Scrap Fabric Pillow

Inspiration can strike anywhere. I first saw this pillow in an Instagram photo. The pillow was in the background and very out of focus, but I was able to get the idea. It was a simple pillow with what looked like strips of different fabrics. And with my overflowing baskets of scrap fabric, I knew I could easily pull it off.

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I used canvas as the base fabric, cutting two 12×19-inch rectangles. And then, after selecting the fabrics I wanted to use, I cut 1×12-inch strips of those fabrics.

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I liked the idea of the pillow having an “imperfect” quality. (I mean, Anthropologie pulls it off all the time.) So I didn’t worry about unfinished edges with the strips of fabric. I simply stitched the stripes in place with my sewing machine.

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With the strips in place, I sewed the two rectangle pieces together with right sides together and a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving a couple inches open to stuff the pillow. Once the stuffing was in, I whipped stitched the pillow closed.

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So quick and easy! But of course, if you don’t have time to make it now, you can simply buy the finish project at my Etsy shop!

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A Chevron Quilt

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Several months ago, I pinned a chevon quilt on Pinterest with the intent of making it. But as the months past, the idea never came to fruition. That is, until I started to think about what I wanted to make for a friend whose baby is due at the beginning of October. I knew it was a design she would adore, and I am excited to say, it’s a design that is super easy to make.

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The entire quilt is made of these squares. For my quilt that was 36 inches x 40 inches, I used 90 of them.

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The process of making these squares is a trick that  all beginning quilters should learn. Once made, these squares can be arranged in several different patterns, including a pinwheel. The first step is cutting out 7×7-inch squares of both the white and grey fabric.

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Next, I  layer a square of the grey fabric on top of one of the white and sew a border, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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I then cut the square in half, diagonally. I repeat this step with the two triangles I just created.

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To finish, I unfolded the triangles and ironed the seams. I also cut off the extra fabric at the corners. As you can see, one 7-inch square quickly creates 4 smaller squares. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find you have 90 squares before you know it.

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Once you have made all of the squares, you simple have to sew them together. My quilt was 10 rows of 9 squares each. You arrange the squares so the same colors are always touching.

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Since we’re dealing with squares, it means we’re exclusively dealing with straight lines. So once you create the rows of 9 squares, all you have to do is sew the rows together.

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To accompany the chevon design on the front of the quilt, I used a yard of an adorable elephant pattern for the back that matches perfectly (if I do say so myself).

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Once I basted both sides of the fabric to the polyester batting I purchased, I simply quilted along the chevron pattern.

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For the binding, I chose a green fabric that matches one of the elephants on the back. I cut the fabric into 2.5 inch stripes, sewing them together to have enough to fit the diameter of the quilt. I next ironed down a half inch of one side of the fabric.

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I sewed the binding to the quilt, using a 0.5 inch seam, using my short cut you can read about here for the corners.

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Now that I have made a handful of quilts, I wanted to create a tag that would start to mark them as mine. But for this quilt, I didn’t want to use my initials since I am making the quilt for a friend, so I decided to use the year – the year her baby would be born.

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I couldn’t be more happy with the final result. Of course, the quilt contains a few mistakes (if you look closely, you’ll notice I accidentally purchased two different colors of grey fabric). But with such an easy first-time experience,  I know I will make another chevron quilt in the near future. And coincidentally, when I gave the quilt to my friend, I found out the chevron and the elephants match her nursery perfect. I guess you could just say I am very on top of the current trends!

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A World View

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Another quilt, another day. My mother purchased this fabric for me months ago, asking me to make a quilt for her. At the time, we just had heard the news of our my coming nephew, and I was all into quilt making! Little did I know it would take me forever to finish it (mainly because my crafting leave-of-absence over the summer.)

I started with the fabric. The map piece was a yard, so I purchased a coordinating yard of fabric for the back. Basting it together with a layer of batting, I purchased a ton of black embroidery floss for the next step: quilting.

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I traced each contient. Europe would have killed me if I traced each country. And I will tell you this, the process takes a long time (as hand-sewing does), but I think it is totally worth it.

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I did not hide the knots on the back, My initial thought was the quilt would be cute hung on the wall, so hiding the knots wouldn’t matter. By now I wish I took the extra time and did it anyways.

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Once I finished quilting, I cut down the border to prepare for the binding. I only wanted an 1/2 inch edge.

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For the binding, I cut 2-inch wide strips. See how I finish quilts here.

For a patriotic picnic

With the 4th of July only days away, I wanted to make something “festive,” but I knew I didn’t have enough time to make something big/time consuming. So the idea of napkins seemed simple and easy to make – and trust me, it was! The idea of making the pinwheel design had been floating around my head ever since I made an quilt, and I managed to find this video that made it so easy to make!

  

I started by cutting out 13.5 inch squares from both fabrics. Then I arranged both squares with the right sides facing in and sewed a continuous seam (with a 1/4 inch seam allowance) along all 4 sides.

  

Next, I cut 2 diagonal lines. This created 4 squares with perfect half triangles. I then arranged it into the pinwheel design.

  

Next I sewed together the squares 2 at a time. Then the final 2 rectangles (making sure the center seams were aligned).

      With the top side done, I cut out a back piece from a navy blue fabric. Like before, I created a seam around all the edges, leaving about an inch so I could flip the fabric right side out.

As the final touch, I sewed a seam along the edgse of the finished napkin, securing everything in place.

And with that, it’s done. I made 6 napkins in about 2 hours – again, SO EASY!

 

 

DIY: Throw pillow with Piping

Last week I ran into JoAnn Fabrics to buy something and found myself spending an hour in the store after I stumbled across this fabric. I finally decided that I wanted to make some pillows, so I purchased two 18×18 inch pillow form, a half yard of the floral fabric and a basic blue fabric to match, and cord to make the piping edge.

Before cutting the fabric, I made a game plan. For the 18X18 pillow, I planned to cut a 19×19 inch square (in the floral fabric) and then two 19×12 inch rectangles for the back (in the blue fabric). And then for the piping, I calculated I would need it to be 72″ long.

Making the piping edge was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I purchased the cheapest craft cord I could find. And for the fabric, I cut a long 2″ wide rectangle. I knew it had to be 72″ long, so with the scraps I had leftover I made two 36″ long rectangles.

I then folded the fabric over the chord, and using my zipper foot, I sewed the chord in place. Back to the fabric of the pillow, I took the the 19×19″ square and used a cup to round off the edges.

I did the same with the blue rectangles, but only on one of the long sides. The other long side I hemmed in place (about 1/2 inch).

Then it is time to assemble it all together. I ending up making two pillows. On the first pillow, I assembled each layer, pinned it down and sewed it all together. The second time, I sewed in parts, and it produced a much better pillow. So with the right (floral) side up, I pinned the piping in place (clean edge facing inwards). And I used the zipped foot again to sew in place.

Then I pinned down the two rectangle pieces, alining them with the rounded corners.

Sew it all together, flip it inside out and insert the pillow form – and you have yourself a pretty adorable throw pillow.

DIY: Tablecloth with Ruffle Edge

Have you ever fallen in love with a fabric?

I fell in love with this fabric one day walking through Hobby Lobby, and I literally spent 2 weeks thinking of something I could make out of it. It didn’t come across as a fabric for a skirt or a dress, so I thought beyond clothes. And the idea of a tablecloth finally became clear. So with some measurement and brainstorming, I headed to Hobby Lobby to buy my 3 1/2 yards of the wonderful fabric.

I assembled everything together in the common room of my dorm room. It was definitely a small space (all my cutting took place on the floor), but luckily I had everything I needed, even a dorm room sized ironing board.

Step 1 was measuring. I wanted to send this to my parents, so I had my dad measure the diameter of our patio table (42 inches) back home. And with 44 inch-wide fabric, I decided to cut the circle with that diameter (since I couldn’t get any bigger).

I used a technique to cut the circle from this website that I found when I was doing some pre-sewing research (see her first sketch). But basically, the technique is taking your fabric pencil and attaching it to a string that measures your radius – like a compass circle. After marking, I simply made the cut.

With the top done, step 1 is complete, and it’s time to more on to the ruffled skirt.

And we start step 2 like step 1 with lots of measuring. I measured two long panels 10 inches high and 3 1/2 yards long. After cutting them out, I sewed the two panels together, making a one 5 yard long panel and began pinning the rik rac on the fabric. I placed the rik rac 2 1/2 inches above the unhemmed edge.

In Step 3, we sew on the rik rac. After pinning it down, I simply ran a straight stitch right down the middle of the ribbon. Then I took the time to go back and sew in the zig-zagged pattern, making sure the edges were securely sewed down.

Then I changed the settings of my sewing machine to allow for a looser and longer stitch. With this, I sewed along the upper part of the fabric, not sewing backwards to secure the ends. Then, taking only one string on the end, I gently pulled on the string to gather the fabric. Continually spreading out the fabric and pulling the string to gather the fabric, a nice ruffled effect is created.

And then with right sides together (ignore the left picture above, it is wrong) pin the ruffled skirt to the circled top. With everything in place, sit yourself down at a sewing machine and sew – using the standard 5/8 seam allowance.

The final step is to sew a hem for the skirt (the easiest part) and iron out all the wrinkles. And ta da! You have yourself a beautiful, spring tablecloth.

Note: I did make this for a 42″ round table and the one picture above is on a 35″ one, but I kind of liked how it looks here. (I’m thinking I might have to make another one!)

DIY: Cloth Napkins

What’s fancier than having a cloth napkin? Think about it, have you ever been to a nice restaurant that sets the table with paper napkins and plastic silverware? No, of course not. So I have decided that even though the college lifestyle has been defined by paper plates and plastic cups in the past, we are a generation with more of a refined taste. (Or we should try to be at least).

On a college budget, purchasing these napkins could be a little pricing (depending on where you go), so of course, I highly suggest the option of making them for yourself.

I chose to make 16″ squares for my napkins, so with the patterned fabric, I measured and cut a 17″ square. Then with the solid fabric, I measured and cut a 16″ square. I laid out the two fabrics with the patterned side on the bottom and wrong sides together.

I then took an iron and pressed up the sides of the patterned fabric, pinning the fabric in place for the moment.

Once sitting down at the sewing machine, I folded the edge under again so the frayed edges was not visible. Then I simply straight stitched the edge.

It’s as simple as that. Now nothing is stopping you from living a life free of paper napkins and plastic forks!

Note: I used 1.5 yards of each fabric to create 5 napkins.