Sunday, July 27, 2014

Almost Vegan Quilted Gifts

In our last installment, I was heading for a summer reunion AND needed a creative jolt, so I made some coffee-themed potholders to give as gifts.

Since I do have friends whose lives, enigmatically, don't revolve around caffeine opportunities, I also made a couple of fruit-vegetable-and-egg-themed potholders. Why eggs? They're elongated polka dots, and polka dots make everything better! The only downside to adding the eggs is, of course, that you can't give these to vegans. Here's # 1:
 And # 2.
I know. It's a little wonky. I'm not sure what happened over on the left. What can I say, I was working fast.
The back:
The egg fabric has been in my stash for a while, but all of the luscious fruit and vegetable fabrics are from the Farmer's Market collection by Fabri-Quilt. Previously, I made a large quilt from these fabrics, which you can see here. Click on the "Farmer's Market Fabric" in the word cloud to the right to see many more. There's a quilt and free potholder pattern on my pattern page that uses fabric like this (scroll down on this page). 

You don't need a pattern for today's potholders, because it's stunningly obvious, right? Cut nine 3"squares, plus a border of however wide you need to show off the eggs!  

I put a double layer of Warm'n'Natural inside my potholders, but one of these days I'm going to buy Insul-brite, which presumably protects hands better. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

No Pressure! Just Potholders! Or, Coffee Madness, Continued

When I find creativity blocked by the need to impress myself (or, worse, others!), the go-to game is potholder. Just make a flippin' potholder! It doesn't have to be great Art! In fact, forget the A word!  I imagine it with burned corners and embedded egg whites, and that soooo takes the pressure off. NOW we can play!

Motivation increases if I need gifts. No agony over gifting old friends with the masterpiece they deserve. Everyone needs another potholder!

So last week,  I made a slew for our upcoming travels.

I started with this amazing  fabric.

I'd been eyeing it at my LQS for months, so imagine my joy when I found it on the 40% off shelf. Why is this magnificent fabric on sale? Doesn't every caffeine-blooded American quilter need some? (Also on the sale shelf: Same fabric with the values reversed, with the figures in white).

I surrounded a square of that fabric with a red coffee cup fabric,
but the results were sort of plain. Time to drag out the fusible-backed scrap bin!
This is the purgatory to which all my leftover fusible-backed fabrics - especially small novelty items - go. Once I pull everything out, it is very difficult to push it all back in again.

I did some free associating, finding ready-to-fuse objects to place on my potholder base.

For this first potholder, I created a fully bodied, sensuous appreciation of my favorite drink by adding coffee-appreciating body parts: Lips on the upper left corner,
... a hand making a victory sign on the lower left...
 .....and a guy with caffeine-induced delusions of superpowers on the lower right. 
 (Yes you've seen this strongman edited onto on a coffee cup before, here.) The cup also has clouds of decorative steam.

For the next one, the steam cloud is multicolored:
and there's a collaged redundant fantasy label on the lower right. 
The whole thing:

 For the third, I added an Earth-like marble on the upper left, a rocket ship on the lower left... a
and a small color cloud on the lower right corner. 
The backs are mug fabric that's been in my stash for decades. 
 To  see more coffee creations, click "coffee" in the word cloud on the right of this post. And remember: If you're feeling intimidated by the need to make a masterpiece, go for a  potholder instead. (You never know: Your friends might frame it.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fabric Saves World in So Many Ways! News Roundup Part 11,678-83

1. Fabric saves world! No more need for paper towels! Make these cool hanging things instead! Fabulous idea here.

2. Packing hot cooking pots in a thick fabric bag with lots of batting helps people in developing nations as well as rich nations use less energy and natural resources! Here is how it works.  Another excellent article here.

3. Blankies help suffering people! Quilts for people with dementia, or people in difficult places.

4. Modern Quilting revives the quilt world! The quilting population was heavily senior, until "modern" quilters came along. They're young and they're saving the day, beautifully and con gusto!

5. Colorful fabric becomes feminine hygiene equipment becomes the ability to go to school and work for girls in developing countries. That's the importance of the Days for Girls project. News coverage here.  

How is fabric saving your world?