Monday, August 26, 2013

Tablescapes, Dining Rooms, Sunflowers and Guest Posting

It is such a treat to be invited by The Style Sisters to be this week's guest blogger for their special Monday series, "Dining Tidbits".   I'm delighted to share my current tablescape theme in my dining room.  It is all about Sunflowers!

For the past week or so my attention has been drawn to the giant sunflowers in my garden.  I'm fascinated by them.  I've never been able to grow these beautiful giants in the past so this year I am thoroughly enjoying them.  I decided to bring some of that lovely sunny, sunflower loveliness indoors and have extended it to my dining room.
I found this colorful and vibrant fabric at Walmart, of all places!  I knew when I saw the fabric that I would make something joyful with it.  I also found a free quilting pattern online for the table runner and it perfectly suited my theme of Sunflowers with its sharp edges and yellow and black and white color patterns.

I set about sewing the table runner and knew immediately that I had to make place mats and coordinating napkins to go with it.  While technically, the flower in the pattern isn't a sunflower, it does evoke a sunflower likeness and I let sunflowers be the guide of my designs.

The place mats are bound with a coordinating fabric pattern.  These were such fun to put together.  And the napkins I made using the left overs of two of the coordinating prints.  I prefer fabric napkins over paper.  There is no recycling, they are reusable for the longest time and coordinate beautifully with the rest of the tablescape.

Above is the zig-zag pattern of the table runner.  This is a beginner quilting pattern and would you believe me when I tell you that I put it together in one afternoon sitting?  It was fun!  Rather than using a regular quilt batting, I chose to use flannel between the layers.  Even though I love the loft in a regular quilt that batting gives, I didn't want my table runner and place mats to shall I say this?...LOFTY!  The flannel gives some heft to the table runner and place mats but isn't bulky to the point that you worry that your dinnerware will tip or the centerpiece will fall over.

Just another view of the table runner with the place mats and, of course, the giant sunflower from the garden.  This flower is so magnificent, joyous and sunny that it almost seems unreal.  You can imagine how much I'm enjoying it.

In the photo above are the four napkins I made.  Two are of the black/white floral print and two of the yellow/black print.  To neatly tie up the placmats for the table I got out my stamps and some yellow SculpeyIII oven bake clay and stamped and created the sunflower napkin ring medallions.  I will most certainly be making more of the Sculpey clay medallions for a variety of occasions.  They are so fast and easy to create.

I used a PSX stamp from 1999 that carried on my sunflower them, rolled out the clay, stamped the image with Memento Tuxedo Black Dye Ink and then baked the medallions in the oven for 15 minutes at 275 degrees F.  Then insert a jute threat through and tie up the napkins.  Simple as that!

Are you getting a sense of how much I was becoming obsessed with Sunflowers?  Well I couldn't stop yet!  Let's see... I had sewn and quilted a table runner and place mats and napkins.  I had stamped on clay to create napkin ring medallions.  What next?  Of course, you know I had to bring it to the kitchen and create something to eat that would carry the theme of Sunflowers.

I decided to create a Sunflower Seed salad topper that was fresh Sage leaves sauteed in Sunflower oil and combined with Maple Syrup and sprinkled with roasted Sunflower seeds. delicious!

And this is my Sunflower inspired tablescape.  All of this inspired by the dozen or so beautiful sunflowers growing in my back yard.

And just for one more element to the Sunflower dining room experience, how about a little music?  Click on the Video below to hear the Love Theme from Sunflowers, by Henry Mancini.

Until next time,


I can be found sharing at these online parties:

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  1. FABULOUS table styling, Jennifer! Congrats on the guest post.

  2. Oh your sunflowers are so pretty. It brings back a memory of a complete farm covered with 7 foot tall sunflowers. Your table was so inspiring.

  3. Love, love, love your linens and what a pretty tablescape. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. Beautiful table setting. Your runner is so pretty. You can never go wrong with Sunflowers for fall decor.

  5. I have sunflowers all over in the garden this year and love them so naturally I was drawn to your post. LOVELY! :)

  6. just beautiful, love the yellow and gray tablerunner!


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