Saturday, April 25, 2015

More Dining Room Decor

I still haven't finished quilting & binding the spoon/fork table runner/wall hanging, or even decided for sure what to do with it. I love it. Every inch of it. But I don't know that it fits with my dining room, which has a very distinct beach theme -- on the wall are photos of my family at various beaches around Brazil, a painting from our favorite beach town, beach-themed word-art and candles....beach, beach, beach. Which doesn't necessarily fit with bright, bright, bright spoon & fork, no matter how awesome they are.
notice the beachy artwork on the walls....

So, place mats. Many years ago now I made place mats for us out of recycled denim and some bright strips of fabric. I still have those and love them, but they are all wonky shaped and the bump down the middle makes eating off of them hard. Also, the wonky shapes mean some are too large to sit next to each other, so they just don't work with our new table.

I decided I need round(-ish) place mats to serve more as quilted chargers than actual large crumb catching place mats. I don't mind wiping up the table, but I do want our Fiestaware to not scratch the table. And I need them to match the dishes, and the beach theme.

What they look like with a plate on...

So, I dug through the stash and pulled strips upon strips upon strips of fabric. Sewed them up, and am now working my way through the pile, quilting them on the diagonal then cutting them into circle-ish shapes.
all the strip sets, sewn together....

the backing fabric
The backing fabric is a fun, bright diagonal stripe, so for the quilting I am using a blue thread and following the blue diagonal lines (yes, I am quilting them "upside down"). I'm quilting them wavy to give a bit of sea feel or beach feel, and I've used a mix of brights and beach-themed fabrics in each place mat to bring together the brights of the dishes and the beach feel of the dining room.
Turns out the quilting lines go straight (but wavy) and the stripes of the different colors go diagonal, which I like even better. This was accidental, when the first circle I cut ended up squashed on one side, which I decided should be the bottom. Just like that, diagonal became straight, and straight became diagonal, and all I can say is I'm glad it was the first one that did that because now I've done the rest that way on purpose and I love it. The slightly squashed circle shape gives almost a seashell vibe, which is even better.

One down, eleven to go! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Craft Swap

I mentioned in my last post that friends and I participated in a craft swap. I love doing these, because it gives me a chance to try something new, get a small project done (which gives me a nice break from whatever large project is consuming my time...), and I get something fun in the mail later on! Win-win!

For my swap item, I chose to use a template I got at IQF in Houston last fall; it's a cutting template that allows you to fussy cut for a cathedral window block, and a method of completing the block completely by machine. Awesome!

I chose my same Brazilian butterfly fabric, and fussy-cut a butterfly in the recipients preferred colors. I selected fabrics from my stash that would coordinate and enhance the butterfly, yet still go with the recipients preferences as well.

Tried out my template, and voila!, a pretty cathedral window hot pad for the kitchen!

I used Insul-Bright with the batting so it would be heat resistant and safe to use for taking things out of the oven, placing under hot dishes, etc; this way it is pretty and practical all at once.