Making Issue No. 7 / Pot Holders
I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm in the mood to make something, but I don't want to get involved in a project that'll take several days or more to create. Sometimes I want to be able to make a beautiful item in the span of an afternoon, a simple and enjoyable project like these Pleated Pot Holders by Carolyn Friedlander found in No. 7 / DESERT.
What I love about this project is how something so simple and ordinary can be created in such a beautiful way that it becomes a sort of treasure amid the commonplace. Something I've been learning the last few years in my life is that it's important to make the small things meaningful because it's all those small things, that, when brought together, make up a life. From the small moments with loved ones to the little things I keep in my home, even the useful and ordinary ones—they're all important. For me, it began when I started paying attention to all the tiny things I often overlooked, which is easy to do in a busy life and something I still have to be active about practicing. I started giving myself space to slow down and notice things I hadn't seen before, such as how the afternoon sun peeked through the leaves of a tree and created lacy shadows on the ground, or how the mornings were so full of birdsongs. One afternoon I noticed how linen seemed to speak to more than other fabrics with its wild and unruly nature. Another time I felt the veiny petals of hydrangeas between my fingers and realized how present I was in that moment. Paying attention to the tiny things opened my eyes to a world right in front of me I'd been missing. It's from this I realized there was beauty all around me and that the more I noticed it, the more my life was enriched. Immediately after experiencing these new found beauties came the desire to create beauty in the way I adorned both myself and my home; in the way I dressed and the things I put inside the place I reside. Beauty became a value to me, not in the form of vanity, but in a sort of way that was like vitamins for the heart. Beauty is a gift, and I wanted to nourish that in the ordinary moments of my life and in the things I created.
I think there's something to be said about making the small things lovely and dear, and that by doing so we are declaring value in the seemingly meaningless. This project reminds me that it's wonderful to make some of the more ordinary things of life extra beautiful, especially when those everyday things are the functional ones we use around the home. Useful things deserve to be beautiful too, and we, as well, deserve to be surrounded by them. I often forget to see the beauty in the ordinary and mundane moments of my life, so sometimes I think it's in those places I need it most. In the kitchen when cooking feels like a chore, I can hold in my hand this lovely pot holder and experience a beauteous moment, remembering that it's valuable to make the everyday things of life dear, being grateful for the time that was given to create this moment.
The three pot holders pictured here were made from three of Carolyn Friedlander fabric collections at Fancy Tiger Crafts--Gleaned, Harriot, and Polk. It was so much fun to mix different shapes, patterns, and colors on this project. Because pot holders are small, it's fun to use bold prints because they can really become highlighted or the focus of the project; I especially love the Snake and Feathers prints that Carolyn created, which I used on two of these pot holders. This project would also be a great use for scraps, as not much material is needed; the linen from the clay-colored pot holder is a scrap! Instructions for Carolyn's Pleated Pot Holders can be found in pages 54-59 of Making No. 7 / DESERT. In the next post, I'll share more of the details about the pot holders I made and some things I've found helpful while creating them. Stay tuned! - Emily