Thursday, December 3, 2020

Teapot Cozy: No Math

Teapot Cozy
Keep Your Teapot Warm
No Pattern Needed

Quilters are made to believe they "need a pattern" for the most basic of things, but breaking out of that thinking is incredibly freeing. We don't need a set of numbers or directions for everything we want to do or make. The makers before us drew mainly on their own ingenuity, imagination, and make-do attitude. If you've never done worked with a pattern, I encourage you. There is a satisfying feeling of creating with your own ideas! 

If something doesn't go as planned, it may be reframed as a positive design element instead of a mistake in understanding poorly written pattern instructions. It stimulates your critical thinking, and creates a one-of-a-kind object. Whatever the outcome, it's a feel-good-thing, and we all need that now. Right?

Let's get creative!

No Math Involved 

Wandering around my sewing room this week touching fabric, hoping something would catch my attention, I pulled out a stack of 5" charms I had used for a class demonstration. 

I had pre-shrunk the charms by swishing them in warm water with a little Dawn, and laying them out to dry. Shockingly, these charms dried a full 1/4" shorter on one side, and some grew on the other! (I'm curious if that's why companies say, "We don't recommend washing precuts." It's interesting at the least.)

Left with odd sized pieces, I cut them down so I had 4 squares per patch. See. No math other than make them all the same size. I laid them out, sewed them together in a grid, and eyeballed them around my favorite tea pot. It looked a little short so I added another row. It looked much better so I made another for the backside with the same number of patches. I pinned the 2 sides together, slipped it over the pot, and had plenty of room. Better to be too big than too small, and I have larger teapots, too.

I found a reproduction fabric for the backing in my stash, and scrap batting. A couple straight pins held the layers together while I straight line stitched the diagonals. No marking. Just eyeball it and stitch. Set your stitch length to about 3-3.5mm to keep it from bunching, and your regular foot is fine for a small project like this. When done with the diagonals, I stitched around the edges to anchor the quilting lines, and trimmed to the edge.

Working with one layer at a time, I rounded the top edges. I had a paper bowl handy, but anything will work. 

Freehand the curve with a rotary cutter or mark and trim with scissors.

Layer both pieces with wrong sides together. Freehand trim the second piece to match the first. Snip off anything irregular, pin the layers, and sew the two sides together in a narrow seam.

I am not a fan of using fabrics entirely from one line so I searched for a suitable addition. This toile from a past Craftsy line was perfect!

The double-folded binding (the kind most of us use for our quilts) would have to go around curves so I opted for bias binding. I cut mine 2.25" on the 45 degree angle, but whatever width you prefer is good. You can't get this wrong. Sew to the top just as you would a quilt. Place raw edges together on one side, stitch, flip binding over to the opposite side, and stitch through all the layers. Bias binding is actually fun to work with, I think.

Next, make enough bias binding for the bottom edge. Turn the cozy inside out, and work from the inside first. When you come to the binding bump on the seams, flip it one way or the other. It's not crucial. 

If you have a free arm option on your sewing machine, this is the time to use it. It's so much easier to handle this way. Sew until you near the end. Connect the 2 ends of the binding in the same way you do while binding a quilt. Flip to the outside, and top stitch the binding down. 

Just perfect for me.
Everyday matters more right now.
Keep the faith.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.



Linda Swanekamp said...

This is a great tutorial. I love the fabrics. I gave up drinking tea for coffee. There are other things in my kitchen that could use a cover like this. One of my friends, years ago made me a tea cozy and also a round mat for underneath the pot to protect tables. I am sure these squares would make great round mats also.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Looks great. Enjoy your tea. ☺

Angie in SoCal said...

So pretty! Thanks for the process post! Merry Christmas.

audrey said...

And how sweet is that! I can just see you smiling with your tea! Love, love, love your attitude towards quilting.:)

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Oh I love your teapot cozy, pretty and useful. Thanks for the tuto ;)

Rebecca Grace said...

What a great project -- and i love your fabrics, especially those sweet button prints!