Applique for Cheaters

46 comments
This is how I figure it. I'll keep sewing right up until Christmas Eve. And what I do get done - I get done. And what I don't - I don't. Isn't that how you do it too? Or am I the only "last minute" holiday sewer?Sherri had this fabric for show-n-tell on her blog a couple months ago. And I really loved it. So I did a search for it online and found it on sale. I bought 2 yards and I've maybe got a scant 1/3 yard left. I've used it for several projects. And I really like it. The scale is perfect for so many uses.
I had this thick cotton kitchen toweling yardage from a couple years ago that has stripes down the side and a finished edge on the sides. I cut it up into 4 pieces for 4 kitchen towels and then sewed cheater applique from my teapot/teacup fabric shown above. I just cut it out carefully leaving 1/8" around the teacups/teapots.
I just used a blanket stitch on my machine. No fusible for me thank you - especially for towels. I won't vouch for how much washing they will stand but I'm giving them away so as long as they look pretty, I'm okay. I used my used dryer sheets to stabilize the back while I appliqued and then tore it away when stitching was complete. I really love that technique - thank you again Bonnie Myles.

I finished the raw ends with the same fabric. I sewed, pressed, turned and stitched in the ditch. They worked up pretty easy and somewhat quickly but I've run out of toweling now so I'll be back to the linen/cotton blend prints that I was working on before. I like them, too.
I'm also making pot holders. I did use the special batting with reflective heat properties called Insul-Brite. I blogged about it here before. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to actually touch food or a hot dishes to my hot pads (that take so much time to make.) This one didn't turn out so great I think. There is too much going on. The background fabric blends into the house and it is hard to notice where the house ends and the leaves begin. Oh well. If I had it to do again I'd blanket stitch around the house and roof parts too, to give add definition.

Back to cranking out gifts. It was fun to sew and listen/watch the Eagles win last night. Go Eagles. Sorry I'm not around visiting much these days but Santa is coming!

-nanette
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46 comments

Cynthia said...

That's funny that you don't want anyone to use your time intensive pot holders. I am like that too. I have a few quilts that I absolutely won't let anyone touch. They are for show only, and I can't even imagine putting them on a bed!!!

Eileen said...

ooo.. I hate it when I just about use all the fabric.. especially if it's one you can't get anymore. But you really made some adorable things.
I like your philosophy.. I'm going to try to adopt it.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I do what you do but not in a crafty way, I just keep shopping until Christmas Eve!! BTW, I love the potholder, so bright and fun!

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

I'm usually working on gifts up until the last minute too. I love your towels and your method.

Teresa

Fran said...

I hope to be finished by this friday and use up Christmas week to pamper myself. I really like your applique cheater towels. I must try that.
I've used the special batting on pot holders that I make to use everyday, but the "fancy for show only" just get the regular stuff.

~~Fran...:c)

Funky Kim said...

I definitely will be sewing up until Christmas Eve! That and taking kids to concerts.

Melissa said...

Those are really cute! I was out of town this weekend. I am home now, but will be in and out. If you want I could come by if that's easier! Thanks for getting that for me!

Purple and Paisley said...

everyone is busy! omg, i typo'd and wrote busty...well, that, too...lol...i love your hotpads and immediately called mom when i saw your dish towels...they are wonderful! ☺ wanna come over and work on projects together????? i'll provide snacks and warm slippers...

MichelleB said...

Love the towels and hot pads! Cute stuff. And yes, I'm sure I'll be sewing right up to Christmas Eve.

Linda said...

I'm one of those who like to be ahead of time... I had the major gifts made by August, but I'm playing catch up with the last minure things this week. I'll be surprised if they arrive on time as the postal service is flooded at the moment with parcels.
I love your little hot pad, the insulbrite is great, I use it all the time. Also good in placemats, especially if you have a good timber table that you don't want ruined by hot dishes.

Stephanie said...

You busy little elf. How clever...LOVE the teapot fabric and the use of it on tea towels. I would NOT use the darling hot pad for food. It would hang as a decoration. :o)

Nedra said...

The teapots are way cute. You'll have to show us sometime the Bonnie Miles technique for applique with old dryer sheets. I remember one time she gave me some, and I laughed. Maybe I should have taken her more seriously!

tara said...

Every year I sew up to the last minute. My sew to do list growns up to the last minute too.
I love the pot holder. What a great gift idea.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Love that teapot/cup fabric and your applique is beautiful! I like pretty dish clothes/pot holders. . . but couldn't actually use them. They are just for looking at :)

Candace said...

You come up with the BEST ideas, Nanette! I just love those teapots - and thanks for the reminder on the Insul-Brite - I was trying to remember what it was called the other day so I could order some! Hope you get lots done!
Cheers!

Carrie P. said...

Some more great gifts. You are just so smart. Just keep on sewing.

CJ said...

Cute little kitchen pretties :D Nice of you to take a break and share with us, now get back to work. I need to as well.

Lily Boot said...

hee!hee!hee! - I am EXACTLY that kind of sewer - and am famous for giving gifts that have pins and safety pins and no hems and demanding them back so that I can finish them on Boxing Day! But I'm with you - you just do what you can and what you can't, you can't. I LOVE the teapots and cups - very pretty, and you're so fortunate to have such great tea towel fabric - I've not seen it here. I would NEVER use a pretty potholder :-) but am still going to check out that special insulation and I think your house is just gorgeous - it is busy but in a very pretty way.

Kim said...

very cute indead
I have to fuse more and not make myself more crazy trying to sew the stuff down....one day :)

Sherri said...

The applique'd teapots are darling...and the hot pad is too cute to use! I'm like you...I keep sewing and sewing, hoping to be done by Friday, but I probably won't because I keep thinking of more things I could make!

Thimbleanna said...

You are SO not alone Nanette. I'm always sewing up to the last minute. This year though, I'd like to pretend that the 22nd is the 24th so that I can quit early and actually enjoy the holidays with my loved ones. Love the hot pad -- I was just thinking last night that I might make a few hot pads for emergency gifties!

R.H. said...

I perhaps will try one of the potholders over the winter months when I stay inside. I think they will make wonderful gifts for Christmas next year. Me....I'm done shopping, now I;m waiting for gifts for arrive LOL
Rae

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Very clever way to use that fabric! Love the pot holder. I usually plan out my craft projects and have them done well ahead of time. But this year I feel very behind, probably because of how much time Hooked On Needles takes to keep going, and partly because of missing three days from our big ice storm and having no power! But Christmas will be wonderful anyway, even if all the STUFF doesn't get done!

MGM

Sara said...

You give me such great ideas for gifts...glad I found your blog...

Sandi said...

You are not the only "last minuter". Tee hee! Maybe we should form a "Last Minuters" group but we would all be late for the meetings!! Sorry, I couldn't resist. I am so behind that it is now hysterical. :-) I am thinking the tree will be staying up til Valentines Day so I can enjoy it and some gifts will now be given as valentines. Some friends who were to visit before Christmas but had to cancel because of weather will be coming when we have a January thaw - or when Spring comes - or summer, whoaaa, .... looks like I'm keeping Christmas all year long!!!! Off to mail packages which are going out later than they should be but at least it's not Dec. 24th!!

Amy said...

While I have a present to finish by Thursday night (teacher present), do you know what I'm doing INSTEAD? I'm working on your Cascading Baby Blocks and Stripes. It's just what I'd rather be doing--not that I am overly confident in my ability to meet my deadline. :-) Nanette, before you send off that Japanese patchwork book, can you tell us the ISBN? Or I'll have to stalk the recipient. ;-)

rachel griffith said...

the tea pots are SUPER cute.
bummer that the fabric is almost gone.
:O(

see i would hang the potholder instead of using it...but that's just me.
:O)

ouch...the eagles comment hurt my ego.
my poor browns...lost AGAIN.
tehehe.

Shari said...

The teapots came up a treat on those towels. Great fabric! And I love the little hotpad... it would look good on the table next to the pot...

Des said...

This is where we part ways.....I command my recipients to use their hotpads. I want them with a little burned out hole on the corner and drippings from the turkey gravy ALL OVER it!! Then I can always make them another one! And they look so cute when they go in the oven. it's all about the cute. And THAT'S a cute hot pad!

hetty said...

Love what you did with that teapot/teacup fabric! So many great ideas. Glad I found you! And yes, I will be sewing right up until the last minute. For me that will be the 27th because that is when we will celebrate our family Christmas get together.

Kritta22 said...

Nope I have that same ideas....what's finished is finished...what's not, is not. I'll wrap what I have and then get it back.

amandajean said...

that's my plan, too. I get done what I get done...and my back up motto is "January gifts are good, too."

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Love the potholder. Very cute. And I'm with you on the get what you can get done and that's that.

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Are you kidding? That has to be the prettiest pot holder I've ever seen ... lucky pot!

Smiles,
Lea

belinda said...

i got so excited when i saw the teacup/teapot fabric...it's wonderful...i'm sorry you are running out...and i have had something similar to the toweling with the green strips.....there is this little variety store in a teeny tiny little town we go through going to the lake....she has EVERYTHING...if you can't find it anywhere else, you can bet she has it..and the best part...she always has the best fabric selection...and tons of cute kitchen towels of all kinds....including the white flour sack ones...sorry..blah..blah...blah...i could just go on and on....bye!

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Love, love, love that fabric!
The kitchen towels and pot holder turned out wonderful!
I didn't see the insul-brite at the fabric store when I was there this weekend, but I did pick up some of Pellon's thermo fleece. I wanted to make myself new potholders.
Of course, they won't be as cute as yours...I need to use mine. :)

Kimberly

Busty LaRue said...

I am still working on projects for Christmas, too, and not just work related, but personal projects. In fact, I have yet to start a couple of them! eek!

Thanks for sharing the dryer sheet technique. I want to go try that now! I love your pot holder and kitchen towels. They are so fun!

Ginger Patches said...

I think your hot pad is adorable...I don't think I've ever seen you make anything that is not just absolutely cute!!! And yes I do last minute sewing...every year I swear it will be different and every year it isn't lolol!!!

Catherine said...

Those kitchen towels are a fabulous idea!!! Your ideas are making me look at fabrics SO differently!!

Cheryl said...

I am always making gifts till the last minute...I thought that's what we are suppose to do!!!!!!!
I feel so lucky to be one of your winners! Thanks Nanette.

Mel said...

Yup, I sew to the end and some on Christmas day! I love your pot holders!!

Fiesta said...

Nanette, you know I just love that towel and the potholder is too cute to use.

pratima said...

I just love the way you used the cheater fabric in the tea towel. It reminds me of the ones I saw at Anthropologie. The fabrics in the potholder are so pretty!

Dawn said...

The potholder is too cute! I think my sewing maching is growing spiderwebs...my mom is still in the hospital and every other day visits is interfering with my sewing...oh well...sewing can wait. I will have a lot of catching up to do. LOL!

jen duncan said...

Great tip for cheater applique Nanette. And that potholder is adorable!!

Nan said...

Such adorable gifts!! You have given me such great ideas. Not to say I'll do these things any time soon, but someday......Thank you!