Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pantry Shelf

One of the awesome perks of sewing is that feeling that you can make Anything.  Or, at least, anything made in fabric.  If I had a secret alias it might be  "woman of the cloth."  It's kind of like Settlers of Catan - this is my resource.  No, I haven't actually made everything that can be made in cloth (particularly of the wardrobe variety), but I like to think, with a twinkle in my eye, that I can.

In the two-dimensional quilting world, where I am quite comfy, being able to make Just Anything requires skills beyond simple piecing.  Don't get me wrong, simple straight-line piecing is awesome!  But, if you want to be able to draw any design and be able to bring it forth in cloth form, you'll need some extra powers.  In the Penny Sampler we're working on machine applique  - the short cut to sewing curved shapes - and machine paper piecing - the holy grail of accurate, complex straight lines.

design phase

Earlier this week I sat down to sketch something that would be a fun paper piecing project for our upcoming class.  After some false starts I drifted into the kitchen, with what I am sure was a blank, zombie stare.  My gaze eventually landed on a favorite bit of kitchen decor - a white floating shelf stacked with pretty things, including some clear glass canisters filled with noodles, beans, etc.

Could we sew just such a shelf?  Why, of course we could!  After all, we can sew just about anything.  What's more those canisters are already angular, making them easy to translate in machine paper piecing!   I had fun designing some fancy labels and throwing in an imaginary hexagonal canister with a chunky lid.

before the storm

Next up, choosing fabrics!  I started with wallpaper for my kitchen, conjuring a space that was colorful with a bit of a Melody Miller vintage flare.  After choosing Denyse Schmidt's Medallion Flea Market Fancy print for the wallpaper, I selected fabrics to fill my jars.  Funny that all but one are Denyse too!  Then, I sourced some text prints to spice up those labels and the now "wooden" lid.

Pantry Shelf details

Choosing fabrics is of course the very most fun part!  But the sewing isn't half bad either.  Once you get the hang of machine paper piecing, it's actually a very satisfying experience.  If you can sew on a marked line, you can sew perfectly every time.  Watching deliciously sharp right angles and fussy cut fabrics emerge as intended to create a picture is really quite a treat.  If you haven't yet tried this skill, don't be afraid.  It's not complex to achieve (like curved piecing can be).  Instead it's complex to teach.  It's one of those skills best taught in person, which is probably why it's received a bit of a reputation in our digital world.  I'm confident that with detailed lessons and especially with videos, you'll be successfully machine paper piecing quicker than you think!

Pantry Shelf project

Well, that's our Pantry Shelf mini quilt project.  Hope it looks like fun!  I'm looking forward to sharing more class projects next week!

21 comments:

  1. Oh gooooodness...adorable! I'm ready to sign up now :)

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  2. As a canister lover, I must say these are gorgeous! Great combination of prints and balance of colors.

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  3. Oh good golly! That's adorable!!! Love it so much!

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  4. How cute! I'm usually a little uncertain about wall hangings (I prefer quilts I can use!) but I can see this one in an all white kitchen!

    I like thinking of sewing as my "resource." I really try to use it in a practical way... to justify all the fabric purchases...

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    1. I hear ya on the useful things, Sarah! This finished project is 18" x 31.5". I kept thinking it was the right size for a small rug...

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  5. Rachel that looks really good.

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  6. Very cute Rachel...and if someone needed to make a cover for a mixer or some other type of small kitchen appliance this would make a sweet cover :)

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  7. I love the Settlers of Catan reference--my favorite game :)

    Spolgarquilts.wordpress.com

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  8. absolutely gorgeous, this was such a fantastic idea.

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  9. very cute Rachel! I like the labels in particular.

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  10. That's so pretty! How long did it take to make?

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    1. I pieced it on Tues and Wed morning and basted/quilted/bound it today =) The canisters came together quickly. The shelf took longer than I expected!

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  11. It's really cute. I can't wait to make my own.

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  12. It does look like fun. I"m getting so excited about your class!

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  13. Cute project. You must have an endless supply of flea market fancy.......

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  14. It does look like fun! Hehe, in our house we would say, "Mild mannered Rachel steps into a phonebooth, and comes out..." :)

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    1. =) I need a cape. Hm... seems like I could SEW that. hahaha.

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  15. What a great translation of still life to fabric!

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  16. How fun! I agree, one of the things that made me want to sew in the first place is that I could just make something out of nothing. And now that is one of my favorite things about sewing :)

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  17. Very cute! Ready to make my own! Have just the right spot.... :)

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