Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Potholder for Mary

Reading the blogs of my fellow textile practitioners has always been stimulating to me, but these days especially there are lots of ideas and approaches that I just want to try out so much! I'm loving Debra Spincic's use of machine embroidery in the center of her crazy quilt blocks. Cat over at Baumcat has been inspiring and charming me with her small scale crazy quilted style pieces. Rian Ammerman is whipping up some hotpad trivets for hostess presents this coming holiday season....and Pam Kellogg gave us a vintage rose embroidery pattern by Alice Brooks over at KittyandMeDesigns.

All of these elements came together in a wee spasm this afternoon, when I just wanted to make something. Nothing fancy, certainly not A.R.T....just something fun, fast, and maybe useful.
My sister could use a new potholder, so that's what I decided to make. What she really needs is a new coffeemaker....she has the coffeemaker from hell. But for today I started with a potholder. You need one to make coffee at her house, as the carafe for her machine has no handle, and is from a different machine so it doesn't fit properly.

This is pretty pathetic, Seester. (I know, my kitchen is worse.) You must tilt the carafe in there just right to get the coffee to trickle down into it, and then you need a potholder to carefully tilt and pull out the hot, full carafe.

So, a potholder for Mary's coffeemaker!
Rather than print up Pam's pattern and then trace it onto cloth, I decided just to print it directly ON to the cloth.

I just stitched over the black ink with a straight machine stitch and black thread. This part was boring, I'll admit. But it has that "hand-guided" look!


I was all ready to use that neat trick I learned in Houston, where you thicken the Tsukineko inks with aloe...except the only aloe in my house was colored green. So I got out the paintsticks instead, along with Shelly Stokes book on how to use them, and a tole painting book I got on the cheap when our local Ben Franklin went out of business (boo hoo).

You need stencil type brushes to apply the paintstick pigment, so I sacrificed some old funky brushes by giving them a stubby haircut. Voila, stencil brushes just the right size.

I used parchment paper for my palette, just like Shelly said to do. I scrubbed my brushes into the paint on the palette, then applied it to the cloth. The paint went on fine, but it gunked up the stitching. I went over the black threads later with a brush dipped in paint thinner, and that cleaned the thread off fairly well.

Fast forward here! I heat set the paint (not being able to wait 24 hours for it to dry). Then pieced my rose into a little CQ block (8" X 8")...then actually used my machine to embroider the seams. It's been years since I've done that. What instant gratification!
Here are the components of my potholder. I used two layers of the Insul-Bright batting. I don't want my sister to burn herself!

Well shoot, I was way too lazy to make a proper binding for this little project. I just fused an ultra-suede binding to the front and the back of the edges and zigzagged them down. The unevenness kind of wrecks the nice effect but oh well! If it was too perfect looking she wouldn't use it anyway....

I did go and buy some clear aloe so next time I will try that trick with the inks on the other embroidery pattern...

7 comments :

Susan said...

Ah, ha! I wondered how you would do that rose on your machine, when I saw your comment in Pam's blog, and now I see it all! Looks great, and your sister will no doubt appreciate it *almost* as much as a new coffee pot. (You know the thrift store probably has a better one than hers, don't you?)

Barbara C said...

Very clever! I've wanted to try straight-stitch embroidery by machine. Now I'm going to have to give it a whirl.

Pam Kellogg said...

Allison, that is amazing! It has the same effect as the crayon tinting that I do before I hand stitch and the ME, looks handstitched! Very pretty and a great technique. Thanks for sharing and so glad you were able to use my Alice Brooks pattern!

Kay said...

Well, it may be too pretty to use :) Seriously, I'm glad to get a reminder about the aloe. Now that I have a breathing space in the orchid monster, I want to play a bit.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Susan is right - I gave my old coffee pot to Goodwill when my daughter gave me a fine new one that has a built-in clock and a timer for automatic coffee! The old one only spattered and gurgled and little bit. and the carafe had a handle. If I had known, I would have donated it to the cause.

threadspider said...

I am sure she will love her pot holder..and will continue to use her "vintage" coffee maker. What is that creature on the grass through her window?My money's on a rabbit.

Mary said...

a potholder for moi!!!!!!!!yea!!! i like the photo with the rabbit that got loose in the background!!!i miss you already!!! seester