I used to think of myself as an organized person, but lately, not so much. One way of managing my small scene is with containers. You might remember me writing about my fondness for trays. This tutorial is for one made out of fabric. You also know that lately, I am completely focused on making and sewing with my fabric collection. So here you go- make one or a dozen of these cuties for whatever. I love it small and sweet. Change up the sizing to fit your needs though :: long and skinny for desk, larger rectangles for dresser tops, etc. This one is already at work on the sewing table, but I'm thinking about mini-Easter-baskets-placecard-treat keepers for the holiday table. Jelly beans? Gift cards? Cupcakes? I'll think of something.
You will also need a same size square of cotton batting which is the thickness of felt. I found mine at JoAnn's. "Warm & Natural" needled cotton batting, craft size. (Love this stuff!)
Make a sandwich of the three pieces. Fabrics right side together and the batting underneath.
Stitch all around, leaving an opening to turn.
Clip corners and trim batting close to stitching. Turn and press.
Looks like a potholder now. Sew the opening shut with tiny blindstitches. (I'm not very good at those as I'm feeling a bit blind too. But sure enough when it's finished, the first thing I see is my sloppy hand-stitching!)
Get out the ruler and a white pencil or disappearing quilt marker (I prefer the quilt marker but it wouldn't show on the black fabric. Oops, didn't think of that when I started my step-by-steps.)
Mark and draw lines one inch in from edge. Make sure the marked square is "square" as in right angles and same lengths on opposite sides. This will be the bottom of the tray, the borders will be the sidewalls. (** If you change the size of your tray, adjust this measurement to scale to the desired height of the sides.)
Machine stitch around the inside square you drew with the marker/pencil.
Fold the whole potholder shape in half into a triangle and mark then stitch perpendicularly from the inside square corner to the outside edge. (** See images below.) Backstitch a little before cutting threads.
Do this for all four corners.
It makes funny little ears.
To finish up, I spritz the floor of the tray with water and press straight into the walls, folding down the wall opposite (see the wall under the iron around that 460 mark). It makes them stand up a little better.
Then I fill it up.
And make another one because it's so easy and so, so darling. My new favorite thing!
I imagine you are wondering when I'll get back to making things. Truth is, in the studio it's about Christmas right now and that seems so out of step with the glorious scene outside. So here are some spring snapshots from yesterday. There is a lane of apartments in our town with a stretch of cherry trees that I always look for when I drive by. I stopped yesterday to visit them.
Some of you have written to ask where you can get my fabric online. I found an Etsy seller who has it here and here. If you have a shop that carries it, let me know and I'll blog about that too. (***Laurie just found it here!)
I really want it to be in people's hands and under the sewing machine presser foot. And if you are making something with it, please let me know.
Spring is making me dream about quick-sew skirts and market totes. And lots of other projects too.
It's crazy beautiful out there. At the grocery store today I spent more time taking pictures of this flowering tree than I did shopping for dinner. What does that tell you? No wonder we're eating buttons for lunch over here!
I've had these two rolling around in a junk drawer forever. Not very big, they must be from an old table game. When I came across the pair a few days ago, I realized that they were turning up at just the right time. (It's also the area code for Saint Louis, my hometown.)
Anyway, the real news is that the birdie banner is back in the shop. Some of you have been waiting.
We're having an in and out day with the sun lighting everything up then going dark behind fast clouds. I'm tinkering with fabrics, design and stitching and trying to find my way to a number of creative destinations. Some days it's so simple, abundant, joyful. Other days it's like the sun disappearing.
But sooner or later, the clouds shuttle on, the light seeps back.
Outside, I can hear the red-winged blackbird trilling, a nostalgic soundtrack from my childhood in Missouri. He's having a very happy day.
Thanks so much for all the enthusiasm for the birdie banner. They are all shipped off, but I'll have more in the shop soon.
This funny little image is from a series I recently did in the studio playing with my old books and the tiny trinkets I keep for unknown reasons. My friend Syd gave me this little girl in the yellow hat. Made me happy to find just the right spot for her.
In the yard we have snowdrops and pussywillows to cheer us on to spring. Happy weekend, friends. I hope good things are coming your way.
Finished it! All stitched up. This teeny tiny image below can be enlarged if you click on it. Photographing it was tricky because I wanted to show you the whole thing at once. Mighty sweet for a baby, wedding, shower or a celebration of spring.
Or maybe for summer. It would be pretty hanging across the window in the kitchen. Yes, I think I'll go see how that looks. And then start one for a baby gift - in pink.