Marimekko bench cushion

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This bench cushion was (honestly, I swear) easy to make. I bought a big slab of green foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics (half price!) and then cut it to the right size with a bread knife–weird, but it worked perfectly. I wrapped the foam in cotton batting to add some softness. The little village on this Marimekko fabric fit perfectly for the dimensions of my cushion. Basically, I made a shallow box with the fabric leaving one long side open, and then stuffed the foam in–slightly unwieldy but otherwise not hard at all. Both the Liberty Book of Home Sewing and Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts have excellent instructions for making a bench cushion. I decided to add piping to my cushion to give it a finished look, and to add a touch of navy. (The bench itself is my daughter’s old bookcase tipped on its side–the shelves make perfect shoe cubbies!)

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Very easy projects for pretty fabrics

Sometimes I buy fabric that seems almost too pretty to use. Recently, I bought half a yard of this Marimeko fabric that I was both eager and reluctant to use. In cases like this I opt for an easy project that almost keeps the fabric in tact. Here are three projects that really showcase a beautiful fabric.

1. Simple envelope enclosure pillow. If your fabric is about the right size for your pillow form, you hardly have to waste any, and you can finish in no time. I used most of my Marimeko fabric for this pillow. Download the easy instructions here:  Simple Envelope Enclosure Pillow.

2. Napkins. For this project, I use Martha Stewart’s pattern for linen napkins from her Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. Just add a fancy hem to your pretty fabric and voila. I have to say making this hem is super satisfying–one of the rare things in my sewing life that really comes out perfect. (The only problem, of course, is that you actually have to let people use your beautiful cloth napkins. But, I’m a firm believer in not saving things for special occasions, and this hem will stand up to lots of trips through the washer.)

3. Double-gauze receiving blanket. This pattern from purl bee makes wonderful use of Japanese double-gauze fabric and shot cotton. This fabric is so beautiful, and you hardly do anything to it–just sew two squares together then add a running stitch in embroidery thread around the border. I made a blanket for a friend’s baby and I hear it was a very popular item!

Sock Dog

We’re just back from a long weekend in the Deep North at my brother’s house–skiing, ice skating, and, in my case, suffering from a stomach bug. What is more pleasant than a puking houseguest? you might ask. I’m pretty sure Ben Franklin coined a pithy adage about it.

Not only was my beautiful sister-in-law, Toni, gracious about my digestive turmoil, but she also let me photograph her latest sewing projects.  

She made this polka dot pooch from a couple of old socks. Such a cute pup! The pattern comes from Martha Stewart Crafts (step-by-step instructions here). You can also find it in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

Toni also made this pretty drawstring  bag from a pattern in Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing.

    

And this canvas bag (perfect size for an IPad or say, those paper things formerly known as books) from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

Thank you ever so much, T. I promise not to return for a while. Love, m.