What to do with a fabric samples book?

Ideas please as I have a stack of curtain fabric samples to be used. There just isn’t room in my craft cupboard for all the fabric I am accumulating.

imageProject number one – my failsafe door stop design with sizing adapted to fit the fabric square. Four identical rectaingles and two squares to match the width of the rectangles with a strip folded to make a handle. Method; stitch the rectangles to form four sides of cube, keep it inside out.. Top stitch the folded strip and sew on the top square in place as a handle. Stitch  the top into position in the cube and stitch around most of the base square leaving a gap for turning. After turning fill with cushion poly fill and finish with some gravel or pebbles as weight before hand stitching closed the gap.

Fabric baskets

image image image imageGoal:To replace the tired old bread basket with a home made version.

result: love this with contrasting fabric which makes it reversible. so far one bread basket suitable for 2 people (10 inch squares) and one (18 inches) now my cottons basket.

method- take two squares of fabric, back with heavyweight interfacing and iron neatly.

draw darts midway each side – for the large one mine were three inches deep and three inches wide.


Sew each dart so it pulls the fabric into bowl shape then, with right sides facing, stitch the pieces together leaving a gap for turning. Turn right sides out, iron to tidy the edge and top stitch to neaten and close the turning gap.

For or the large one I also rounded the corners before I drew the darts using a plate as a template  and at the end stitched a button on each flap. Other variations to follow, love this practical make.


A chic’n cheap dog bed

As doggy outgrew his favourite bed and declined to use the giant pillow we bought him,  I decided to make a new one out of what we had around. A faded Indian cotton throw, a large IKEA pillow pad and  old duvet (world is mad when it is cheaper to buy a new one than get it drycleaned) filling.

Method:make a ‘pillow case’ for the base pillow. make four smaller pillow cases, one  for each side of the base leaving half of a narrow end open for stuffing. sew one  long seam of each of the four smaller pillows to the base  case. stuff as firmly as you can and insert the base pillow in. hand sew  the opening of the pillows closed and then hand sew the short ends of the smaller pillows together . This  pulls the four sides up and together around the base.

Success – he loves it! So much that another one made with the same set of materials.



Dog coat

imagethe most expensive dog coat turns out to be the easiest pattern to copy, just traced.


to fit Harvey this is 12.5 inches wide, 11.5 inches back to neck, 17 inches back to end of each tab


Method: use pattern to cut two fabric shapes and a 23 inch long four inch wide strip. Quilt wadding to the reverse of one shape then sew shapes wrong side together, leaving a gap to turn. Top stitch the edge, this also seals the turning gap. Iron the strip in half then turn in each edge to make a four ply strip . Top stitch along each edge and fix as on pattern.

once checked on doggie for fit,  affix Velcro tabs on neck and on strip. Now just waiting for the reflective tape to arrive, so his night time walks are warm and safe.




thanks to a great you tube tutorial from fabric junction, I have mitred corners on these place mats

imageBy pinning the centres of two proportionate rectangles and carefully marked boxes in the corners of my top fabric, it worked!

now, shall I make some napkins with the  remnant?

don’t  tell my mum, this is the home made part of her present


(Don’t) Shut that door

imageA pile of fabric bits, a Christmas list to make for and a ramble on YouTube produces more doorstop ideas, but the styling is due mainly to Debbie Shore’s post.

I have decided to stuff mine with whatever is to hand rather than buy specifically so for these I used gravel from the garden or salt put in ziplock plastic bags.  These  give a nice crackly noise to the project.

I have a feeling that these house doorstops are going to evolve as they are quick and fun.

How to: two squares of fabric the same size – mine 8 inches, two pieces for the roof which are the same width but not so tall. On the roof pieces draw a line 1 inch in from either end of the top out and down to the edge to make the roof angle.

sew on door, window and flower shapes to the front panel, centre them more than seems logical. If you want a chimney, take 2 small rectangles sew three sides and turn then pin facing downwards on a roof line

Sew each roof to its panel then right sides together sew all around the edges leaving a gap for turning. Box the corners before you do turn. *Stuff with old pillows and weighted bag. Hand stitch the stuffing hole closed.

to embellish further you can hot glue ribbon or ric rac on the gutter line between house and roof and add yo-yo or Suffolk puff flowers at the stage.

*boxing-  used in bag making mainly – means pin  the bottom and side seams facing to form a pointed corner at each end. Mark , pin and sew equal sized lines to form a triangle which you then snip off. OK I will do a proper explanation soon.

Chicken door stop

Today I couldn’t start work without a session at the sewing machine, so a vintage Debbie Shore YouTube video was my inspiration. It is basically two 10 inch squares sewn right sides together around three sides and then the fourth side is pulled seams to the centre to make the pyramid.  A few extra felt embellishments and a ziplock bag of gravel amongst the stuffing and, voila, a door stop for chicken lovers.

image image