A second year into the pandemic and no family coming to visit, I wasn’t much into decorating this year. I was in the mood to be crafty and make things so I made a couple of holiday projects.
Knit Holiday Pillow
The first was a knit pillow using a pattern from Lion Brand and their Wool-ease Thick & Quick yarn in Beacon and Poinsettia. I purchased the yarns last year, planning for this pillow. The Poinsettia color knit up so beautifully – had I realized it was a limited-run color, I definitely would have bought more.
I love how it turned out and I look forward to seeing it next year with the second matching pillow I plan to knit and a pillow insert!
Upcycled Oven Mitts
The second project was to create up-cycled Christmas oven mitts from a round tablecloth that belonged to my partner’s mother. When we moved her into assisted living, she no longer needed it. It had an allover poinsettia pattern that was very saturated and a bit overwhelming but at a smaller scale, it might not be. Kind of like a bikini! Wild, bold patterns and colors are great for them because, well, there isn’t much to them!
A quick search revealed some free patterns and I chose one by Merriment Design.
This was my largest sewing endeavor to date. The pattern was simple enough. The hardest part was using the fancy stitch I chose on my sewing machine to attach the bias-tape border to the edge of the mitt. I also made 5 sets – 10 mitts – altogether, which really wasn’t too bad. I inherited a knack for assembly-line efficiency from my Dad so am pretty good at larger projects that require some repetition.
While I was setting up the mitts for sewing,
In hindsight, I would try the bulk cutting differently. The pattern suggested cutting and sewing the insulation and liner layers as rectangles, then cutting out the shape of the mitt. I can see why that was easier for quilting but with 10 mitts, that created a LOT of fabric waste. I would guess I could have made 4 more mitts with the amount of fabric that got thrown out.
While setting up and pinning the mitts for sewing, I really started to like the reverse, faded side of the fabric. I kept thinking about my grandmother and how she washed her clothes, rugs and anything else she could, on such a regular basis that everything had a soft, broken in feel no matter it’s age.
I decided to use the reverse side, especially since I was giving a set to my Mom and my Aunt who would all appreciate that remembrance of her.
I didn’t think about until afterwards but I would have benefited from doing a muslin or scrap fabric test run before a project like this. I would have figured out the sewing of the bias-tape edge without the headache of undoing two mitts, potentially ruining them.
But that’s experience, which I now have more of!