Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

Wipe out scraps

So do you make gifts for the holidays or no? Sometimes it’s a tough call–you know how much work a project calls for and you wonder if the recipient will even like the finished product.  And with so many other obligations clamoring for your time right now, it often feels more efficient to just run to the store or order something online. This year, like most, I’ll make a few gifts and shop for others. As I shop, though, I’m giving priority to items that are handmade.

If you have a little one on your list this year, this brilliant use of fabric scraps would be a perfect gift. Quiet, green and fun for baby, this wipe container re-make by Kim Bond of A Spotted Pony is simply brilliant.

Wipe Container Toy

Upcycled luggage tag off the cuff

With a bit of inspiration from Pinterest, I made two luggage tags using cuffs from cast-off shirts. I purchased shirts in women’s and larger boys’ sizes. The cuffs from men’s shirts seemed a bit too large for the project.

I sewed along each side of the cuff to create a pocket for a card that lists the luggage owner’s contact information.

I replaced the buttons on one of the tags to give it a bit more personality. I cut the neckband from the shirt and used it (with its convenient buttonhole) as the strap to wrap around the suitcase handle.  I’ll demo this project at my local Make It, Take It evening at the end of this month!

upcycled luggage tag from dress shirt

Jean Mutation

If you’re a quilter or sewist, and your friends know it, sooner or later, you’re going to end up with “The Bag.” Sometimes The Bag is dumped at your front step in the dead of night. Sometimes, it’s handed to you out of the trunk of someone’s car. What’s in The Bag? You know…it’s fabric or old clothes or a mix of both. Things your friend just knows that you–with all your sewing skills–can put to good use.

“When did I become the home for wayward fabric?” you cry. I, too, used to dread The Bag.

But now I see these cast-offs through my “green” glasses. There just might be treasure in The Bag.

I still have a bag of jeans someone gifted to me. Looking for inspiration, I went straight to Pinterest (my board is Mutated Jeans) and found enough ideas to fill dozens of bags. One highlight is a pin from the Quilt Inspiration blog that offers a handful of denim patchwork ideas. Jeanius!

Jeans redeemed at International Quilt Festival

“My religion is quilts,” proclaims Estonian quilter Marja Matiisen. “Textiles sewn in quilts,” she says, “have made it to heaven.”

For countless pairs of cast off jeans, Marja’s a savior. Her quilt “Green Blue Planet Under Siege” hung at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last week, proving that salvaged fabric can be just as beautiful as new.

Green Blue Planet Under Siege by Marja Matiisen

Special thanks to The Plaid Portico for the photos of Green Blue Planet Under Siege by Marja Matiisen.

detail Green Blue Planet Under SiegeWooden spools add dimension to another of Marja’s jeanious re-creations: Sanctuary for Old Jeans.

Sanctuary for Old Jeans by Marja Matiisen


Age and beauty

Rich colors, glorious patina, the beauty of a life well-lived: It’s all there in the vintage Indian quilts offered by MUNY (a blend of Mumbai and New York).

Quilt with sari border

MUNY vintage quilt

Bye-bye baggies

My daughter pointed it out to me first: Using plastic baggies every day in her lunch was really wasteful. Hard to argue with an 8-year-old tree-hugger, so we bought a few reusable cloth bags for her sandwiches and snacks. Anything that doesn’t fit in the bags goes into a reusable container.

The High Fiber ups the eco-quotient in their snack bags by lining them with unbleached organic cotton fabric. And, they’re adorable, too.

The High Fiber snack bags


Vintage charm in the bag

Something about the cheery floral patterns on vintage sheets always reminds me of the Brady Bunch. Whether you spent your Friday nights with Marsha, Jan and Bobby or not, the homey appeal of vintage sheets is irresistible.

Heather Grow shares a tutorial for transforming a vintage pillowcase into an adorable grocery bag on her Vintage Sheet Blog.

Vintage Sheet blog tutorial

G’day, it’s Wombat Day!

Here’s a holiday I can heartily embrace: Wombat Day. Held each year in October, the holiday celebrates Australia’s favorite burrowing, nocturnal mammal, and includes (sign me up) chocolate cake, fudge and gumdrops. Where has this holiday been?

Fortunately, this year, we’re all in the know, thanks to Lindsey Rhodes,  over at LR Stitched. She whipped up this adorable tunic from organic cotton in the Wombat Wonderland collection by Saffron Craig. Take a look at the line and enjoy savings today from Honey Be Good online fabric shop.

A special thanks to Wombania for information on all things wombat.

Leaf it to Janie

The leaves are turning gorgeous colors here, but how cool would it be to see trees decked out in the luscious colors of Daisy Janie’s new line, New Leaf?

New Leaf from Daisy Janie


Raking leaves would be so much better if they fell in hot hues of lemon, berry and tangerine.
Designer Jan Dicintio crafted the line of 100 percent organic cotton and included Festoon, a  selvedge-to-selvedge repeat pattern pictured in the middle of the photo. You could cut strips parallel to the selvedge and use for borders or sashing, use it as a cheater panel or just enjoy the happy jumble of colors in a whole cloth quilt.
Jan (who blogs here) previews this line at Quilt Market next week, and expects it in stores this winter.