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

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Potholder Therapy and Kitchen Love


What do you give a young couple about to get married in February....and you've already made them a quilt?

Little 'kitchen quilts' of course! Otherwise known as potholders, they are something we all need, all use, and new ones are always a welcomed and appreciated, shower or wedding gift! This set goes to a great-niece and her newlywed husband who picked black and red as their wedding, as well as their new kitchen, colors.

Shown in the center: a double handed oven pot mitt...... with pockets at each end to slip in your hands into,,,in this case I placed them on the under side.. ...you just loop it over the handle of the kitchen stove and you've got instant haute couture in your (their) chosen colors. I love making these and they are so easy and really spice up a kitchen with a new look in a hurry!

Then I did my favorite scrappy quilting and made two regular hanging, potholders with insulbrite on the back side for heat resistance, and lots of nice cotton padding in between, and last but not least...my own homemade fabric (and quilted!) gift card.

I made a simple little card by sewing on my little freely cut hearts, some ribbon and bead trim on one side of a pretty piece of fabric backed with a two small pieces of Timtex or Pellon interfacing....separated for a small folding 'gap' in the center of the rectangle.

Make an interior, backing piece of alternate fabric for the 'inside' section. Top it on the 'right' side of this interior section...over on the right hand side, of course.... with a small piece of sewed down notepaper (mine was my own hand crafted paper, of course ;) Stitch around your little to and from note space, it to hold it in place.

Outside of the card: fabric with the hearts backed with with two small separated sections of Timtex or Pellon interfacing, separated by a small gap between the sections.

Inside of the card: Interior fabric #2, with the sewn down half size piece of paper for your note on the right interior side.

Zig zag or surge the edges all the way around...I did mine three times using a rolled edge stitch on my surger, but regular sewing machine zigzag works, too!

Pop them all into a cute gift bag with some fluffs of tissue paper and it's all good to go! A one of kind gift made with my heart and my hands.....for theirs!

Yep, February Love has been on a roll in this house. When I'm not blogging you can trust that I'm either designing projects, creating them, or giving them away!

Nothing better than handmade, homemade, heartmade, and best of all...finished!

Let's see now...four February birthdays, one wedding , one feel better soon gift needed...ok!
Time to get back into the sewing room ;)

Scrappy Potholder tutorial


And don't forget...my little art quilt is up at auction and is needing a bid. Every $5 helps so much in funding Alzheimer's research.Let's see if we can get the charitable energy rolling again. Only three more days left in the auction~

Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the world...one little quilt at a time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On The Cheap With October Projects



What do you do when you find flannel triangles on a freecycle table?
1. Make cloth diapers for dolls
2. Make bibs for pet mice
3. Make a baby quilt that's sewn with love.



What do you do with bits of leftover patriotic fabrics tossed into the trashbin?
1. Make a cot quilt for a G.I. Joe doll.
2. Make a patriotic cover for your car's rear view mirror.
3. Make a drink wrap that's suitable for multiple occasions.




What do you do when someone gives you 3/4 of a yard of fun fabric?
1.Save it for a special project.
2.Cut it up and use it as scraps in a quilt.
3. Make a loved one (or yes, even your self) a new senior bib.




What do you do when your husband scorches too many of your best kitchen potholders?
1. Tell him that he has to use his scorched ones and nothing else.
2. Tell him he cannot no longer cook in your kitchen.
3.Use scraps leftover from a quilt and make a scrappy double potholder that hangs on the stove handle. (men seldom look around for the things they need, so he'll grab the scorched ones in the drawer ;)




What do you do when you need a gift bag for Halloween candy and don't have one on hand?
1. Go buy one at the dollar store.
2. Use a ziplock or paper bag and drawpictures on them.
3. Take a section of recycled newspaper and sew a couple of them, in just minutes!




What do you do when you go through rotary cutting blades like crazy?
1. Chock it up to the price of quilting.
2. Buy a sharpener tool and try resharpening them over and over.
3. Ask your husband to pick up some carpet cutter blades from Harbor Freight for $1.49-$1.99 a package..two in a package.

I'm on my second pkg. since mid-summer. And yes, they are just as sharp as Olfa or Fiskars, but no they don't stay as sharp for as long. But at 75 cents a piece, while I'm living on the super cheap..they work just fine for now.




What do you do when you need to just 'Put on Your Big Girl Pants' and deal with the challenges of life?
1.You put them on.
2. You deal.
3. You have a good laugh at just how strange life is sometimes!

(And yes, I sent a copy of the photo to Em... who both wears, and celebrates hers ;)


And yes...of course I also worked on my favorite things to make...tiny art quilts! I think I was working on about 10 at once this month...finished and mailed 6 in to AAQI ;) Some of the ones shown, here are giveaways and a couple I might sell to earn more rotary blade money :)

Michele Bilyeu quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) With Heart and Hands Join my friend-connect to receive my frequent updates on quilting, crafting,and updates for thousands and thousands of free patterns and tutorials..over on the right hand side.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for the Littlest of Things



Martha Stewart might not be dining with us this Thanksgiving, and all of the kids may or may not be Welcomed Home for Thanksgiving, but We Still Give Thanks for the littlest of things.

I'm thankful it snowed in Oregon this week, the first time we've had snow in November in seven years, because it was just enough snow that I got to wear my mother's authentic Eskimo wool parka out in public without being embarrassed at its appliqued eskimos and igloo motifs and four sizes too big appearance. I both looked and felt incredibly cozy and warm!

I'm thankful that even if we did not have enough work to have a company gift us with a free turkey, then at least we could afford to buy one ! And while the lines in the stores were already long, I met some of the nicest people as we all waited our turn at reaching the cash registers!

I'm thankful that even though my chickens were terrified by the snow, they still came out and played in it and that made me laugh...and laugh HARD!

I'm thankful that even though my cats shed like crazy all over this house, that they snuggle up and keep me cozy in between all of the cooking and cleaning, sewing, and quilting!

I'm thankful that even though my mother has advanced Alzheimer's, when she hears my voice on the phone she still knows who I am, and how I am related to her! And that is so very much more than most people get in our situation!

I'm thankful that even though I lost my father this year, the memories of good times fill me up to the brim and I am so deeply grateful to have had this man in my life for almost 61 years!

I'm thankful that even though my 94 year old mother-in-law is a bit cranky from being housebound and unable to do all of the things she once did, she still appreciates our all showing up on Thanksgiving Day with the turkey and all of the trimmings..... and cooking every bit of it at her house...and especially, our cleaning it all up before we leave ;)

I'm thankful that I have enough food to eat, a warm house to live in, enough fabric to thoroughly insulate my sewing nook, and lots of fun things to make, and to give away!

And I am ever so thankful, that because of this blog, I have met dear, dear people all over the world, and learned so very much in that process from all of you!!!

And I must admit, I am grateful I didn't laugh too hard, when Finn suggested that we could also add in small items to her New Year's Eve Challenge I forget that I am always making small things just because they are fun, and easy, and nice to be able to give to others!

shown above:
Finn's New Year's Eve Challenge:small projects #2-9
8 completed small projects ...a bag for a dear friend, another senior bib for my sweet mama, and 6 potholders to donate to my quilt guild's monthly "Potholder Project" to raise sewing supplies money for those less fortunate.

Links:
A "Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here" Thanksgiving
Welcome Home for Thanksgiving

Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat

Finn's New Year's Eve Quilt Challenge:
Quilt #11: Twilight Dreams
Quilt #10:Far, Far, Away
Quilt #9:Green and Scrappy Love
Quilt #7 and #8: Follow Your Heart 1 and 2
Quilt #6: Stringing Along
Quilt #5: Within the Depths
Quilt #4: Irish Eyes
Quilt #3: Under the Pines
Quilt #2: Hope and Remembrance
Quilt #1 Hop to It!

Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat
Small Project #11-13: Two pillowcases and a senior bib
Small Project #10:Follow Your Heart Potholder
Small Projects #2-9: sr bib, potholders and a bag
Small Project #1: Get Well Postcard

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yes, Those are Catfood Pull Tabs


Have you ever noticed, that just when you are your very busiest, when so many things are going through your head of things you need to do, have to do, ought to be doing, that's just when you want to say the heck with it all and just play?

Getting ready to go to the first Passive House on the Pacific West Coast's open house (which our business is so proud of have built) with yard and garden and cats and chickens and paperwork and laptop to desktop copying to do, I played in my scrapbags in my 90+º sewing nook, instead.

Oh, I do have such fun! And yes, I did tell them that they came from my own personal sweatshop. Boy, was it hot up there, and boy did I sweat making them... as much fun as they were!

Three colorful free-pieced potholders completely made from scraps that other quilters threw in trash cans, or put on the free table at quilt guild.

And to top them off, I used canned cat food pull tabs for hanging rings. Cleaned up, sewn on with crochet thread in a tight buttonhole stitch.

My kind of gift giving....homemade with recycled bale goods and metal!

other links:
Make a Scrappy Potholder
Bale-ing
Living Green

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Make a Scrappy Potholder!


After all of the Frugal Friday Fun yesterday, I made sure to take and save photos to create a quick 'Scrappy Potholder Tutorial' for today. I've learned that while many quilters sew as well as quilt, many sewers and craftsters don't bother to make their own potholders...something that is so easy and so much fun...and saves so much money when just made out of leftover scraps!



To begin my potholder, I grabbed my first scrap bag of leftover potholder scraps. I keep one of small odds and ends of fabric just for potholders and such...and one of small pieces of leftover batting...just for this purpose. I grabbed the gold bag...because it was the smallest and even scrappy, it still co-ordinated with last years potholder runway collection ;)

To sit down and make a scrappy potholder might take 20 minutes...tops...and is so fun and so liberating...you just wing it and you're done that when I feel sad or stressed...it's one of the projects that always lifts my spirits immediately.


1. Collect the orphan blocks, strips or strings, you wish to use. These are mine, leftover from last year's table mat and hot pads... and no matter what, I knew I was going to make them...and only them...work.
 2. Begin the process of laying down pieces and strips, beginning from the center (I used that one big chunk from photo above, with the stripe in the middle) and adding strips...as if making a crazy quilt.


3. Each piece by piece, is simply sewn down on one side to the batting, flipped to right side and ironed flat. Then the next piece and so on.


4. Because I wanted to be free and easy about this, I made a point of not being particular, only random. I never double checked except with an initial glance. I knew it truly didn't matter. They are meant to be utilitarian, scrappy and will be either dirty or burned anyway;)

Vary sides in a rotating fashion, like a log cabin, only crazy patching as you go around the center section. Stop when you can no longer see the batting piece...then you know it's big enough ;)

5. Because I had cut off the selvages and nothing goes to waste...and selvage use is 'hot' right now...I added the orphan selvage edges to the piece...just using what I had and nothing more.


6. Baste/sew around outside edges and then trim off the extra fabric and batt to size.


7. Add fabric that will act as binding strips around the potholder.The solid scrap of fabric has been placed on the back of the strippy scraps...as seen below...on the other side of the batting to be the back of the potholder.


7. Pin binding strips for sewing down.

8. As you can see from the back, the sewing down of all of the strips becomes the 'quilt as you go' for the potholder. That's more than good enough for me :) And I added a scraggly little cut-out heart from the scraps...because I could.... and because I try to add a little heart to all of my work ;)



10.Voila! A finished potholder, no cost, almost no effort, made entirely of small scraps and leftover's. And...yes, I even chose to not remove any visible basting stitches because being picky is neither liberated, random or free. And what's the point of being scrappy and picky at the same time?



And now, I can add it to all the scrappy odds and ends potholders that turned into frugal finishes last year...just about this time, too! Project Quilting Runway...take this easy finish! And I can make more...and more...and more potholder fun!!!!

And it was so much fun, I kept making more and more!!!

Ta Da and Happy National Quilting Day!


Friday, January 30, 2009

AD36: The Fat Gene You Can Catch


So, have you heard the latest? Medical researchers have discovered a 'fat gene' which has been named AD-36. Researchers have now identified a positive correlation between body fat and the presence of AD-36 antibodies in the blood. And furthermore, it is contagious and can actually be spread by something as simple as a sneeze.

First shown to be associated with obesity in chickens by Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, his research showed that chicken or mice injected with similar types of viruses showed a statistically significant weight gain.

To date, AD-36 is the only human adeno-virus that has been linked with human obesity, present in 30% of obese humans and 11% of non-obese humans. A viral infection of AD-36 can induce cellular differentiation of 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes and stem cells derived from human adipose (fat) tissue.

I'm sorry, I've been so busy Choosing a Happy Attitude! that I'd almost forgotten about the less pleasant aspects of life. Now, I'm covering my nose, mouth, ears, and hoping that no one sneezes on me!

And just in case...this week I made scrappy crazy patch potholders to donate to the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild: in Salem, Oregon to raise money for our service projects. And each of these little potholders has not only a nurse on it, but some even have nurses with masks!

As quilters, we all known that 'fat quarters' are not a body part. And that as we collect those quarter yards of fabric, and pile them all up on our shelves, we've apparently been deluding ourselves into thinking that sniffing them is beneficial.... as in, Don't Bother Me, I am Sniffing Fabric Pheromones Today

But I'm beginning to think that our fabric addictions may have a genetic component. You know how we all love to touch, feel, and smell our fabric stash? Who knew...all this time we may actually have been infected by someone else. Each and every visit to our local quilt shops and fabric stores, has only exposed us...again and again to a potentially contagious virus.

You can't help a viral infection, can you? It's certainly nothing to sneeze at!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How To Make a Heart Shaped 'Mitt' Potholder


I love to use every bit of my leftover scraps and put them to good use. I also love 'potholder therapy' where sewing easy things in my spare time allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment in an otherwise crowded or busy day.

My site, because of its name, receives countless 'hits' on anything that involves hearts and heart shapes, so it seemed appropriate to offer a simple photo tutorial on making a heart hot mitt...the kind where your hand can fit inside and can safely grasp hot cookies sheets, cassaroles etc.

Hot Pad 'Mitt' Photo Tutorial:

Step 1: As a stash buster or scrap user project, use fabric scraps and a homemade heart shaped pattern. I cut mine from a piece of copy paper...folding it in half lengthwise and cutting the half heart shape as you would a paper valentine. This one measures about 8 1/2" x 10" as you can see by enlarging the above photo.

Step 2: Using this pattern, cut out two whole heart pieces and two complete sets of center split heart pieces from fabrics of choice...remember that you will 'see' the inside lining of the back piece as well as the front split heart piece.

Step 3: Cut batting pieces for both the full heart piece and the two split heart pieces. I like to baste them together for stability at this point by stitching or zigzagging around all edges.

Step 4: Using double wide bias tape, add it to the inner split edge as in photo, top stitching a finishing seam after turning it to the inside.

Step 5: Using the double wide bias tape, also add it to the outer edges of your heart shaped hot pad using the same technique. And you have an easy and fun heart shaped mitt potholder!

PS Someone commented that when you click on the photos, you get a 404, not a larger photo. Sorry about that! Picasa pics do weird things over time and with files getting larger and filling up on my blogs. Hope yo can still see what is going on, here. Free is free and we all get what we get, I'm sorry to day! So, at some point, I just have to accept blogger and picasa for what they are and what they do!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Love, Chaos and Meandering


After a week of love, chaos and meandering, it felt good to get back into the sewing room again. I've only had enough time to do small projects, but I love doing all of them and am grateful for the time I get to spend using my new Viking Sapphire 870 Quilt sewing machine!

The 'love' is for Valentine's Day and in memory of my dear Aunt who just passed away at the age of 81 after a lifetime of mental illness. She married my uncle as a young, vibrant woman...an intellectual genius who spoke 15 languages fluently, and was recruited by the CIA during WWII as an interrogation interpreter. Secrets with terrible memories, kept for decades. They broke her spirit, her intellect, and her amazing gifts as a classical pianist. Instead, she led a tortured life as a schizophrenic. But as one who at least was cared for, with great love, at home by my uncle for more than 50 years.

The 'chaos' is the acceptance that even her life had meaning and value. It is also the dealing of the aftermath of such a loss, especially now when my uncle is, himself, struck with the dementia of one of the branches of Alzheimer's relentless growth. And now, he like so many others must face that arduous journey of loss and acceptance.

The meandering is the gift of a brother's week long visit and the chance to talk for hours and hours...catching up on the news of my parents and other relatives, as well as the kuspuks making classroom where I'd spent 25 hours in one week sewing with my sister-in-law's second grade class.

So, this week after the love, after the loss, after the leavings...came my 'potholder therapy. Along with the love, the crumb chaos patchworking and meandering quilting, I stitched pieces of my own life back into its own patterns again....loss and acceptance, stagnation and growth, change and creation. Sometimes 'comfort quilts' are strings and strings we piece together for ourselves and not just others. And little 'kitchen quilts' are just as comforting as any others.

Life is a series of hard times contrasted with good ones. But like doing anything that you love, sewing and quilting keep both the heart and the hands busy, and help in the healings of the all of the hard things we have to face and accept. And my potholder therapy never seems to fail me.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In The Sewing Room


I spent some lovely time in the sewing room yesterday...trying out my free-motion abilities with the new Viking Sapphire. Obviously, this is a bit over-quilted for a lowly potholder, but I sure did have fun!

And after weeks of Serging Ahead Towards Christmas and sewing 6 dozen cloth napkins, 3 aprons, 8 potholders, 3 tea caddy's and so forth and so on with the old machine that could barely hold a seam...this is a dream.

Holiday Happenings in My Happiness Haven have changed dramatically, now that I have a sewing machine that can sew decent seams and I have been rediscovering my love of meander stitching. I have been having such fun free-motioning like I actually thought I knew what I was doing... and then turning it over and finding a perfect bobbin stitch side, too!

And best of all, the owner of the old worn-out, burned hot pads (who gave so many new ones to others) is now the proud owner of 1 new one, herself, and the promise of more to come!

W00t, w00t !

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Short Cut Through Time: Daisy Kingdom



Thirty five years ago, a creative designer named Patti Read, opened an innovative fabric store in Portland, Oregon, that became known as Daisy Kingdom. Patty promoted sales of fabric by designing and drawing patterns (by hand) on newspaper and brown paper bags for her customers. Her sources of inspiration were drawn from childhood memories of her own family life, as well as anything light and whimsical.

In 1996, Patty Reed sold Daisy Kingdom to Springs Industries, Inc, a South Carolina based textile giant. She continue to work for them for a number of years as VP of Design but eventually opened her own design studio (Patty Reed Designs) in Portland, Oregon. The original Daisy Kingdom store in Portland closed in December of 2004, but Daisy Kingdom fabrics, especially the pre-printed panels, must live forever in in sewing rooms across America.

Since November is officially "Tie One On" month (aprons, that is) I barely had enough time, to get one made before my time ran out! Thank goodness, for occasional moments of sanity. Every once in a while, when I need a gift in a hurry, I go into stash and pull out a cheater panel of some kind (that I have been given or found at a garage sale) and I get some sewing and even a bit of quilting, done in a hurry!

Shown here, a quick 'cheater' panel apron with three sewn down lap pockets in front and an additional potholder, thrown in for fun. Made from an older Daisy Kingdom panel (buried in my stash from many years ago) I quilted it to thin fleece batting, added a colorful lining and binding and finished it up with overall meandering quilting. Got it done in just a bit over a day, and if I hadn't 'meandered' so much, I would have been done even faster!

Have you tied one on this month?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Eating Humble Pie


Our dear Finn, over at Riding the Orphan Train is eating Humble Pie. Not being content to just sit here and watch her eat it (especially if I thought I might want some..) I had to do an etymological search on the original, if you will, of 'Humble pie.'

Now, for those of you who may have heard of, but not oft tasted humble pie, it is best served with regrets... as opposed to whipped cream, ice cream or creme fraiche. So, I offer you this... for today's plateful.

From Wikipedia:
"To eat humble pie, in common usage, is to apologize and face humiliation for a serious error.

Etymology
The expression derives from umble pie, which was a pie filled with liver, heart and other offal, especially of cow but often deer. These parts were known as umbles, and since they were considered inferior food, in medieval times the pie was often served to lower-class people.

Although "umbles" and the modern word "humble" are etymologically unrelated, each word has appeared both with and without the initial "h" after the Middle Ages until the 19th century. Since the sound "h" is often dropped in many dialects, and "umble" was a humble meal anyway, the phrase was re-bracketed as "humble pie". While "umble" is now gone from the language, the phrase remains, carrying the fossilized word as an idiom.

See also:
To eat boiled crow
Meaning: Act submissively and apologetically, especially in admitting an error. "

With my usual predilection for extensive research in my "nose to the grindstone" quest for illumination, I discovered that 'umbles' were also called 'numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, or noubles.) Samuel Pepys makes many references to such pies in his famous diary. For example, on 5th July 1662:
"I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done."and on 8th July 1663:
"Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good."

It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.

The adjective humble, meaning 'of lowly rank' or 'having a low estimate of oneself' derived separately from umbles, which derives from Latin and Old French words for loins. (Incidentally, if you feel like girding your loins and aren't sure exactly where they are, the OED coyly describes them as 'the parts of the body that should covered with clothing').

The similarity of the sound of the words, and the fact that umble pie was often eaten by those of humble situation could easily have been the reason for 'eat humble pie' to have come to have its current idiomatic meaning.

Now, in any case, our dear Finn is definitely not 'lower class' nor is she inferior in any way, shape or norm. So dear Finn, pull that piece of pie right out of your mouth, right this minute! And dear sweet Molly, certainly never intended for her darling Orphan Train quilt to cause you dietary distress, nor me an etymological diffusion! Nor, you my dear readers, a discretionary offensive infusion.

shown here:
more of my potholders:
using the crow for serving, not eating

And Finn, dear, you are not to apologize for your menu choices. That would be eating boiled crow, not once, but twice!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Camp Sherman: A Token Gift, Left Behind


My all-time favorite 'token' gift for others...a little kitchen quilt, otherwise known as the potholder. This one from my July patriotic stash, left behind for our hosts as a little thank-you for putting us up, and putting up with us, during our visit to Sisters.

Our hosts, friends from college days, had us build them a home just outside of Sisters in Camp Sherman last year. We built the house long distance...they lived in Alaska, we live in Salem. But somehow they ended up with a very nice (and of course, very nicely built ;) house. Itwas really nice seeing it all completed, but even nicer getting to spend the weekend in Camp Sherman.

Camp Sherman was, as its name implies a campground at one time, located in the Cascade Mountains, near Sisters, and not too far from Bend and Redmond. It is located at the head springs of the beautful Metolius River, a little river that seems to come up out of nowhere, just a bubble from the ground at first, then into a nice sized river. Camp Sherman now boasts about 140 homes, as well as camp grounds, of course, and a lodge. There is a tiny one room school house with 17 students, a general store aka fly fishing shop, and beautiful mountains surrounding you....Mt. Washington, Jefferson and the Three Sisters. A charming little neighborhood with families that may or may not live there full time. Some of the homes get rented out summers, others are lucky to be lived in full time.

It's so quiet in Camp Sherman, that you can actually hear yourself breathe as you walk through the forests and meadows of wild flowers. And if you're out of shape, your breathe may or may not be audible to others, as well! We walked it, explored it a bit, saw a doe and her fawn, met lots of nice dogs and their owners. It was lovely and very relaxing.

We had arrived on a Friday evening, after only a two hour or so drive from Salem, but it was a hot day and our air conditioning in the car was out. Hot and tired, I had just missed the 85 quilts that the quilters of Camp Sherman had made and showed during their own quilt show. The requirement is that each member of their little guild must 'show' three of her quilts. Since the average quilter there produces one a year, the quilters have been known to beg, borrow or steal their quilts back from those they gave them to...just to be able to come up with the required minimum for the show. I felt badly to have missed it.... especially when I heard all about it later.

The quilting ladies there call themselves the 'Pinecone Quilters' and they're famous for their $3 potholders which apparently sell out fast during the opening minutes of their Friday show. The husbands of the quilters call themselves the "Pine Nuts" (if you aren't nuts before you marry a quilter, you will be afterwards! )and they help bake the cinnamon rolls and other goodies which are sold and served during the small quilt show....which is usually held the day before the big one in town. Since I didn't make it to their quilt show, I brought along a little 'kitchen quilt' of my own to give as a gift and I did manage to collect a few pinecones for myself as I walked around. My theory for travel is to take a memento as a keepsake, and leave one behind in gratitude.

My little potholder was a tiny gift but the thank you that went with it still continues. They always say that a good friend comes through during times of need. When you need a place to stay in a town of 1,460 that has to host 15,000 to 20,000 quilters...well, those kind of friends are hard to beat! My thanks to them continue...and I do believe I heard at least one of them say "So, will we probably seeing you again next year?......" :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Patriotic Sewing Frenzy


I may 'only be'53% American (ha ha) but I still love to decorate with red, white and blue and lots of flags in the summer. I began my usual patriotic fabric frenzy right before the Fourth of July. I brought out all of my ziplock bags of strips, strings, blocks and flag fabrics and began a manic period of slicing and dicing and putting and piecing that lasted for days! Don't you just love a good inspired stage where all you want to do is sew?


I'm an impulsive sewer, I get in the mood and sew until things are finished. I don't like using patterns. I would rather just sew from the heart, piecing as I go, cutting off and fitting in, never really planning anything very complicated. I'm just happy that I love to sew and can make things that I can share with others.

I covered the floor in my strips and strings and then started turning them into everything I could think of. For starters, the cats needed a new counter cloth to sneak naps on and be fussed at everytime I catch them snoozing and leaving cat fluff all over everything!

Project #1...patriotic counter cloth to use for summer. After I pieced this one, I was able to see where this strip or that one wasn't just the right color or pattern choice, but at the time, I had my reasons, and even if I didn't I rationalized. Point is, I got the job done in a few hours.

Project #2, I needed a quick thank you gift for some great friends who showed up with a carafe of coffee and a plate of zucchini bread just when our energy was lagging as we greeted visitors for 6 hours a day at our Tour of Homes house in Pringle Creek Community , here in Salem. They were so dear to come back with treats and I truly needed to reciprocate in kind.....only she cooks, I sew. So, a quick kitchen potholder made in a hurry with string quilting and given just in the nick of time for use on the Fourth of July!

The countertop was happy, the cats were happy, some thoughtful friends were happy and all of that made me happy, too!
String Quilting
Free Patriotic Quilting Patterns
Free Quilt Patterns