Thursday, July 16, 2009

Matching Kitchen Queen Strawberry set

I bought a teatowel set a little while ago - I liked the colours, and thought about decorating them and gifting them to people.

So when I heard that one of my friends, who is very handy in the kitchen, turned out to be having a rough week (or two), I thought it would be a good time to make good on that idea - and whilst I was at it, I'd make her an apron, to match.
Red was my basic inspiration - to warm up this cold winter weather! My partner helped me pick out the other fabrics - which was mainly about choosing which of the fabulous quilting cottons I have hoarded would be best for this project. We decided on the dramatic strawberries on black. Which naturally lead to my doing a giant strawberry applique/embroidery on the apron.

As it turned out, I ended up bullying him into not only helping choose fabric, but also decorating the teatowel, as I decided I wanted to concentrate on doing the apron. I'd never done one before, and was using one of mine as a base, with calico for the inner lining. It's not a hard project, but I was hoping to get the whole thing done in a night or two at most. Besides, the family that crafts together is happy together. Er, aren't they?

I'm really proud of his efforts on the teatowel. He's got a good eye for design and colour (though he sometimes confuses his taste and mine. The seventies are SO not my decade!). The only input I had was minor technical help with threading the sewing machine, checking the tension when he was worried something was amiss, and a tiny bit of help with winding a bobbin (Yes! He did that, too! He ran out halfway through, so he had to). Considering it was the second project he's done (and the first was just a hem), I'm very proud of his craftiness.

For myself, I got to practice a little more of my hand embroidery skills; the top of the strawberry applique is a chainstitch - one of the four I know. And I really enjoyed thinking very technically about the placement of straps, and reinforcing, and shape - although I used an apron of mine as a basic for the pattern it was the jumping-off point and the final piece is an entirely different creature (apart from the fact they're both basically aprons).

I really feel like I can trace the evolution of my sewing skills, this year. I can see a real difference in the quality of what I'm producing, and I'm becoming more confident with things like pleating and lining.

Anyway, I hope my friend gets a lovely surprise when she finds it in her mailbox, and that she enjoys swanning about her kitchen feeling Strawberry-tastic!

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