Once I knew that, I jumped right in and offered either 2 mug rugs or one hot pad/pot holder, recipient's choice. My recipient has a sweet daughter who knits plenty of mug rugs, so she asked for a hot pad. Yay! Only one binding to do instead of two!!! I hate, detest, loathe making binding. I don't even do bias binding, or hand stitch my bindings on small items, and yet I so loathe the process. Just the pressing. I finger press, but I might need to switch to using the iron as I imagine it's easier on the hands, even if it is a pain in the neck to go set it up.
I did a little sleuthing to determine good colors to use (aka, I asked the recipient, since it is not a secret swap) and then looked for a pattern. I found a free download from Quilter's Newsletter, called King's Crown Block (from the June/July 2012 edition of Quilter's Newsletter); this is a 12" block meant to be used in a wall hanging, but I thought it also made a great stand-alone block for a hot pad that will feature as a table decoration on the center of my recipient's dining table.
|King's Crown Block, 12" finished size|
June/July 2012 Quilter's Newsletter (free downloadable pattern)
Next I shopped my stash for fabrics that would work. My recipient said she likes reds, oranges and yellows in her kitchen, as well as blues. But this is not going in her kitchen, so I did some more sleuthing (aka, friended her on Facebook so I could see if she had any photos of the inside of her house; she had very few, but enough to get my brain in gear). I found a beautiful large scale print that I thought would work perfectly, and pulled a selection of coordinating fabrics from all areas of my stash, then I laid them out and auditioned options, considering where I would use each fabric in the block design.
I am so pleased with how it turned out! Enough so that now I want to make one for myself; I am not a huge fan of the current very trendy aqua & red, but this softer turquoise and deeper red, with the grounding of the center focus fabric plus the addition of the patterned pink, makes a very winning combination.
Of course, I ran out of the red thread near the end and had to switch to beige. And, because I was scared to flip it over when doing the binding, the top/front got the beige stitching. I did use a zig zag over the initial straight stitch to help keep it pretty, and I think it's a soft enough color that it doesn't detract by too much.
Now, on to that quilting plan....my son would really like me to finish his quilt sometime this year.......