Quilted Placemats

Happy Australia Day!

Gosh, what a relaxing & at the same time busy long weekend!

We spent the most of it up at my parents place in Bendigo which was lovely. Dad has been using the total overload of plums to make sauce & I will take some more into work during the week. We are definitely experiencing the summer glut that comes along with mature fruit trees. No complaints here!

At the moment, MacroBoy has just put a whole duck in the oven for our late lunch & I have just taken a banana cake out. Once that has cooled I will smother it with some passionfruit & honey icing & it will be ready for afternoon tea. I used this recipe, which is out of Annabel’s latest cookbook ‘The Free-range Cook – Through The Seasons’. I have her last 3 cookbooks as well as this one. There isn’t a single dish we have cooked out of them that hasn’t been amazing.

The banana cake also keeps our ‘cook one thing out of a different cookbook every week in 2015’ theme alive & well. Winning!

Even though it’s been a long-weekend here in Australia, I haven’t spent a lot of time sewing. I did go shopping for a whole lot of bits & bobs though & I’ve managed to get everything I need for two more tote bags & two more zipper pouches, so I’m sure they will feature in upcoming posts.

Today I finished off some quilted place-mats. I also made continuous bias binding for them which was a first & not nearly as daunting as I thought it would be. I used this tutorial to help me.

The place-mats are made up of 6 x 5 inch squares in 3 different fabrics plus a neutral beige backing. The fabrics will look familiar as they were used for the bucket bag that I made my Mum & the tote bag I made myself recently.

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I used a 1/4 seam to sew all the individual blocks together & then to add a little bit of interest when joining the top, batting & backing I stitched a 1/4 seam to either side of the fabric joins. You can see this in the final photos with the binding attached.

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I used 2 inch strips of a steel grey plain cotton for the binding. It was tough to match the colours in the fabrics as a lot of the colours in the Paris inspired fabric are faded. I like the way the dark grey has come out in the end.

My binding isn’t perfect, it is definitely wonky at times but that is OK, it’s only my second time ever attempting to bind something, so I’m pleased that I can see an improvement.

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These four mats will take pride of place in our new camper trailer when we pick it up in 6-8 weeks. The bonus of using them in the van is that they are super light-weight & fold down nicely so they don’t take up much space.

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Ok, off to finish off my home-made facial cleanser, moisturiser, more sleep-balm & sore-muscle salve. Living a simple life can be pretty darn busy sometimes!

The Tote Bag

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After my little mitten adventure yesterday, I thought I would make something nice & simple for myself today.

Again, I took inspiration & direction from a Craftsy course. The instructor is Kristen Link & the free course also has instructions on how to make a small zipper pouch which is another simple project I am hoping to embark on as soon as I get over my fear of zippers (soon I hope!).

I really love how this bag came out. I used the last of the denim that I had left from Mum’s bucket bag & I think it worked really well with the neutral patterned fabric. The only thing I really changed from the pattern was that I made the pocket significantly bigger. I wanted to be able to drop my keys & phone in there to avoid the inevitable fishing expedition I have to embark on every time I get back to the car.

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You could have a lot of fun with this bag, using different patterns, colours etc. It is designed to be fully reversible so you could have two completely different fabrics & make it a true two-in-one bag, however, I just chose a plain fabric for my lining as I’m happy not to take advantage of the reversible design this time.

I can see this bag getting a lot of use, especially for market visits & quick bike rides to the supermarket. I also think this would be a great gift & I think I will make a few for that very purpose this year.

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Well, that’s it for another weekend, back to the real world tomorrow.

Hoping to update the blog with some natural health remedies that I’ve been trying lately. I will try to get that up in the next couple of weeks.