Sew Mama Sew, an on-line fabric store with a terrific blog is doing a month of fat quarter projects. These are projects that can be made with fabric pieces that are about 18" by 20" or smaller. These are great ways to use small amount of expensive fabric, leftover fabric, or salvaged fabric.
They rencently posted a tutorial on making mouse pads with fat quarters. I was reading this tutorial with my son on my lap, trying to keep him from banging the mouse against my bare desktop, and inspiration struck.
I decided to use a small piece of my favorite fabric I salvaged a few years ago from a pair of pillows. I think the project turned out beautifully.
I did not directly follow the tutorials presented on Sew Mama Sew, and instead used them as inspiration for my own version.
First I bought a super cheap mouse pad. It was about $3 at Office Depot. I would have preferred to use an old mouse pad, but none were available. I then attached one side of some double sided fusible interfacing to my fabric, and traced the outline of the mouse pad on the paper backing of the interfacing. I cut out the fabric and interfacing, peeled off the paper backing on the interfacing, and attached the mouse pad by matching the edges. I pressed the mouse pad on the fabric side with a damp cloth on top to produce steam and dissipate heat. I then placed the mouse pad under some heavy books until it cooled (to keep it from curling). When it was finished cooling I applied several coats of mod podge to protect the surface of the pad, and keep the edges from fraying.
The result inspired me to use this fabric as the inspiration for my craft area's color scheme, so you will probably be seeing more of it soon.