Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hand-sewn chicken placemats

I hate the placemats we bought a while back that were pre-made. No matter how we dry them, they always end up wrinkled like crazy and we have to iron them for them to stay flat. So, I took matters into my own hands and sewed my own.

This is how they look after drying and no ironing. There are chickens on one side and sunflowers on the other and they are quilted in the middle. For spring and mid-summer, we'll use the chicken side and for fall we'll use the sunflower side. Or, we'll just mix it up and use whatever side we feel like since they match.

Next up, I'll be sewing some napkins for spring/summer. They are red gingham on one side and strawberries on the other. Again, the pre-made napkins always need ironing, but the ones I've been making myself (we have Halloween and Christmas themed ones) never need ironing. I'll take some pics when I'm done with them. I probably will use the sewing machine on the napkins since it will go a lot faster.

Are you working on any sewing projects? I'm thinking of embarking on a skirt while I'm at it.


Kelsie said...

I actually made a decent amount of money selling homemade napkins on Etsy! I really, really enjoyed choosing the coordinating fabrics for each side. I'd love to get back into it. Hopefully this summer. Your placemats are adorable. :) I've given up on placemats. The cats just treat them like beds.

Michelle Dowell said...

I love this idea! I think I'll make some for my house. I've just gotten back into sewing because I was tired of lusting over high priced country cottage items and not being able to afford them. One day I figured "Duh!" I'll make them myself. Thanks for the idea. I have 4 cats & have a feeling they'll love these as well! LOL! ;-P

Laura Kaeding said...

Those look great! I love the idea of making your own placemats, and the fact that they don't need ironing is just that much more appealing! You have inspired me (once again!) to go and try to make some handmade napkins and cloths. Thank you thank you thank you!

Adrienne said...

Okay, what are you making the napkins out of that they dont' get wrinkled? I have some store-bought cotton ones and they look like rags after i wash them.

I'm sewing a couple of potholders right now.

Bootzey said...

Stop reminding me I need to sew some summer curtains for the kitchen!!!!

Unknown said...

I've just finished all the props and costumes for my school's production of "Midsummer's Night's Dream". I think I'm done sewing for a little while now.

Amy said...

Love those! I've looked at that fabric more times than I care to admit, but couldn't decide what I would do with it. Now I know! We move to our new little farm in 2 weeks. I NEED new placemats, right???

Melinda said...

They are very sweet. I can't wait to have time/make time to sew and knit. Maybe summer....

BTW, I read the title of your post very differently and thought you'd flown the coop. I was feeling bad for your chickens!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Adrienne - It's a quilted fabric I got at Joann's Fabric - on one side it has the chickens and sunflowers on the other. The fabric is cotton and the batting is poly.

Melissa said...

I love your new placemats! Unfortunately, like Kelsie, I have cats who see them as sleeping mats, so my placemats remain in a drawer 99% of the time.

My big sewing project at the moment is to make better insulated curtains. The ones I have now are just white fleece throw blankets from Ikea with a rod pocket sewn in one end. For such a simple fix, they have made a huge difference in my gas bill; they paid for themselves within the first two months I had them up.

But fleece gets gross looking awfully fast; after two years, despite repeated washings, they still look grungy. So I'm re-using them in new window coverings, this time as the batting layer between white sheets from Goodwill.

I'm also changing the design a bit; instead of hanging them as curtains from a rod I'll make them into panels hung from small hooks above the windows. That way, they'll lie flat against the window frames and I can add another insulating (and/or decorative) layer of curtains from the existing rods.

It seems odd to do this at the tail-end of winter, but I plan to use them in the hottest days of summer, too. Last year I finally discovered that the house stays much cooler with all the windows shut during the day (duh!). So between insulated panels inside the windows and shadecloth screens (another project!) for the outside, I should be able to keep the house comfortable without running a fan all the time--and preferably not at all.

In other sewing projects, I'm making loose tunic tops for summer. It's just the same top, made in half a dozen or so different fabrics; the pattern is derived from a favorite commercially-made top that I took apart after it wore out. The fabrics are all cotton and linen I have on hand, most of it thrifted over the last year or so.

I enjoy making clothes like this because I know they're well-made, won't shrink or fall apart, and I can always get exactly what I want without depending on stores to carry it. Being free of the insane whims of fashion and the tyrrany of women's clothing sizes helps, too.

On top of that, I've been making pillow cases, too. I don't like decorative throw pillows on the bed, but plain pillowcases get boring. So I used up some cotton and linen prints by combining them in interesting ways and making pillowcases that are both functional and decorative. It was one of those simple projects that paid off big in satisfaction with the results.