Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot Mitt and Potholders from One Yard Wonders

This project did not turn out to meet my expectations. But instead of an overall disappointment, I got a lesson in quilting. I also now have a hot mitt and potholders to give away.

This project is from the book "One Yard Wonders" by Yaker Haskins. She is very clever about using an entire yard with her projects: no more, no less. This means that you need to be careful cutting, which I wasn't when making this. I was very careful to iron all of my pieces, heeding her advice (I think it was from her. Darn that Mommy Brain!!) that ironing makes things look handcrafted instead of handmade. I like that distinction, and, when I read that, vowed to be more careful. Unfortunately, this didn't come to mind as I was practicing ripping the fabric instead of carefully cutting it, and some of the bias material ended up different widths. I think it is unnoticable in the final product, but it did make these a bit more challenging.

I think these were a great lesson in quilting, which I have been meaning to try. They are small, and I got to put on my walking foot and try it out. My takeaway from this brief foray into quilting is that I need to get the right supplies before trying again. My lines were crooked and my rulers, cutting mat, and tailor's chalk were of no help. I will need to purchase a quilter's ruler, quilter's chalk, and a quilter's guide to attach to my walking foot if I am going to attempt to make visible straight lines atop fabric again. The walking foot was great, though. I have had problems in the past (while making piddle pads) with the fabric bunching up when tacking thick pieces of fabric together, and this walking foot made any issues like this disappear.  Interestingly enough, I didn't really have these issues when using flannel on both sides.

Another mini-quilting lesson was in binding. I got to try eight corners with this project, and stop and hide "bias tape" three times. I also learned why bias tape is usually cut on the bias (duh): it wrinkles and doesn't lay flat when it is cut straight, as it is with this project when you use only a yard for the project. You end up making double-fold bias tape, and sewing one edge in, and folding the rest under. Mine didn't end up laying flat, and I think it would have been easier with less folding back and forth. I am thinking this is the difference between single-fold and double-fold bias tape and can keep this in mind in future projects and let you know as I learn the difference. Also, about those eight corners-- her directions had you stop and cut the thread, then fold it at 45 degrees, then start again. I tried this with one and it didn't really work. So I ended up semi-mitering the corners by folding them under on the top and bottom as I got to them. I will need to research corners before binding a quilt. Lastly, I liked how she had you fold under the starting edge 1/2", then tuck the end part underneath once you are back to the starting point again. It does a nice job hiding the edges of the material.

All in all, this has satisfied my desire to start quilting and I will go back to baby/ toddler clothes and bags. Okay, and maybe some other assorted items. However, it did not satisfy my desire for new hot pads, since these are way too thin. I bought Insul-Bright  and it is too thin. The shape of the mitt is okay, but the potholders are too big (and too thin).

I am not dissuaded from trying more of her projects, though. This was fun to make.
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Here is the book.
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