and here is my latest craft book acquisition, "improv sewing: 101 fast, fun, and fearless projects". i love this book!! for the sake of disclosure, i was given a copy of the book from the authors, but all
i love that this book encourages me to try new things, find alternate uses for what i already have, and helps me to feel successful with my project, inspiring me while also allowing room for my own creativity. there are an amazing number of really great projects, and i suspect that there's more than a little for everyone in this book. in fact, since i started reading it, we've begun carrying it at sewn studio and i've also purchased a copy or two as gifts.
when i went through the book to decide which project to make for this post, i used up half of a pack of post-it notes just marking the pages of other projects i need to come back and make. for example: meandering cardigan, nesting boxes, line art lunchbox napkins, two-tee dress, cowl neck duffle... i could go on.
but i decided to start off with something practical. i know... practical?? but our existing cork bath mat was worn right through. we love this cork bath mat, have used it for years, and all was well until the cats discovered it a few months ago and it became their new scratching post. so i whipped up a fast, fun, and fearless improv replacement!
the new bath mat is pretty fabulous. i used a Daisy Janie print from shades of grey and two old towels from the good ol' top shelf of the linen closet.
the mat is basically a small whole-fabric quilt that uses the towels as both batting and backing. in the book, double fold bias tape is used for the edging, but i didn't have any of that handy, so i just machine bound the mat using a thick straight binding i made from the same fabric.
i did find that the quilting was a bit tricky as the finished mat is quite thick. a combination of dialing down the pressure on my presser foot, adjusting the stitch tension, and using my walking foot enabled me to get through it, but i'll admit that there were quite a few missed stitches. in order to compensate, i just went over the same areas with some wavy lines and also machine stitched around the binding twice.
i'm planning to make a second mat in the same fabric for in front of the sink, and also thinking about making one for the girls' bathroom (though the cats haven't found that cork mat... yet). i plan to either use one layer of towel or use thinner towels, which i think this will make the quilting much easier. in the book they use free motion quilting and i'd like to try that. i think it would give a bit more control over the stitching, and it's about time that i brave the fmq anyway ;)
as i mentioned, i'm a huge fan of this book! and i never would have thought to make my own bath mat, but i'm so glad that someone else thought of it for me... aren't those simple ideas the best?
for more project ideas and inspiration, check out the Improv Diary blog or Improv Sewing on facebook.