Sew Easy

DIY Fabric Coasters

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

I’m continuing my fall nesting with other little projects to cozy up the house and the latest is the creation of fabric coasters. I realized I didn’t have a decent set downstairs and I’m a “got to have a beverage nearby” gal.

I stitched up two sets of coasters to layer between surfaces protect against condensation, heat, or surface damage, one set for the living room and another for the family/dining room for when I’m working on the laptop or just helping with the kids’ homework.

diy fabric coasters

Since I’m digging the menswear and wool fabrics this season, I was drawn to a plaid and houndstooth. If you’ve ever been to Joann you know you can find discontinued designer samples for $2 and sometimes they discount them to 50¢. Such was the case with this P Kauffman plaid and Croscill samples I found.

menswear fabrics

I combined the plaid with some faux leather cut into 6 inch squares. The project is really simple, if you can sew a straight line you can make these, and they take only a few minutes to complete.

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Duvet to Window Panels

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A week ago, I spent some time working on my friend’s in progress dining room, the same one where we installed the tongue & groove wall treatment a month ago. It started with a shopping trip to World Market last week where I discovered the Sonoma Floral Ikat Duvet and thought, oh hello gorgeous fabric, you’d be perfect as curtains in the space!

I’ve always believed a fantastic fabric can be a jumping off point for an entire room’s design, so this duvet has been reinvented into window panels to do just that.

duvet to window panels

World Market has a similar window panel but the background is brown. I loved the smoky gray background on this duvet with its touches of plum, cranberry, and mustard yellow – perfect for this dining room we’re filling with mixed wood finishes, warm metallics, and more plum accents.

A duvet is 88 inches wide so you get extra fullness compared to most conventional fabrics by the yard. To line the backs of the new panels I used two flat cotton sheets from Walmart for $11 each – less expensive than two lengths of liner per panel and the exact same width as the duvet.

sheets as liners

With this project, your only limitation is height. This duvet was 92” long, but I did add 2 ½ inches to the top and bottom with a plum linen border fabric so the panels ended up at 97” in height. Here’s the step-by-step for turning a duvet into window panels!

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Aloha Inspired Appliqué Pillow

Monday, May 20th, 2013

It was one of those weekends devoted entirely to family which was a good thing. We attended a birthday party for Matt’s Aunt’s 90th birthday, and it was a family reunion with everyone traveling far distances to celebrate. Seeing loved ones you haven’t seen in a long time is a reminder of how time marches on far so fast. The kids grow older so quickly, and we’re all getting older too, and it makes you realize how each days really is a precious gift.

I started clearing out closets on Sunday, minimizing clutter in my quest for a home that is simple and meaningful, and then spied a project I started a few weeks ago so I finished it.  When we visited Hawaii in March I was inspired by the motifs I saw in the traditional Hawaiian quilts that date back to the early 1800s, a technique brought over by missionaries. Funny, in previous years I’ve never been drawn to them but something about the intricate and handcrafted nature spoke to me on this recent visit.

I came up with an aloha inspired appliqué pillow cover, one that adds a dose of watery aqua blue for summer and also adds a touch of the islands I miss so much.

aloha inspired applique pillow

 

In Oahu, I visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and spent half an hour chatting with the Sisters. This quilt was on the wall was so impressive, that green pattern is cut from one single piece of cotton cloth and sewn by hand. Incredible.

quilt in pcc

You spy these patterns all over Hawaii in shops and hotels, I love the unique designs that repeat around a central point.

hawaiian quilt patterns

 

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