DIY, Tutorials, Sewing

DIY: House Appliqué Tea Towel Tutorial


In my last post I talked about scrap bags and the many projects you can do with a scrap bag. In this post I will teach you how to make one of those projects.  If you want to just go and buy a scrap bag you can visit my Etsy shop. They are packaged in 5 ounce bags for $5.   This is a great beginner project or a project to do with kids.  It's teaching them to use up scraps, lets not waste the fabric and be eco minded . You can buy a blank pre made dish towel or make your own, or use one you already have.   Kids can play around with the design of the layout of the houses, add grass or cement colored fabric to the border, doors can be added to your houses or not.

1. Supplies: Scissors, pinking shears (optional), cotton woven fabric scraps ranging from 1" to 3",  pins, sewing machine or you can hand sew, iron, pieces of felt (optional), dish towel


2. Iron your fabrics. Cut out your houses that are sized from 1" to 3". Cut out your roofs that are 1" to 1 1/2".  I cut mine out with pinking shears and also made my roofs slanted.  For the front of the houses I used a strip of mushroom printed fabric to represent the forest. I am dreaming of a farmhouse some day. 

photo from escape brooklyn


3. After cutting out your houses lay them out on the towel for placement, pin them into place.  I left the edges exposed.  Add any little doors or windows if you want, size should be no bigger than 1/2". I used hot pink wool felt scraps for my door.   Even space them out.  A little trick to make sure your center house is centered is fold the towel in half lengthwise and press with iron.  Place your middle house on this crease.  Things don't need to be perfect, it is a little village. 


4. Zig zag or straight stitch. For my houses I zig zag stitched, and for the roof I cut out with pinking shears then straight stitched.  For zig zag the setting is width of 4 and length of .5. As you sew around the houses you can sew the door on, then continue onto the bottom of the house. 

finished towel

finished towel

After you complete the sewing, iron once again. All set for your stove, dish rack, or a gift. 



DIY, Fabrics, Sewing

Scrap Bag Crafts: Projects to Make with Fabric Pieces

scrap fabric pincushion

It's hard for me to throw away fabric. I looked, I chose and I purchased. Most of it I love. I pick up a piece and usually think what can I do with this little scrap. I don't want to waste. I don't want the fabric to end up in a landfill leaking inks into our earth.  But clean spaces equals clean minds. So I decided to turn my scraps into scrap bags and I will pass on these fabrics to you.  Not large ones, but a small 5 ounce bag.  It's not too much of an investment so you can buy as many as you need.

So what comes in these bags?  Scrap bags come in quilting cottons, denims or canvases. Everything is cotton or cotton linen.  No scrap is smaller than 2" wide. That's my rule of thumb.  Therefore if you are a quilter it can be used for patchwork. Whatelse can you do with scraps? I compiled a list with links.  

passport cover from Sugar and Cloth

passport cover from Sugar and Cloth

1. Super cute passport cover from Sugar and Cloth.

Modern pincushion from Canoe Ridge Creations

Modern pincushion from Canoe Ridge Creations

2. Pincushion - this modern pincushion is a great intro project into quilting, from Canoe Ridge

3. Bunting / Garland - good for any sort of party, kid's bedroom or playroom or a classroom.  This one is from the Purl Bee and uses felt.  Fabric can easily be substituted.  I did something similar with felt, backed with fabric in my daughter's name. 

4. Appliqué design on tea towels - This next one is a cute idea for a housewarming gift.  I taught this to some students for a Mother's Day gift. It's an easy and quick project for young learners. They also get to be creative with designing the layout.  You can buy some toweling fabric at most fabric and craft stores which saves some time sewing the towel.

from Martha Stewart quilted coasters

from Martha Stewart quilted coasters

And for #5, however the list can go on. Coasters. The scrap bags I make are color coordinated so you can make a set of fabric coasters that complement each other. A great house warming gift or gift for yourself.  Martha Stewart has an easy tutorial.  These are quilted but you don't need to do that. 2 rows of stitching around the edges are enough.  

Off the top of my head some more ideas are:  ornaments, fabric flowers, glasses, buttons, barrettes, zip pouch, fabric necklace, kids belts, napkin rings, memory game chips.  So many diy projects, so little time. But the fabric won't end up in the landfill. To buy some scrap bags you can visit my Etsy shop or email me  and I would love to see what you make! I find when given restrictions we can create so many interesting things.

Happy New Year!


Table Settings

Pretty much the whole country will be celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday and spending time enjoying a yummy dinner with loved ones.  I am not really religious, but give thanks and say a prayer for those not fortunate enough to be in a warm home with loved ones.  This year my Australian mother in law, MIL, will be coming to my parents house for Thanksgiving. This will be her first Thanksgiving dinner. My father is a great cook, he does an excellent job with the bird.  I will be bringing pies and a cranberry tea bread I used to make when I was a baker at the Black Dog Bakery on Martha's Vineyard.  My sister will bring the homemade cranberry sauce, another tasty dish with orange peel accents. My mom makes rich, buttery mashed potatoes.  So everything is pretty covered. What about the table? I decided to look up some table setting ideas.  I posted a few months back about ideas for decorating the table, here.   However this post is about how to set up the dishes and silverware.

From Emily Post's website,, easy rule of thumb to remember the silverware gets placed on order of use.  

above snapshots taken from

above photo from real

Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite websites, has 15 DIY ideas for a modern Thanksgiving table.  I love the layering of the textiles and the succulents definitely add a modern feel. 

apartment therapy

However you spend the day I hope you have a lovely and peaceful holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tutorials, Sewing, DIY

DIY: Sew a Tote this weekend!

Happy Friday! I am blogging for EtsyNy today and wanted to share this post with you.  This is a great project for someone who has learned to sew and wants to learn a few more techniques.  This is a lined bag with an interior pocket and sturdy cotton handles.  100% cotton! 

You can not only use the bag for apple picking but a trip to the farmer's market to pick up some other veggies! Full instructions are on EtsyNY's blog.  Just

Have a great weekend!