Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

A new hue or two

Tangerine, plum, berry…the new fall color shades in the Pure Organic line from Robert Kaufman sound juicy. Not feeling fruity? How about colors like lagoon, lake, grass and sky? Either way, you can’t go wrong with fabric that’s 100 percent organic cotton and colored with low-impact dyes. Wrap it up! I’ll take it!

Pure Organic Fall 2012

A sort story

Craft Buds photo

Once upon a time, I had two large plastic bins filled to overflowing with scraps of fabric. I just couldn’t get rid of any of the little pretties. Clearly, I heart scraps.

Back to those overflowing bins: One day, I realized that the bins would fit under my guest bed, so now I can have all my scraps, but I don’t have to look at them every day. And I lived happily ever after. The end.

Bet you thought I was going to tell you how I carefully sorted through my scraps, organizing them by color. I did do that once, a long, long time ago…at least I think I did.

Take heart! Unruly scraps can be herded into sweet little piles. Take some tips from Lindsay Conner at Craft Buds. She’ll walk you through the process and get you fired up to turn those leftovers into a feast.



Use ’em up!

For our first family pet, naming rights went to my daughter. After trying out several options (Butterscotch and Nemo), she settled on “Squiggles.” It is pretty perfect for our sweet orange boy.

But, if another cat falls into our lap (being very careful of what I wish for), I’d name him or her “Scraps.” That’s how much I love my scraps. I save every bit of fabric. I save long bits of thread. I almost started saving empty plastic thread spools the other day.

So is my inability to toss any fabric scrap larger than a postage stamp thrift or the first sign of a deep disorder? Debatable, but in the “Yea for thriftiness!”  column, I’d place this runner I made from bits and pieces I had in my scrap bin.

scrappy runner


Add to the scrap happiness this project from Sandi Henderson’s book, Sewing Bits and Pieces. The instructions for this adorable pinwheel project are on her web site. Sandi blogs about sewing, crafts and the stuff of life.

Sandi Henderson pinwheel project

From tatters to treasure

Ann Wood Owl

So, have you ever picked up a tattered piece of centuries-old clothing and immediately thought, “I can make this into a breathtaking owl!”?

No, neither have I.

But Ann Wood does. She fashions the most amazing birds, boats and bats out of salvaged tidbits, scraps and buttons. You can find more of her awe-inspiring creations on her website and read about her creative process on her blog.

Get in the grove

Grove Home Dec from Birch

Birch Organics announced its first foray into home decorator fabrics last week with The Grove. The line of heavier-weight organic cotton features graphics inspired by Birch Organic’s Jay-Cyn Designs’ backyard wildlife in California.

The color palette and reined-in prints make the line perfect for a wide variety of decor styles.


Can you can?

I do try to eat local, and know that I could stretch my local foods by learning how to can. People say it’s easy, but I think I would end up putting up a whole batch of botulism.


Guess I’ll just stick with eating corn and tomatoes when they’re fresh…and maybe calling in a few favors on my friends who cook up sauce by the quart.

Or, I could live vicariously through this adorable print from Samantha Cotterill. Charming, isn’t it? If you want to get a closer look at Samantha’s enchanting illustrations check out her blog Mummy Sam. To purchase a yard or two of her organic knit fabric, visit her etsy shop.

Kitchen Jars fabric from Mummy Sam.

Hemp gets high eco marks

Kentucky tobacco farmers looking to make good use of their land are campaigning for their state to legalize the growing of hemp. Folks across the state can lower their eyebrows: It’s the stalks of the plant (not their intoxicating flowers) that are a valuable commodity. Among the many uses of hemp are to make fabrics that, like flax linen, are hard-wearing and versatile.

Online retailer Hemp Traders sings even greater praise for hemp fabrics, saying they keep wearers cool in summer, warm in winter and are smooth, strong and highly absorbent.

Hemp is eco-friendly too: Growing the plant requires no pesticides or herbicides.

Among the offerings at Hemp Traders are linen fabrics in several weights. The company says the fabric becomes softer with every washing.


Interested in getting a feel for hemp? Order a swatch book here.

Dancing with the scarves

Back in the day, I wore a peasant blouse with my rust-colored cords to my sixth-grade dance. Now floaty tops and cords have come back around again. This scarf project would be perfect for a sunny Indian summer day.

Stacie Grissom gives us the how-to low-down on her blog. Stacie has plenty of neckwear cred. She works and blogs for scarves.net.