This week I have been diligently updating the La Rue de Fleurs Etsy shop with all of my latest inventory and it struck me how many of the items I frequently forget to list are small and perfect for gifting. In light of the totality of 2020, I have been making a lot of smaller, quick projects that use up some of the larger quilt leftovers I have to hand. So many of these little scraps are truly delightful and I love using them rather than having them collect in my scrap bins. Today I’d love to share all of these cute projects which I feel would be great little gifts to stock away for the holidays. And, with the August Trunk Sale in full effect, you can grab many of them at a discount making that holiday gifting even brighter.
Patchwork Minky Blankets
A perennial best seller for me, the patchwork minky blanket is what one of my friends refers to as the “mixed lollipop” in my candy shop. Fun and playful combinations of fabrics in often juvenile or thematic prints are cut to a standard height with occasional variations in width to make the patchwork top of the blanket. The simple patchwork is an opportunity to play more with color, print, and storytelling through the fabric. To read more about how I create the Patchwork Minky Blankets, check out part one and part two of the series I wrote on making them. Shop the entire La Rue de Fleurs Minky Blanket selection here.
Zipper Pouches and Bags
I have created a collection of little zipper pouches made from scraps and off-cuts in my various scraps bins. Like my minky blankets, they often focus on a theme or color pallet I want to play with. Each quilted body of the bag is made with these small pieces of cotton joined together with improvisational piecing (not pre-planned) until I create a piece as large as the batting and general size I want the pouch to be. The interior of the pouch can be any other kind of complimentary fabric or just plain muslin. I then add a coordinating zipper from my stash accumulated from donations, yard sales or an awesome score from the local thrift shop. The body of the bag is sewn together and the seam is reinforced with zigzag stitching to finish. I love all the personality and quirkiness of these little pouches. Each is unique and a time for me to play and explore some of the fabrics that make me really happy together, but would otherwise not be usable in a large project. I think the small pouches allow the fabrics to shine and continue to be enjoyed in an endlessly useful item. Shop the entire selection of bags and pouches from La Rue de Fleurs here.
Coasters, Mug Rugs and DIY Kits
Coasters, mug rugs and those small home goods are wonderful gifts whether you buy some pre-made from my shop or make ones for yourself. I start the process for these little patchwork sweeties by pulling some of my favorite small squares of feature fabrics and building a color story. Small patchwork play is extremely satisfying! A useful item is made in just a few stitches. Though I make my own to sell, I have also developed a select number of DIY kits with all necessary supplies as well as full instructions if your more of make it yourself person. I think both could also translate into great small gifts for book club friends or co-workers; just add a few tea bags or a coffee card and you have a complete gift with a unique creative handmade element. Shop the full selection of DIY Kits here and the pre-made coasters in the La Rue de Fleurs Home Goods section.
Ornaments and Art Quilts
Art quilts and ornaments are other categories of items that are all about play and experimentation for me. The art quilt is truly my favorite way to express my artistic ideas in cloth and fiber, often incorporating a mixed media ink element as well. Starting with a quote or other inspiration as a jumping-off point, I develop the image focal point to go allow with it from improvisational pieces. One of my recent favorites was the “No Regrets” mini and the “House Rules” mini quilt which was featured in a contemporary quilt magazine. You can read more about the “No Regrets” and “House Rules” mini art quilts by following the respective links. Shop all Art Quilt and Ornament selections at La Rue de Fleurs shop here.
Odds and Ends
Sometimes I really just like making one-offs or a small series to try out an idea or new skill. Generally, these projects just result in a small batch of something that allows me to play and use a new technique and a few scraps. These might be my versions of something I’d seen out in the marketplace, on Etsy or Pinterest, or inspired by another craft altogether. Often I just pick up ideas and want to see if I can translate them in my style and with my materials. Hence, I make some pieces that just don’t fit in with everything else, like the macrame planter holder. Macrame was a huge trend in 2019 and I wanted to see what it would be like to make a version using string scraps of print fabrics. I wrote an article about the process if you’d like to read more about it here. All I’ll say is it was fun, I think it turned out well, but boy did it take a lot longer than I imagined! Sometimes all of those factors help determine whether or not I make more than one or a few, sometimes it is more dependent on what sells. I’ve made bandana baby bibs, which used to sell well for me in the past and used up leftover fabrics, but the market has become so flooded with those from other sellers, that they no longer sell well for me (or really hold my creative interest) and I don’t make them anymore. Shop the full selection of products, including the one-offs, by perusing the La Rue de Fleurs Etsy shop.
Thank you so much for all of your support for my small art business. I hope you enjoy this little wrap up of some of the items in my shop and why I make them. Enjoy the Second Annual August Trunk Sale discounts through August 31, 2020 and get some unique handmade artisanal gifts stocked up for the holiday season. Stay creative and inspired, friends! Janice
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(©2020, Janice Bailor // laruedefleurs.com)