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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Fabric Swatch Challenge [FSC Pt 1]

eSheep Designs' Spoonflower Swatches
I've collected a lot of Spoonflower swatches!
I recently dug into the depths of one of the storage boxes under my ironing shelf and found a bunch of Spoonflower swatches.

These are 8" squares of fabric used to proof a design before offering it up for sale. I'd forgotten about these, but in seeing them again, I thought that I should probably put them to use somehow.

Thus begins a personal challenge to find things to make out of Spoonflower swatches.

And as we enter December (where did the year just go?) with gift-giving season just around the corner, these upcoming posts may also give you some last-minute handmade gift ideas for those nearest and dearest to you.

A couple of years ago, I found a perfect project for Spoonflower swatches: Amy Butler's Key Keeper Coin Purse. The problem is, I absolutely do not need any more of those. And since I'm not really in a position to sell the things that I make, it serves no purpose to make a lot of something that I personally can't use.

Luckily, I found a couple of projects from A Spoonful of Sugar that served up the appropriate amount of inspiration (links at end of post).

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The first project is a small drawstring gift pouch (and therefore a great option for wrapping a stocking stuffer), but it's functioning as a container of sorts beside my computer. It also solves a problem that I had been having.

Fabric Gift Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
My gift pouch "basket"...

You can see a small tin of mints and a Lip Smacker in it; they used to just sit on my desk by themselves. However, I adjust my computer monitor up or down depending on whether I am sitting or standing, and whenever I moved it downwards, the Lip Smacker would invariably catch under the edge of the monitor and go flying off somewhere... or it would jarringly block the monitor entirely.

In any case, it was an annoyance. I figured if put these things in a small container, the problem would be solved. And so it is now solved, by this cute little pouch made out of two swatches from my Paisley Project collection. The drawstring is made out of some ribbon.

Nothing else is required for this little pouch, so it is the essence of simplicity!

The second project is a reversible fabric basket. Construction is similar to my stacking CD baskets, only the top edge is bound with bias tape and finished by hand.

Reversible fabric basket crafted by eSheep Designs
I modified the basket slightly by adding a padded base...

The original specs just call for some batting on one of the fabrics, but I added a 4" circle cut from my blanket remnant and sewed around it in the middle to form a base.

Reversible fabric basket crafted by eSheep Designs
Put to use...
This basket is now a new home for my generic Wonder clips. (Should they just be called clips? What's the proper nomenclature for these when they're not the Clover brand?) In the picture below, it is paired with a hot pad — a third project — made out of similar fabric (all selections from my Inspiration collection).

Spoonflower swatch projects crafted by eSheep Designs
Fabric basket and hot pad...

The hot pad didn't require a pattern or tutorial. I merely sewed two swatches together, inserted a square of the blanket "padding" inside, stitched around the perimeter to close it up and then quilted two diagonal lines across the surface.

Nothing could be simpler... or more boring; I know. A hot pad is probably the default project for a Spoonflower swatch!

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Because Spoonflower fabric comes with borders, each swatch was cut so that it had a 1/4" white border around it, so in fact, I was working with 8.5" squares of fabric.

I also used some of the excess border fabric to create the binding for the top rim of the basket. Having recently purchased a bias tape maker (generic; eBay), I tested it out for the first time here.

bias tape maker
Making my own binding tape...

It really is a handy little tool, once you're able to feed the fabric through. (I did find it odd that the thing itself doesn't come with an easy way of getting the initial bit of fabric through to the other side.)

In terms of my swatch-busting, however, I've only used up six swatches with these projects. Many more are waiting to be turned into something interesting and useful.

Then as I sat fiddling around with the hot pad, I ended up with this configuration... any guesses as to what my next swatch project is going to be??

Spoonflower swatch projects crafted by eSheep Designs
The hot pad gave me an idea to revisit an early freebie of mine...

In the meantime, please share any ideas that you might have for what to do with eight inch squares of fabric.

By the way, here are the two links to the original tutorials from A Spoonful of Sugar: the basket and the gift pouch. Either one of them can be filled with special goodies to complete a gift.

1 comment:

  1. My little basket made with the tutorial by 'A Spoonful of Sugar' sits on my sewing desk - a super quick and easy project. Fabric gift bags could be a good way to use up the swatches.


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