Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

Archive of ‘Scrap happiness’ category

Happy Day!

It’s National Quilting Day! I’m thinking of some of the special quilts I’m happy to have in my life: The two quilts my sister made for my kids, the quilted wall-hangings that add color to my walls and this one: A quilt a friend commissioned. I made it out of her little girls’ outgrown baby clothes. il_570xN.37357022

Isn’t this a wonderful hobby we all share? Something that creates beauty and meaning, and is a whole lot of creative fun in the process. What do you like most about quilting?

Basket o’ scraps

Just a few days ago, I received another warning of incoming fabric. When a friend’s mom decided it was time to clean out her fabric stash, my name apparently came up. So the bags appeared on my porch. (This happens with some frequency.)

It’s all good, though, there’s some very cool almost-vintage pieces in these bags. Thanks, Nancy!

In the mix are classic ginghams in a variety of colors. Does gingham make anyone else think of spring? Maybe I should try this sweet project with my kids. All we would need are these instructions from I Can Teach My Child, fabric squares, white glue and a balloon.

Fabric easter basket

Flight of fantasy

Sometimes a trip down the rabbit hole of the Interwebs turns up crazy beautiful things. Following a post on Selvedge Magazine’s Facebook page, I came across British textile artist Mister Finch, who transforms aged fabrics into magical beings. This  Textile Butterfly is just one of the winged beauties in his online portfolio.  Does this make you look at antique textiles with a new eye?


Chick magnet

Easter is early this year…just a few weeks away, actually. I’m a sucker for all the sweet charm of chicks and fresh spring colors. Wouldn’t it be fun to dig through the scrap bin and whip up a few spring peepers? Find instructions for these delightful feathered friends at Selvedge magazine.

Selvedge magazine chicks

Super scrap buster

This sparkly project grows as you go. It’s the Twinkle Coverlet from Malka Dubrawsky, and it’s hand-stitched. Just add circles until you have the size you prefer. In this cold weather, I love having  a project I can work on while I’m snuggled up on the sofa. How about you? Grab the pattern and start going round and round! You can see more photos here on Malka’s blog.

Twinkle coverlet pattern

Late to the party

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock with me, you quilters know there’s a whole lot of stripping going on around the quilty universe. Seems everyone and her sister is making a version of the trip around the world quilt and posting it on Instagram (#scrappytripalong).

Seriously, there are more than two thousand photos on Instagram of these scrappy darlings. It warms my eco-green heart to see so many folks heading to their stash and discovering how much beauty they can conjure up.

After seeing a demo of the process at last week’s meeting of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, and reading the tutorial on Quiltville I joined in the fun….even though the last time I made a quilt from a pattern I had a headache for days. This isn’t really like following a pattern, though. Much can be left to chance and the blocks go together in a jif.

Here’s the progress so far….


Three sheets to the wind

No, this is not a post about a drunken debauchery: It’s about eco-friendly laundry practices (a tiny departure from the usual Fabric Salad information on sewing and quilting–but we’ll get back to that in just a few paragraphs.) Shop Ethica offers some common-sense guidelines on its web site for greening your laundry routine. (By the way, the shop also sells a wide range of eco-happy goods.)

One way to save energy is  by hanging sheets (and your other laundry) in the wind. I made a foray into outdoor drying after receiving a top-of-the-line (pun intended) drying line from Lehmans. The habit didn’t last, since I seem to find myself always doing laundry late at night. I’m re-committing myself here and now. Even just one load hung outside each week will save on electricity.

Are you with me? One way to get motivated might be to stitch up an adorable clothespin holder. Here’s some inspirational eye-candy (see more on my Pinterest board).

Fun fabrics make these bags from TieDyeDiva a cheerful sight on laundry day. Grab the pattern and make your own:

clothespin bag pattern

Make a bag with vintage charm using this tutorial from Knick Knacks and Ric Rac:

clothespin bag from Knick Knacks and Ric Rac

Make a bag super fast by re-purposing a handtowel. This tutorial from the Happy Housewife shows you how:

clothespin bag from Happy Housewife

Happy, scrappy hearts

I took down the holiday decorations yesterday. I love the sparkle of the lights and ornaments, but every year it makes me happy to have it all put away. I actually look forward to that feeling of  open space and a blank slate where the tree stood and mantel decorations heaped up. To me, the fresh-swept look so perfectly echoes the possibilities of a new year.

But then…

Just when the novelty of that austere look starts to fade and the world outside seems lifeless and dreary, the Valentines pop up, with their candy-sweet colors and velvety luxury. Why not deck the halls (just a bit) with a few easy-to-whip-up hearts? I’ve gathered inspiration for you on a Pinterest board. Here are a few highlights:

First up, from The Adventures of Blue Girl XO, this lovely:


Find a tutorial on her blog. 

Tracy B Designs sells all manner of adorable-ness on etsy. These stuffie bouquets are so sweet:

Tracy B Designs

Finally, this beautiful wall decor is shown on Honey Bee Vintage in paper, but it could easily be translated to a scrap fabric project. Just cut out the hearts and run a line of machine stitching down each to create “columns” of hanging hearts. What a charming way to tuck your loved one in to bed each night.

Wall decor from Honey Bee Vintage

Snug-as-a-bug rug

This Christmas, my sister surprised me with a handwoven rug she made with the help of my kids. Woven on a loom like this one, the rug is so soft and super thick, perfect for the cold floor under my desk. I recognize some of the fabrics they used–several were of the “what was I thinking?” variety, but they look great woven in strips. Metal bars along the sides of the rug loom help keep the weaving straight and even. My sister swears this was not a difficult project. How lucky am I?

woven rug