Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Placemats turned Tablerunner DIY

I was at the dollar store with my friend when I ran across these placemats.


I liked their crisp blue and white color and the stripes.  But I really didn’t need placemats, and remember:  at my house things like that have to come in sets of ten!  Then I remembered my laundry room.  I’ve been looking for a super simple runner to put on top of one of my dryers……..  you know how those  moments go, when inspiration strikes.  I put four of them in my cart and brought them home!

I decided to rip open the seam on the short ends so that I could stitch the entire length of the runner closed at the end, and have it look like one long, tidy seam.


I left the long sides as they were and decided not to unstitch them.  I could handle a thick seam if I ironed well, I thought.  Since this cotton weave frays easily, I also didn’t want any raw edges underneath.  I placed right sides together and stitched the four placemats together lengthwise.  Notice I’m not sewing the sides with the open seams.


Next I pressed the seams open on the back and flipped the runner over to press it once more.


Finally I folded the long sides back under and stitched them up!  This is what the back side of the runner now looks like, with the thick seams connecting the placemats together pressed open, and the hem down the side folded over the seam and stitched up.


The top side of the runner looks like this.  I like how tidy the seam looks.


Ta-da!  Only about 30 minutes in all.


Excitedly I took it to my laundry room to see how it would look…..


Perfect!  I wanted something to protect the top of my dryer from being scratched by my vintage metal basket, and I wanted it to fit the style of the room.


Just what I pictured.  I really like how it’s so simple looking.  The placemats are 100% cotton, but not a quality weave.  Still, they work great and have the look of linen toweling.  The perfect fit for my space.


Simple, inexpensive, and done in 30 minutes.  I like it!
You could do this same thing with lots of materials instead of placemats.  You could use kitchen towels, linen napkins, vintage handkerchiefs, etc.  The sky is the limit (that’s the way creativity works!).


Brinley’s Blossoms baby quilt

My brother and his wife had their first baby last week.  A little girl.  They named her Brinley.

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We visited them this week, and she is adorable!  She looks just like her mommy, and is smaller than any of my 8 babies were.  I loved holding her, even though it made me feel like my baby is huge.

We took Brinley her baby gift, a rag quilt that I designed and named “Brinley’s Blossoms” in honor of my niece.
I managed to get a little tag on it before we wrapped it up:

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I used the same fabrics in this quilt that I used in the one I made for my baby a few months ago.  I really loved this line!
(Forgive the poor pictures; we were in a hurry and it was night and I couldn’t take any decent ones.)

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It’s a simple strip quilt with some flowers appliqued on top and in a couple of block strips.

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It was a lot of fun to make, and gratefully it was a quick project (or I might never have finished it!)
I always love the way the backs of rag quilts look:

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There’s no plain side with quilts like these!

And, finally, here is a close up of a new idea I tried, and I must say I’m really excited about it both because it turned out so cute and because it’s truly my very own idea!  I’ve never seen anyone do anything like this before:

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A scalloped border!  I love the way it turned out, and I think that I’m going to try another quilt using this idea.
I’ve got something in mind….

Rouenneries by French General

I’ve been waiting to see this fabric for MONTHS.  I’ve been stopping by my local quilt shop WEEKLY since the first week in October to ask the same question:  do you have French General’s line in yet?  And they kept telling me to come back next week.

Then, finally, on Halloween, I walked into the shop and saw this:

Rouenneries by French General on the bolt

Oh my!  “Forget Halloween!”  I thought.  Let’s do some sewing!

So beautiful!  I love the reds, the neutrals…

Rouenneries fat quarters

I seriously stood there, just looking at all of it, unable to decide which prints I liked best or which to purchase some of, for at least 20 minutes.  Finally I just got out my camera, because I couldn’t really decide, and I can’t afford all of it (not to mention the fact that my fabric stash is already too large).

Rouenneries on bolts

The wovens were amazing.  That one above, with the red dots on a neutral, is so classy!
These linens with the birds are also beautiful.

Rouenneries birds

And can I just say that this little dot and stripe pattern near the selvage on each bolt is the cutest thing ever?
What a classy way to introduce yourself to the world of fabric designing!  In case, you’re not familiar with French General, you can visit their website and learn more about Kaari Meng here.  I promise, you’ll love looking at all of the vintage beads, baubles, millinery and so forth that she sells.  Really beautiful.

Rouenneries selvage

I’ve never seen a line of quilting fabric before where I actually wanted a piece of every one.  This time, I’d love some of everything, thank you.

The bummer is, though, that none of the quilt shops near me ordered the print that I liked the most (based on pictures).  It’s an oyster stripe with big bold neutral stripes of equal widths.  I had this project all planned out in my head and it was built around that print, but nobody has it!  Thank goodness for the internet, where at length I was able to locate an obscure quilt shop which has some of it.  (What would I do without the internet?  It makes possible so many treasure hunts that could never happen otherwise.)  When it arrives, I’ll get to work on my project.

In the end, I went home with one of these:

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A layer cake, which will provide a nice sampling of the beauty.  Something about seeing a stack of fabric bundled up like a fresh pad of paper really gets me.  I’ll sew a simple quilt with it, supplemented by some 1/8 yard pieces of a few wovens which I purchased as well.  With this line, I’m preferring the patterns that let you just look at the fabric, instead of having the prints themselves overwhelmed by the design of the quilt.

There’s also a kit for one of these with my name on it.   So simple, but gorgeous.

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And don’t you think that dotted fabric would make a smart looking one of these?

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I’m thinking I might need to grab one of those patterns and make one, since my current purse is, literally, threadbare.  You can find it at Fig Tree Quilts.  I love their patterns.  Someday I’m going to make this one.  Every couple of months I get the pattern out of my stack and look at it and sigh.

Seriously, everything I’m seeing lately I’m thinking would look lovely with the Rouenneries line and it appears that I’m not alone.  So wherever you are, Kaari, well done.  I love it.

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