Deadline for Inspiration

Recently I joined a couple of holiday handmade/quilty swaps on flickr. The first swap was round 5 of Potholder Pass. This was a blind swap for one partner in which you send two holiday potholders and a handmade ornament. The catch was that there was only one month in between getting your partner's name and sending out your package.  I found myself smack dab in the middle of a bunch of highly talented quilter's without a clue for what I'd make.  Square in square block?  Wonky star?  Tree?  Snowflake?  eh.

Finally, I had a single spark 8 days before the deadline.

Here is my partner's inspiration mosaic.   I stared at it off and on for days.  Suddenly, the apple fabrics and the pear shapes and the leaves struck me, and I thought, "pear tree."  That immediately led to singing a part from the Twelve Days of Christmas, which led me to "partridge!!"  I knew I wanted details.  I didn't want to fit a vague bird on top of a tree on a small potholder.  

We've been doing a lot of reading to Henry about the alphabet and that led me think about alphabet books featuring one simple picture and a letter.  I then exchanged the letter "P" for a strip of pieced squares instead.  I thought the squares would tie the two potholders together best.

Then I drew my designs, and traced them onto freezer paper.  I heavily starched my fabric choices, ironed the fusible webbing on the back, ironed the freezer paper shape on the front and then carefully cut out each shape.  After that I peeled off the freezer paper, placed the pieces on the background fabric and ironed them to fuse. Lastly, I carefully appliqued each piece, adding the stem and the eye last. 

The bigger block was cut and the strip of squares was sewn on.  I used a square of recycled felt sweater for the insulating part of the potholder. Wool felt works great to keep your hands safe and it is flame resistant. I also love the texture of wool inside a potholder as opposed to the standard crinkly Insul-Bright.

To complete the potholders, I did some simple machine quilting around the designs and some hand quilting in the ditch between the design square and the pieced border.

Sometimes I just have to wait for the creative inspiration to strike and then roll with it.  I'm really glad I did.  These were hard to let go of. 

Next time I'll have to tell you about the ornament design that I made up and completed in just three days!  I might just pull together a tutorial for it, too.


Souhair said...


Anonymous said...

you amaze me a different way every time!

melissa said...

these are amazing melinda!!!
i think you totally belong smack dab in the midst of all those highly talented ladies (what with you being one yourself!)

Heather said...

fantastic response to inspiration! The design is very attractive.

Tania said...

I was hyperventilating at the 'crisp' of your pear and headed halfway out the door to buy starch! I can see why you'd need a healthy dose of therapy after bidding them farewell...

PS. 'Course you can buy a 'T is for Towel' tea towel. How about $5 Australian for postage and I'll cover the rest?

perches said...

so pretty!

knittingsandwich said...

so completely adorable! they turned out great! i love that little bit of measuring tape fabric. fun!

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