Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pinwheel Coasters and a New "Garden" Blouse

While we're on the theme of gardening, I've been doing some garden-inspired sewing as well.

I saw a post on another blog with a tutorial on making pinwheel coasters, but I knew that I could make them much faster and easier using a strip-piecing method. I cut a few 3-inch wide strips of two different colors of calico and then cut 3-inch squares from the strips. Then I paired together one square of each color and sewed them together on the diagonal. I trimmed at a diagonal leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance, and then ironed them flat. Then, taking four of these bi-color squares, I sewed them into pinwheel shapes. With a solid square for backing and a square of low-loft poly batting, I had a set of six pinwheel coasters in just a couple of hours. I think they turned out really sweet, and it was fun to tie them together for a gift for my husband's aunt.

Then, I made myself a new blouse with a garden theme. I had purchased this calico quilting fabric several years ago, but I had never figured out what I would be doing with it...I used to buy fabric all the time without a real plan for how to use it. These days I don't do that. Instead, I'm trying to use what I have on hand, only buying new fabric when there is a specific need that my fabric stash can't fulfill. I consider my stash to be a blessing, but it would be better to only buy when there's an actual need.

Anyway, this was an easy pattern, and it's been a fun blouse to wear with shorts and capri pants. Now, I'm working on another blouse, one that is sleeveless that I hope will work in the fall as well as the summer time. It's another calico from my stash, but the pattern is paisley in beige, brown, and off-white. I'm think that it should work well in the fall with my beige cardigan for warmth.

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