Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Being a Lazy, Pack Rat Pays Off

For those of you participating in the potholder swap, this post really will answer some of the questions you all have posed about the swap. Just work with me here and all will be revealed.
First though I have to respond to a comment that came in yesterday about the swap. Anonymous said, "So, nu, I've got my Insul-Bright and I'm ready to make potholders...." Well, anonymous, don't plotz because I sent out a mass email yesterday with all the pairings. If you left a comment with your email and I didn't get you in the swap or you didn't get the email, please contact me at For those of you who aren't sure what the words "nu" or "plotz" mean, I suggest consulting a Yiddish/English dictionary.
Now, back to my lazy/slovenly ways and how that could possibly relate to this swap.
This morning I decided that it would be fun to make another pair of potholders to illustrate the post I anticipated writing regarding the swap. I made a pair of potholder tops and then went in search of some Insul-brite batting. I looked through a closet where I store some of my fabrics and other materials, but I think I'm out.
What I did find was a basket, a laundry basket, filled with scraps. Most were really small individual scraps, the kind that prompt my husband to ask," Exactly how small does a piece of fabric have to be for you to throw it away?" By the way, my answer to that is,"Why would I ever throw fabric away?"
Anyway, the basket of scraps did contain one partially pieced set of blocks. They were some improvisationally pieced diamonds that I had probably sewn together a good while back and set aside because I wasn't sure what to do with them. The basket also had a couple diamond blocks that were similar, but weren't attached to the main group of blocks. Initially, I thought I would take the blocks apart and make them into coasters, but first I'd have to find my seam ripper and then I'd have to pick the seams apart. That's where the laziness component comes in.
So, instead I made the blocks into this:

I only had to piece the last row of blocks, quilt the top, and make it into a pillow. I probably saved myself entire seconds of work.
Seconds that I'm now going to devote to answering a few queries about The Great Potholder Swap.
I've had a few of you ask me about the heat resistant batting. There seems to be some conflicting information about whether the insul-brite needs to be sandwiched in between cotton batting to be effective. I can only speak from my experience. The potholders that I make and use do not have extra batting in addition to insul-brite. I haven't encountered a problem. I think that if I was removing something from a super-hot oven, say 450 degrees or more, I'd probably double up on the potholders for each hand. This would be true if I was using, perish the thought, store-bought potholders or my own creations.
In response to whether there is a tutorial for the hexagon potholders I made, there isn't because that's my design. I'll probably write up the pattern and offer it with a template. To quote from one of my favorite children's chapter books, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, "Can I get back to you on that one?"
The answer to whether you need to have a blog to participate in the swap is: no, all are welcome. The answer to should I contact my swap partner to get their address, color preferences, and other pertinent information is: yes. And, the answer to how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of the Tootsie Pop is: 42.

I am going to create a flickr group so that everyone can post their potholder creations and I'm happy to answer any other potholder-related concerns you all may have.

That's it. Ladies and possibly gentlemen as well, start your sewing machines!


carol said...

Sorry I missed the pot holder sign up. Maybe next time??? Can't wait to see what everyone makes.

Gerry said...

Hope this question isn't so basic that people will shun me :^)
what size is appropriate?
? the width from baby finger tip to thumb tip when spread?

I know my swap partner is shaking her head right now.


Sarah said...

I love this post. I'm a lazy pack rat too.

machen und tun said...

Thanks Malka, for organizing this load of people!!
and i admire your pillow with all those tiny scraps..
take care,

folksmith said...

had to LOL with the comment of how many licks does it take to get to the middle of a tootsie roll pop. too funny! love your creations.

Roseanne said...

You are such a hoot...I really enjoyed this post!
Love the idea of the Flickr group!
Thanks ever so, Miss Malka (as we say in the south) & btw, is there a possibility of shunning????!!!

JulieZuck said...

Oooh, my bad, so nu, I'll stop being such a yente about the potholders, and get back to the sewing machine.

Kathy said...

It only takes three licks if you go for the crunch factor! remember the commerical with the owl?? That was such a hoot....

AlessandraLace said...

hi, wonderful pillow. hugs from Italy

JulieZuck said...

I was browsing the Warm Company site above (makers of Insul-Brite) for sewing ideas and found this:

"At least one layer of cotton batting is recommended with Insul~Bright when used as Oven Mitts or Pot Holders. Insul~Bright is heat-RESISTANT, NOT heat-proof."

Doesn't sound like you HAVE to but it's not a bad idea, either.

Insul-Brite has some metal in it (you can see it sandwiched in the center) so NO MICROWAVING PLEASE LADIES!
Makes me wonder if this is true for store-bought potholders & mitts, too! Who knew.

debbie said...

LOVE (1000) the pillow. Simply scrumtious.

Lindsay C said...

Everything you make is beautiful ! I love it all ! I received your book as a Christmas present from my dad. I am so excited to start dying my own fabrics when I get home from University [ along with all the other crafts I have not been able to do while at school ]


Lisa said...

Ok, this is OT, but I won your book!!!!! I am super-excited because I have been following you for a long time and even showed my husband a post about it and strongly hinted, "Hey, I really want this book." (Ok, not a hint so much as a direct request, but I hadn't gotten it yet.)

So, anyway, I won it at the Fresh Modern Quilt group on Flickr giveaway and I just want to say THANK YOU!!! for putting it up for grabs. Thank you so much!!!

Sue, Lynwoodcrafts said...

That pillow is gorgeous - it never pays to throw fabric/yarn/threads.... out.

Larissa said...

Love your pillow! I don't throw away fabric either - i just never seem to take the time to go back through what I have saved. I love your shoo-fly block... must incorporate it into somehting soon!

Crystorama lighting said...

Maybe someday my laziness will pay off.

陳哲毓念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界 said...

阿彌陀佛 無相佈施


之為腥。所謂「葷腥」即這兩類的合稱。 葷菜
(重定向自五辛) 佛家五葷



興渠另說為洋蔥。) 肉 蛋 奶?!

念楞嚴經 *∞窮盡相關 消去無關 證據 時效 念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界

不婚 不生子女 生生世世不當老師

log 二0.3010 三0.47710.48 五0.6990 七0.8451 .85
root 二1.414 1.41 三1.732 1.73五 2.236 2.24七 2.646
=>十3.16 π∈Q' 一點八1.34

K said...

Ummm. Why do I feel like the comment above mine is maybe - not so real?

Just wanted to say, from what I have read here, I like you. I like your language style. I like your designs. I like potholders, too - as I like just about anything that lets you use your craft to turn out something interesting in less than a day.

Laziness is its own reward.