This summer I learned to sew! I indulged my new passion with Amanda Soule's "Handmade Home" (see my review). Because I so enjoyed Amanda's book, I was intrigued by a new series of crafting books released this year by her publisher. The series, called Make Good: Crafts + Life, produces charming Japanese craft books in English for the first time. I fell in love with ALL of the titles... but first on my list to own was Patchwork Style: 35 Simple Projects for a Cozy & Colorful Life.
"Patchwork Style" is a very modern take on patchwork sewing. Chapters are organized by technique: Log Cabin, Applique, Patchwork Squares, Free Stitching and Square Applique. Some projects I know I'll complete include designs for potholders (I've realized mine are downright embarrassing), a purse (SOOO many to choose from), a log cabin style chair pad (a la SouleMama) and some punchy couch pillows.
But, first on my list was new kitchen rugs. My old faithfuls from Target were disintegrating before my eyes. The very last pattern in "Patchwork Style" is modestly titled "Floor Mat". I first stumbled across a finished version on SouleMama (again), which was how I discovered I'd have to get the book. I indulged in some fabrics by Anna Maria Horner and sat down at the sewing machine AS IF I knew a thing about sewing.
This "Floor Mat" is actually a work of applique that's machine quilted and then backed. To get started, I chose a relatively monochromatic background (I love color, so that's about as monochromatic as I could go) and started clipping fabrics in random shapes, artistically (I hope) layering them on the background.
Once everything looked just right, I sewed on the collage, layered up my rug "sandwich" and started quilting. It took FOREVER. Apparently, sewing a straight line every 3/8 inch is a LOT of sewing. I couldn't believe how much thread it took!
My goal was to complete the first rug in time for a visit from some relatives, so I had a deadline that kept me going. I did get the larger rug done in time, and thank goodness, my visitors noticed the rug very soon upon entering our kitchen. If it wasn't for that deadline... well, I'd be where I am now - working very slowly on this, my second, smaller rug to be placed in front of our fridge. No matter how long it takes, I still find myself craving that sewing time. I am astounded by what can be done, the possibilities and the results. A big THANK-YOU to all the crafting mamas who encourage me through blogs and through real-life friendships to "Make Good: Crafts + Life" in my own home!