Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Sewing School Challenge

There is something so wonderful about summertime. I love the slower pace of summer days. No rushing to get kiddos to school on time (or rushing to pick them up at the end of the day). Catching fireflies in the yard before bedtime. Mornings in the berry patch picking blueberries and blackberries and the yummy pies that get baked afterwards...

Summer is also a slower time for my shops, which is actually a nice little break. This little breather before the holiday shopping season begins is a great time to catch up on things that have been neglected during busier times. As I recovered from the car accident that I had back in January, my computer time became somewhat limited because being at the computer added to the pain in my back caused by the accident. So over the past 6 months, my blog has been neglected. I am hoping to fix that this summer.

I've decided to use my summer to finish up some personal projects that I've been working on for far too long (like my t-shirt quilt that has been in the works for over 2 years now!) and to challenge myself to learn at least 1 new sewing technique/project each week. I started last week, and I had forgotten how much I like making something new. So, over the next few weeks I am planning on sharing my personal summer sewing school challenge with all of you.

First up was Fabric Coasters. I love wooden furniture, so I love coasters. I have them all over the place. One of my favorites was this interwoven one that my mother-in-law gave to me a few years ago so that I could try to recreate it. Well it has sat on my desk holding many a glass for quite awhile, until I finally got around to deconstructing it last week.

I made a few changes to the original - made it a bit bigger to accomodate some of my bigger mugs, added some top stitching, changed the batting and in the end I was quite happy with the final result.

That first set was so much fun to make that I decided to make my mom a set too, but I wanted to make something for her to store them in. So, I made a small coil basket for her to match her coaster set.

The coil basket was cute, but it wasn't a great fit. Back to the drawing board ... I started playing around with a Japanese fabric tray design, made some adjustments and voila! I came up with something I really liked.

I am the kind of person that when I find something I like I tend to do it over and over and over again. (Like when I first discovered Dave Matthews my sophomore year of college, I think my roommate was about ready to throw my CD player out the window!) So, I went on a bit of a coaster making frenzy last week and made about 16 different sets of coasters! I decided to put them up for sale in my handmade shop here. It is always fun to try out new items in my shop & if they don't end up selling very well, you can guess what everyone on my Christmas list will be getting in their stocking this year!

Up next .... Pincushions!
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