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A Calming Craft to Soothe the Soul

How are you keeping your mind focused these days? I find that surfing social media posts taxes me greatly at times. Particularly when the world is focused on one subject. For me it’s like being in a crowded plaza and all the conversations are distinctly heard.

In general, the chatter of noisy crowds doesn’t bother me because I’m not paying attention to what people are saying! I’m not involved in the myriad conversations. Alone at home and working on my laptop or sewing, music or a movie playing in the background keeps me company. Total silence is not always my friend. Except when I’m trying to sleep! Or there’s a chatty companion near me that won't quit. 😊 That’s me!

My faith in God provides grounding in my soul, especially in times of stress. Always praying. Resting in Him. Because I know He’s the one who governs the chaos.

Though the LORD is the ultimate keeper of calmness and serenity, I find that creative interests (and food) can also divert the mind from the outside world. Do you find that so? I’m sure you do.

I discovered a quick-to-make fabric project while perusing a 2003 issue of a Threads magazine (which a stack has now been released from boxes after almost 2 years). This project uses bits of beautiful fabrics that I crafted into awesome carpet bags and other things! You might want to take a long glance and see how lovely my carpet bags are. I’ve stocked up my Etsy shop (here). I must say - THEY. ARE.GORGEOUS! Here's a hint...they make great gifts...are stylish modes for transporting your clothing & necessities - wherever you go!

This Threads project involved making tiny fabric collages on blank note cards. You may still want to make collages, but as I started to cut out fabric pieces for this project, I changed it into fabric swatch cards. It may not sound like an exciting craft. Hear me out. When you see my finished project, you may think otherwise! I’ll let you decide which way you want to go with this idea. Besides - I'll share another idea further down - to make it even more worthwhile - in my opinion.

A little digression before the instructions...

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Back to the sewing subject at hand...

My favorite fabric swatch project instructions.

As an artist, I already have a stash of sketch pads. I used my 6 x 8-inch pad. The paper is stiff. Perfect for stitching by machine. Yes. Stitching fabric scraps onto paper with your sewing machine. You can use blank note cards to do this or small pieces of card stock. If you don’t use a sewing machine, use fabric glue. Stitching by hand into card stock would be tedious, not fun. Don't have fabric scraps? Cut out pictures from magazines. Or ask a sewing friend for swatches.

I used a basting stitch around the perimeter of the fabric piece. On a couple of cards, I outlined some of the design and used a smaller stitch. Stitching on card stock is easy. It would make a great project for kids to learn how to use a sewing machine. While you’re stitching around flowers and leaves, the paper moves very smoothly when you turn it. Perfect way for a child to learn how to control the stitching process.

I left the selvage on this particular piece of fabric that spells out the designer of my most favorite fabric from my stash.

The next photo shows the back side where I've stitched around some of the design.

Match the thread to the fabric. Or use a contrasting one to outline the design. Perfection is not required in this project. Just fun. Add buttons and bits of lace. If your machine has fancy stitches, use some of those for interest. This is a fun way to “catalogue” your favorite fabrics!

The swatch below is the one I stitched around some of the design.

Stitch them crooked, stitch them straight, stitch them over the edge!

I made five cards. I punched a large hole in the corner of each card with my grommet hole maker so I could thread a wide ribbon through to make a “book” of swatch cards. I can hang this on the wall. Eye candy! What do you think?

You could also frame the swatch cards - hang on your wall, or give as gifts.

Here's the other idea that came to my mind after I had finished my swatches.

How about writing or typing out little sentiments, quotes, or scripture verses on small pieces of paper? After you sew the fabric scraps onto the card stock, sew your quotes on next.

Make a booklet of swatch cards with quotes, sentiments, tiny "I love you" messages or scripture verses. Connect the swatch cards with ribbon as I did in one corner - or make a little notebook out of the cards with three holes down the side each tied with ribbon.

Now present your beautiful fabric swatch notebook filled with little messages of hope to a sick friend at home, an elderly relative in a nursing home or anyone that needs some love. You get the idea. Especially if the recipient is (or was) a seamstress of some sort - I'm sure they'd LOVE to receive this from you! A keepsake of fine fabric pieces and encouraging words to lift their soul!

I hope you’ll find this quick craft a simple solution to add a bit of serenity to your life. Remember…it makes a simple sewing session for young ones! And a great gift idea!

Be calm. Stitch well!


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