We are in Fort Myers, FL, where we spent a very pleasant and quiet Christmas. One of the downtown restaurants, The Twisted Vine Bistro, had a nice holiday buffet dinner, with all the traditional flavors. I enjoyed pinot grigio, prime rib, turkey, potatoes au gratin, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, coffee, pumpkin pie and sugar cookies without lifting a finger to cook or clean. The food was quite good and the servers were upbeat and pleasant.
The restaurant's cute logo features a cork screw and grapes, which leads me right into today's post!
This set of nine napkins, and the eight placemats at the top of the post, were made as a holiday gift for friends. They entertain quite a bit, filling their home with food, laughter and wine. I had decent sized scraps of lots of wine-themed fabrics and was able to stitch up this set following this tutorial video for both placemats and napkins, very straightforward.
Here are two of my favorite placemats. I really like the tumbling wine glasses fabric. To make the placemat tops, I simply cut 19" long strips of the various fabrics, in widths from about 4" to 8", and mixed them up to maximize contrast between the fabrics.
For the backs, I used all the same fabric. I thought this pretty apple design with gold metallic accents could be used in the autumn if my friends wanted their table to be more matchy-matchy. Solid color napkins would look nice with this side. And if you're wondering why there are 8 placemats and 9 napkins, well, one of the napkins is all beer bottles! I usually prefer beer over wine, so that napkin was selfishly made for myself to use when I visit them.
DH and I don't exchange gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays, preferring to celebrate those days with meals in fancy restaurants. But occasionally one of us will splurge on some item, claiming, "This will be my birthday/St. Patrick's Day/Winter Solstice present this year!" Earlier this month I was very excited to receive several big boxes containing my similarly self-appointed Christmas gift.
I've been storing my scraps strips, sorted by color, in recycled Kleenex tissue boxes. They sit on the small bathroom counter of the stateroom where I sew, stacked haphazardly. I was satisfied with the size (and price!) of the boxes, but they don't nest or stack nicely. I tend to cut my scrap strips on the fly as I'm cutting for other projects, and this system didn't make it easy to just pop one or two strips into the right bin without shuffling the whole stack.
So I treated myself to a set of multi-color Akro bins. Oooo! Aaaah! So pretty! So sturdy! So stackable! So open in the front for easy access, no matter how high the stack!
Each bin cost about $4-$5, with price varying by color. That's a bit odd, but the most odd thing is that an orange bin costs $18!! Even though it pained my rainbow-colored soul to leave the orange one behind, it just bugged me to pay THAT much more for a single color. Besides, I've been grouping yellow and orange together in a single Kleenex box anyway.
Here they are, stuffed with scraps and sitting on the bathroom counter. I'm using the taupe one for light colored neutrals, the black one for dark neutrals, and the clear one for bright multi/rainbow scraps.
The two extras, another clear and a light blue, will be used for various other scrap projects. Right now they hold 4.5" squares and 2.5" four patches. Meanwhile, I'm keeping my eyes peeled on eBay for a used orange bin to make my set complete.
Now if I can only figure out a good system for the other side of the bathroom counter, where I stage larger scraps and FQs to be filed, and general miscellany. Sigh. Hey, Akro makes a wider, shallower bin that might work, stacked 3-4 high...