Recycle #10: Coasters Made From Old Cutting Mat


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Hey, wait!! Don’t toss your old worn out cutting mat.

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Cut it up and make some really cute coasters.

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Want to make your own? You only need a few supplies. Which you probably already have. Now Go. Collect up this stuff.


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Sturdy, heavy duty scissors
Fabric/Thread
Iron-on interfacing
Ruler/measuring tool


DIRECTIONS TO MAKE CUTTING MAT COASTERS

Cut Up Cutting Mat

Decide on dimensions for your coasters and cut mat into workable pieces.

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Next, cut the sizes you want from the larger pieces. I made a template from an old VCR cassette case.

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Round the corners so the ends won’t poke through your fabric pouch.

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Fabric/Interfacing

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Determine the size of the fabric needed by laying mat down on top of folded fabric.

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Allow about an inch on the bottom and also one side. (Will only have a seam on one side.) Leave about 1 1/2″ at the top where mat will be inserted.

Iron on the interfacing. (I used Fusible Fleece for some and lightweight Pellon for others.)

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Sewing

Sew down one side and along the bottom (1/2″ seams, you can trim later). Backstitch beginning and ending stitches.

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Test it by slipping your mat inside the fabric pouch to make sure it fits OK. You may have to “squeeze” your mat to ease it inside.

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While the mat is inside the pouch, turn down the cuff to get an idea of how much top you have to work with.

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If you are happy, remove mat, turn pouch right side out, gently poke out the corners, fold the top down along your prefolded lines. Press. Slip mat back inside pouch.

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Sew up the top opening either by sewing machine or by hand. I did mine by machine (with the mat inside). Use matching or coordinating thread. I tried both.

And done!!

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You can use your scraps, too. Quilt or leave plain. Make them in lots of sizes and colors. Coordinate with coffee mugs and give as gift sets.

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Take them to work, use at home. Great for the kiddies. If they spill something on the coaster, sponge it off with liquid dish detergent, rinse, blot with a paper towel, air dry. And ready to put back in use.

So easy to make, inexpensive. And Think Green. You are putting reusable materials back into circulation instead of contributing to an unsightly landfill.

Don’t have a sewing machine. No problem. You can hand sew these if you do not own one.

And what a great project for kids!! Have fun recycling.

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Fabric Note: The scissors fabric I used is called Half Moon by Moda. I have it in all the colors you see up above.

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I found this navy scissors fabric at JoAnn’s.

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Don’t love it as much as Half Moon, but I still like it. Will use it in a project soon.


Still more October finishes to show you. Do come back. Thanks much for visiting me!!


Linking to…

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/laff-40.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/11/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-lets-hear-it-for_9.html

http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2012/11/we-did-it-wednesday.html

Recycle #9: Ralph Lauren Sheet and Pillowcases


If you have been following my blog for some time, then you know what I like to do on Wednesdays. I like to go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Senior Discount Day.

I was dropping off four of my beloved mother’s winter coats I was never going to use or wear. Made sense someone else could get some wear out of them as cold as it has been in my parts lately.

And of course, since I was already there, just had to run inside to quickly make my rounds. I have gotten so good at it. Unless they move the aisles or change stuff around, I can get in and scoop up what I want in about 10 minutes.

Yesterday, I only found one thing I could use. This Ralph Lauren twin sheet. For just 2.99. And with my 25% discount, only 2.24. A steal.

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Not sure if that is how it is supposed to look. It looks like some of the color has washed out. But it feels great. Nice fabric. 100% cotton.

I washed it and cut it up to make my charity pillow cases. Batch 7 for my September count. I was able to get four pillowcase bodies and two tops out of that one sheet.

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Counting those, so far, I have 15 pillowcases ready for French seams.

These fabrics are waiting their turn.

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I need at least five more to make my 20 a month goal. That basketball fabric sure is cute. And I like those little birds and adorable cats too.

Plus I am making this band from fabric strips to go with this pretty yellow bottom. I may make a second one. I have enough strips cut.

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Hopefully I get them all finished by month’s end.


And in case you are wondering… I teased you in my last post about what was on my sewing table. Here it is.

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But now you will have to guess what I am going to do with it. It is old, old old. A quilt top I made last year. You can read my post about it here.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/quilt-top-is-finished-making-a-piano-key-border/

Didn’t really get all bubbly about it after I made it so it got folded and stored. NOW, it will have a new life as something else. So glad I remembered I made it. More details and photos coming up. :D

5 Reasons Why I Love My Salvation Army Thrift Store


1. 25% off on Wednesday. Senior Citizen’s Discount Day.

2. My local SA Thrift Store is only a few miles away, very clean, items are clearly marked with stickers or tags. The clerks are very helpful. They go out of their way to help little old me.

3. The aisles are large enough for carts going in opposite directions.

4. The linens and materials have a freshly washed smell.

5. And I find great buys like these…..


$1.99

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$2.99

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$3.99

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Yay!! I am happier than a pig in slop!!

I already found a use for the wire kettle. For displaying my new Gutermann thread I bought for half off at JoAnn’s. It was my only splurge for February.

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Do you shop in thrift stores?

Flip-It: Planter For All Seasons and Holidays


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This is a recycle project AND a quilting project. My Flip-It Planter.

With a quick flip or switch of the quilted square, your work space will be refreshed and updated all year round. Your 9-to-5 desk, home office or craft table. Any space large enough to hold a container.

I rescued these wooden frames from the trash bin at my last J O B.

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They originally housed a cute little battery-operated calculator/clock/calendar.

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But sadly, like most things these days, the batteries were dead on arrival and some of the clocks got discarded. BUT nothing was wrong with the wood frames. I bagged them. Took them home. After four years, I still hadn’t done anything with them.

Then last year I decided to dust them off and make something. Hubby even helped out. He screwed in a side hinge. Which didn’t work. The sides didn’t line up for the box effect I wanted. He drilled holes in them and I tied them together with cord. Still not what I wanted. That’s when I thought of duct tape. Michaels had some really cute tape in fashion colors and designs. Bought some. Tried again. It worked.

I made these boxes.

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And then I quilted squares from scraps to fit inside the outer frames.

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This year I thought I would try something different. Valentine’s Day fabric on the front. Spring fabric on the back. A little fabric time travel, if you will. :D

Just finished these new ones today.

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My project uses five frames to create each box. Frames can be also be used to display photos, cards, artwork, etc. I like how they look with the quilted squares.

Any fabric will work or even scraps. Fabric for one season or holiday on front. A different season or holiday hidden on the back until you flip it. Just like a calendar.

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Make them for all the major holidays. Could even give as a gift. Use birthday fabric. And how about a baby shower with baby-themed fabric? Fill the box with baby bath products. So many ideas!!

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If anyone would like to make their own Flip-It Planter, I can put some frames in my Etsy Shop. One dollar each plus shipping. E-mail me or leave a comment. Thanks!!


Fabrics I used: Moda on the front and Michael Miller’s Citron Gray on the back. The gray polka dot came from JoAnn’s. Warm and Natural cotton batting.

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Linking up to Crazymomquilts for finish up Friday.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/02/finish-it-up-friday-week-14.html

Pillow Talk: The Good Old Days


It felt really great to work on and finish up one of my Works-In-Progress.

How about another one? Remember this?

My “How To Keep Your Husband” fabric. It was one of my Idea Sandwiches. Fabrics I mix and match to set aside for a future project.

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I blogged about it here.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/more-idea-sandwiches/

I really love this fabric. Makes me chuckle. I don’t know the history. It came in a bunch of other scraps in an auction I won on eBay. Just looking at it takes you back to about the 50’s.

I showed hubby what I was working on.  He read a few of the How To’s and smiled.

  • Don’t read his mail.
  • Don’t gossip over the phone.
  • I will never annoy him.
  • I won’t rummage through his pockets.. any more. (LOL!!)

But what is REALLY comical is how the ladies of that era dressed. Think Donna Reed, Loretta Young. Beaver’s mother, Mrs. Cleaver. Cleaning house in the Going-To-Church dress, heels and pearls. Now, THAT is funny. When was the last time you put on a dress AND a hat. I would be hard pressed to even find a dress in my wardrobe.

Ah, the good old days!!

Well, back to the here and now. Such a tiny piece of fabric. Only 10 1/4″ by 15 1/2″. Not much I could do with it without adding other fabrics.

I decided to make a pillow.

Before starting, I auditioned a few other prints in my stash. To see if any newly purchased fabric blended better than the blue and orange Fat Quarters. Nope, they still worked best. But would they be enough? Only had two each. And I was determined not to trot off to JoAnn’s. They already had enough of my money.

I managed to scrape together two pillows by carefully cutting the Husband fabric in half.

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Since I use darker colors (think brown) most of the time, I enjoyed using these brighter colors. More Springy than Fall but I need to experiment with different colorways year round. Get out of my dark rut.

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I used cream with tiny black dots for the borders.

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These came out great, I think. Just as I wanted. The quilting (on the top and batting only) was just diagonal lines about the width of a ruler apart.

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To save a bit of money (so I can spend it on fabric :D ), I made my own pillow forms. I used a blue and white striped sheet I got cheap from the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

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To stuff them, I used leftover macrame cord scraps. As you can guess, I have TONS of scraps. This is just the cream macrame cord.

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Compared to a store bought pillow insert, I saved about $20.00.

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Well, that was fun. Now I ponder what to do with the leftover fabric scraps.

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Maybe a mini quilt. A lap quilt. I think I can stretch it. I have about 2 yards left of the cream.


Going back to the origin of the Husband fabric…

Out of curiosity, I did my own research. It is from the Michael Miller fabric line. There was also a How To Get A Husband fabric.

http://www.jandofabrics.com/newsletters/16-tips-on-how-to-get-a-husband-by-michael-miller-jo-fabrics/

Doll Quilt Props. Cuteness Overload!!


On Wednesday, a week ago, I stopped off at the local Salvation Army to drop off two boxes of donations.

One box was full of office supplies. I had a talk with my former 9 to 5 self. We both agreed there were things hanging around I would NEVER need or use. So, I went about the house collecting up J O B related stuff. Such as navy blue Follow Up cards. Nice, expensive looking, but where would I use those now. I don’t suppose my customers want to get a follow up message when they buy something from me. LOL!! Hilarious!!

And three-ring binder sized plastic holders for business cards. I kept a couple. Plus old stuff for the Franklin Planner I used to use. No need to plan my day. I can do what I want, when I want. Plus extra this, extra that. Do I really need 300 rubber bands. Not hardly. I use about one a month. I think you get the picture. Loads of stuff this crafter won’t be needing in the craft room.

The 2nd box was full of unwanted/already replaced VHS movies and empty clear plastic VHS cases. I have tried for years to figure out how to recycle the cases but so far nothing has worked out. So out they went too.

And you know what that donation meant. I COULD GO SHOPPING. One Out. One In. I can’t buy unless I first discard.

I drove around to the Thrift Shop entrance anxious to see what was new. Senior Day. 25% off.

Made my rounds to the usual racks and shelves. Got some cute red material with Chef’s and veggies. A bargain. Actually a steal!! With my senior discount it was only $5. Four yards/60″ wide.

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Next I checked out the latest in the wood aisle. You can NOT just breeze by that section. So much to consider. I stop, look and touch. Oh, no. Don’t Touch!! You know when you touch something, you will probably buy it.

These got lots of touches. AND ENDED UP IN MY CAR!! :D

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And the best part. $3 for the chair and one dollar for the cute little doll cradle.

Now I am all set with doll props for my next craft show.

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Recycle #8: Reorganizing With A Baby Changer

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No baby. But bought it anyway. Even had a little dust up with a pushy lady while staking claim to it.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this baby changer at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop. It was near the front and one glance and it was sold. I knew I had to have it. Not for changing babies. None at my house. But for organizing my quilted stuff.

Excitement overload!!

So off I went to find an employee so I could request a sold tag be taped to it. When I returned a lady was standing there with her hand on the railing, telling me she saw it the day before and had returned to buy it.

Excitement shifting to take-it-to-the-mat gear. :(

I guess the don’t mess with me look on my face was a killer cause she backed off and said she loved it but didn’t have the money. Whew!! So glad. Happy ending. For me and my quilts. No news at 11pm time.

It was under $20 and has some scratches on the legs. But I dusted and washed it. To me, it is good to go as-is.

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Perfect place to store my completed items.

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I get to fill up these baskets.

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It also works great as a prop.

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There are a few things displayed there that you either haven’t seen or never did see the finished item.

Like this…

A Crib Bumper for my orange and yellow Ticker Tape Doll Set.

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And these. More Mug Rugs. It took me FOREVER to hand sew on the bindings. (My favorite task, yuck!!)

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Well, that does it. From baby changer to quilt rack.


This baby changer definitely qualifies as a recycle/repurpose so I added it to my Recycle Series.

Making Room For My Fabric

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ONE IN. ONE OUT.

That is my new rule. So, when I go on a shopping spree and bring in 10 items, ten old things have to go.

Where are these books going? To my local library.

They will sell them at their book sales they have several times a year. I am helping them make a little money and at the same time reducing my tax obligation to Uncle Sam.

Some of the books, I hate to part with. But I don’t have any plans to reread them in the next ten years. (Too busy quilting.) And if I do, I can probably find them all on line. Somewhere. In some form. There are 50 of them. Actually there were just 49. I added one more. I like round numbers. Easier to remember.

So…. off they go… today. Hubby already loaded them in my car.

Now I have to rearrange a few other things and donate a few other things. To free up about 4-5 shelves on my bookcases. It will take me dropping “stuff” in the box and saying Bye-Bye. I know I can do it. :D

To Make Room For My Fabric.

I want them all nice and neat. Folded and stacked in piles. Color coordinated. I don’t have bolts of fabric. Just yards and Fat Quarters. Lots of FQ’s. And it has gotten to be a chore looking for a particular print or color. I know I have it. I know I didn’t use it. But where is it!!

Time to organize my little Fabric Stash. Then it will be easier for me to create all the craft ideas screaming to get out of my head.

Is your fabric organized? How did you do it? Do tell.

Recycle #7: Batting Scraps Doll Mattress

At first, I was throwing away my batting scraps. Now, how stupid is that!! If you quilt, then you know I was throwing out big bucks. That stuff is NOT CHEAP, is it?

So… I got a huge plastic bag with a drawstring on top and started accumulating scrap batting pieces. Large and small. Any size.

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Some with the fabric still attached. I kept it all. Once when I needed a small piece of fabric to finish a project, I ended up digging around in there looking for a match. And found it!!

Those scraps come in handy. Real handy.

I was making a little mattress for a doll bed and immediately thought of the batting scraps. But first I had to “clean” them up.

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Even though the scraps would be enclosed and not seen, I still wanted to pick off the threads and pull off any fabric that I could. Took an hour but I am glad I did it. They look nice and clean.

I started off sewing the “mattress” just as you would make a little pillow case.

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Next, I inserted two long strips of really thick Pellon. To form the sides of my “mattress.” And then stuffed it with most of the batting scraps.

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I decided to make the top part into a pillow. An attached pillow.

 

 

And stuffed the pillow part with the remaining batting scraps.

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AND DONE!!

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I think it turned out cute. My little mattress and pillow. The fabric looks like mattress ticking. But it is a queen size flat sheet I got at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $5.99. It will make up lots of stuff. I think I got a real deal.

 

Hubby saw me working on it and shook his head. I know what he was thinking. 66 years old and playing with dolls!! :D

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I will show you tomorrow why I made this. :D

Recycle #6: Toss Pillows From The 90’s

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Remember when teal and persimmon were the hot colors? YEARS ago. Well, I had a dozen toss pillows for our white sectional in those colors plus white. Even our Christmas tree had matching glass ornaments and bulbs. For the past decade (maybe longer), they have been stored away, sealed in a heavy plastic bag.

They were saved many times from the donation box. I kept thinking they are too nice to give away. I will circle back to those colors one day. Not!!

Time to let them go. Or recycle.

So… I decided to recycle them.

I have done one already. This is the 2nd one. I used a fabric with a light peach print on a white background from one of “the gift stashes”. It is the softest fabric. I have enough to make two more.

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Making a pillow form is quite easy. First, measure the pillow cover. To allow for seams (french seams), add about two extra inches all around. Sew french seams on three sides. On the top side, just sew half way across. You need an opening large enough for your hand to get inside and arrange the stuffing. To close up the opening, you can machine close or hand stitch. You can have the whole thing made in about 30 minutes.

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Here I am trying it out.

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Stuffing it into my New Pillow Cover I haven’t told you about yet. Need to edit the photos so I can post pictures.