DIY: Craft Room Landing Pad / by Riane Menardi

I got a new phone, which means that the way I interact with hard surfaces has fundamentally changed. I'm deathly afraid of walking across parking lots with my phone and listening to music in the bathroom (not only is that tile floor scary as shit, but the TOILET... eesh). And why, why why are all workspaces — desks, tables, counters, etc. — so stupidly HARD? 

I know. Normally this wouldn't be a problem. But my phone is still, well, new, so it is put down gingerly, with the utmost care, with the daintiest of moves — usually. But I don't have time for that shit all the time, and frankly, it's getting to be a pain. I know, it's a first world problem. But the beauty of THAT is that I get to make something cute to fix it. (Or, you know. Get a case. But that's a big commitment. Eh. I'm working on it.)

Anyway. Enter the landing pad.

The landing pad is where I can place my phone hastily when shuffling to and fro in my studio. Instead of banging it down when I'm flying from fabric to machine to ironing board, it now plops softly on a field of plushness. Like a cloud. For my phone. Mmm.

This landing pad is also useful for other hard things that are annoying to bang (no pun intended, truly). I use it as a fainting couch for my favorite Gingher scissors also, and they've never complained about the extra plush.

If you're a bit mad like me and want a soft, cloudy pillow for the lovely objects of your life, make a simple rhino landing pad. Here's what you'll do.

Gather

  • Largish fabric scrap for the rhino
  • About 1/4 yard of matching neutral fabric for background, backing and binding
  • Needle-punched batting — as fluffy as you can find
  • Elmer's glue

Cut

  • Two rectangles about 8.5 x 3.5 inches from neutral fabric
  • One rectangles about 8.5 x 3.5 inches from batting
  • One rhino (I freehand drew a simple outline on the right-side of the fabric with a removable-ink marker. Try it! You'll do great. Cut around the rhino, leaving about 1/8 inch around your marked line. You will tuck this extra fabric under when appliquéing the rhino on to your background).

Sew

  1. Position the rhino where you'd like it on your top rectangle. I secured mine in place with a few dabs of Elmer's Glue, but you can use pins or basting stitches if you prefer. If you're using glue, be sure to heat set the piece by running your iron over it a few times. It won't come off, and you won't have any sticky residue.
  2. Once your rhino is secure, appliqué around the edges using your marked line as a guide. Tuck the raw edge under and secure the rhino with a small "blind stitch," like you would use to hand-finish binding. If you have trouble with the curves, I find it helpful to make a small slit in the fabric at the height of the curve to tack down pesky turns.
  3. Finish appliquéing the rhino and tie off.
  4. Make a quilt sandwich by placing your batting between the rhino piece and the backing. Pin or baste in place.
  5. Attach your walking foot to your machine. (If you don't have one, a regular foot will work fine. The walking foot just helps keep the pieces from bunching or catching.) Starting at one short end in the middle, quilt a line along the length of the landing pad. Once your're done, turn the piece around and quilt another line about 1/2 inch from your first. Continue in this fashion until one half of your piece has been quilted. Then do the other side.
  6. Cut strips of fabric 2 inches wide from your neutral fabric for the binding. Sew strips together on the bias if necessary, then fold them lengthwise and press. Use your machine to attach the raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of your landing pad, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
  7. Just hand-sew the binding to the back of your piece, and you're done! Enjoy your new landing pad, and make one for all your craft room necessities.

WIP Wednesday bonus! Check out my modern log cabin blocks. They feature the delightful Cotton + Steel fabric line "August" by Sarah Watts.

Enjoy!