Lemon-Lime Table

I bought these Nicey Jane fabrics with the idea of making placemats or a table runner to brighten up our kitchen table for spring.

I started piecing them together a month ago, and I finally had time to finish the ensemble.

I made the placemats first by sewing together four printed strips and a couple uneven solid strips, which measured 10.5 inches wide. I cut those strip sets into 10.5-inch squares, and framed them with chartreuse green solid borders. I didn’t feel like sewing bindings onto each individual placemat, so I layered them right sides together with a piece of flannel for batting, sewed them together, leaving an opening to turn them right side out, and quilted in the ditch to  secure the layers.

For the tablerunner, I alternated the layout of four of those 10.5-inch patchwork squares, and framed it with a grass green solid fabric.

I especially love the look of those randomly quilted lines, especially on that backing fabric. I used that same grass green solid fabric for the binding.

It’s so cheerful and festive to sit down to such a bright lemony-lime table.

Fall Patchwork for Our Table

I was so inspired by Ashley’s fall quilts that I decided to make something with fall colors too.

Fall placemats

I pulled these fabrics from my stash, fat quarters from the Lightning Bugs fabric collection by Heather Ross and a few solids for contrast.

Fall placemat set

In addition to the four placemats, I made a potholder and mug mat with the extra squares.

Linen backing fabric

The backing is this cool linen fabric I bought at Purl Patchwork while we were in NYC last November. It’s fun to have these cheerful fabrics and colors brightening up our table.

Recap of Summer Vacation 08

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. The end of August is just a few days away, as is Labor Day weekend, which always seems like the last hurrah of summer. It feels like just yesterday I was getting excited about sprucing up our gardens and spending more time outside. I had a ball over my summer vacation, so I wanted to share with you my fabulous list:

I watched my brother compete in his first half-marathon.

I spent a week in Chicago for a work-related conference, which was great fun, meeting people from all over the country.

We spent a week in Destin, Florida for our seventh wedding anniversary. It was the relaxing beach vacation we were hoping for.

We planted eight new trees in our yard, more flowers and a vegetable garden.

I watched my brother and cousin compete in a triathlon.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my parents’ beach house in northern Wisconsin, boating and biking and enjoying the outdoors.

We went to Art Fair on the Square and Concerts on the Square. (lots of events in Madison are held on the grounds around the Capitol building)

We hosted twenty people from my family at our house for a family reunion.

I spent a week with my sister and family at the beach house again, with more outdoor adventures such as hiking and swimming, yet you can’t leave out cooking and baking when there are two or more women from my family together in the same house (we all enjoy the domestic parts of life).

I spent another weekend with my family one last time before my sister moves to China. (boo hoo)

I read a bunch of books, all of which I would recommend, including The Road by Cormac McCarthy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larsen, and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’m almost finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, which I highly recommend.

I was much more creative than anticipated. I made portable cushions, a fabric beach ball, a tablecloth for our kitchen, curtains for our kitchen and for my sewing room, flower pincushions, a lunch bag with iron-on vinyl lining, and a garden quilt. (if I knew how to make one of those photo mosaics, I would have included that here, but you get the idea.)

I participated in a placemat swap, which was great fun, although I was sad that I never heard from my partner. (I wonder if she received the set I made for her? I wonder if she liked it.) Still, I was happy with the six placemats and matching napkins I made for her.

Oh yea, I bought lots of fabric too. How could I resist – there were so many wonderful new fabric collections – Midwest Modern, Drawing Room, Farmers Market, Garden Party, August Fields, Pop Garden – that came out this summer and so many convenient etsy shops to order from. I know, you understand.

My favorite parts of summer vacation were the adventures and the quality time spent with family. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers for Fall – I’m looking forward to beautiful sunrises, cool evenings, changing leaves, hiking in the woods, caramel apples, and more.

Placemat Swap Part 2

I signed up to participate in the Placemat Swap for the Bend-the-Rules-Sewing swap. I finally finished making the set to be exchanged with my partner. She doesn’t know yet that I have her name, so don’t spoil the surprise before she receives my package.

She requested a set of six placemats and napkins for her family and guests. Her decorating style includes brightly colored paintings and artwork, and she likes Amy Butler and April Cornell fabrics. The fabric shop I went to didn’t have any Amy Butler fabrics, but I found a huge selection from the Kaffe Fassett collection, which I thought would be similar in style.

I chose to use some fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett collection. The focus fabric is Teal Paper Fans, which I chose because of its artsy look and the red accent that will match my partner’s red and white dinner ware. I framed the focus fabric in shot cotton white, which shot cotton teal backing. The napkins are a combination of the paper fans and shot cotton in teal.


I will admit that each placement and napkin are not perfect, but I tried very hard to make them as perfect and professional looking as possible, in the hopes my swap partner will still like them.

I have made other projects from the Bend-the-Rules-Sewing book, including the mixy-matchy napkins, but not the placemats. I must say I really liked this pattern. The directions and illustrations were easy to follow, and the results are fantastic. I hope my swap partner thinks so too!

Placemat Swap

My husband always teases me when a package arrives in our mail box. “Let me guess,” he says. “You ordered more fabric!” Well this week a package arrived, and for the life of me, I just could not remember ordering anything, even fabric. I had a feeling it was going to be something good because anyone who mails me anything mails good things to me!

I recently entered the latest Bend-the-Rules-Sewing Swap, where you agree to make a set of placemats and napkins using the pattern from Amy Karol’s famous book. I received my partner’s placemat set this week, and I wanted to call her to thank her (except that I don’t know her or her phone number). Isn’t this a beautiful set?! In my preferences, I said I love Amy Butler fabrics, which are featured in this set. I also said we just painted our kitchen Concord Ivory, which is a golden yellow, and these match perfectly.

She even went beyond the original agreement and made four matching coasters (in the upper left corner of the above picture), AND she included the scraps that were leftover from her project. What a nice touch!

(I included her picture above from her flickr page, since it’s cloudy today and my pictures aren’t as good)

The best part of this package was the letter Shawn wrote to me about her efforts in making this project, about her life, and her sewing experience. Now I feel as if I truly have a new friend. There’s always room in my life for new sewing friends! Much better than getting a plain old package of fabric in the mail. Thank you so much Shawn!

PS – the placemat set I’m making for my partner isn’t finished yet, so I’ll show that in another post.