Sew

Day 3 – Make Your Own – Fabric Coasters

Also known as “mug rugs”, these simple little fabric coasters are a great project. They can be done quickly, with little sewing experience, and are so easy to match your personality or that of your gift recipient. This is a wonderful time to enjoy the mindfulness of each stitch and each choice that you make. I will be making many more for friends and family this year!

As I said, not much sewing skill is needed. This can be done be machine, but I prefer to hand stitch whenever I can. It slows me down and allows me to enjoy every stitch. Here’s what you do:

1. Choose whatever 1-2 pieces of fabric speak to you. That could be an old handkerchief, clothes from the past, an old tea-towel with sentimental value, or in my case, a bandana on one and a scrap of colorful fabric on the other.

You will also need something to give it a little cushion – some batting, some felt (wool is preferred for its natural qualities), or an old towel you don’t mind cutting up.

2. Cut your fabric in 2 squares and your batting in 1. The smaller size coaster is 5” square and the larger is 5 1/2” square. It is up to you and you can make this even bigger if you want to use it for a teapot or something like that.

3.  Layer the three pieces and start to sew them together. Remember to leave about a 2-3 inch opening so that you can turn it inside out. Stitch a bit more than 1/4 inches from the edge. You can draw a line if you need it to keep your stitches straight but it is not so important that you can’t just take your time and straighten as you go.

I like to use embroidery thread for this because it is heavier and easier to see than regular thread. I use 3 strands at a time.

4. Turn your work inside out and use your finger or a chopstick to get the corners nice and flat. Press your new fabric coaster with an iron to get it to really lay nicely. Take one strand of the embroidery thread or regular thread and carefully stitch the opening closed, hiding the thread as much as possible.

5. Now is the fun part – embellishing! Add little touches to make it match your personality or that of your recipient. I added a little wool felt tab and stitches in a contrasting color (also embroidery thread) but you can add whatever you like. Just make sure the embellishment does not interfere with the cup or glass sitting flat on the coaster. The button I added on the larger one sits well outside where I put my cup.

This is the way I start my day – with my green tea (in one of my favorite mugs from a family reunion a long time ago), and a sweet little glass of anti-oxidents (Ningxia Red).

Make the Most of the End of Summer

In some parts of the country you creative types are already looking at worsted weight projects and toasty slippers. But down here in far South Texas, we are still in the thick of summer. Wherever you happen to live, there is still time for a few last weeks of tank wearing weather.

To help you (and me) out, I did a little research to seek out my last summer pattern. Whether you choose to sew or knit, here are a few simple patterns that are ready to go.

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Make Your Own – Hot/Cold Rice Bags

We have an issue in our house with nosebleeds. I know, kinda gross, but Malcolm gets them every time it gets really dry. As soon as it happens we try to dry it up and then put a little bag of ice on the bridge of his nose to try to keep it from continuing. It is wet and messy and uncomfortable for him to try to go back to bed with that on his face (yes, it almost always happens in the middle of the night) but we do it because it helps.

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Mother’s Day DIY

What’s better for a little heart-felt (pun intended :-)) gift than something you made yourself. And this sweet little flower brooch is an easy way to do that. Plus you can personalize the colors that your mom, or other special chick in your life, like best. I used 3 different rough circles (making them a bit uneven adds to the quirkiness of the flower), a leaf shaped piece in the back, a cute button, and a pin back from a craft store. That’s it! I layered them together and stitched through all layers with embroidery thread to add even a bit more color. With the same thread, I stitched on the pin back. Viola! A sweet little gift that’s really good for anytime of the year.

My preference for materials is always natural or recycled so for this I used wool felt (poly felt will work too but wool is softer and doesn’t have that machined look) and a button that I’ve had in my stash – I probably picked up at a garage sale.

The other great thing about this simple little brooch is that it has a dual purpose. It is great to just pep up an outfit but, because it’s wool, it can double as a diffuser. Drip a drop or two of Stress Away or Lavender on this little pin for a relaxing scent all day! I love it when things I make are functional too.

To learn more about the awesomeness of Essential Oils click here.

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Make Mending Creative

Oh, the joy of kids and how hard they are on clothes. This has been an ongoing issue for us with a son that loves to cut fabric (I guess he’s trying to be like mom…) and loves to rough-house. I decided that throwing these away was just not an option so I had to come up with a creative way to mend them. Several years ago I came across Sashiko stitching and knew that was my answer. It is an easy and creative way to make these clothes last as long as possible.

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