Friday, June 21, 2013

Patchwork, Please! :: Lettered Tea Cozy and Teabag Pouch

I'm still a little leery of paper-piecing and I don't really drink tea. But something about the Patchwork, Please Tea Cozy and Pouch called to me. Most likely, it's our family history. I started collecting china tea cups when I was a teenager, and when daughter dear was a little (and even half-grown) girl, she loved her tea parties. Even the expanded family would go out for high tea occasionally, so over the years we've enjoyed it a lot.
I can't say piecing the TEA and cup blocks went 100% smoothly, but I did really enjoy picking out fabrics. The 'backgrounds' are all of shot cotton, in vivid colors I really enjoy. Thanks to a text charm swap a while back, I had odds and ends of delightful text fabrics that I certainly would not have had otherwise. The main body of my cozy is Essex linen in natural. The lining, which unfortunately is hidden, is the gold leaf print from V and Co.'s Simply Color; the binding is pb&j from Basic Grey. Quilting is an organic wavy stitch using a new-to-me Auriful thread, #2326 {Sand} 50wt, which I think is a perfect partner for that natural Essexn. I'll definitely be using them together again, as the thread adds just a bit of a sheen to that matte linen. And that little tab? A snippet of Echino.
Now I'm a very visual person, so a couple of times I needed a diagram of a specific step. The one that I really stumbled on was step #9 - placing the template to cut out the front and back main panels. I goofed - on the front, of course(!) - but luckily figured out my error in time to cut out the back correctly. The problem I created was too wide of a batting-only strip below my pieced letters. {It should only be 3/4", just as the instructions indicate!} So what to do? Luckily it came to me right away: sew a strip of Essex below the letters and matchstick quilt it. Perfect. I'll confess I am glad I goofed, as I really like my fix!
When it came time for the Tea Pouch, I wanted to echo that matchstick quilting, so I cut the outer fabric piece (more Essex), fused the batt, and quilted it. Then I trimmed it to size. The inner fabric is also Essex, and the pockets more of the Basic Grey (thanks, Jenn!), trimmed with those shot cotton solids. Instead of string and a button, I used lengths of natural sisal twine, so I could tie the whole little package closed.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed these projects. Quilting on Essex is always a joy, fussy cutting for the paper piecing was especially fun this time, and a couple of new techniques - that wide binding on the cozy, and the contrasting top edge of the pouch pockets - were good ones to add to the ole repertoire. This was definitely my cup of tea!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday!

26 comments:

RaspberrySunshine said...

Your cozy and pouch look wonderful! I am loving this sew-along because I'm able to use so many scraps and small pieces I haven't seen in awhile :)

Great job!

Cindy

cheeky monkey said...

Lovely pouch! Great idea with the strings.

It was fun to make the tea bag pouch. Straight forward a fast and gorgeous present!

Marci Girl said...

I love it, your "tea" panel is so great with all that text fabric, so perfect, especially "tea cup!" I actually love your goof too, I like that little strip of solid before print again! Happy accidents are the best!

Leanne said...

I like that little tea bag pouch, I bet it would be a nice gift for people who drink tea. I should make a few to have handy. Your tea pot cozy is lovely, the texts bits you used are especially perfect.

FlourishingPalms said...

Though I wouldn't have a use for a tea cozy, it's nice that you do, and that it turned out so cute! The linen looks great. And Aurifil #50 is my all time favorite go-to thread, for piecing, appliqué and quilting. I still haven't worked with shot cotton (don't have any), but it sounds like the bomb. Don't we love happy mistakes?! Whenever I'm teaching and someone gets upset because of a "goof," I always tell them it's an opportunity to make their project better. Nearly every time, that's the truth. Glad for you to have had such a good experience with this project. Way to go!

Carla said...

It looks wonderful Debbie -like you planned it!

Heidi Staples said...

Perfect fussy cutting on those letters!!

Heather D. said...

Phew, good save! I like the strip added below the letters. Looks great! Good job on the paper piecing too.

Janine said...

Beautiful! I especially love how you've fussy cut 'tea cup' and the string tie on your pouch :)

Patti said...

Oh, this is just so cute! I really need to get busy and get mine done. I don't want to fall behind the SAL!

Christine said...

I adore your projects. The fabrics and quilting are so cute. I have my fabric picked out but I haven't started making it yet. Sounds like it may take me a while.

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

I just adore tea parties with my girls and nieces. I think your tea cozy looks fab, Debbie. Isn't it great adding new sewing tips/tricks to the repertoire?!

Sharon B said...

So glad you made this project. Lovely, as always!

Jennifer said...

these look great!! I really need to get moving on these projects! :)

Amira@littlemushroomcap said...

turns out lovely and fun Debbie! Especially love the word teacup there! great job

Julie said...

So cute! I don't drink tea either but I just love how this turns out it makes me want to! Expert piecing on the letters too!

Erica said...

How cute! I love your fabric choices.

Lynne said...

This really turned out great Debbie. Why don't I have this book yet? So many cute projects!

Teje Karjalainen said...

Debbie, this is wonderful set! I love your tea cosy! I'm also coffee person but love tea cozies. x Teje

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Ella and Nesta said...

I love your choice of fabrics, very classy. And the twine is genius!

Alli said...

I really like how your cozy came out, especially the wavy quilting and the extra matchstick strip! And your texty prints are so cute! :)

sewkatiedid said...

I still can't believe I haven't made myself a tea cozy. Nice job on yours, super cute.

Katy Cameron said...

Cute pair, and love the bold shot cotton backgrounds on the cosy :o)

Jodie said...

These turned out really cute. I love the tea bag pouch. The linen and PB&J look great together!

Kim said...

This is sooooo cute, all the fussy cutting for the letters is perfect, especially tea cup, and "oh que c'est bon!" for a little bit of French attitude!!