Welcome to my stop on the Zakka Style Sew Along! Not familiar with the Zakka Style Sew Along? Fellow bloggers and my buddies Lindsey and Amy were so smitten with the new book Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use, and Enjoy by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Stash Books that they decided to round up 24 modern sewists to sew through every project in the book, Julia & Julia-style. I was honored to be invited to join along in the fun.
(For more information on the tour, plus the full list of stops on the sew along, check out Lindsey's kick-off post here. She also posted some great information on where to buy the book as well as the supplies used in the projects.)
Before I share my project, I wanted to say a quick word about this great book. Rashida has done a fantastic job in bringing together a diverse set of sewists and crafters to provide the book's projects while still maintaining a very strong and cohesive aesthetic. The book itself is beautiful and the photography inspirational, but it's not just a pretty book. Nearly all of the projects are ones I can see myself making, especially because they strike the right balance of being advanced enough to yield an impressive final product while still being accessible to the beginning sewist. Most of all, I think the items in this book fit the bill for quick gift ideas, and I can see myself returning to it again and again when I want to make homemade gifts.
I made the Rain Cloud Mug Rug, designed by Christie Fowler. You can see Christie's original -- the one that's pictured in the book -- here. This was a fun little project that I both started and completed in a single Sunday morning. I used Essex Linen for the background and a small scrap of Kona Snow (both by Robert Kaufman fabrics) for the cloud. I had intended to bind this mini quilt in a grey print similar to Christie's because I loved the serene feeling it gave off, but in looking through my scrap bin I decided to go with a more cheerful and sunny print -- kind of like the rays of sunshine through the rain cloud.
I adjusted the pattern a bit to meet my needs. In her directions, Christie uses a needle-turn technique to apply the cloud to the linen background. As my long-time readers know, I avoid handwork like the plague. Instead, I traced the book's cloud template to a small piece of double-sided fusible interfacing, fused it to the Kona scrap, cut it out, and then ironed it directly on to the background. (The more perceptive among you might notice that I didn't think to reverse the template first, so my cloud is the mirror image of the one in the book!) I then free-motion stitched along the edge of the cloud shape. This probably means the edges of the cloud will fray just a little bit over time, but I am totally cool with that.
With my darning foot & feed dogs down, I machine stitched the swirly, curly wind lines, trying to mimic Christie's style. I put my regular foot back on and sewed the dense straight lines meant to represent the rain. After machine stitching the small piece of binding to the mug rug, I was done -- less than 2 hours from start to finish.
If you make a Rain Cloud Mug Rug -- or any of the projects from Zakka Style -- I'd love to see it. And since I'm giving this book a strong recommendation, I can't leave you without offering to give a copy away. Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you've ever sewn anything that could be considered "zakka", and I'll randomly select a winner next week.
I've also got 5 sampler packs of Aurifil thread to give away, which brings my total number of prizes up to 6.
But wait ... there are more prizes to be won! Lindsey has rounded up 24 fantastic prizes from some of the biggest brands in the quilting industry, and she's giving them away on her blog to people who are sewing along with us. Be sure to check out LRstitched to stay up to date on all of her active giveaways. This week, it's a $30 gift certificate to Zip It!
Please join me in thanking the following sponsors for supporting the Zakka Style Sew Along: