Creativity isn't just about the finished project,. Crafting, painting or sewing can create moments of beauty during an ugly time; memories with a good friend; or cheer during moments of loneliness. All of those things were created at my house over the past few weeks.
While Amanda was home for her grandpa's funeral, she made me this beautiful sunflower wreath. She had made one for herself - a little reminder of her Kansas roots while she's living in the dessert - and I requested one for my door.
And speaking of Amanda, when she is at home in the dessert, she works with abused children. With some help from my mom and my sister, we are furnishing each girl (and boys, if they choose) a doll and doll blanket. This week I ran across kits for a "self-binding receiving blanket". I didn't want to pay the price for the kit, but I found the instructions on YouTube from Missouri Star Quilt Co. They advertise it as a 10-minute project. It's closer to 30 when I'm doing it, but it's still a quick, easy way to make a binding with mitered corners. I used the technique to finish some doll-size quilt tops, then made one from this adorable penguin flannel. A yard and a quarter of both the flannel and the coordinating fabric makes four doll blankets. I also threw in a few "dolly diapers".
I cleaned out and sorted my fabric stash according to size - then went in search of projects on my Pinterest boards to use up some of the small pieces. Some were more successful than others.
First up was this fabric "lily plate" from Michelle Made Me. This project turned out to be more complicated than I expected. I am marginally happy with the results, but I will make some adjustments in the technique before I try again.
Fabric Christmas trees were a bust. They looked so cute in the pin from this blog but not so at my house. Part of the problem is that I chose fabrics that are too similar and thus the tiers have very little definition. The majority of the problem is that I thought it would be cute to fussy cut the top tier and center Santa's face. It's not. My trees look like The Nightmare Before Christmas meets The Coneheads. I'll try again - some day - in better fabric choices.
My favorite new pattern was for these simple potholders. These are a great way to use up scraps - especially leftover 2" strips - and there are dozens of color/arrangement combinations to make them unique. Best of all - no binding!
For the top potholder, I used 4 strips each of three different fabrics, plus a fourth fabric for the center hexi and backing. For the bottom version, I used two strips each of six fabrics and lined them up so that like fabrics touched. I intend to make more of these and will probably add a second layer of Insulbright batting. One layer isn't enough heat protection if you have to hold the pan for more than a few seconds.
This post is linked to Needlework Tuesday (hosted by Heather at Books and Quilts), Inspiration on Monday (hosted by Trish @ Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity, and Fall Pin It/Do It, also hosted by Trish. And all of them at least a day late!