Friday, January 16, 2015

Simple sewing, and the second pantry cupboard...

One of the things that can hold me back from creating for my home is time.
I too often look at things through a restrictive clock lens.

"Mmm, I'd love to make a runner/cushion for that large bookcase/coffee table/ desk/ couch/ bedroom...but I'll need a week to stitch the blocks, piece the patchwork, quilt and bind, add buttons...oh, well, anther time maybe."

Why do I need to add a stitchery or some patchwork piecing on everything I make?
The new response is "I don't".

Remember when I cleaned out my small pantry cupboard the other day, and told you I had a larger one still to do? I mentioned that there was an oversupply of plastic kitchen containers to cull, too. 
On Wednesday I decided it was time to muck in and get those chores done, but it also jogged my memory about an idea I'd had last year to make a runner for the top of some small bookshelves we use as storage for canned goods and dry groceries, one that was sized to fit snugly.

So the new gentle domestic me  did not plan a stitchery or search online for a patchwork runner that would take me at least a day or two to complete - no, I chose to simplify and use just three fabrics from my stash for the top, binding, and backing...

The feature print is by Anni Downs from her 'Button Tree" lane fabric range, and it really was perfect for my project.
I also discovered a long forgotten 10" wide length of teal stripe I'd purchased years back, and it matched the teal in the paisley print perfectly!
The backing was cut from a large piece of pink tonal I stocked up on for $5 metre some time ago.

I simply measured the dimensions I needed to cover the top of the shelving, cut the feature print to the same size, and sandwiched it with some cotton wadding/batting and my backing fabric. Within 20 minutes I had quilted with wavy lines and made to the binding stage...
A cup of coffee and 30 minutes later it was done!

The colours work beautifully with my mosaic photo frame, as did my bowl of shells, collected on Sunday adventures by the sea with Mr E.

With the sewing complete, it was time to swap the canned goods from the book shelf to the larger pantry cupboard, sort through my plasticware and donate what was excess or no longer needed, and re-stack the plastic and glass containers I wanted to keep over in the book shelf.

Pantry all tidy!

Shelves all neat!

I still need to do two things, but did not have on hand what I needed so these will have to be done in the next week or so. 
I'd like to line all the shelving in the pantry cupboard and bookcase with pretty contact paper, and I want to make a thin muslin curtain to hang across the open bookshelf to hide the plastics.
But for the day, it was a task that brought great satisfaction.

I like to decorate with inspirational door hangers, and this one is an older design of mine, but so relevant for this year.
It's home is on the pantry door now...

Is there a project you've wanted to make but have put off because you believe you'll need to invest a lot of time and effort into it?
Is there a chance you could simplify like I did with my pretty runner?

I'd love to know what you're planning!



  1. Wow Jenny, your runner is simple and very lovely, it has made such a difference to your bookshelf, I am finding myself very inspired by you this year. Because of you I too am making small and simple changes that are making a big difference in my home. I have also created a folder on my computer desktop and called it my weekly projects, in it I place small sewing and quilting projects that I know are easily done. Already I have made a pincushion/caddy that I have been wanting to make for over a year and now am on to a great cross body bag for my sons girlfriend for Uni this year. Thank you so much for your beautiful blog page. Rett xx

  2. I agree with anonymous....I love your simple table runner and what a great way to show off a lovely piece of fabric that one really doesn't want to cut up....might have to try your tea towels next..

  3. Looks beautiful. An alternative to lining your shelves with contact or paper is lino. I bought mine in Bunnings. and it was very inexpensive. I carefully cut pieces to fit my pantry shelves. The great thing is if something does spill you can take out the lining, give it a good wash in the sink then pop it back in. Much easier to clean it up in the sink than try to scrape out, in my case, golden syrup.

  4. Hi Rett!
    Sounds like you're making wonderful things - bless you heaps! :-)

  5. What a lovely way to show off that pretty fabric without cutting it all up. Your table runner looks lovely Jenny.

  6. Hi Jenny boy you sure have been busy and your selves look awesome,i need to get into the tupperware cupboard,lol,i keep putting it off,hope you have a lovely day my friend xx

  7. Your completed tasks of pantry sorting and organizing will make every day much easier. Your completed table runner will make every day much happier and cheerier. I am very inspired at your Gentle Domesticity and I am doing and seeing and experiencing daily tasks in a much "lighter" way that is much less stressful. Thank you dear...

  8. Love it! Not that I don't like stitcheries, but sometimes you just have make something quick!

  9. Hi Jenny
    Your runner looks amazing Jenny. You certainly come up with some great inexpensive ideas. Looking at your last few posts have given me a sense of calm... We are shifting and we are in a state of chaos of between here and there... Every nook and cranny is full to overflowing and somehow we have to take it out, pack it and make some sense of place at the other end... I But that is my drama - so your little house viewed from my side of the screen has a sense of calm to it... Wish I could just jump through the screen and have a cuppa with you when it all got too much here - lol - I might be there every time you turned around :) :) Take care now x

  10. Sharon, I will pray you have peace in your heart as you move.
    We have moved home 20 times in 23 years, so I know the stress. hang in there, hon. x

  11. Wow that looks "gezellig" as we say in Holland, homely cosy, there is no word for that in English, but I hope you understand the meaning! Hugs

  12. Your runner is very pretty and I adore the paisley fabric! I have a huge pantry job that I would like to do (but need help from hubby). We bought our house, pre-owned, and the original owners have just three long shelves in the pantry. I want to remove them and turn the wall into a great pantry area. Hubby listens and agrees it is a good idea, but that is as far as my dream project as gotten so far. :(

  13. Que bien ordenado!buen trabajo. Mi casa necesita un poco de "Magia de Jenny". Tengo que seguir tu ejemplo.Muchos besos. :)

  14. I love the simplicity of your runner and what a huge difference it makes to the area. Thank you for sharing with us.

  15. Love the runner simple but makes quiet a splash with all those colors in it. I'm loving all this domesticity so far.

  16. I, too, have been cleaning. It feels so good to get even a small thing done! I'm going to think about where I could use your other idea for the topper.

  17. Jenny, what great advice for today. It is so fulfilling to create for practical purposes. Such good advice to not complicate things up and put them off, but to just simply go about it and complete the task. I think that message is always a wonderful one. Looks like you are off to a wonderfully fulfilling year. Hugs, ~Cori

  18. Simple and yet so pretty. I like the fabric you used.
    The little door hanger is cute too


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