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Susan Beal from West Coast Crafty, author of Modern Log Cabin Quilting and Sewing for All Seasons: 24 Stylish Projects to Stitch Throughout the Year, has a new book out! Hand-Stitched Home is all about sewing with Pendleton wool.

Susan showed us how to sew with border prints this summer (you’ll want to make a new skirt and/or dress when you click over!). She’s back with ideas for sewing with border prints for your home, plus Susan is also offering up some gorgeous Pendleton wool so be sure to read below for more giveaway details.


I had so much fun sewing dresses for myself and my six-year-old daughter that I wanted to share a few more ideas on using border prints. This time my ideas are for simple but eye-catching home projects you’ll use every day. Here are three of my favorite things I’ve made: tea towels, café curtains and a stylish wool tote, perfect for fall. Read on for some tips and tricks on working with border prints, plus a special Pendleton wool fabric giveaway so you can make your own tote bag!

I bought some prehemmed tea towel yardage at Bolt Fabric Boutique a couple years ago, and love the vintage-inspired floral design which runs parallel on both sides of the fabric. There’s no selvage or tag, but I’m sure you can find similar fabrics now. Since the long sides are pre-hemmed, you can simply cut your yardage to the length you prefer (I like to keep mine about 24″ long) and finish the raw edges nicely. Two easy ways to do this are overlocking the edges securely, pressing them 1/2″ to the wrong side, and stitching them in place, or covering the raw edge with handmade or store-bought binding tape and stitching that down. A handy extra is stitching a loop of twill tape at one corner. These make very nice housewarming or host gifts.

I found this vintage border print fabric at an estate sale and turned it into a simple café-style curtain for our back door, which has a large clear glass window at the top. The top and bottom edge were finished with a woven edge, so there’s no need to hem or finish them further, and I stitched a quick 3/8’’ double-fold hem at each side.

I love the details in this pretty print– the birds, flowers and fanciness are so charming. The white section of the fabric is perfect for letting in light while still preserving privacy. This would also make a lovely apron or skirt…

But my all-time favorite border prints home project I’ve made is this simple tote, sewn in Pendleton wool with a stylish, graphic, weighted jacquard design. The term border print doesn’t apply quite as accurately, since the design is woven rather than printed, but using the beautiful stripes and linear shapes to add emphasis to such a simple bag design is just as fun as sewing a border print dress or skirt! I’ve carried it every day since I finished sewing it.

I shared a tutorial for this Border Print Wool Tote on my West Coast Crafty blog with step-by-step photos, if you’d like to make one just like this. I bought a half-yard of this beautiful navy, white and brown wool fabric at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store* which is enough to make two tote bags just like this, so I’d love to give the other half of my fabric away– along with everything else you need to make this project– to a Sew Mama Sew reader!

Please leave a comment on this post with the favorite border print project you’ve made or seen, something fun you’re sewing for fall, or something pretty you’ve sewn with wool– whatever you’re the most excited about! I’ll send one winner a piece of my blue and brown wool jacquard fabric, quilting cotton for lining and suede straps to whip up your own tote bag.

I’ll be back at Sew Mama Sew later this fall to share some tips on sewing and quilting with wool from my new book, Hand-Stitched Home, plus there will be another giveaway!

* During the entire month of September, all the amazing fabric at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store is on sale, from 30-80% off! You can shop in person here in the Portland, Oregon area, look through fabrics on their website or call 503-535-5786 for mail order.