The Little Earth Mat

IMG_8391When I saw a Lego mat on Pinterest, my mind went wild with ideas for a mat for our nephew for Christmas. One with a landscape for dinosaurs or animals seemed like so much fun to play with and also fun to make.Oh, I should mention, the whole idea is to have a mat to play on that can then be drawn up into a bag with the draw string, toys inside.

wpid-2015-11-17-14.02.15.jpg.jpegIt just so happened that the idea came right before Chestnut Bay’s Scraptacular Sale. This was were all the fabrics in the bins were sold by weight. I was hoping to find an earthy brown print, a watery blue print and a grassy green print. How excited was I when I found two great water prints, two greens that were actual grass and two browns including one that looked like topography. This meant there could be deep, dark blue water and shallower, pebbly water…..Grass lands and a forest…. and mountains.

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After cutting the base circle, I started with the water. With the general positioning in mind, I put the water fabric under the earth fabric. This let me cut the outline of the circle. (sorry the photo is blurry.)

wpid-2015-11-17-14.04.06-1.jpg.jpegAfter cutting the outline, the water could be positioned on the top. I repeated this for each of the layers. Water… Water….. Grass lands…. Forest….. The mountains….. Trimming the non-circle edges to look more natural.

wpid-2015-11-17-14.18.29-1.jpg.jpegI basted the pieces in place around the circle and around the curvy edges. I made sure to leave enough space for when I top-stitch the layers in place. For the mountains, the plan was to give them some depth. So, while I basted the waters, grasslands, and forest in place

I debated between making mountains or a cave. In the end, the cave won because it could also be a pocket… and, well, it was just cool.

Around the edge, I added a bias channel of the desert fabric. Inside went a cotton cord. (The cotton cord does not draw up as easily as I wanted. If I could, I’d change it out for a smoother cord.)

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Tree Runner

wpid-2015-11-19-19.09.47.jpg.jpegWhile wandering Pinterest for ornament inspiration, I stumbled across several stacked tree projects. The idea for a table runner with a pair of stacked trees appealed to me. Putting the pretty colored trees on the primitive look of the osenburg I bought a bolt of over the summer particularly appealed.

This happened to be just before the Chestnut Bay Scraptastic sale (yes, I have several projects from that sale.) What a perfect time to pick an assortment of green fabrics for the tree.

Each layer of the tree is a trapezoid, one inch smaller at the base than the previous. I pre-pressed the seam allowances. Then hand stitched each layer together.wpid-2015-11-15-10.44.05-1.jpg.jpeg

wpid-2015-11-15-13.29.30.jpg.jpegI basted the trees in place. Then top stitched them. I forgot that I had wanted to add the trunks first to get the depth I wanted. But, I think those came out just fine. The fabric for the stars was the only fabric purchased separately. It is also the first batik I’ve purchased.

The binding is pieced from the left-overs of the trees’ fabrics. I stacked strips, then cut them 2″ wide. I machine stitched one side of the border. Then, blind stitched the other.
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Now, we have a cute Christmas table runner. We just need a table to fit us all.
Hmmm…. we did see a drop leaf in town we both liked. It just need a little recovery refinishing….
I had just a bit of the tree fabrics left. So, I made a new curtain for the book shelf that acts as our faux mantle.
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Welcome to “Don’t Paint the Cat”

Cat Painting 1For years now, I’ve kept a history focused blog full of research, projects, interpretive tips and events. Now, it is time to add something a little different….

This blog will include the non-historical fiber crafts I enjoy, as well as other fun, crafty things I happen to do.

What will you see?

Well, I’ll be deciding that as I go. You’ll be seeing some fabric crafty projects, some holiday projects, occasionally some how-tos. You’ll also see some things around the house like my fondness for shelf building. (This will likely include some laughs as I am newer to power tools.) Chances are there will be some refinishing as space allows. You may even occasionally see attempts at food.