placemat tutorial from guest Vanessa of Punkin Patterns

Well, it’s about time I had my friend Vanessa of Punkin Patterns over for a visit!  She’s one of only a handful of bloggers that I’ve actually met in person, and more than that, I’ve known her for quite a bit longer!  You see, my brother and her husband are childhood friends.  I even got to attend her beautiful wedding way back when.  So anyway, she’s here today to show you how to make a really fun project!  And while you stop by and visit her blog be sure to check out all her cool tutorials and tell her I said hi! 

Thanks Anna for having me. I’m very excited to be here. Hi! I’m Vanessa and my blog is called Punkin Patterns. It’s my little space to share my creative side.

I have two little “punkins” ages five and three which inspire me. This project I’m sharing with you today was inspired by my son. He always wants to help with dinner, and I try to let him help wherever he can with the prep work, but while I’m doing the cooking, he likes to help by setting the table. This placemat was designed to help little kids do just that, showing them where to put the plate, knife, fork and spoon. So I give you the . . .

These Table Setting Placemats are fun and functional. They bring together some of my favorite techniques: painting, sewing and quilting. The knife, fork and spoon are painted on using freezer paper and fabric paint.

And the top of the placemat is pieced together to allow a fun fabric in the middle. They can be bright and fun like mine or made to coordinate with your kitchen colors or patterns. It has very simple quilting to make it a quick project.

Your kids will have fun setting the table.  My three-year-old got in on the fun and set the table too. (I love those tiny fingers!) Then, of course, you must sit down for a little “snack” and some fun too.

So head on over to Punkin Patterns and find out how to make one!
Thanks for sharing today Vanessa, these would certainly spiff up any table!

early april showers…

…baby showers that is.  I had fun going to my friend’s baby shower this past weekend.  It was fun to be able to hang out and have some quality girl talk and swap some funny stories. 
She’s having a boy and although I have tons of girl fabric to use, I do manage to sneak in boys fabric here and there, especially since now I have my newest nephew to sew for.  (rocket fabric: Rocket Scientist by Keri Beyer 2009, purchased at Crafty Planet)
Anyway, I settled on some much needed baby items for her gift.  You know, diapers, soap, all that useable stuff that you go through like crazy.  So with that bathtime theme I set out to make a couple fabric buckets for organizing all those bathtime necessities and a few washcloths.  (Fabric bucket tutorial by Ric-Rac, I just adjusted the sizing to make the sizes I wanted)
Honestly, I don’t even know why I haven’t ever sewn a washcloth before.  I even had the terrycloth from over a year ago.  Somehow the stretchyness of it kind of intimidated me.  Well, I got over it, used my walking foot, and made some cute baby washcloths.  And don’t worry, I’m determined to sew a whole bunch for my girls and throw away those dingy ones we have that are pretty much falling apart. 
I’d also like to add a few random notes about Japan.  I’m sure many of you have already donated money or purchase handmade items to benefit Japan and it’s earthquake victims.  Here are a few links if you’re still interested in helping out:
  • Ellie Inspired is donating 100% of her Ayano dress pattern sales to help Japan (through April 15th).  Click here for more info.
  • If you’re interested in donating money, here’s a great site where you can donate to a handful of great organizations.
  • visit For Japan with Love
  • or visit Tea Rose Home’s page to read more about her story and how you can help:

thank you

I just want to say thank you to everyone for your support on my newest pattern, the 241 Tote.  Your support and encouragement means so much to me.

I also want to thank my pattern testers:  Vanessa, Jeannie, and Gret.  These three ladies are all amazing in their own right and I’m so glad they were able to help me out!  Here are their 241 totes if you’re interested in getting some ideas on more fabric choices: 

from Vanessa at Punkin Patterns

from Jeannie

from Gret at A Little Red Ribbon

Beautiful, right?! 

And I also want to give a shout out to my friend Krista who made a 241 tote over the weekend, aren’t her fabrics great?