Monday, 25 November 2013

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

I seem to have been spending a lot of my time in the kitchen recently. As my kitchen is pretty much my pride and joy, this is no hardship.  I've been baking.  The Munchkin has had bake sales with the Scouts to raise funds.  There have been cakes, or muffins actually, for Crafty Wednesday at Stag and Bow.


Not forgetting, a special day of the year is looming, so it was out with the dried fruits, the oranges and lemons for zest, and the booze!


When I'm not cooking or eating in the kitchen, I'm enjoying the pretty things on display.  Most of the items have come from thrifty charity or house clearance shops, flea markets and the odd, more splurgey, Ebay item.  I am predisposed towards candy colours, as you can tell.  It sometimes strikes me as not entirely appropriate for this time of year, I suppose it is a Spring/Summer-like kitchen, but in just a couple of weeks time, I'll be changing things for bright reds and greens.  I will love that for a while but I will be happy to be back to my customary palette.  I would be quite happy to have Spring and Summer all year round, though I do appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons.


It's not just a display, to be fair.  I tried hard when we renovated the kitchen last year, to have things in it which I could and would actually use.  There are a few things which don't get used, I'll be honest, and are too precious and pretty, but the vintage Pyrex, glassware, tins and so on, are regularly used.  I recently found the pretty frosted lemonade glasses in a house clearance shop.  Glasses do not last long in our home so I fear they should stay out of harm's way, up on the shelves, save for high days and holidays.  Ironically, they were probably cheaper than going out and buying new drinking glasses but they're infinitely more precious, of course.  It's the colours, the daintyness of them (there's nothing nicer than drinking from a vessel made of thin glass), and of course, the FROSTING!  I like to imagine it is sugar.


Anyway, where were we?  Ah yes, in the kitchen.  May we talk pot holders?  Oh I do so love a good pot holder.  I spent an inordinate amount of time while the kitchen revamp was underway, scouring Etsy for the perfect combination of vintage crocheted pot holders.  I am very proud of my pot holder wall, if I may be so bold to say so.


And you know, they are jolly useful little items.  Well, I say that on the basis that no way would I put one of these vintage beauties to a hot dish, but I do have a sad little blue silicon pair which are very practical but well, rather dispiritingly ugly.  They hide away in a drawer which is not very handy when I need to grab one.

I decided what I needed to do was make some fabric pot holders I could actually use.  I am not short of fabric, right?


I took up a lovely book I bought a few weeks ago, one "Patchwork Please" by Ayumi Takahashi.  It has some very pretty projects in it, in true Japanese Zakka style, which appeals to me for its precision and attention to detail, cute fabrics and all-round gorgeousness.  It just so happened that I recalled there was a pot holder project in it.  This uses a technique called foundation paper piecing which I have employed before in my favourite "Spangled Star" quilt.  You print the basic pattern onto copy paper.  Then, starting in the centre, you lay an individual piece of fabric onto the reverse side of the paper (a light box or sunny window comes in handy), and stitch the relevant seam lines on the other, printed side.  You then flip it over, press, add another and so on.  Quite time consuming.  Quite addictive. It takes a little to get your head round but once you have it, you're off.  The advantage of this technique is that it gives you perfect precision.

Before long, my first pot holder was hot off the needle.


They'd be nice in vintage fabrics, thought I.  Out came the scrap drawer to piece the front, and thereafter, my pretty toffee tin in which I keep all my leftover bits of bindings from my large quilts.  Waste not, want not.  The leftovers often prove perfect for these little scrappy projects.


(So many dark photos now the sun has gone and the dark descended shortly after 4pm.)

After a while, I was hand stitching the binding at Crafty Wednesday.


By now, (we know each other quite well, you and I, don't we, reader), there was no chance of me making just one or even two pot holders, was there?


Toadstools, roses, polka dots, gingham.  In modern cottons and pretty colours, bright or candy.


Pretty vintage fabrics from around 1930 to the 1950s, of course. Rescued vintage embroidered linen in the centre and fabulous candy-stripes to hand bind, just like a mini quilt.


You will not have needed a crystal ball to know that I have a few to offer you should you find yourself desirous; as a pretty and practical treat for your good self maybe, or a beautiful and useful Christmas gift for another (lovely and light, so inexpensive to post). You shall find them in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading along.  Xxx


32 comments:

  1. Lots of pretty things and yummy cakes. I made my Christmas cake yesterday.
    Your glasses brought back memories. I went with my mum to buy those glasses when I was a little girl from a shop that no longer exists!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  2. Foundation piecing is highly addictive. Fabulous pot holders.Loving the pyrex- I use all my vintage china daily too, love it, makes it even more pleasurable to be cooking and the quality and design is a joy. Not much cooking going on here currently- too much painting to be done!

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  3. I think you have my favorite kitchen!!! Thank you for sharing that ... it has made me smile........!! Beautiful potholders/mug rugs - you are very talented!!

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  4. Your kitchen is so pretty. I love the new potholders, I have never tried that kind of quilting but I'd like to.

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  5. OLÁ HEN,LINDAS IMAGENS.É FACINHO INSTALAR UM TRADUTOR(SORRIR).QUERO LER SEUS TEXTO.BOA SEMANA.BEIJO.VALÉRIA.(BRASIL).

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  6. I have NEVER understood this thing for making potholders - I mean, they look lovely (and I especially love the last candy-striped one) but making them to USE is on par with knitting your own dishcloths. Still each to her own. And I must chip in and say we had EXACTLY those tumblers (we used to call them) as you , the frosted ones. The glass was `VERY thin and over the years - passed down to me from mum and dad - we have broken them all. But I still remember them fondly.

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  7. I love all the pretty things in your kitchen and the pot holders are beautiful ... a real labour of love!
    I could eat one of those delicious looking muffins RIGHT NOW! M x

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  8. Pretty pot holders Hen. I prefer your ones to the vintage and think you should put your ones on display! I think they look far too beautiful to use. x

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  9. I think I have fallen in love with your kitchen.

    Leanne xx

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  10. Love your pot holders very pretty l would have them just for displaying too lovely to use.x

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  11. They are just so pretty, and fit perfectly in your lovely kitchen, I'm off to Etsy to stare lovingly at them ;) x

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  12. They are all so beautiful and sweet! Love all your gorgeous kitchen treasures!! xo Heather

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  13. I really love your new pot holders....they look perfect made with your colourful vintage fabrics, Hen. And I love how you made lots of them too...they look gorgeous all together.
    Helen x

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  14. What a beautiful, cheerful kitchen. I'm always inspired by your wonderful creations, the pot holders turned out perfect for your kitchen. I'm sure the extras will be bought up quickly. Thanks for sharing.
    KathyR

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  15. Hen as always a fabulous post, I adore you collections and would love to have something similar myself. The recent makes are a delight and guess where I am going after typing this - yes you know me very well Hen, your shop which is permanently in my favourites list. It is always a delight to read your blog Hen and I never miss a post. Loved this one, thanks so much and as, always, lots of love
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  16. Everything looks so pretty in these photos x

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  17. These are absolutely stunning.

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  18. Love, love, love the pot holders x

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  19. haha…. I was waiting for the pile of pot holders! Lovely as always Hen :) xx

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  20. They are gorgeous! And no we wouldn't expect you to make just one lol. I can see the idea of having the 'spring/summer' items on display, nothing better to cheer you on a dark, dank winters day.

    Peg xx

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  21. Oooh how lovely those potholders all are, and so neat and precise. I don't have many vintage items myself so looking through yours is always a treat.....although I do have a glass dish with a metal handle like yours and I have a flour shaker that matches your jug. It fits in a hand so comfortably but you have to cover up the holes whenever you want to refill it and the hole on the bottom is too small to get a spoon into so tends to make for quite a bit of spillage. I still love it and use it though. Philippa xx

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  22. I just don't know how you have room for all your lovely things. And I do enjoy e-visiting your place.

    It was your collection of carltonware that made appreciate the ones that were in the boxes and boxes of old stuff from my Mom's house (I know, I sound like a Philistine, but we absolutely can't give house room to EVERYTHING), so they're now in my china cabinet, awaiting the repainting of my kitchen in plain white, so I can put up a high shelf and display all the colourful items that deserve to be there. Yes yes, you've inspired me.

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  23. Lovely potholders! Also, wowzers, I love your shelves, such a pretty collection, I hope we get to see the Christmas version too! I used to keep things for best too, but since the day i saw my mil's vintage china collection collapse and die a terrible death, i use it while i have it!

    Cate, x

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  24. In utter awe of your beautiful neat work.

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  25. Waaaah, your potholders have all gone :(
    Will you be making any more (hint hint) I would love one for the Attic kitchen. Soooooooo beautiful!
    Lucexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  26. Really like your colorful potholders! So fun!

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  27. Hello Hen So glad you enjoyed my home county and especially Scarborough. If I had known you were going I would have directed you to a gorgeous old tearoom and vintage shop which were up on the top in the more residential area. I will find the details and let you know in case you go again and bearing in mind Scarborough is very close to Pickering. In the meantime can I be really cheeky and ask you where you got your tiles form. If you look at my blog you will see when I posted my kitchen finale - there are still no tiles on the kitchen walls. I am only doing the wall behind the cooker! but just don't want to get it wrong. I keep coming back to the colour you have and I have a few of the 30's/40's jugs in that colour. I love your green measuring jug! Catherine

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  28. Hello Hen So glad you enjoyed my home county and especially Scarborough. If I had known you were going I would have directed you to a gorgeous old tearoom and vintage shop which were up on the top in the more residential area. I will find the details and let you know in case you go again and bearing in mind Scarborough is very close to Pickering. In the meantime can I be really cheeky and ask you where you got your tiles form. If you look at my blog you will see when I posted my kitchen finale - there are still no tiles on the kitchen walls. I am only doing the wall behind the cooker! but just don't want to get it wrong. I keep coming back to the colour you have and I have a few of the 30's/40's jugs in that colour. I love your green measuring jug! Catherine

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  29. I do love your potholder wall, but your creations are fantastic!

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  30. Your kitchen has such a nice vintage feel everywhere. your potholders are so well crafted. I also liked the vintage coat with the brooch.

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