I've been on mental vacation for the past couple of days, because I just wrapped up a couple of big projects. So I started procrastinating the next big thing on my list by cleaning up my studio and selected portions of my home.
But then I wound up procrastinating my procastination with this gift project idea, just in time for the holidays: Wall art/kitchen art/potholders from old freemotion quilting practice pieces! Here's some of what I've made so far, in the guise of cleaning up my house:
And a dark-thread-on-white fabric potholder, colored with fabric markers:
And you can do this, too! It started with the oven mitt. While cleaning out a cupboard in my sewing room, I found a forgotton stack of freemotion practice pieces, including this:
(Here's the quilt it was practice for, made for my next book "Quilted New York".)You can't see quilting in the black sky above because I used black thread, so that my imperfect freemotion quilting wouldn't detract from the piecing.
If you don't own an oven mitt, you can just as easily trace around your hand. I suggest you make the pattern substantially bigger. My first paper pattern, below, is about 8" x 12", but that was a little tight - my next one will be closer to 9 or 10" at the widest. (The 12" length was good, and you'll see I made another one a little shorter, which was fine too.)
Trimmed the seam allowance far back. Also clipped deep into the angle between the thumb and the rest, cutting up to but not through the seam.
The other side. (The wiggly wave is the new patch, a slightly greyer black fabric.)
Binding the bottom edge was the last step.
I found leftover quilt binding, and ran it around the bottom to determine length. Then I pulled it off, trimmed back the extra with a half-inch seam allowance, sewed the ends together, and clipped it back in position.
I followed that with the two square potholders you saw above. This one was made from practice pieces from two different quilts, one grey and one black. I cut their mutual edges straight across, and did a multi-step zigzag to unite them. Can you find the guy shooting out of a cannon?
Compared to the others, this one seemed boring. Wouldn't it be great if that white fabric were rainbow-colored? Wait - I can do the coloring myself! (My little girl is now in grad school and doesn't have time to color these new potholders just because her mother is having a nostalgia fit.)
- Fabric-tipped markers are much easier to color with than crayons or colored pencils. It's especially helpful if the marker has one narrow and one wider end.
- Crayola washable markers were my favorite for lots of courage and minimum dexterity required, but unfortunately they're "WASHABLE," which means the color will vanish with washing! This can be a good thing if you're doing this project with a very young child who also wants to color themselves and the walls.
- I enjoyed using my old permanent Identi-pen fabric markers, Zig markers, and FabricMate markers. But all those sets were pricey when I bought them new, and they still are.