Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pass the bar, get a prize

I've been squeezing in as much sewing as I can lately, and I'll have a few projects to reveal over the next few days, with plenty more on the horizon. You should see my to-do list. Eek. I'm trying to focus on just one project at a time, but that's proving to be quite difficult when there are so many I want to do!

Let's start with one I did finish: a potholder and matching kitchen towels.
Last weekend, we hosted our annual Beers, Brats, and Bars party. Matt likes to make homemade brats, so last year we started the BBB tradition as an excuse for him to make a lot of them. To please me (the baker), we added the third "B," which led to a dessert bar competition among the guests. This year, we had 10 delicious entries.
Every competition needs a prize, of course, so I took the opportunity to sew a few things. For the potholder, I combined the gathering from this tutorial with the other steps in this tutorial (both from Prudent Baby) and really like how it turned out.

I originally planned to do just the quilted potholder, but things went a bit awry with my first attempt. Problem one: I didn't really like the quilting. It just seemed kind of blah. Problem two: my binding was a disaster. I wanted to make my own bias tape, which worked fine, but once I got it on there, I hated the fabric I'd chosen. Uncut, they looked great together because the colors all matched perfectly, but as a binding, it was a total fail. Just too much pattern and color.
So I started again, losing most of the quilting, adding the gathering on the front, and changing to a solid binding. For comparison: good on the right, not so good on the left. Much better, don't you think?
For the towels, I bought a set of plan white kitchen towels from Target and added a strip of matching fabric, similar to the way I've made some burp cloths in the past, only with the fabric running horizontally instead of vertically. Add a cookie/bar spatula and a set of measuring spoons, and you've got one nice little prize.
(Oh, and sorry about the weird lighting in these photos. I'm still trying to find the best rooms/time of day/back drop for taking pictures in our new house, and it's not working very well.)

Anyway, so who do you think won?

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