Fabric Scarves

Fabric scarf with button 2I’ve been sewing up a storm in a bit of a pre-Christmas frenzy. Many of the items I’m making will be gifts, so photos of those projects will have to wait. But I have squeezed in some non-gift and early gift projects, too.

The first such item is a scarf for my sister Jenny. I made her one using this same pattern a few years ago, and since she wears it all winter long, I thought I’d add a new one to her rotation.

Fabric scarf with button

The pattern for this scarf comes from the book Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky. The book project is super scrappy, but I chose to simplify it a bit with fewer fabrics. The pattern calls for all the fabrics to be cut on the bias, so it will curve nicely around the neck. The front is pieced with cotton fabrics and the back is a piece of flannel. The finished scarf is about 4 inches wide and 26 inches long.

I had all the fabric pieces cut out and was sewing them together when I finally realized the dark color in the orange and pink print is actually purple and not chocolate brown. Gah! Luckily, Jenny isn’t the type to care too much about colors matching exactly, but it might be time for some better lighting in the ol’ craft room.

Fabric scarf button detail

The button I used is a vintage one I picked up at a Quilt Market somewhere along the line. The card I bought came with about 6 different buttons, all orange and this same size, but in different designs. By the way, Jenny, I’ve decided everything I make for you will be orange and pink—hope you don’t mind!

Deer scarf

The next scarf I made was one for me. It too has flannel on the back and pieced cotton on the front. It’s about 5.5 inches wide and 70 inches long. Since this one doesn’t need to fit as close to the neck, I didn’t bother cutting the fabrics on the bias. I didn’t use a pattern for this one—I just measured the length and width of a scarf I liked and added 1/4 inch on all sides for the seam allowance.

Scarf fabrics

Once I finished that one, I got to thinking that my mother-in-law Susan might like the gold and gray color palette, too. So I switched up some of the fabrics, and cut the birch fabric a bit differently for her scarf. In my gift-giving rush, I forgot to take a photo of the finished scarf before I gave it to her on Tuesday, but above are the fabrics I used.

I hope you’re doing a bit of holiday crafting, too!

Winter Sun Mug Rug and Gift Exchange

Winter sun 1Last night, we had our annual holiday gift exchange at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. We started out the meeting with a potluck dinner and then it was time to give our handmade gifts to the person whose name we received at the November meeting. The gift I made was for Ellen, a fan of pink and orange and of fabric designers Valori Wells, Kate Spain, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and Melody Miller.

I was a bit surprised to find I didn’t have fabric from any of those designers in those colors in my stash. Plenty of pink, plenty of orange, and I’d heard of all of the designers. But I found I had a only  few pieces in other colorways. So a trip to the store was in order—well, actually trips to three different fabric stores were in order before I found three fabrics from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line that I thought might work.

The fabrics truly were “sunny,” so I stayed with that theme and made a mug rug sun. I can’t seem to get string quilts out of my system, so I cut the fabric into strips between 1.25 and 2 inches wide. I placed the 2-inch yellow strip in the corner of my stabilizer first, and then sewed the remaining strips on either side to form the rays of the sun. To keep the rays moving around the circle, I angled the strips so that they were narrower at the base and wider at the ends.

I appliqued the circle shape over the narrow ends of the rays with Steam-a-Seam Lite.

Winter sun back

With the top done, I pieced the back with some of the leftover fabrics. I quilted the piece with yellow thread, echoing the straight lines of the rays and the curved lines of the circle.

Winter sun binding

I tried out a few different binding options, but I found I really liked the floral fabric around the sun and the white fabric around the rays. That meant a two-fabric binding! Yikes.

My goal was to have the two fabrics meet in the center of the mitered corners but that didn’t happen. A lucky accident did happen, however: the floral fabric ended a bit short of each corner, and that made the binding look like more rays of the sun! Good enough. The finished piece measures approximately 10.5 x 10.5 inches.

And what did I come home with, you may ask? Our dedicated Guild President Jessica at A Little Gray received my name and made this lovely pillow for me using colors inspired by some of my recent projects.

Pillow from Jessica

Love the colors, love the quilting. And Jessica wins the prize for the tautest, nicest envelop closure I’ve ever seen on a pillow!

Pillow from Jessica back

More Fabric Baskets

fabric baskets 2

Hello! It’s been a while! My creative juices seemed to have dried up after I had surgery at the beginning of October, and they just recently started flowing again. The challenge that got me back on my feet sewing-wise came from my sister Jenny. She asked if I would make some fabric baskets for her bathroom. She had seen the one I made for a challenge at a recent Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting and thought they might work for her.

The first one I made for Jenny to get my feet wet was the large basket from the same Whipstitch tutorial I used for my previous basket. It’s about 12 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 7 inches tall.

bicycle fabric basic

It felt great to sew that basket. Once Jenny said she liked it, I started thinking of ways I could change it up for the other three. I started out easy and just added interior fabric to the handles of the next basket. This one, too, measures about 12 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 7 inches tall. Jenny’s painting the bathroom a couple shades of gray, so I thought this interior fabric might be good if she needs to store more manly items.

plaid fabric basket

Jenny asked that the remaining two baskets be a bit smaller, and she said I could skip the handles. For basket three I decided to add a sweet little pocket of fussy-cut fabric from the Heather Ross Briar Rose fabric line. It’s the same fabric I used in the interior of this basket, which measures approximately 9 inches long, 9 wide, and 7 inches tall. I imagine hair ribbons for my niece Stella going in this one.

pocket fabric basket

For the fourth and final basket, I pulled out all the stops. Well, not really. But it was pretty tricky to add a cuff to the top of the basket.

Cuffed fabric basic

For this one, I cut the interior fabric about 3 inches taller than I did for the other baskets, then I just turned that excess down to form a cuff and topstitched it both at the top of the cuff and at the bottom.

fabric baskets

And with that, four finished fabric baskets!

Looking at this photos, I can tell I’m not totally on top of my sewing game yet. But I’m trying to not let wavy top edges and puckered interiors get me too down. Because it felt so good to just crank these out, making little changes to make each one special. It’s good to be back!