Sunday, January 26, 2014

Placemats for the Furry Monsters

I imagine many new home owners go through this, but I'm a bit concerned about money lately. There's so much new responsibility now, and I'm looking for ways to cut back a bit. Fabric purchases are one place I can scale back (especially if I am going to stick to my stash diet). Paper towels are another.

It's not as random as it sounds.  Every mealtime, I place paper towels down so that my herd of cats don't mess up the floor. That adds up after a while. Instead of doing that, I decided that I should sew placemats for them.  They are reusable, environmentally friendly and much prettier than paper towels!

To make these, I used two layers of fabric from my stash. The back is upholstery fabric and the front is quilting cotton, also stash supplied.  (The blue and cream floral fabric was originally purchased for this project, and the purple was a fat quarter from Joann's that I can't even remember why I purchased.)

I cut 13" x 11" rectangles, a breeze now with my new cutting board! These were sewed right sides together with 0.5" seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn them right side out. Then, I stitched around the perimeter and quilted the front.

This was the best shot of the backing upholstery fabric and my quilting stitches. This isn't my favorite one, or the best example, but at least it gives you an idea of how these were made. I've never really done this before and it was fun to try out different designs. My only minor regret is that the stitches aren't always that visible. Next batch I'll have to use a contrasting thread.

My final placemats measure 12" x 10" and are perfect for keeping the little monsters' messes under control.

Placemat in action, graciously modeled by Kiko.

I ended up with six for now, but plan to make a lot more. I'd like to have a large supply and be able to swap them out easily whenever they get dirty, but not have to rush to clean them before the next meal. I'd even like to sew some larger, fancier ones for the house's human inhabitants.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A New Beginning

It may be a bit late to say this, but I'm very happy to see 2013 go. It was a year where the negatives outnumbered the positives, and I'm looking forward to a new beginning this year. I don't plan to do a project roundup, I just want to keep moving forward and start creating new things again.

There have been a number of changes here at Chez Makizy, the biggest being that we have inherited a house. I've also become the owner of a "few" more cats. I'm sure they'll be making appearances on the blog from time to time.

This is Teddy, also know as Bear and yes, he is judging you.

I'm also ready to sew again. I have a house to decorate and organize and clothes to make. To help me on my merry sewing journey, my wonderful husband purchased cutting mat and rotary cutter for me for Christmas. How did I ever live without one of these?  LOVE IT!!!!

I'm also joining the Stash Diet party!


Seriously, what a great idea!  If you're not familiar with this, head on over to Today's Agenda for details.  I've decided not to be hard on myself and set a fixed goal.  Come on, a girl needs some retail therapy every now and then.  Instead I will be realistic and will pledge to do my absolute best to only sew from my stash. I will try to only purchase fabric if necessary to complete an existing project, or if it's needed for a gift.  Let's see how long it lasts!

Finally, I wouldn't really call this a New Year's resolution, but I'm going to try to not let photos hold me back from blogging. I love blogs with great photography, and do my best to try to do the same on mine. The problem is that I currently don't have ideal conditions to photograph projects and I've let that hold me back from posting. Well, this blog is supposed to be fun and my creative outlet, so there will be a lot more cell phone photos this year :-)