Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kitchen Cloths

Back in November, I got carried away with edging fabric with dainty Perle cotton crocheting. I was blown onto this course by all the temptations and inspiration I was finding on Pinterest. It felt like a huge creative relief to jump right in and see what I could do. And so I grabbed a fat quarter and got started, making stuff up as I went, making mistakes, discovering solutions, and thoroughly enjoying the gratification of making something simply pretty.

It took two months to get blown back on course, to finish what I started. In my haste to crochet an edge of the 1/4 yard rectangular fabric (a "fat quarter"), I pressed and hemmed only one edge. The rest I could hem later; a conceivable, but lazy choice that eventually cost me more labor and some small frustration in the end.

My first cloth squared-up fairly easily. It's not too wonky, but this one was kind of embarrassing. I should have known better when working with striped fabric... it would be less forgiving with those obviously horizontal lines, if I didn't straighten everything out.

The fabric was far from square, and one end was so off course I did not have enough fabric to turn the hem.

What to do? What to do?

Twill Tape! I even happened to have some in my massive accumulation of stuff! So, that was awesome. This light weight trim would edge the fabric, securing and hiding my hastily conceived shortcoming. Plus, I decided to add this useful loop to the corner.

Lesson learned: square, cut, press, and hem, and then blanket stitch and crochet.

The other three cloths were easier to finish, but each one presented a different issue for squaring and hemming. And each of them is sporting a different crocheted trim. This Kitty cloth has a small scalloped edge. I don't read crochet patterns, so I always make these things up as I go. Working on such small pieces, makes it easy, and fun, to experiment.

These sea foam scallops are bigger, and the trim came out fuller, too. Ruffled.

I like the simple ladder pattern on the red ticking fabric. It nicely mirrors the simple and clean lines of the print. I'm not sure how I did it, but I think I could mess around and do it again...

The first trim was made using a very delicate Perle cotton. I like it, but I thought it was a bit too dainty, and my skills with crocheting made the wonky parts more obvious. So, I switched to a heavier, Mercerized cotton, size 3.

What does "Mercerized" mean? Is it some horrible factory chemical thing that will make me ashamed and squeamish? Oh dear. I'll have to Google this, someday.

So, you may be thinking, what are you going to do with these, exactly?

And I reply: Uh. Well. I guess. Well, they're pretty, you see. And fun. To make. And I. Uh.

Maybe for the warm-from-the-oven loaf of bread brought to the table at dinner?
Or keeping a stack of tortillas snug before serving?
Also nice to cover a bowl of rising dough, or to keep flies off the picnic fair?
As a hostess gift, wrapping a bottle of wine?
Lining a bowl of just washed grapes?
Thrown on a pile of junk, a quick clean-up, when a friend pops in?
Or simply, a quarter yard of pretty byproduct from creative therapy.


ArtyZen said...

This did make me smile widely - at your gungho approach; which sounds so familiar; and your determination and optimism that you'll make it right - and of course, you did! Not the most inspiring of title for a blog post but I really enjoyed this one! You have made some very pleasing and useful things here.

Kim said...

I love these! They are really cute and totally multi-purpose. A quote from the book The Optimist's Daughter..."I get a moral satisfaction out of making things" It feels so GOOD to make things doesn't it?

tara said...

Oh very nice. I know nohing about crocheting, sadly. Just found out too that there is a rotary blade that will punch holes for edge crocheting. May have to learn now

judy in ky said...

I love, love, love crochet work. I have some that my grandmother did, and I cherish them. What you can do is save them for your daughter and your future daughters-in-law. Maybe they will love them the way I love my grandmother's.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Where crocheting is concerned I'm all thumbs...wish I weren't, 'cause I love these dainty borders you've created.

Kara said...

I love that kitty fabric! So cute!

Tracy said...

These are sooo PRETTY, Natalie--LOVE them! This inspires me to dust off my crochet hook and give it a try again. ;o) Happy Days to you all ((HUGS))

nikkipolani said...

Waaaay too cute, Natalie. I love your color combinations, too :-)

Emily Cole said...

Natalie! I think they're beautiful! Perfect for wrapping home-made presents in! (double gift!) I wish I knew how to crochet, and the time to do it... maybe in about 397 days or so... :)

Unknown said...

Such fun! Lovely photos! Definitely on my to-do list. Thank you, Natalie!