We Occasionally Need to Sew With Abandon

Every prolific garment maker – you know, the kind who is intent on making her entire wardrobe —  should intermittently indulge in sewing small, happy, scrappy, patchworky, projects. 

My personal take is that it’s advisable to do this, not only for a bit of instant gratification, and a certain euphoric feeling that one gets when one sews with abandon, not stopping to check the fit, mull over a couture seam finish and all that.  This approach works wonders for cleansing one’s sewing palate, a happy change of pace.

Bright colors are psychologically invigorating, so pull out the best and brightest scraps you have.  Over the past years, I’ve made many such projects (in between sewing my closet), and invariably come out refreshed on the other side.  I specifically mentioned scrap projects for such a venture, because if the end result is unappealing or unsuccessful, it can be discarded without regret. They’re scraps, y’all.

“Paper-pieced potholder” ….. say that three times, fast

So, here’s my most recent quick and happy make: a potholder that looks like a Granny Smith apple!! It’s my first self-made potholder — you’d think that someone sewing for decades would have made at least ONE in all these years. Well, I missed the potholder milestone.  I made this to replace my lonely, old existing one (from Target) was in shreds (be honest, how long do we keep our potholders?). My new one is designed by Charise Randell, made from her instructions in an old issue of “Stitch” magazine, now out of print. 

The seeds are not quite prominent in my apple. I used an existing decorative stitch in the machine; next time I shall hand embroider the seeds as the designer intended. I also chose to ignore the two extra lines of stitching around the apple center — another thing to not ignore in the next potholder.

It’s made with the paper-piecing technique, using scraps from my scrap stash.  The only thing I had to buy (Amazon) was the heat resistant padding called Insul-Bright.

Paper piecing is fun!! The one thing that should be uppermost in your mind, is to use a fabric scrap larger than the pattern area it has to cover. You can see my oopsy in the left photo above, which is what happens when one’s attention is elsewhere. The photo on the right shows how I fixed it. This guy is going to live in a kitchen drawer and a small flaw like this is okay with me. It still makes me happy 🙂
The pattern calls for 1/4 inch seams when attaching the bias binding. To make the binding go over to the other side enough to cover the seam, I trimmed it down to 1/8th inch. Worked out fine. Another oopsy was that I attached the apple stem to the front rather than the back, but that’s the beauty of these small projects — it doesn’t matter, and mistakes can be easily remedied.
Look closely for the seeds at the core :). Binding turned, “stitched in the ditch” and ready to go in a kitchen drawer. Notice the pear theme going on here?

We’ve come to the end of the post, and I hope you enjoyed it. ‘Tis the season to make gifty things and this potholder is a cute stocking stuffer, in my opinion.

Until next time, be safe and sew happy things!


3 thoughts on “We Occasionally Need to Sew With Abandon

  1. Such a sweet potholder! Mine are really rag-tag right now. As my Mom made them for me and she passed 4 years ago, I’ve already mended them a few times. Yours as so cute. I’m going to see if I can “puzzle out” the pattern.


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