Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kitchen gift set (Easter gift for my mom)

My favorite person to make things for is my mom. I love how she gets so excited and makes a big deal out of anything I give her. She always makes me feel like whatever I make is the best thing in the world and how it is just the thing she needed. Do all moms say "this is exactly what I need. I was just telling your Dad yesterday how I needed to go shopping to pick up something exactly like this"? I get that warm, happy, good feeling seeing her face light up. It is the same feeling I would get when I brought her home my art work from elementary school (at age 5 or 6). I guess my Mom has had years of experience in getting excited and pretending the crafts made by her children and grandchildren are the best in the world. She is very believable! I guess that is why I try to make her at least one of anything I make.

I made her up a little kitchen gift set for Easter. I know Easter isn't a "gift giving" holiday. BUT I wonder why not give gifts? It is the biggest most important holiday and day in the Christian religion why not celebrate with a little handmade gift? In past years I would give her a plant but she no longer wants to invest the time in caring for plants. I started thinking about how she loves spending time in her kitchen. That inspired me to make this set.

I started with this hand embroidered chicken. I LOVE this cute chicken. I found the chicken pattern here.
Isn't it the cutest chicken ever? I love hand embroidery and had lots of fun doing it. Most of the time I like using my own designs for embroidery but I could never draw a chick this cute so I was thrilled to find this pattern.

Once my chicken was done I decided to make it into a pocket for an apron (that is why it is pocket shaped in the picture above). My apron sewed up quick. I did not use a pattern I just took a piece of fabric folded it (so it was double layered) rounded the bottom and added straps. I quickly ran into a problem can you spot it?
I hear you all saying how can I miss it? That chicken is so WHITE! It looks REALLY BAD!

I had to unpick my little chick and age her a bit. I coffee dyed the pocket and sewed her back on the next day.
That's better!


I think the coffee dye gives it the look of an apron that has been used for years and years.

I figured out how to fold it so only the pocket shows and the ends tuck neatly inside the pocket. Cute little package! Don't you think?

To go with it I made up 2 finger tip oven mitts.


I then took a dish cloth out of my completed knitted project stash. I have been working on knitting myself a stack of dishcloths but I seem to give them away almost faster than I knit them. I hope by the time I get my kitchen painted to have a couple made up for myself (I can dream can't I ). Maybe I will have one made for myself before my torn worn out one falls completely apart. It has a tear in it and I don't think it will hold up much longer. It gets washed in the washer every day and looks a bit sadder every day. I am worried it is going to fall apart.


I cut up a couple yards of netting and whipped up a pot scrubber. If you do a google search I know you will find a few free patterns on how to make them. Here is a link to what looks like a bunch of them and maybe even more here. I can 't read patterns (I really hope to learn someday soon) after seeing a picture of a scrubber I cut up some strips of tulle and using my crochet hook went around in circles increasing to the middle then decreasing to end. It looked a bit flat when I finished it so I stuffed the inside with a strip or two. I used my ends to chain up to make the loop handle. I think I might have overstuffed it a bit. I have no idea on how it works because my Mom hasn't used it yet (she doesn't want to get it dirty). LOL! My only reason for making this was to add a bit more handmade to my handmade gift. To be honest it cost me more for 2 yards of fabric to make one (about $2) than it would have cost me for a pack of store bought scrubbers (about $1 for a pack of 4). BUT it was a simple and fun thing to design myself. I like small simple things that I can play around with my hook and create something myself. It is kind of like doodling on paper only using a hook to do the doodling (I think 3D doodles are more interesting than paper and pen ones). If you haven't ever designed your own pattern you can grab some tulle and a crochet hook and see what you can come up with. After all you can't mess up a pot scrubber! No mater how you knit or crochet it up I am sure it will scrub a pot! I imagine you could make them in a frog shape, grape shape, apple shape, flower shape, square shape, triangle shape, and just about any shape or color to match you kitchen or in a way that would make you smile when scrubbing pots!I covered an empty coffee can and put in some wooden spoons. I saw a covered can online several months ago but I searched and couldn't find it again (I hate it when that happens). I had to come up with my own way to cover a can. All I did is make a bag a bit over double the length of the can. I stuck the closed bottom of the bag inside the can and pulled it over the front of the can. I used elastic to sew the bottom so it would cup around the can. It worked out great. My cover looked bad until I got the thought of adding the elastic to the outside bottom. I am happy with how nice it turned out (great for a first try and a rushed one at that).

View of inside of can.

Front of can. I did another coffee dyed embroidered chicken but I didn't stitch as careful as I did the apron (I was running out of time).

Bottom. Don't you think that elastic gives it a nice fitting bottom?
The cover can be slid off the can and tossed in the wash if it gets any splatters on it.

To finish it I needed some gift wrap so I took a canvas bag and embroidered one last chicken. This chick is not nearly as cute because I rushed and the thick canvas bag wasn't nice to embroider on.
Here is the completed set.



It all fit nicely inside the bag.

My mom was thrilled. I don't think she uses any of it. I told her I would only give her this handmade gift if she promised first that it would all be used. Even after making that deal with her she refuses to use it! She has all of it displayed around in her kitchen. I imagine she might someday own the longest lasting pot scrubber (I would bet money it is still sitting looking new on a soap dish next to her sink with the bow still on it 10 years from now). I hope she uses it and wears it out before she remodels her kitchen.

I would like to make a few more sets like this (not all with chickens). I would like to have a set for myself and a few more for some of my friends who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It wasn't one of my quickest projects to complete but it was still a lot of fun to make.

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