Originally featured in Alabama Stitch Book in reverse-appliqué, these simple tea towels can be given a new look using what is essentially the opposite technique – applique .
For this project, our design choices include one Navy Tea Towel with Natural appliqué, whip-stitched with White Button Craft thread, and one Natural Tea Towel with Navy appliqué, whip-stitched with Navy Button Craft thread.
Today we launch a month-long celebration of all things American, culminating in my annual neighborhood 4th of July Parade (Kids vs. Adults Baseball Game and Grill Extravaganza). We have searched high and low to find the spirit of red, white, and blue.
For today’s DIY Thursday, we start by (re)sharing instructions for our American Flag Quilt. The flag is, after all, the epitomic icon for Independence Day. Get started now to display for your July 4th celebration.
Check back tomorrow to begin our month of ‘Celebrate America’- featuring new products, projects, stories, and recipes to make your own celebrations spectacular.
P.S.: And we won’t forget Dad— so stop by for some of our favorite Father’s Day gifts too…
I have had a set of cotton twill curtains in my house for years. I don’t really remember where I bought them anymore; they have just been a part of my home for ages. This spring, I got a set of new set of (more energy efficient) French doors to replace the 1950s era sliding glass doors that open from my kitchen to the back patio.
Because the curtain rod now needed to be moved, I took the cotton twill curtains down for a wash – and I decided to decorate them.
As we posted last Tuesday, I highly recommend that you start a library to document your design work. As you create your samples, make them the same size so that your (master) pieces can be easily stored. And even if you don’t want to keep the samples for posterity, you can work towards making a Sampler Throw like the one shown above. As we develop our many fabrics, it often happens that a particular sample, as beautiful as it may be, just doesn’t fit neatly into one of our Fabric Swatch Books or collections. That was the case with the swatches that became the basis for this Sampler Throw. You may even find that you want to make the Sampler Throw not as a way of developing different fabric swatches, but just because it’s a beautiful and easy project. Either way, I urge you to explore our stencils, colors, techniques, and stitches to sustain rewarding design experiences.
Thank you notes are an integral part of a Southern woman’s upbringing. We are taught to be grateful, always say please and thank you, and appreciate the many gifts in life. This is how I was raised and this is how I choose to raise my daughter Maggie. I want her to grow up with a grateful manner. I want her to be thankful for all that life has to offer.
However in this busy day-and-age, I often forget or don’t seem to find time for a personal, hand-written thank you note. I plan to remedy that situation and I’m just now getting to my holiday thank you list. To those on my list, please be patient with us. We WILL make more time to sit with pen, scissors, and paper over the next weeks.
Mending is not something we – as a culture – spend a lot of time doing these days. Fast fashion and mass consumerism has taught us to simply throw older or imperfect items away and replace them with newer versions. I am all for the “Sewing Schoolyard” – let’s teach ourselves and our kids to mend – a satisfying task.
My favorite, 10-year old tea towels have seen better days; but, I just can’t find the perfect replacement. I use our Alabama Chanin Tea Towels for most kitchen tasks but these have just given me so much kitchen love that I can’t bear to part with them.
In perfect wabi-sabi style, Olivia – our Studio Assistant (and budding pattern maker) – mended my old tea towels using scraps of our organic cotton jersey and Button Craft thread. Using applique in combination with seed, whip and eyelet stitches, she repaired the holes and covered the stains. Perfect.
My daughter received a sandwich wrap similar to these for her birthday two years ago and it quickly became a treasured item in our household (Thank you Carrie and Michael). So treasured, in fact, that we have almost worn it out. With back-to-school this year, I realized that we need many of these in our kitchen – in fact, one for every day.
We used scraps of medium-weight 100% cotton jersey in ochre, light grey, and faded leaves from our studio to make the wraps pictured here. They are lined with a PUL fabric (found at our local fabric store), but I have also used wax paper as a liner for a particularly messy sandwich.
There are so many computer and electronic device covers on the market today that are perfectly serviceable and will take you lots of places. I have avoided writing about these functional items for years; however, our babysitter made a version of the one shown above for her reading device and I was inspired to create our own Alabama Chanin version. I love the juxtaposition of materials that functionally protect the device and the hand-sewn detailing that make the piece personal.
Follow the instructions below to make your own cover:
A “Fat Eighth” is a term that was unknown to me several years back. It describes a bundle of 1/8 yard cuts of fabric made popular by quilters who can take small cuts and work them into their patchworks. Our Studio Style Store began offering Fat Eighths of our organic cotton jersey a few years back after receiving emails requesting larger pieces of the 50 colors of fabric we offer on our two color cards.
Maggie’s new school is hosting their annual Fall Festival tomorrow and each of the classes was asked to make a project to donate to a silent auction. The Class Moms are asked to help organize this and (as I am one of the two responsible) I, of course, suggested that we make a quilt. To be honest, it just seemed the path of least resistance at the time. However, this project has become so lovely that we decided to share it as our “Quilt of the Month #3.”
We simply cut blocks of organic cotton jersey from white, cream and tea and had the class (in conjunction with their 4th grade buddies) draw pictures of “Family & Friends.” The project was spread out over a few mornings – just thirty minutes each of the mornings before the day started. The kids had a great time (were asking for more) and the results were outstanding.
We used Crayola Fabric Markers for the drawings and then added little bits of embroidery, appliqué and reverse appliqué from Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.
Everyone who has been in our studio is amazed. I wish that I had been collecting Maggie’s drawings since she was born to make a quilt for her (well, myself). And I asked Maggie to start holiday themed blocks last week with trees, presents, snow, etc. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Follow the instructions below to make your own Friendship Quilt and wish us luck tomorrow at the silent auction!