Tag Archives: the workroom

zakka {wedding pot holders}

despite my deplorable lack of posts in the last few months, there has been some degree of activity in the sewing room (and the kitchen)…

behold: a pair of pot holders i made as a wedding gift for one of my dearest friends.  she and her new husband are both appreciators of fine food, and she loves to cook, so i wrapped these up alongside an heirloom-to-be le creuset braiser.

IMG_5401

i found the inspiration for these in the ‘zakka style’ project book compiled by rashida coleman-hale, and the pattern itself comes courtesy of kim kruzich.  you may recall seeing evidence of the ‘zakka-along’ hosted by LRstitched last year – heaps of adorable and practical linen-based projects from the zakka style book.  the sew-along is a brilliant resource for anyone working on a make from the book.  for the pot holders, you will find an errata and a related tutorial to help you along.  the errata clarified some significant changes to the original instructions, so it’s worth checking it out prior to cutting.  i, however ignorantly, followed the instructions in the book and made out quite alright in the end.  and, as per my usual ‘must-avoid-significant-amounts-of-handstitching-at-all-costs’ mantra, when it came time to finish attaching the bias-binding to the back pockets and the circumference of the pot holders, i took a different approach: i simply pinned well from the top-side and then carefully top-stitched my way around.  while they certainly don’t look as tidy as the specimens in the book, i don’t think the top-stitching looks too shabby in the end, and i do think it will be sturdier than my hand-stitching would have been.

IMG_5404

another note worth making relates to the quilting – the instructions are very simple: “quilt as desired by machine or by hand”.  i liked the look of the straight lines in the book, so i measured out 1/2″ lines from the middle and stitched them consistently across the top of the pot holder, trying to stay parallel to the seams.  not bad for my first attempt at quilting!

IMG_5403

to personalize the gift, i worked in some of my favourite paris-map fabric, which makes these feel a little old-world glamorous to me.  i also used some sweet japanese fabric printed with cakes and letters, which is just so adorable.  both of these fabrics suit the bride’s style perfectly and are much-loved at the workroom, where i purchased them a few years ago.  as a final touch, i embroidered the bride and groom’s initials and wedding date on the back of the pot holders, hoping they will be reminded of their beautiful wedding every time they use them.

IMG_5405

there.  hopefully i’m back on track now, as i have a few other projects and recipes to share with you.  and, as the days are finally getting a little bit longer here, there is hope for some natural light at the end of the day, which should make for some less-drab looking photographs!

i’m curious, what are your thoughts on homemade wedding presents?  have you ever given a handmade wedding gift?

•  •  •

Advertisements

24 Comments

Filed under sewing

creative fuel

i love a trip to the city.  i mean the city.  toronto.

once or twice a year i have a work-related stay in TO.  when i’m there, my mission is to cram in as much walking, gawking and general city-imbibing as possible.  the chaos and crowds are both exhilarating and exhausting, and i find, for a short time anyways, that i am strangely soothed by the rhythm of urban life.  it couldn’t be more different from our home in the countryside, where trees outnumber people exponentially and heavy traffic means actually having to stop at the stop sign before turning.

one of the benefits of city excursions, apart from the fashion lessons, teashops and people-watching, is the improved access to all things crafty and the ability to refuel for my creative pursuits.  this trip allowed me to expand my stirandstitch stashes quite nicely (and to soothe IDS, who can get a little testy when left in the countryside for too long).

{crochet-fuel}     the yarn related highlight of this trip was my first ever visit to romni wools  – the epic toronto yarn store.  i don’t use the word epic flippantly here.  romni’s monstrous, bursting, teeming and towering collection of fibers is daunting to even the most yarn-starved shopper.  it was utterly overwhelming, but i managed to find some lovely, squishy goodies to take home, including some bright malabrigo sock and some nifty ‘braided’ cascade.


{sewing-fuel}     i discovered the workroom online and was instantly smitten.  they have a fabulous selection of contemporary fabrics and high quality notions, a friendly shop dog and a great calendar of sewing classes.  the timing of my trip worked out perfectly for me to take their three hour ‘serger essentials’ course – instruction i’ve been needing for years.  i came home with some new-found serger confidence and a set of rolled-hem napkins which we made in class.  i couldn’t resist a couple of pieces of lotta jansdotter fabric and three marvy patterns (including one for a sweet colette blouse) that i can’t wait to dig into.

{baking-fuel}     i have a cookbook addiction.  i could read cookbooks all day.  really.  this obsession has necessitated a moratorium on cookbook purchases (i also have a moratorium on tea mugs and flip-flops).  i had to allow myself an exception in toronto, though, for dorie greenspan’s ‘baking – from my home to yours’.  it’s been around for a while now, so it seemed less impulsive and more appropriate to add it to my collection (and really, what baker’s library is complete without it?).  i’ve been eagerly flipping the pages, wondering which recipe will be the first into my mixer.

•  •  •

stirandstitch has refueled!  three days in toronto allowed me to absorb just enough urban sensibility to remain connected to city-life.  it also offered loads of tea, a little bit of chocolate and plenty of creative fuel for projects-to-be.  and it was just long enough, just windy enough and just lonely enough to make me (and even my testy IDS) feel happy to come home.

•  •  •

28 Comments

Filed under baking, crocheting, sewing