Friday, July 30, 2010

Dish Mat and Napkins: Finishing Week (Sewing)

There's a reason I left these to the end. I really hate sewing. Too many rules, too much danger. Seriously, I'm always a breath away from a needle in the eye or my sewing machine attaching my digits to the cloth. Don't even get me started on rotary cutters LOL.

I finally finished the napkins, or more honestly, I finished the napkins that had all parts cut out. I still have six napkins to go but the linen isn't cut so... not my problem.

Here they are as a set:

Now the other thing I hate about sewing is all the attitude:

Everything must be squared off. CONFORM!

Bind all the raw edges!

Wibbly bits! I cast you out. Off with you; you're trash! 

Wibbly bits are my favorite part! So, imagine how unimpressed I was when I washed and ironed my beautiful fat quarters (sad name, hate calling them fat. How about Rubenesque Quarters? Or  Womanly Quarters?) there was a bunch of non-conformist edge dwelling thread friends. What to do?

Well, I cut them to fit the role they were designed for - you gotta grow up someday. *sigh*
But I left my heart on the cutting room floor... :-(
Then I scooped them up into a riotous color pile at the edge of my desk and smiled at them daily.

I've wanted a dish mat (or is it dish pad?) ever since I saw them on a flurry of blogs last winter. I think Jen  from Tatertots and Jello popularized them but they were so many places I'm not sure who to credit with the idea. The trouble was, I didn't want an orderly, straight lined, proper (perfectly lovely) dish mat... but I didn't want an "artistic" one either - it's going to be doing hard labor so it has to be friendly with the washer and dryer. What to do?

Yesterday when looking at my lovely uneven edges and selvages I realized I had my answer.

It's gloriously imperfect. Some are quilted properly, some have frayed edges. There's zig-zag stitches and straight. I needed a little text in there and many of the pieces were happy to volunteer - aren't the color dots and meadowsweet wonderful?!? 

The entire project was made of those rough edges - I wonder if Chris thinks the same about me somedays? LOL.

A dish mat is a great use for an old well-loved towel and some scraps of fabric. I highly recommend giving this project a try if you're so inclined. I took some "in process" photos so if anyone has any (simple) questions about how it's made. Just let me know.

Good thing I could gaze on my wonderful new dish mat last night as I had a
of dishes after making the best meal I've ever eaten in my whole life. Chris and the kids requested it for Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving and all their birthdays - yeah, it was that good. We had Shrimp Boil on a Stick with Lemon Thyme Butter:

The photo does zero justice to the spicy, flavorful mouth-party that this meal was. Oh my goodness!

So ladies - what did you finish, please share your successes.

P.S. Here's the 2nd dish mat I made, lots of pink strawberries on this one:

P.S.S. At least personally, I'm morphing Finishing Week into Finishing Fortnight because I'm on a serious roll around here and it feels so good.

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Carmen said...

I've never even heard of a dish mat but that one is gorgoeus! Thanks for the laugh again Nicole amd now going to laugh my Womanly Quarters off to make a cuppa *g*

Nowt finished here - oooh I'm so naughty!

Carmen said...

And I can't spell either!

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a dishmat (I'm a stick-it-in-the-dishwasher kind of gal!) But this is so cute, I might just take up doing dishes by hand! You have a great sense of style and humor!!! (I never knew that I was a "straight and orderly" person because I sew ... it all makes perfect sense now!)

Rita E said...

Loved your post ... it made my day! Your dish mat came out great and so did the napkins. BTW, I also love your banner. said...

Why have I not thought about a dish mat! Genius! Love it. ;o)

Melissa said...

Right now I just use a towel under my dish drainer...but this is so much cuter!

Cheryl Valadez said...

LOL! How about Zaftig Quarters or Buxom Quarters. Your post had me laughing out loud ;D Love the end results of the glorious remnants.

By the way, dinner looked absolutely scrumptious!

p.s.phyllis sews said...

The dish mat turned out great and so cheery!
Thanks for sharing.

MaryC said...

these are awesome!!! Did you use cotton or poly ric rak?
I am so jealous. I want to make some!

P. said...

It all looks yummy, including the shrimp! I like the napkins, but the dish mats are awesome. So cheery one might actually enjoy doing dishes!

CathyR said...

I've never heard of a dish mat either. I love yours.

Who says all the edges have to be straight and neatly cut? I'm sure the first woman that put a curved edge into a quilt got some grief, but did she change to straight edges, no!

I'm all for doing things your own way.

Country Dreaming said...

Very cute napkins and dishmats.
Love the "uneveness" of the dishmats.


beth said...

your projects are lovely. I like the trim you used on the napkins.

joyce rodli said...

I have my 10 fundraiser cards done, now off to locate a bubble envy to reuse and make it pretty to go through the mail. You have me twitching to go make a dish mat right now!I'm thinking of using an old dish towel as my batting? Getting off the bed yesterday I slid in my socks and injured my right has a small massive bruise - I got to thinking that 42 years ago I broke it and I have never reinjured it, nothing until yesterday! I continue to go through some of my older consolidation bags and try to not make a bigger pile. I just realized this evening that I never actually wrote a list down and I think that has made it harder for me to stay focused. I've been doing things, buts it's been feeling like I'm here and there and everywhere. Have an awesome weekend Nicole.

Lappedamen said...

Your dish mat is gorgeous, it would be great as place mats too.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Love your projects and post! Found you at Sew and Tell. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing!

Red Head said...

You crack me up! Love you comments on the naming of "fat quarters". I stopped by from T&J and am so glad I did!

From one Red to another, I feel you on the sewing. I can't seem to get things perfectly straight to save my LIFE! I love your fun creations though, and just try to keep in mind The Nesters saying.

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!"

Eileen Bergen said...

Your napkins and dish mat and shrimp dinner all look delish!

You may be starting a sewing revolution, you rebel you. I love the fringed edges and non-parallel lines. I guess you're combining mixed media art with practical items. Very appealing.

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

Thank goodness for Finishing Fortnight! my closets still aren't done!

Lanie said...

These are so cute! I featured them in my Friday Favorites!