Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Potholders for days, a brief word about current events, some appliqué

I've been happily (happily...? not really, not these days, with our country in the state it's in... but you know what I mean) ensconced in my messy sewing room, making potholders from scraps.  


I piece scraps into improv log cabin blocks, about 10" square, layer with batting (four layers of Dream Cotton Select), and backing.  I quilt very simply.  I try to eyeball the center and quilt down and across the center, which helps when it comes to how a potholder is folded when you are using it.  Sometimes I make an additional quilting line once the potholder is finished, to achieve that good symmetrical fold. 

I trim to 9" squares, and bind with double-fold binding cut 1.25" wide.   It's a lot of work to hand tack back the bindings, but I still prefer to bind this way and not all by machine.  

Then I wash them.  In the photo below, the purple-bound potholders on top have already been washed.  

These will make some simple gifts.   They wash up well and shrink to about 8.5": 


I love making potholders - the smallest possible quilt, and something practical and not precious.   I'm totally counting these as a June monthly mini;).  I've been absent for months from the mini scene at Wendy's The Constant Quilter.  Check out the minis on her blog!  I always love seeing what people have been making. 

Binding all these little potholders, I have been watching all of the January 6th hearings.  Today, I was so impressed with young witness Cassidy Hutchinson's courage and poise.   

With the distressing recent events and decisions in our country, I try to stay informed without becoming too overwhelmed and depressed by it all.  One voice I appreciate is Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter "Letters from an American: a newsletter about the history behind today's politics".    She's an historian and professor at Boston College.  You can email me and I will forward you one of her newsletters, or you can find some of her older newsletters here on Bill Moyer's website.  

But back to quilting for a second.  The other project I'm working on is this BOM from Barbara Brackman, Ladies Aid.  The blocks are huge.  I wanted this quilt to have that soft "light blue and dusty pink" feel from the mid 80's.  Just gentle and homey.  I made myself kits, thinking I would finish this up over Christmas vacation.  Ya, no, that didn't happen. 




Getting an idea of what this will look like.  One more block to prep and appliqué. 



Cynthia 





25 comments:

  1. Potholders are the ultimate useful quilts, and you have enough sweet minis to more than make up for missing months! I'm loving the soft vibe of of those big applique blocks. The backgrounds will provide lots of opportunity for lovely handquilting.

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  2. I get HCR’s daily email and look forward to her insightful messages. I was amazed by Ms. Hutchinson’s bravery, strength and poise. I am so distressed by what is happening in the US. Ladies Aid is gorgeous and the potholders are a great idea!

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  3. Your potholders are a wonderful way to use up scraps and create something pleasing AND useful!
    The dusty pink and soft blue are iconic for that era, and you have captured that feel very well.
    It is a distressing time. I listened to Ms. Hutchinson's testimony on NPR today. It shows great integrity and courage to do the right thing in testifying of truth (and several people have). But it is sad how many continue to hide behind lies.

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  4. Great potholders you've put together!! Love your doggie block--so sweet!!
    This is such a distressing time (and a frustratiing one, too) for our country.., all our hard won rights are being attacked. We see headlines online but have stopped watching News altogether. Just too much to take.
    Nice to see that you are settling in and can sew up a storm;))) Hugs and hopes, Julierose

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  5. Your practical potholders are charming mini quilts. Each one totally unique. I liked seeing your sewing area. Creativity can get a little messy! Your applique blocks are so pretty. I'm sure I still have many quilts with the dusty blue and rose combo.

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    1. Kyle - "dusty blue and rose" is so accurate, thank you! Brings me right back to 1985.

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  6. Thanks for the potholder idea—so agree about making useful things! I keep wanting to add some dresser “scarves”, but really quilted mats to bedroom furniture! Love the ladies aid applique, and thanks for recommending Heather - have signed up and look forward to her writing. Finding solace in working with my hands! Best, Linda B

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  7. Wow! 4 Mini quilts in one month!! I love them. And, thanks for counting them as the fabulous minis that they are!! Your Ladies Aid blocks are so soft and pretty. What a wonderful summer quilt it will be! I applaud you for watching the news. I cannot do it on a regular basis. I know that WE need to BE the change, I just wish I were younger and had more energy to make it happen.

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  8. What a great gift idea in those potholders. Now if I can only get going on some now for Christmas gifts instead of waiting until December. Heather Cox Richardson is our morning read, she is excellent and her insights into our country and our past are an invaluable resource so we can learn from our history. I too am watching all the January 6th hearings and Ms. Hutchinson was stellar.

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  9. The hot pads are great - I should follow your example and make some because hot pads are scarce around her right now. Your "Ladies Aid" blocks have just the right look. Soft and pretty.

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  10. I, too, enjoy making potholders and giving them as gifts - they are always appreciated. Heather Cox Richardson’s daily letter is delivered right to my email and I read her regularly with my morning coffee- so informative and insightful! I hope our country finds a way to correct course!

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  11. Thank you for sharing the link for Ms. Richardson. It really distresses me too thinking my granddaughters are being set back to old 50s & 60s laws.
    Sonia

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  12. I just started reading Richardson's newsletter. What a great resource.
    I love that you now have the space to be messy while you sew! Finally! Your beautiful applique is inspiring. I'm working up the nerve to get started on a simple applique project myself.

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  13. Sweet little potholders for this month's mini! What a great way to use up scraps. Love your Ladies' Aid blocks in those soft hues. Only one more to go? Yay!

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  14. Yup on HCR....I always read her thoughts...And, saving the world, one potholder at a time!!! Right on! Gifting them always brings a smile. As for our countrty's doom and gloom, I am horrified. Nice post xo

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  15. Your Potholders are wonderful! I love the scrappy colors and quilting a straight line down through the middle is genius! I'm going to tey that!! Your Ladies Aid blocks are wonderful too! I saw that block with the dog on BB's blog and was tempted...
    Happy 4th! take care, cw

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  16. I had to “find” you blog, Cynthia (blogger issues) haha! I also love the potholder idea, and yours are so cheerful. The dusty blue and pink top is looking very lovely. Such a “soft” look. Our sewing rooms are sanctuaries where we can escape the realities of what’s going on, especially when we start to feel bombarded. I prefer to read my news as opposed to watching it, as it’s less invasive and easier to edit. Thanks for reminding me about Heather Richardson.

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  17. I'll ditto what others have said in enjoying seeing these lovely little quilts that are practical too. I think you have achieved the gentle soft look you wanted with your blocks too. A facebook friend always forwards Heather's columns and they are always interesting reading.

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  18. Your Ladies Aid blocks are looking fantastic! Love the soft colors.

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  19. what a nice post. I'm sorry I'm so far behind. I love your Ladies Aid colors! They are soft and sweet and very pretty.
    Your potholders are a nice project. I can see how they could become addictive. Maria Shell has an oven mitt pattern - you can see it on her website. they are neat and I've often thought I'd like to make some.
    It was very hard for me to be patriotic this year I have to say.
    Shocking news about the assassination in Japan.

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  20. Do you have Instagram

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  21. Your hot pads/potholders are such fun. Good to make when you don't want to think, or maybe when you don't want to think about quilting but want to think about other things....
    Your Ladies' Aid blocks have such a gentle, timeless look about them. I know they will become a much-cherished quilt.

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  22. I keep hearing the same theme of how depressing the world has gotten, over and over. Especially in the States, but things don't look too great from this side of the Pacific Ocean either. Is it the fall out from political choices or is it the pandemic? It is hard to find the positive...

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  23. I have some handmade potholders that were gifts for me and I love them!

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