Showing posts with label potholders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potholders. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yes, I Still Sew and Quilt !

Today, we pick up my SIL in Beaverton and bring her with us as we visit my brother at Vibra Specialty Hospital in Portland. Now, that he is fully out of his many months long coma, and we know he has his mental least verbally... it is even more important that we visit and spend time talking and sharing memories so we can all better judge his needs during this long process of bringing him fully back to us, again.

So, we are actually planning three separate visits this week alone, and that is a lot of driving, visiting, and fitting ins to all of our schedules. But somehow we manage..... and somehow in spite of this event filled life of mine..

I still find time to sew....two sets of potholders....

for my Mid-Valley Quilt Guild ...completely made of scraps from two little quilts that I started at my last guild meeting for  the tubular pieced 'Streak of Lightning' quilts we all made during one day long 'Bolt to Bed' charity quilting day. The quilts are made in a variety of colors and fabrics..I grabbed enough fabrics for these two sets, shown below.  These little ones will go to even littler ones at the Salem Hospital NICU ward for covering preemie isolettes and then go home with the babies, when they get to go home with their parents!

The potholders get made by the thousands..literally...only just not all by me ;) and the profits go towards funding of charitable guild projects. Last year the profits went to the Copper Creek Correctional Institution for the funding of quilting supplies for the women's quilting group, there.

The two little child sized comfort quilts are now all pinned to batts and backs and at the ready to be quilted stage. They should have been finished by now...I've had two weeks since this photo... but real life does get in my way!

And because I visit my almost 97 year old MIL almost every single day, I make lots of Adult Bibs..for her, (for my mom in Alaska, too) and for the nicest 96 year old gentleman at my MIL's small adult care home who wears bibs at every meal to keep his sweater vests clean and looking sharp. He used to love to play golf so a golf themed one for him..biggie sized images of golf bags on this one, as he has limited vision.

And I made and registered and mailed in three more AAQI quilts..this one....from Laurel Burch bright Christmas fabrics..well gift wrapped gifts at least gift fabric!

11,819 - Bright Heart of Many Blessings

and this one......

one of my ever so love to make dragonfly art quilts....

10,680 - Ethereal

and this one....little improvisational strips and bits from Empress's Garden line of fabrics from someone or three little pearls so symbolize the pearls of wisdom that the flowers love to whisper in my ear..

11,372 - At Peace In My Garden

and this one....old shirtings fabric and some vintage mother of pearl buttons.....

11,682 - The Shirt Off Their Backs

and finally! I got the binding on this baby quilt and hung it on the fence to be kissed by the sun and  for its official blessing and by the sunflowers...and the ....

...... the chickens.......they're not real good kissers,
but they sure give sweet little peck, peck, pecks on the hand!

Meet Georgette (eating from my hand, here), Penelope, Matilda, and Gigi....(And did you ever notice? When DH made my arbor arch and I added the little prayer flags..side bar, upper right...Praying for a Miracle....Gigi and Georgette, who were BRAND new additions to the coop then, stood in respectful attention! How cute were they?

PS: Try taking a photo of your own hand as four chickens come up to eat out of it!....staccato pecking that does not hurt...but does surprise one a bit...I keep telling them "Don't bite the hand that feeds you!"

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Now, that's what I have been up home, at least..... with all my fun. I don't show the last three days of shrubbery pruning, or the huge, huge, huge mess I created while doing that. But I filled a big garden cart and three wheelbarrows to overflowing! I never did figure out how to take a photo of myself doing that, however.

And this weekend..... I am planning on going up to Portland's Quilt Expo with my lovely 'once virtual only' quilting friend, "Marathon Quilting Cher" from Portland....who became a real life friend a number of years ago, when we met up with "Quilting and Life in General, Doni from the coast" Sisters and found out we hit if off like a charm pack and howled with laughter all the way through multiple Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, over multiple summers, together.

Cher and I didn't meet up this past summer, so we are long due for a visit and a major quilt show together..and trust me..Quilt Expo is a major one. I'm greasing up my feet for some aisle tromping and applying bandages in anticipation!

Not only will we see all of the kazillion quilts there, but we get to see two of my own quilts on display in a special exhibit for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI

My two little quilts in the are seeing the world as part of the Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope exhibit. Traveling all over the US from 2012 through 2015, this AAQI traveling exhibit consists of fifty-four small format art quilts, none larger than 9" x 12", are hung amidst 182 "Name Quilts, " each 6 inches wide and 7 feet tall, carrying the names of more than 10,000 individuals who have/had Alzheimer's or a related dementia. The names of loved ones, written on the on the purple fabric patches by family members and friends, to honor the 5.4 million Americans in the United States living with Alzheimer's.

As my own life has been so incredibly touched and altered forever by Alzheimer's Disease and related Dementias, finally getting to see the exhibit and my own little quilts hanging among them, is sure to be a life altering experience, for me as well! I'm bringing my hankie, trust me!!

Until then.....when I will have so much to share, show and say......I thought I would share all of the other many projects I have been working on. You didn't really think that I would let even one day in the midst of absolute chaos ever go without some kind of art or quilting therapy....
......did you? ;) ?

my links:
Make a Scrappy Potholder
Making an Adult Bib
Free Babies, Childrens Quilt Patterns

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska and all of her AAQI Quilting. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kitchen Quilts: Potholder Ideas and Tutorials

When I need potholders, whether they are for myself or as gifts for others, it really doesn't take very long to make one, or two, or even an entire set!

I like to use up scraps and make any and all kinds..from art potholders, mitts and other "kitchen quilts" that can be displayed as little works of art year round to practical ones ..the easier, the better!

And if you're not a quilter and binding frightens you, leave it off and just turn sections inside out and then seam right sides together like any sewing projects from pillows or pillowcases on...

My double sided, double ended quilt mitts at the end potholders, are especially popular and often requested as gifts. The double ended potholder or casserole grabber is great for hanging over the over door handle and grabbing out casserole pans, pies and cakes or anything requiring two hands and easy dexterity!

You can make them from scraps as I often do or plain without patchwork. My reverse side is always plain unless I want to make holiday ones and they can even be different holidays on each side.1

This one comes out in the fall..starting in late September through Thanksgiving! And it has lots and lots of coordinating regular potholders and table mats, table cloths for buffets and so on. Scraps multiply like bunnies, you can always find more to create more fun things!

No pattern is even needed, for any of these, but I do include photo tutes in my side bar at all times for these. Without a tutorial, just cut your batting to size, and flip and stitch random pieces of fabric ..beginning in the center and moving out from each end. This is the same technique used in String Quilting quilts! Super easy, and so relaxing and fun to make!

A double handed potholder hanging over the oven door really pushes them over the top as 'kitchen art' and gets them noticed, as most potholders are in drawers when not in use.

So, a double handed potholder is not only functional, but door art, and is a greatly appreciated gift..especially if you make new ones every year..or even better, for every holiday! Imagine these in Christmas fabrics, or Valentine's, or even cute would that be?

And for Christmas, and birthdays, because my own three grown children are all exceptionally artistic, they pretty much have to be handmade and I try a bit harder to experiment with an artistic element or two...just for my fun, as well as to learn how to do new things.

So, now if the fabric is right for being a bit more artsy...and batiks, or course, are perfect....I do something extra as I did here by rubbing on a bit of metallic shine with Shiva oil paint sticks. You simply let the stick paint dry for 24 hours after applying them, and then iron them...with a fabric sheet or a pressing cloth between it and the iron...for a few minutes to super set them. They are not only gorgeous pretty, but completely washable and no, they don't rub off after this process.

Now, my use of striking batiks and art crayons may be too over the top for you, but imagine them in folksy fabrics, country charmers, or vintage linens in a crazy quilt! Anything goes and any one of these can go from form and functional to a true art quilt for kitchen display, as well as use. Imagine a whole basket of your own little kitchen quilts on the counter for celebrations..easy to find, fun to use, and it shows off your own love of sewing and quilting to family and friends!

Yep, everyday art is a lot of creative fun. And for me it takes a lot less time, than going shopping, parking, searching, buying, and bringing home store bought gifts.

Gifts from my heart and hands to theirs...both figuratively, and literally!

1. Collect the orphan blocks, strips or strings, you wish to use. These are mine and no matter what, I knew I was going to make them...and only

2. Begin the process of laying down pieces and strips, beginning from the center (I used that one big chunk with the stripe in the middle) and adding if making a crazy quilt.

3. And because you want to be free and easy and not precise... only random...I just keep going around and around ...similar to adding logs to a log cabin block.

4. When you are happy with it, then you can add borders, if you choose, or a backing and just bind it...or not!  I added in pieces of selvage to some of mine.

Add your backing (or you can do your piecing through a backing fabric just as if it were a string pieced foundation fabric! I do that a lot!! Quilt as you go, made easy!

 5. Here the binding strips..I keep mine wide and double them up for durability with two rows of stitching..I use my pot holders a lot!

6.Stitch down the binding, thinking about a little back piece for fun and I did add in the little heart on the back by the end.

 And voila..its done!

Scraps, Scraps, Scraps...make potholders and eliminate clutter and stress ;-)  When I feel out of sorts, making potholders is my go to project

Need projects for older children who are learning to sew or need teacher gifts? How about for sewists who can make simple things but are afraid of "quilting"? How about Somerset Star layered potholders for those who have talents and want to expand them? So many terrific things to make and do! 


For other potholder tutorials...More Kitchen Quilt Magic!...check out"

 I love to also make coffee press wraps to match, as well as double handed potholders that can easily lift hot casseroles out of the oven, but hang over the handle on your oven door when you're not using them. Check out my other links below!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Everyday Art

I love to make everyday objects and I love to make them as pretty as I can. Sure, it may be easier to just buy simple things like potholders, hot pads or table mats, or even magnets for putting up all of the reminders or brag clippings on the frig....but how much more fun to try and create your own?

And it doesn't have to be as complicated as some of my other projects that I have shared in the past. It can be as easy and as simple as buying a kitchen towel and adding a trim to make it your own, or creating your own magnets out of fabric, or photos, and inexpensive craft accessories.

When I needed one extra gift for a number of family members, I found these simple dishtowels at Craft Warehouse on sale for 4/$10.

It takes almost no time at all to add a simple fabric band, with rickrack, or ribbons, or lace trim. But it only takes a bit more time to free form piece a simple border from scraps.....and add an artsy band to some of them, as well!

It's a wonderful way to use up small scraps from potholders etc. that I have made in the past and co-ordinate these gifts to those!

And for simple additional gifts, I decided to make my own magnets to add in with the kitchen towels and I added an inexpensive ($2.99) tart, or flan pan that. The pan can be used to hold the towels as well as to try out the little magnets...and boy, do they stick nicely to magnetic surfaces.....far better than a lot of store bought decorative magnets!

For the home made magnets, you need pieces of fabric, decorative papers or giftwrap, or my photos. From the craft store you find those extra strong round magnets that are made for this purpose, along with flat, clear marbles sometimes used in vases but now, more often for creating your own magnets, like mine.

Cut a piece of fabric, paper, or photo roughly to the size of the magnet ( I leave a bit of overlap extra) Using a toothpick, place a drop of craft glue..I used Aleen's Craft Glue and it was inexpensive...and worked fine. Spread the drop of glue evenly over the flat back of the craft marble. Apply our piece of fabric or paper or photo. Press gently but don't soak your fabric or photo. Let dry for several hours.

Then put a drop of glue onto the back of the fabric or photo, spread gently to cover, and apply the magnet. Let it dry for another couple of hours. then trim the fabric or paper away to match the edges. The marbles are not perfectly round, so it much easier to do it this way then pre-cut and find your circle doesn't match up at all!

Easy, everyday items that are so much fun to make, even more fun to use...and they make quick, simple and fabulous gifts in a hurry!

Why not get out some of your own Easter fabrics and try some of your own ;) They make a wonderful holiday gift...for a friend, a family member..or hey, even your self!!!

Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and HandsAs a lifelong volunteer, I offer links to over 2,500 free patterns for quilts, quilt blocks, crafts, clothing, sewing room accessories, and more. As a committed volunteer for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) I am always urging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are all changing the little quilt at a time.