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

Felted Handbag… Mom Would Be Proud


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All done. My last finish for June.

My mother’s old black wool coat is now my new felted handbag.

From this…

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To this…

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She is probably looking down on me now, smiling… and hopefully saying Job Well Done. :D


You can read more about this project here.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/recycle-9-from-wool-coat-to-felted-handbag/


Linking to…

http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/2012/07/linky-party-tuesday.html

http://sewhappygeek.co.uk/index.php/2012/07/02/manic-monday-linky-party-41/

Recycle #9: From Wool Coat To Felted Handbag


When my dear mother passed away last year one month before her 90th birthday, I got all of her coats. All of them. Furs, leather, cloth and wool. She LOVED nice things and loved to dress up.

For now, they are stored in a closet and I enjoy opening the closet doors to look, touch and admire them. No decisions have been made yet. On what I will do with them. Except for two wool coats. One black and one burgundy. From the wear and tear, it was obvious those two were her favorites. Her Go-To-Coats.

At first, I had them in a pile to donate. They still have a few years of wear left. Then I thought why not recycle them. Yes!! That is what I would do.

So.. I started with the black coat.

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I removed all buttons and started ripping open the seams taken care not to cut into the leather around the shoulders.

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I harvested the largest pieces I could. This is one of them.

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And got started machine felting.

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This is how it looks now.

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Sides tucked in so I can see how it will look when sewn. One of my mom’s vintage brooches sits in the center. Hmmm. I may have found a use for one of her many rhinestone jewelry pieces.

I have enough cut wool to make several handbags and clutches. Recycling is fun and GREEN.

What have you recycled lately?

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

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.

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.

Recycle #5: “By Sea” Jeans Handbag

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Doesn’t this fabric remind you of the Titanic? As soon as I saw it, I knew I would buy it.

Just finished this jeans handbag today. You are the first to see it. That is, first after hubby. He had to put his stamp of approval on it. After all, these were once HISĀ  jeans. :D

The FRONT.

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This is my original design. It came out EXACTLY as the picture I was working from in my head.

The BACK.

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I used the following harvested pieces.

  • 1 leg
  • 1 waistband
  • 7 belt loops
  • 2 back pockets
  • 2 back strips (under waistband area)

Here are a few photos I took as I was making it.

I first removed the back pockets. Yep. Completely removed them. Then I lined them with black polka dot fabric and sewed them on the leg section. One on the top and one on the bottom. Then I made my own pockets out of the “By Sea” fabric to go next to the denim ones.

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You can see the pocket lining in this photo. I used the same for the purse lining. Black polka dots.

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The waistband was completely stripped. All the seams, top stitching and belt loops were removed. Then I split the band down the middle. I needed it in two strips to be able to do what I wanted to do.

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There are two pockets on the inside. One smaller made from the lining fabric. And this one I quilted.

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These were used to make the purse handles.

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And there is a FIRST here, too. My first time adding a magnetic clasp to a purse. It was easy to do. I reinforced the area with really thick Pellon.

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I made a belt to go through the belt loops. It is 27″ end to end. A scarf would go great here too, instead of the belt.

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The whole thing measures 20″ height (including handles), 13″ across, 2 3/4″ width. It is a nice sized bag.

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And it can stand up alone.

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Ok, that was fun!! Back to stippling. :D


This is an original design by This Year’s Dozen.

Please respect Copyright Laws and not copy, post or distribute the instructions without written permission. However, it is ok to make this jeans handbag for personal use. Please link back to this post. Thanks!!

Harvesting A Pair of Jeans

This is all that’s left from one pair of old jeans. Amazing, huh!!

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And here is what I was able to harvest… All of this.

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Legs

Backside with Outside Pockets

Front with Inside Pockets

Waistband with Belt Loops

Zipper, Zipper Flap and Metal Button

Waistline Panel (under the waistband)

Cuffs

Outside Label

Inside Tags

Grommets (Hard to remove and clean up)


MY TIPS

You need a really sharp pair of scissors for a clean cut. After cutting into the shape you wish, to stabilize the edges and keep from unraveling, do a quick zig zag.

Cut the largest “footprint” you can from each area without drifting into the next area.

Save every sizable piece trimmed off. You can use them as scraps for other projects. Store in a separate baggie to keep from unraveling.

Sew with a heavy duty needle. I am using a Denim Needle.

Use your Walking Foot to sew through the thickness.

Use your Zipper Foot to get close when sewing around the pockets.

Sew with a color thread that is close to your denim fabric but not an exact match. Will be hard to see the thread in case you have to rip it out.

Decide how you will work with or around rips and tears. I think they will give your item character. Consider leaving the hole/rip/tear there. You can cover it with a pocket or patch later if you end up hating it.

For variety, add cotton fabrics or flannel to your denim. Mix up the colors and patterns.

Consider removing the pocket from the backside pieces. To place elsewhere in your project. Or make your own pockets if you want more than the harvested ones.

My plan was to make earrings from the grommets.

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BUT… it is really hard to pull the fabric from them. I am thinking maybe burn (safely, controlled) the fabric. Not sure if fire will damage the metal. We’ll see. I will do it outdoors.


I should be able to make at least four projects from one pair of jeans. You will have to come back to see what all I make.


Updated 6-17-11

Item #1. Finished 6-16-11.

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Used one leg, 2 outside pockets, waistband with loops, back section attached under waistband (not sure what it is called).