Sunday, August 10, 2014

Flip Flop Coffee Dots, or Symmetry Fun with Novelty Prints

How do I love novelty prints? Let me count the ways. They're fun. They're wacky. And you can cut them up and play symmetry grames with them.

As I mentioned in a blog post a couple of  weeks ago, I recently acquired this frenetic coffee-themed fabric, 40% off:
I woulda bought just a half yard, but when it's on sale, the LQS makes you buy the whole yard. (So much for savings.)

Also on the sale shelf was the opposite fabric, which is to say, it had white figures on a black background. When I first saw it, in the name of economy, I left it there, but couldn't stop thinking about making reflections between the two fabrics. So I finally caved, went back to the shop, and bought a yard.
I took it home and started lining things up. In the next picture, the white-on-black fabric is on top; I matched the design along its bottom, and stitched the BACK of the black-on-white fabric to the bottom edge.
The design reflects along the center line.That was interesting, but not interesting enough. I cut a strip of the black-on-white and placed it toward the upper right, matching designs (It goes most, but not all of the way across.) Can you see it? It has the words "coffee" and "latte" on it.
I added another pattern-matched stripe just above the lower edge of the top fabric (where you see "Yes!"), and I cut and reversed a white-on-black strip through the middle of the lower half. 
Then, just for the heck of it, I chopped a piece vertically off the right, and stitched it to the left side, upside down. (I tend to do this whenever I'm stuck.)
I raw-edge appliqued the strips down with invisible thread in a three-step zigzag. Done? Not yet! More experiments. I made a coffee cup pattern
 and cut the pieces out from red-on-white and white-on-red dot fabric. 
I placed giant coffe beans down the left side, and cut wavy edges. Those cups needed ingredients. I used white-on-black and white-on-grey polka dot fabric to make long ovals to fill them.

I photographed a small plastic spoon, put it in Corel Draw....
...And generated a row of flip-flopped spoons. (Below it's on paper, testing different sizes.)  I also used the leftover borders from the large coffee cups, using the FRONT of red-dots-on-white fabric alternating with the BACKS of white-dots-on-red fabric. (They're reverse applique, with the cup black-on-white fabric as a backing): 
Too much! Got rid of the cup column (they'll become another wallhanging, you'll soon see), and decided not to use the spoon strip.

Here's Finished Project I, all quilted. I used a "foamy" bubble fabric for the upper horizontal and right vertical border.
It's okay, but I think I like the next one even better. Here's Finished Project II, made from the leftovers. The borders  alternate between black-figures-on-white-background and white-figures-on-black-background. The cups  reflect across the horizontal midline (more or less). It has a white-on-grey polka dot binding.
I especially like the second cup down.
Total accident. The "coffee" fabric had widely-spaced large black circles on white. It wound up looking like an evil eye amulet, warding off bad coffee! I'm going to run with this idea.

Most of the stitching is raw-edge zig-zag applique. (A school-glue stick and Stitch-and-Tear stabilizer helped). They give the piece a frenetic energy appropriate to the subject.

For more caffeine-driven experiments, click the word "coffee" in the word cloud on the right side of this blog. Does this make you want to buy matching novelty prints? Or run away from them screaming?

UPDATE: Here's music to go with today's column. Thanks, Debra!


  1. Love the second piece Cathy! The evil eye in your coffee is a great way to start the morning. :) You are so creative!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia - I got a real kick out of that accidental evil eye! Glad you did too!