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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Patchworked Projects

Hello my fabulous Crafters! After the holidays I finally had a chance to go through and clear out the giant woven baskets full of scrap fabrics from the last six months or so of sewing and I had way too many fabric scraps.Way-Too-Many! 

Here are some photos of my latest woven rug. I honestly couldn't be happier with it. Normally I split them up into shorter area rugs but every once in a while I have enough waft of similar colors to make a longer one. This one measures out at 30" in width x 94" in length for the woven rug portion (76.2 cm x 238.8 cm) and then the strands on the ends are an additional 8" in length (20.3 cm)

I usually use all of the cotton fabric scraps for the woven rugs, and those fabric scraps that make up the waft are most certainly patch worked together fabric strip by fabric strip, but this time around the amount of fabric scraps was too overwhelming just for woven rug waft so I just started quilting in order to be more or less fabric scrap free. I am certainly not there yet but I have managed to work through such a huge amount of fabric pieces and that's a start.

Here are a few quilts and blankets from past projects...

It took a few days of sewing and trimming but I ended up with 2 matching quilted pieces for a blanket or two and those are probably more for boys than girls as neither quilted panel has a flower in sight! I imagine I will probably split the panels up for two matching quilts for boys as I personally like a simply solid for the backside of quilts. I might even line the quilted pieces, add a zippered closure and add a padded insert and I have a giant dog bed. I haven’t decided yet. 

Once I finished the two smaller panels I still had a ton of scrap fabrics, many of which were more female inspired with the orange owls and the dragonfly and flower designs throughout. This panel is HUGE and will probably end up being a queen or king sized blanket. Perfect for those cold nights when you want to curl up by the fire and watch a movie or even for when guests surprise you and you need some extra sleeping gear.  

In the end the randomly quilted sections might not be perfectly coordinated with the odd shaped pieces patch worked together, but I ended up freeing myself of scrap fabric madness by way of sewing my little heart.  Once I finished making those quilted pieces I then moved onto the Baby Kimono sets. Those are also made with trims in a number of fabric prints however I usually end up purchasing most of these prints specifically for the kimono sets. I currently have 6 sets being worked on as we speak. These take days to make but they do turn out pretty cute.  I am getting closer and closer to having these kimono sets listed in the shop…

Here are a few images of finished Baby Kimonos from the past.

While working through my fabric scrap piles I even came across what I consider the cutest pattern for little slippers and zippered pouches. That’s right, every so often a girl just needs to get away from the craft room and hunt down some pretty new sewing patterns. These slippers are for adults and I really liked the ‘cuteness factor’ of the mixed up pattern pieces not only for the slippers but also for the zippered pouches. Along with currently working on the 6 new baby kimono sets I also have about 9 or so slippers and zippered pouches in the works. You will see those listed on Craftzies soon as well.

For these slippers I found the use of my embroidered, brocade and silky fabric scraps useful and since these don’t make it into my woven rugs and kimono sets like the cottons do, this was a perfect way to use the extra pieces I have been saving. I have also found that suede cloth scraps and also non-slippery and tightly woven upholstery scraps work really well as a stable base for the bottom of the slippers as well. If the bottoms of the slippers end up too slippery then I would probably grab a bottle of fabric paint and tab little paint dots on the bottom, adding a little hatch mark or just flatten the dots with a butter knife or something equally flat that won’t stick. A hardware spatula would work just fine if you have one on hand. Try a test on a swatch of the fabric before adding to your newly made slipper until you are satisfied with the technique. This will hopefully add a bit of resistance to the bottom of the slippers and make them less slippery. I don't have any images of finished slippers yet, they are still in the works, but I will of course upload new photos as soon as they are finished. 

Another project I recently found myself working on was in making one of my laundry baskets a bit more user friendly. I had a bunch of Hawaiian fabric scraps left over from my last project so along with making a removable laundry bag for the inside, I gathered the strips and sewed them together just as I would for the waft of a woven rug, but instead of weaving them I just slowly wrapped the strip of fabric through the holes around the outer edge. This not only enhanced the look of the basket a bit more but more importantly it helped hold down any areas of the basket that wanted to pop out and break. 

I added ties and little metal snaps to keep the liner held up on the inside.

And so, that sort of wraps it up as to how and where I use up fabric scraps to keep myself a little neater and probably a little bit more sane around here. Well, the sane part has yet to be determined but hopefully some of these ideas will inspire some of you out there to make some fabulous new projects out of your own fabric extras. For those of you out there that sew a lot, using scraps is not only a great way to clean out space but it turns out it’s a happy reminder of those prints again in new projects. When I look at my finished woven rugs I always find myself in a rather cheerful state because I secretly know that the orange fabrics made the cutest of owl skirts and the reds made the cheerful little desk chair covers. The blues made the most fabulous slip covers and some of those baby prints made the cutest of baby blankets, some for customers, some for family, but never the less, crafted projects from the past do indeed come to life again as you work those patch worked memories into something new. And so, I no longer can say I don’t quilt and I can no longer pass up the opportunity to recognize the work and time and creativity that goes into quilting because not only do I find myself adding more and more into my own crafting projects but I finally truly understand or maybe just finally admit that I do know what it means to fall in love with those patch worked pieces all over again.

Until we meet again, Happy Quilting!

Lindsay ;)

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