Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End Potholder

There are a bazillion potholder tutorials on the web, and for good reason... they're easy to make, quick to finish, and often just a tiny little quilt.

The project in this post is a hodge-podge of tutorials and techniques that I've been wanting to try, but my favorite thing about it is that each of the fabrics were used in a quilt I made in 2009, so it was a great project to reminisce a bit.

First, the potholder shape/structure (square with triangle pockets on back as shown below) came from a tutorial by Field Trips in Fiber. I made mine a bit larger than the tutorial's dimensions.

Next, I paper pieced the top with strip scraps. Film in the Fridge has a great tutorial on this technique.

Lastly, this was the perfect opportunity to try "pebble quilting" as demonstrated in a video by Handmade by Alissa. I've wanted to try this for a while, but Alissa has warned in other posts that it's time consuming and recommended for smaller quilts. Below is the inside of the potholder, to demonstrate the outcome of this technique. It's messy but very forgiving!

I so wish you could feel texture through the computer screen... here's one last photo to give you an idea of how lush the pebble quilting feels with a thick batting.

Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not so De-Vinyl...

I got a lovely KitchenAid Mixer for my birthday (thanks Mom!) and after my aunt mentioned how dusty hers gets I thought I'd sew a cover for it...

There's a free tutorial for appliance covers from
DISCLAIMER: The tutorial I followed is perfectly adequate, all failures associated with this project are from my own not-so-well-thought-out adaptations.

Like most KitchenAid owners, I think my appliance is beautiful and don't want to hide it away in shame, so I thought clear vinyl would be the solution. I changed the pattern to be 2 inches shorter, and then added 3 inches of cute fabric. (My model has a glass bowl which I think is slightly larger/wider)

Not completely terrible from a distance:

One of the problem areas up close:

The main problems are that the seams won't turn out properly, and the fabric along the bottom is not stiff enough to compete with the vinyl. I realize it could be much worse, I'm just still baffled by how bad this looks compared to my initial mental imagine of it. It's not so bad that it's not going to sit on my kitchen counter until I find a way to fix or replace it... but that's because I just moved and have too many other home sewing projects in my head that this one needs to stew for a while.

One or both of the following likely lead to my demise:
#1 - The vinyl I selected was probably too thick (16 gauge)
#2 - Sewing curves in vinyl is very challenging, and this pattern is two ovals being sewn to a rectangle. Women of the 1950s that sewed vinyl slip-covers for their living room furniture must have had crazy sewing skills (and unlimited patience).

To redeem my sewing confidence, I challenged myself to make a softie in an hour last night (challenge prompted by realizing that it was the Saturday before Xmas which meant the stores were all packed with shoppers, and I didn't have a gift to take to a First Birthday party that was going to start in 2 hours.) It ended up taking an hour and 20 minutes, but that's from the time I sat down at the computer to google a softie tutorial, and includes the time rummaging through my fabric bins deciding what to use. The green dots from the mixer cover also made it onto Lucy the Goosey, for which you can find a free tutorial from The Long Thread.

The one-year-old recipient grabbed and carried her by the beak immediately, so I figure that's enough of a compliment to get me back to my home-sewing projects.

Monday, December 7, 2009

SMS Give Away Day Apron Winner Dec 09

Wow, thanks so much to everyone that stopped by my blog to share your favorite cookie! It makes me hungry every time I look at the comments!

The winner of the apron give-away (selected at random by is FlowerMomma who just might be making gluten and dairy-free shortbread (if there is such a thing) while wearing the apron.

As a consolation prize to everyone else, check out the comments on the original post to see a great list of much-loved cookies you can enjoy this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SMS Give Away Day! December 09

Happy Give Away Day!

Once again I am participating in Sew Mama Sew's Give Away Day. One lucky blog commenter/cookie lover will win this apron made by yours-truly:

The apron is blue cotton with green/cream trim, and has one pocket. The waist tie is 7 feet long, to accommodate a range of waist sizes.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment telling your favorite kind of cookie (homemade or store bought, you can even provide a link to a recipe if you'd like) on this post by 11:59pm MT on Sunday December 6th. The winner will be chosen at random. Please be sure to include an email address or blog link from which you can be contacted. I am willing to ship internationally, and will mail promptly after contacting the winner.

Thank you for visiting French Sleep Deprivation Study, and here's to a cheerful cookie-filled holiday season!