Autumn Favorites to Sew

Autumn Favorites to Sew
With sewing machine, pins, needles and threads, patterns and fabrics nearly calling out for attention this autumn, the following are pleasant ways to practice our sewing skills.

Kitchen Towel Topper – Hanging dish towel toppers that button around an oven door handle or towel bar often are crocheted but are an easy fall craft to sew out of fabric. Use a vintage kitchen towel for a homespun look or one purchased. Cut out two elongated bell shapes from chosen fabric then sew the bell shapes right sides together leaving the bottom open. Turn and hem the bottom of the fabric bell by folding under the open edge 1/4-inch and top stitch. Gather the towel top using two rows of long stitches that will gather easily. Pull up the gathering threads on the towel top so that the towel top will insert evenly into the fabric topper. Stitch close to the edge through all thicknesses. Add a decorative button to one side of the fabric bell. Sew small strips of hook and loop tape to each side of the bell shaped top that will act as closure.

Mug Mats or Coasters – Mug mats are mini place mats for a glass, coffee or tea cup. A great way to use up fabric scraps. Cut up autumn themed fabric into 5 inch squares. Cut up heat-resistant cotton batting slightly smaller. Place two fabric pieces right sides together with the cotton batting on top. Stitch using a ¼ inch seam allowance leaving an opening for turning the fabric right sides out enclosing the batting. Hand stitch opening closed. Use a long running stitch by hand or top stitch by machine in a crisscross pattern from corner to corner to secure the mini mat.

Throw Pillow Covers – Cover existing throw pillows with an envelope-style pillow cover. Measure fabric for the pillow front to be cut one inch larger than the pillow on all four sides. Back piece will be cut a few inches longer on either the width or length as it will then be cut in half and two adjoining edges hemmed. Stitch back pieces to front piece right sides together. Trim, turn and place on pillow for a quick change.

Fireplace Mantel Leaf and Pumpkin Garland – Simple and easy to make by cutting out a variety of leaf and pumpkin shapes in various sizes using fabric in autumn's colors. Place two shapes of a same size right sides together and stitch 1/4-inch from edges leaving an opening for turning. Turn, press, very lightly stuff with polyfill and hand stitch closed. Using hand or machine stitches stitch through all layers - leaves with a vein-like look and pumpkins with a few segmented lines. Attach shapes as desired to a long length of natural twine interspersing leaf shapes with pumpkin shapes.

Button Tree in Embroidery Hoop – Cut out and glue or applique, from brown or black fabric or felt, a bare tree shape onto a fabric background stretched in an embroidery hoop. Hand stitch on several buttons over the bare tree shape branches using buttons of various sizes and fall colors to characterize leaves. Sew a few cascading down representing windblown or falling leaves for a quick to make fall decoration. Use as embroidery hoop art or for a unique gift-giving idea.

Pocket Tissue Covers – Use a rectangle of fall-themed fabric or felt cut with pinking shears. Length should be enough to fold over the tissue pack to meet in the center of the pack and width the same as the pack plus 1/4-inch more. Stitch the folded side edges by hand using a running stitch with thread in coordinating or contrasting color. Stitch on a few small buttons as a design element or glue on tiny felt leaf cutouts.

Straw or Grapevine Wreath Decorations – Cut two of several leaf or acorn shapes, or even Halloween-themed (thinking ahead!) shapes then hand or machine stitch together, leaving an opening to lightly stuff with fiberfill, hand stitch closed. Attach to the wreath forms for a seasonal door decoration.

Fabric Pumpkins – Fabric pumpkins in a variety of sizes make for an easy-to-sew harvest-themed table or mantel decoration. Martha Stewart’s delightful fabric pumpkins are made from a variety of fabrics such as linen, burlap, even velvets.

Martha Stewart’s Fabric Pumpkins

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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