Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bee Potholders 1 - How a project happens

I'm back home and after some family health issues, have decided it's time to sew, and that means it is time to post.
People often ask me - "How do you come up with stuff?" Honestly, there is no rhyme or reason to it, but hey, here's a shot at explaining it. What I'm not going to do is go over every instruction for these potholders. You can see the general "how to" for potholders here. I've made them many times and the process is the same.

For many holidays and birthdays, when my younger son was asked what he wanted as a gift, he would respond, "a jar of bees." One birthday recently, I decided to do just that and made him a jar of bees pillow.

I  have leftover bee fabric and it has been speaking to me. So I went looking for bee pictures and found this one:
Now I have bee fabric and a drawing of a bee. Hmm, what to do? Potholders! I traced the basic bee parts from the drawing onto Wonder Under and cut the body of the bee out of a golden bandanna and the top and head out of black, but couldn't decide what to do with the wings. I fused the body to an 8" potholder blank that I cut out of recycled denim. Then I used a tight zig-zag/satin stitch on my machine to make the stripes on the bottom of the bee.

It looks kind of plain, but there's a lot of work to be done. I decided right about at this point to use the bee fabric for the wings and then use a satin stitch to give the illusion of veins per the drawing.

I have not yet stitched the wings down as I want to do them last. I'm still thinking on it, but I think my next step is to draw the legs, eyes, and antennae with a water soluble pen or pencil and get them stitched onto the denim. I'll use a water soluble backing when I do the embroidery (I do not have an embroidery machine, so will be creative with the Bernina I do have) for stability. The back of the potholders will be the bee fabric. I don't have enough of it to do the binding, so am thinking of doing a striped length of fabric with the black and bee fabric and cut my bias binding from that.

As projects go, this one is fairly easy. It will be time consuming because of the legs on the bee and the fact that I'm making four of them, but I need a machine project that will take some time. I'm not sure if I will sell these or keep them, but there you go. I looked at a pillow made from interesting fabric and decided it was time to use the remnant. I gathered other fabrics, including the junk jeans, that I already had, hit the internet for a drawing to use for my Wonder Under pattern, and there you go. You could do something like this on jeans or anything you wanted.

Start with something in your stash that speaks to you and just do it. More to come as the design progresses. Hope you have fun with your sewing!

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