Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sewing Geisha Girl Potholders

Having a lovely domestic kind of day ... reading cookbooks, making pesto butter to melt over barbecued steaks tonight, enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches with the granddaughter for lunch along with the latest episode of Master Chef, and finishing up the binding on a couple of cute potholders for a friend at work.

A few years ago, I picked up the Summer 2012 issue of Quilts and More magazine and just had to make the Classic Carryall Tote Bag featured on the cover. This bag provided a lot of firsts for me including half square triangles, chain stitching, using cotton webbing in handles, and grommets. Boy, did grommets scare the daylights out of me. Cut a hole -- even worse, 4 holes -- in this beautiful bag I just painstakingly stitched together? But they work and they're amazing.

I had picked up a small fat quarter bundle of Asian inspired fabrics at Joann's and used them for this bag, adding a few additional fat quarters and some gorgeous blue batik for the lining. Here's the bag 

So I've been carrying this tote to work -- loaded with my lunch, water bottles (love the big pockets inside), the occasional real paper book -- and one of my sweet co-workers raved about how cute it is and how much she loved the fabrics. I told her if I had any left, I'd make her a potholder. I was happy to find that I had enough to make two.

I started by fussy-cutting two of the remaining Geisha Girls out of my tiny piece of leftover fabric to use as the center. I went with a 3" square and laid out the other fabrics to see what looked good.

I cut strips 1-1/2" wide and started building out from the center square.

Once they were pieced, I ironed lightweight fusible interfacing to the backs of each. Then made a quilt sandwich with 3 layers of flannel inside and quilted around the edge of each square. I'm sure glad I was able to buy a walking foot for my wonderful old 1969 Bernina. She's a workhorse and I love her!

Trimmed the potholders to a nice even square …

Decided to make a hang tab with a small strip of fabric. Stitched them on the top corner and snipped off the extra fabric …

Since I had yardage of the batik fabric, I used it for the back and the binding, cutting the binding strips 2-1/4" wide.

Hand-stitched the binding on the backs of each one …

Ready. To. Use.  Thick, sturdy and completely cute, the finished size is 10-1/2" square. Love 'em!

Wrapped in my favorite tulle ribbon for giving with a sweet little layered tag …

So many projects, never enough time ...

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