Posts tagged ‘Christmas gifts’

Quick pot holders/hot pads how to

There are fancier, prettier pot holder patterns out there. But probably not any easier ones. These are made with material that makes them safe enough to use to pull something out of the oven, and heat-insulated enough to protect your countertops from hot pots and pans. You can crank several of these out in an hour, and they make great gifts. Plus, they are the perfect project to use up your fabric remnants.

Easy, practical

Items you will need: Sewing machine, fabric, insul-bright, quilt batting.

First, decide how large you want your potholders to be. It depends on what you want to use them for. I’ve made some that are about 5 inches square, with the intent to use them to protect countertops from hot plates. I have also made them 9 inches square to use to pull things out of the oven.

Cut your fabric, insul-bright (special fabric that is heat resistant), and quilt batting to the same size, between 5-10 inches square.

For each pot holder, you will need 2 squares of fabric, 1 square of insul-bright and 1 square of  batting. (I used warm and natural all cotton batting)

Put one of the fabric squares, right side down, in front of you. Layer one batting square on top, followed by one insul-bright square. Sew around all edges. When finished, lay second fabric square right side up, and place new layered square on top, fabric side down. Sew around all edges, leaving about 1.5 inches to turn the project right side out. Turn right side out, sew closed. Add additional quilting to the outside – either a second square around the perimeter, an X, lines – whatever your heart desires.

And you’re done!

February 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm 5 comments

Another strip quilt

This quilt is my most recent creation, as well as the first quilt I’ve made for our house.

For Christmas, Matt’s parents gave me the most amazing rotary cutter – a Gingher designer series (Nikki). Having previously owned the $9 WalMart brand rotary cutter, let me tell you – this was a whole new experience. They were also generous enough to give us each some money, so of course I had to go to the fabric store.

Right after Christmas we ventured to Urban Arts and Crafts, a very small but very cool store in Kansas City. They have probably only a hundred or so bolts of fabric, but they are all beautiful designer fabrics – my favorites being Amy Butler and the bright, springy florals.

I bought a 1/2 yard of several fabrics, and 2 yards of my favorite fabric for a quilt backing. The technique for this quilt was very similar to the previous strip quilt I showed on here, only I cut all of the pieces to the same width and then cut them all to random lengths. This again allowed for staggered seams and a more complicated looking quilt, without actually being more complicated.

After a weekend of sewing, the quilt was ready. I took it to my favorite quilter in St. Joseph – she is amazing, quick and reasonable. I received this quilt back at the end of this month and am in love. It goes perfectly in our house, and made a Christmas gift I will always remember.

Finished quilt laying on our bed. Please ignore the terrible lighting.

The backing fabric. My favorite.

February 1, 2010 at 10:30 am 1 comment

Softies gone wild

For those not acquainted, a softie is a homemade stuffed animal that can be made a variety of ways. Whether made with cotton fabric, felt, felting, knitting or crochet, they are adorable, quirky creatures that can be made in as little as a few hours. They also make perfect gifts for little kids or even grown up kids.

I’m not one to follow patterns much (or recipes), so most of mine have been inspired by others seen online or just dreamed up one day.

Several have been made so far, though I find felt to be one of the easiest materials to work with. After I made a few, my husband requested a penguin softie. He has something of a thing for penguins, and I couldn’t even begin to tell you the origin of this. As a result, he has numerous penguin stuffed animals, tshirts, a sweat shirt and artwork. These were so fun to make, and quick too.

For each, the technique was relatively the same. I first cut out two generic body shapes from felt. I freehand drew the shapes, keeping in mind that once sewn, the dimensions would shrink. This means you need to make the head much larger than you want the final version to appear.

Then, I cut out a contrasting color to use for the body. I sewed this on the top piece of body felt. From there, I cut out beaks and chose buttons for eyes, attaching these. On the black penguin, I also cut out a bowtie out of red felt and sewed on. Once you have completed the body as desired, face right sides together and sew all but about two inches on the bottom of the penguin. Use this space to flip the penguin body right side out. Stuff

A gift for Matt

with fiber fill, sew closed. For the black penguin, I sewed little yellow feet out of felt and stuffed them, and sewed them to the edge of the body. For the blue penguin, I cross-stitched feet and then sewed to the bottom. I also stitched a little scarf.

My favorite thing about softie projects is that anything goes. You can use a pattern, but don’t have to. And even better – it’s one of the cheapest crafts you can make.

Keep checking back for many more examples to come!

February 1, 2010 at 1:51 am Leave a comment


About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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