Thursday, March 25, 2010

Simple Pot Holders and the lessons contained in them.

Several years ago, I attended a class at the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA.  It was a wonderful class on machine quilting.  To take the class, you were required to bring 12-15 "sandwiches" of muslin and batting that were each 20" square, these you would use for your mini "quilt" and learn the various techniques.  It let you create a sample to take home and refer to.  Well, they have been sitting in my closet for too long and I don't use them so I decided to cut them up and make pot holders.  These are just a couple that I like.

In April, I will be giving a small class for the young women from our Foresthill Branch, here at our home, to teach them how to make these simple pot holders.  They will be able to make one for themselves and hopefully we will get several made for our Branch kitchen.  That's the "service" part of this project.
There is a saying that goes something like this...The woman you see before you today, is the girl that once was.  Every time I sit down to sew or create something, I think of my mother who though it was so important for a young girl to have that skill that she bought me my first sewing machine and paid for lessons.  I will always be grateful to her for that, she gave me a wonderful and enduring gift.  The young woman who learns the basics in sewing will have the ability to sew for herself, her future family, her home, her loved ones.  She will have a creative outlet who's bounds are only her imagination.   When I see fabric, my mind races to all the projects that I could do with that.  I cannot bear to part with scraps...they can always be pieced together to make something wonderful.  Sewing is grounding, meditative, joyfilled!  And I feel wonderful when I give someone something that I have created with my own two hands and watch their face light up.
As a small child, I carried around a pillow case of my mother's scraps from her sewing projects.  I ran all over the neighborhood with that pillow case, it was magic!  All the girls wanted to see what I had and we would cut them up and make doll clothes for our Barbie Dolls.  I was 5 or 6 at the time.  And I recall a little "sewing" machine that did a chain stitch, which we all took turns on. Oh, be careful, pull the wrong thread and all your hard work would unravel!  My mom delighted in my projects and it was one of those special moments when I received her approval and it felt wondeful.
This is the back side of the pot holder with the chickens.  I hope these little "mini quilt" projects will inspire my younger sisters in the Branch to explore their creativity.  Each pot holder embodies the elements that you use to make a full size quilt.  They will learn how to measure, use a quilting ruler, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter. They will create the top, create the back, place the batting, quilt the project and stitch on a binding.  Very simple, fast and fun and yet the important elements are there.

If our young women are inspired by this project, I have many, many more fun things that we can sew and that they will delight in.  Teach and Inspire the girl who will be come the woman and you teach and inspire generations!  Thanks Mom!

 Backside of the "cats" pot holder.

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