What you're seeing here is my attempt at designing something specific to someone's taste. Here's how my swap partner described her kitchen and family life:
My kitchen table was salvaged from a tiny Kansas college's home ec department that had used the same furniture since the 1940s--it's a pristine mustard yellow Formica top and chrome set with all of the matching vinyl chairs. I use vintage hostess aprons for cafe curtains, and when I use a tablecloth (not so often lately due to a toddler joining us at the table) it's from the dozens of novelty printed cotton and linen cloths I inherited from my grandma. I do put a vegetable print oilcloth "rug" underneath the table for the highchair goo that the dog doesn't get.
I'm a big fan of all "everyday" handmade items in all their possible creative interpretations. I would caution a crafter from sending me a very fancy/fine dining sort of set--I would probably love it and covet it but also hoard it--thinking it too nice to use for our busy family and casual guests (right now I make our own cloth napkins from large leftover fabric scraps that I back with salvaged terry from old towels).
Doesn't she sound really fun and interesting? I think so. From her description, I couldn't help but think "kitsch." I mean, c'mon, yellow Formica? LOVE that. In making this set, I wanted to A) be kitschy, and B) do it using stash fabrics. As for kitsch, I'm not sure I got there, but I tried. The stash goal I achieved. I only bought the twill tape and the flannel that I used as facing. The white fabric with the fruit is a birthday gift from Ellen, who rocked my stash by giving me ten yards of it. Shut up. Oh, and the buttons I got on sale for 63 cents at the last Jo-Ann's button sale. It seems I don't believe anything is complete until it's got a button floating somewhere on it. To my eye, the center fabric needed a focal point, so button time it was. (Given the chance, I'd solve all manner of crises, great and small, with buttons.) What I enjoy about this set is how summery it is. It makes me want to have a backyard picnic.