Friday, January 7, 2011

Napkins, napkins, and lunches

We're just about to wind up the handmade Christmas wrap-up. I've been wanting to make my mother-in-law something for a while, and when I saw these frog fabrics from Alexander Henry's Novelty collection (Leap Frog in Lime and Navy), I knew they were perfect. She loves frogs, and since she's always hosting dinners and parties, I thought a fun set of napkins and placemats would be perfect. 
I made these a bit smaller, so they're really for casual dining. I thought our niece, who's a frequent diner at Chez Grammie's, would appreciate the frogs, too. :)
The back of the napkins is Joel Dewberry's Herringbone in Lake from the Modern Meadow collection, and the back of the placemats is a sheet from IKEA.
I kept up the napkin theme with my cousin Savy's gift. During a visit with her and her hubby this summer, she mentioned how much she loves roosters. She also loves plates and napkins — like really loves them. She's got quite the collection, believe me. Most of what she has is paper, so I thought I'd make her something she could hold on to for a little longer.
I loved the Farmdale collection from Alexander Henry the moment I saw it, and I kept coveting it for something of my own — an apron or potholder, perhaps. But when I was planning Christmas gifts, I remembered the rooster thing, and it clicked.
The Farmdale Crossing in Natural print (the one with the roosters) is great because it gives a little rooster love without being over the top. Sophisticated, chic rooster, let's say. Then, to add a little color, I used the Farmdale Orchard in Natural as a coordinating print. It was backed with a Kona red (sorry, I can't remember which one), and the roosters got a black gingham, both from Joann's. The Farmdale prints were from the awesome folks at Hawthorne Threads. I was so happy with the way they turned out; I'd wipe my mouth with them any time.
I've also been itching to make my mom something since she was so pleased with the purse I made a few months ago. She requested a big lunch bag that could hold plenty of Tupperware, so I wound up with this gusseted bag version, which was pulled from several tutorials I found online, since I couldn't find one that was just right.
She actually originally picked out the orange fabric (Orbs in Orange from Khristian A Howell's High Society collection) for her purse, but it got vetoed when it arrived in the mail and was much brighter than expected — a bit much for a purse but perfect for a lunch bag. I paired it with the Paisley Panache in Clay from the same collection and made a little napkin to match.
Then, I lined the bag with duck cloth to make sure it was plenty sturdy (plus I liked the look of the canvas lining) and added a little appliqu├ęd "S" for "Susanne." (I went a bit wild with the appliqueing this Christmas, in case you haven’t noticed.) What do you think? I think it turned out pretty cute (and it’s big enough to fit a book for lunchtime reading or to use as a small tote on the weekends).
And speaking of lunchtime reading, has anyone else read The Hunger Games series? Based on several recommendations, it was the first thing I downloaded to my new Kindle, and I whipped through the first two books in a few days. I'm planning to finish the third tonight. I highly recommend it — but only if you have plenty of time to spare. You won't be able to put it down.

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