Saturday, March 14, 2009

Green Goodness, stitching the world back together: volume 1

This will be my sporadic musings on being green. For the last few months I have been thinking about re-usable wrapping paper. My friend Kathryn was working on her version of this for Christmas gifts and when I finally caught up with my Sew News reading I found that they had a contest in December for re-usable wrapping paper. Taking this inspiration I started formulating a design.

As I had two birthday presents to wrap this month, I decided to put my mind and stitching to this task. I came up with two ideas. One pretty ordinary but effective, the other a bit more creative.

First, I ordered my nephew Ethan a personalized coloring book from for his 4th birthday. To wrap this gift I made a re-usable tote bag, which I personalized with iron on embroidery letters. Hopefully he will learn from a young age the beauty of the tote bag.

I must admit I'm a bit of a tote bag addict. They do make great gifts though. Three years ago I made cloth shopping bags for all my girlfriends for Christmas, they still comment and tell me they are using them three years later.

For this tote I measured the coloring book and cut a piece of fabric one inch wider then the width and twice as long plus two inches. Serged the sides, hemmed the top and added the webbing straps which were recycled from wrapping linens I received as a Christmas gift. I then ironed on the letters.

Second, also from I ordered Keenan's little buddy Oliver a personalized story book for his 1st birthday. For this wrapping I cut a single piece of fabric 13" x 27". My idea was to make cloth napkins which would remain hooked together in the middle for the wrapping. Then the recipient could simply cut between the two of them for use. To accomplish this I choose a decorative stitch that would stop any fraying that might occur after washing and stitched around the edges of both napkins. Leaving about 1/2" between the two napkins side stitching. I pinked the edges to make it more decorative and help cut down on fraying. Then I wrapped the book, using a safety pin as tape. I wrote quick instructions on the back of the card. The end result was a big hit at the party and looked great.

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