter. I cut a few out to test the idea with the stencil and I really like it.
I fused the scraps to WonderUnder, because it was easier to handle them if they were backed with paper. I cut enough for 6 placemats.
I really want to get these wrapped up because I'm planning to quilt them on the left over backing from this quilt that's STILL loaded on the frame. I want it off and bound by the end of the month. I also have 8 veterans quilts that need to mbe quilted soon. So, the placemats are my focus for this week. Now I have to decide on a background and if I'm going to stencil the tree trunk or cut it out of fabric and fuse it.
They are done! All 11 sets (22 bowls) are done and ready for gifting....except for the 2 I'm keeping for myself.
I wrote a tutorial for the way I made mine. I was really disappointed with all of the other tutorials that I saw online. They looked very pretty in their styled photos but once I read through the steps I knew that none of them would hold up through one trip through the washing machine. I don't know about you, but when I microwave soup or oatmeal there's almost always overspill. These hot pad are going to get washed a lot so I added some steps to make them last.
Get the tutorial here.
I've got a little factory going making a dozen sets of bowl hot pads. I was going to post some tutorial links but as I made my first prototype I realized that they wouldn't hold up well to frequent washing. So I've made some mods and will post my own tutorial tomorrow or Friday. I think they are going to be nice gifts!
I bought some new clothes recently and I have a rule that new clothes have to fit into existing spaces. So if a drawer is full I have to get rid of some items to make room for new ones. I can't stand clothes clutter. All of the new clothes fit fine because I had recently done a purge but as I was putting things away (including a new red tunic) I found another red tunic that I had never worn! Ugh, I hate it when I do that. What a waste! I know I had not worn it because the pockets were still stitched together and also I because I don't love it. But it's a perfectly good sweater/tunic and I thought that maybe I could make a Christmas sweater out of it. It is red, after all.
I remembered a sweater that I saw at a show recently that had 3 simple tree on it. I wanted and easy project and that seemed perfect. First I had to find the fabric. I wanted a plaid or stripe so I pulled out those bins and found this set of 3 woven ikat fabrics. (I also found something else for another quick project that I'll share tomorrow.) These are perfect for the look I want...more homespun, less sparkle.
Had I planned this project properly I would have put some Mistyfuse on the back of the tree fabric before I cut it out, but I didn't do that. I just cut out the tree shapes, arranged them on the shirt and pinned them in place. Then I tried on the shirt to check/adjust placement.
Once it was time to stitch I realized that i needed some sort of stabilizer or I'd stretch the sweater during the stitching. Had I taken more than 5 seconds to think about that I would have used Sulky Solvy as my stabilizer because it's so easy to wash out. But I didn't and the closest thing to hand was tissue paper. I pinned a big hunk of tissue paper to the back side of the sweater front and pinned it in place. I did do one test seam on a scrap of sweater fabric and once I had the stitch length and width just right, I zig zagged away. Start to finish, the whole effort (including cleaning up the plaid fabrics strewn everywhere) took less than 2 hours. Now I have something to wear to the quilt club meeting next week.
This cold is supremely annoying. It's not horrible like the one I had last year that lasted 6 weeks. It's just a normal cold that prefers for you to be a complete slug and watch bad TV and that's mostly what I'm doing. Although I did play with EQ some yesterday on some ideas for a quilt made with Shades Packs. But I also had an energy spurt in the afternoon and took full advantage to finish my Maine placemats.
While we were on vacation I, of course, visited the local quilt shops and picked up a dozen fat quarters of Maine-themed fabrics. These aren't my style of fabrics but it seemed like a requirement to buy them. I knew they would end up as placemats or some other small project. I also left them on my cutting table so that I'd be forced to deal with them soon.
Once I got home I spent a stupid amount of time trying to come up with ideas where I could use all 12 fabrics. Seriously, I bet I spent 3 hours on this and, as you would expect, nothing really worked. Some of the prints are way to big for little 4" pieces, like the image above.
I finally decided that my Fat Quarter Placemat pattern was the best option. It uses 6 fabrics so I picked the 6 that went together best and moved on.
I wanted a set of 6 placemats so I needed 6 fabrics even though each placemat only has 5 fabrics. With this pattern you can make 5 or more. But the big pieces really show off the fabrics well and they go together quickly. When I made these the last time I didn't even do any quilting and that worked out fine but I did a lot of straight line quilting on these because they will be easier to iron and will look better longer. The quilting was very zen and was nice to do as I listened to my latest book.
I even did traditional binding (topstiched on the front) which I rarely do on a placemat. generally I take the raw edge and turn it to the back and stitch it with a twin needle from the front. But these needed the brown binding to rein those prints in.
Today I'll dye napkins to match.
Here are all 6 together. I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I think the Fat Quarter Pattern worked great for these novelty prints. They would be fun to make for kids in character prints or for your table in Holiday prints....any holiday. They are nice because they are fast to make.
I had 6 fabrics left over and I know myself well enough that I'd also spend way too much time trying to figure out something to do with them. That's why I used those fabrics for the backs. Now all 12 fabrics have been used and I can move on to something else.
Maybe I can get through next year's vacation without bringing home another project!
Ahhh because I got everything packed for the show on Saturday and I actually had some sewing time!
When I get home from the show the first thing I'm going to do is deep clean all of my work spaces. Things have gotten completely out of hand.
I could have started doing that cleaning Saturday but I wanted to sew something.....anything. My Maine fabrics have been stacked on the cutting table all month and that seemed a good place to start. The fabrics were already grouped and I didn't have to think very much. I've always intended to make placemats with these fabrics and I settled on my very easy Fat Quarter Placemat pattern.
I bought 12 fat quarters but only needed 6 for this set of placemats. Just to keep myself from trying to come up with another project, I used the other 6 fat quarters for the backs.
I'm not finished but 4 of 6 are pieced and quilted and I love how they look. This pattern is perfect for scrappy big prints. It was very therapeutic to hear the sound of the sewing machine for a few hours and I'll get back to them when I return from the show.
Today we pack the cars and get ready to depart about 7 tomorrow morning!
If you are coming to the Virginia Beach AQS show this week please stop by booth 1730 to see us. Tell us a joke and get a free mini roll of fabric.
I will post photos from the show. I'm not sure if I'll post every day but I will take lots of booth photos to share and hope to get photos of some of my favorite quilts in the exhibit.
Show preps are going along great this week. Every piece of fabric is ironed, tagged and packed! I'm down to working on some computer things and one of those things was to draw up the templates for my fabric flowers.
EVERY person who has come in the house to see them has said that people will want to either buy the flowers (not for sale) or make their own and that I needed handouts.
I have the basic tutorial on the web and I really don't want to print out multi-page instructions. Instead I've updated the tutorial to include downloadable templates for all of these flowers. I'll print off some stickers with the web address and hand those out. Plus I wanted you to have the templates too! After you make a couple of them you will start designing your own unique flowers. They are a lot of fun to make and quite addictive.
Get the tutorial.
You know how it is. You go on vacation and find yourself buying all kinds of vacation-themed things like shell art, antler light fixtures or, more likely for us, regional-themed fabric. It seems like a great idea at the time and then you get it home and wonder what the heck you were thinking. This fabric doesn't belong in any decor of my house!
But they are so cute and I wanted to have something made from them.
Yesterday was the day to do something with them. I needed a break from show planning but not so much of a break that would require serious concentration or time. I just needed a diversion and this was perfect. My Potholder Tutorial was the perfect answer. Chris does almost all of the cooking and he loves these potholders.
I selected lobster red thread for all three so I wouldn't have to change thread colors.
I got all three of them done in less than 2 hours and it felt like a vacation to have my mind on something else for a short time.
Chris likes these because they have pockets for hand holds. I had fat quarters of the lobster fabrics and had to add another fabric for the lining. If I hadn't been lazy I might have had enough lobster fabric left to piece the lining but piecing scraps was a bridge too far.
I've made these for Christmas gifts several times and they are always popular. You can set up an assembly line and made a dozen in no time. Get the tutorial here of you want to make some.
Now I can enjoy my Maine memories with my tasteful lobster potholders.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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