Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

Super simple stuffie

Made by Joel vintage fabric dolls

OK, raise your hand if one of your first sewing projects was a rag doll. Yarn for hair, wonky embroidery for a face and a slightly lumpy dress sewn together with oversize running stitches… Sound familiar?

A stuffed friend made by hand (especially little hands) has such charm, and makes a wonderful vehicle for using up fabric scraps or upcycled clothing bits.

Joel Henriques from made by joel whipped up this pair of couldn’t-be-more-simple dolls from vintage fabric. Click over to his blog to see how smitten his kids are with these squeezable sweeties.

Makes me wish I still had that doll I made decades ago. Do you still have yours?



Cargo a go-go

Searching for ways to repurpose and reuse, I recently designed a couple of totes and a few iPad covers made from upcycled cargo pants. I started with four or five pairs I found at my local Goodwill store, then spent a bit of time ripping seams. Thank goodness for this awesome tool

Straight-leg styles with very little tapering provide plenty of fabric for a really generous tote. I used a section of pant leg for each side of a tote. An added bonus for cargo pants is all the pockets: I carefully removed them and used them as inside pockets on the totes, and as little stash spots on the outside of the iPad covers.

I’m thrilled that several of them sold today at our booth at a local craft fair.


Which came first; the chicken or the peacock?

Peafowl are everywhere. (You know it’s only the boy peafowl that are called peacocks, right?) A quick search on Etsy for peacock leads you to everything from baby tutus to edible peacock feather cake decorations to peacock tights.

Even the Smithsonian Institution is calling fowl. The Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. opens it Peacock Room exhibit later this month.

The Peacock Room at Freer Gallery

American artist James Whistler created a vision in turquoise and gold. The Peacock Room exhibit opens September 20 at the Freer Gallery.

So, was Geninne Zlatkis following the trend or setting it when she designed her Alegria line featuring such aviary delights as this Peacock print?

Peacocks print Alegria line

Make a feathered friend with Peacock, part of Cloud 9 Fabric's Alegria line.

By the looks of Geninne’s blog, flora and fauna are enduring muses for this Mexican artist. Cloud 9 Fabric presents her eye-popping visuals in organic cotton.




It’s a banner day

Fabric bunting from Think Fast blog

Scrap or vintage fabric gathering dust? Kim Kesti at Think Fast shows you how to run it up the flagpole.

Upcycled Fabric Banner
From baby shower to picnic to formal holidays, put the fabric banner on your guest list.

Let’s get this party started: A long weekend is here! Even though I hate that it signals the end of summer, Labor Day is a welcome relief from high-maintenance holidays. I don’t need to rush out for Labor Day gifts or send out Labor Day cards. Whew! Now I can concentrate on chilling the drinks.

If you’re planning a get together, add to the festivities with an upcycled fabric banner. Crafting a Green World offers instructions for a super easy, no sew, let-her-rip banner. Let the kids help with this one.

Plenty of bunting style tutorials flutter in the Internet breeze. Have a look at this one from Think Fast. Why not invite scrap or upcycled fabric to your next soiree? Cheers!



68 pounds

According to Earth 911, Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person, per year. Not give away, not hand down to others, just put in a bin and drag to the curb.

All those tossed textiles started me thinking about the Gees Bend quilts. The women of this small Southern community weren’t throwing away 68 pounds of clothing every year. They made do (and made art) with what they had: Worn jeans, shirts, work pants and other bits of fabric.

Gees Bend quilt

Of course, quilters have been using scraps of cast-off clothing for years.

So here’s a challenge for you: What could you do with some of the clothing or textiles that you, your family or friends might otherwise throw away?

Zig when the others zag

Chevron is all the rage. The folks at Cloud 9 mix it up a bit with a zig zag organic cotton canvasCloud 9 zig zag. Part of the company’s GeoCentric line, the graphic print is perfectly proportioned for a range of projects. You’ll find instructions for a book bag, fabulous tote, knitting needle caddy and more on the company’s blog. 

Gadget Gallery

Un-stitching is never as fun as stitching, but this week’s gadget makes seam ripping seamless. Havel’s Sewing Ultra-Glide Curved Blade Seam Ripper goes through stitches like a hot knife through butter. The company also manufacturers scalpels, and their expertise shows in this ripper’s super slim blade. Best news of all? It’s just $3.50.

Havel's Sewing seam ripper

What Did We Eat Before Cupcakes?

Pity the disregarded doughnut, the passed-over pie, the defeated Napolean. If you’re not a cupcake these days, you may as well go straight to the day-old rack.

It’s OK. Fabric Salad loves dessert as well as the next gal.

Looking for a sugar rush? Add one of these sweet fabrics to your next project recipe:

Bake Shop by Blank Textiles

Bake Shop from Blank Textiles.

Cupcake Cuties from Classic Cottons

Cupcake Cuties from Classic Cottons

Bake collection from Makower

Bake Collection from Makower UK. 

Black and White 2012 collection from Makower

Black & White 2012 Collection from Makower.