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Monday, October 15, 2018

October Pre-Holiday Idea...

I've been cutting 10" squares from Warm and Natural cotton batting.  (I'm cutting other size squares as well ... from 8" to 15" .) Why?

Last year I began seeing pot holders shaped to hug a small bowl, and while they looked pretty, I wasn't sure they would be effective as pot holders ... of course, they are meant as "bowl holders" and are great for both hot bowls of oatmeal at breakfast, or soup at lunch, or, in larger sizes, for serving a hot bowl of pasta or vegetables for dinner. 
12" bowl holder with cereal bowl
But until one of my students brought one in to the senior center last week, asking if we could work together to figure out how to make them, did the idea of giving them as holiday gifts hit me.  So we looked it over, and decided that the shaping was caused by darts in the sides of squares of fabric and batting. Once we decided on measurements, one of the quilters set to work, and within an hour, using remnant fabric donated by an upholstery shop and a piece of cotton batting, she had a very good replica of the one that she had purchased at a craft show.

I thought about videoing the process and putting it up on YouTube, and then I decided to search to see if it had already been done - and yes, it has. There are several videos showing how to make this item. The one I selected to watch had done pretty much what we had, with a difference: she used two pieces of batting rather than just the one piece we had used. When I tried it later with two pieces of batting, it was a little more substantial, and held its shape well. And they are reversible!
 9" bowl holder and cereal bowl in progress
(see the darts on the sides?)
nesting in a finished 12" bowl holder with serving bowl
I learned, too, in watching that video that folks who had done this project with polyester batting were disappointed, because putting polyester batting into the microwave flattens the batting - one quilter even reported having a fire because she used polyester fabric. Thread was also discussed in the videos ... polyester thread was said to be at risk of melting in a microwave.

A few of the videos mentioned specialty cotton batting made to withstand long moments in a microwave, such as that used to make 'potato bags.'  Most said a good quality cotton batting is what is required. I'm pretty sure Warm and Natural fits that caliber of batting.

So have fun ... if you want to buy pre-cut batting squares to try this project, you'll find them at Quilters' Quarters.  I'll also cut fabric to size if you ask. I thought about creating prepared kits with fabric, batting and cotton thread, but I believe you would rather choose your own colors and prints, so I resisted doing that for you. 

Here's a photo of my favorite one ... I made it to hold my bowl of frozen yogurt, most often eaten while sitting on the couch watching the nightly news!  And, as I like chocolate sauce and whipped cream on my yogurt, the fact that these all-cotton bowl holders are washable and dryable is a bonus!
8" reversible bowl holder.
As always, thanks for reading my shop's blog. Please feel free to forward this email (if you're reading this in email) or share the URL of the page with your friends and family. And if the posted schedule  doesn't work for you, give me a call and we can set up a time more convenient to your own schedule.

~ Terry