Saturday, 30 April 2016

pin pricks for this pin chick !

Pin It now!

A bit dramatic, but fairly true.
This month’s choice for our pinterest challenge was an idea I derived 5-6 years back & have shared it many times on Yahoo!Answers back in the day. It remained a want-to-make idea till this challenge challenged me to get on and make it ! I really want to thank the pin chicks for starting this challenge – so many of my old pins are now coming to life.

After the bedroom, kitchen, & bathroom, this time it’s the turn of the dining room! This pin has been a longtime resident at my DIY Crafts board.

For the dining table

The intention had been to use up my plain rubia 2x2 cotton scraps, but those went into deep storage last year after a bout of rigorous housecleaning. Instead of pulling out the carton, I choose what scraps I had on hand. They are all cotton though of differing thickness & texture. I also got to use my new rotary cutter !
I first checked whether the dimensions in the video would work on cloth. Yes, they did! After sewing the folded strip lengthwise, 3 more folds are required. Paper holds it's folds, but had to use pins to keep the interlinked fabric pieces in place, resulting in a free-for-all pin prick contest !
Some modification & adaptation was called for….

Scraps were collected & cut & folded while machine-sewing the edge in long strings (too lazy to change threads, black/dark grey was used throughout). Forgot to take a pic of this stage.  This is fold #1 in above pic : the lengthwise fold is sewn down with machine. 

Keeping breadth same, I increased the length of each strip by ½cm, and machine-sewed the centre of the folded strip. Now all that was needed was to insert the folded strips to each other to create rows. And this time it worked splendidly; the pieces stayed in place and the short sewing line was not visible in the V-folds.
This is fold #4 in earlier pic, where the extra 1/2 cm is overlapped & sewn all through.

Strong blunt-edged Tweezers helped to pull the strips through the slots.

I chose to align the rows in a zig zag fashion rather than all rectangles facing same direction. 
Thus each alternate row faces opposite to the adjacent rows.

7 rows ; 15 strips for each row ; 105 strips in all.
2 strips create 1 slanting rectangle; the last rectangle is a single strip.
Final measurement of hot pad : approx 6” x 6½” x ¼” . Thickness depends on material used.

To Join The Rows, I chose to hand sew the thick mat. Here was another Major needle prick, with quite some bleeding. Decided to switch to the long sturdy sharp-pointed Sail needle, which worked great with due care. I’d had a vague idea of inserting wooden beads at the intersection points to both sew in the rows, as well as add interest. But it was a non-starter.
I used a combo of hem, whip, and running stitches, passing the needle through the middle folds/layers. 
After every 4-5 stitches, pull the thread (double thread used) taut to tension & hide the stitches; 
then make a kind of back stitch to secure them in place.
All this hand sewing was done from the back side.
I left the end strips to be sewn in last, since the single strips required sewing the flaps together too. For this, a normal needle was used (both needles shown in pic for comparison) and some sewing had to be done from front side as well.
My initial idea of basting a linen cloth base was not required. This pic is  the front view.
This mat is thick & sturdy enough and can be used from both sides. Above is the back view.
One corner of the single strip (top or bottom corner in above pic) can be left open to be 
used as a slot for hanging.
The pics are taken fresh off the needles, with no time to iron. 
However, it lays flat and compact.

This is a fun & playful stash-buster project (except for the hand-sewing)! Remember making these V fold garlands, buntings, bracelets at school ? Here’s another pictorial I found on how to make paper bracelets

There are many steps where I wanted to or could’ve made it prettier.
Eg. use matching thread for sewing (which meant straining my vision & time-guzzler) ;
hide the black sewing line (which meant trips to the ironing board) ;
make parallel sewing lines (meaning more work) ;
hiding the raw edges of the fold more neatly while sewing (too fidgety on the machine) ;

In the toss-up, practical reasoning won in this first attempt. It looks pretty enough & very functional in reality, & my DH liked it ! Each time he’d ask whether I was done sewing (the sewing room becomes a mess when I take up a sewing project & therefore try to combine multiple sewing projects adding to the mess) & what was I sewing … for all that 3rd degree, he could only extract an impish smile from me ;-D . I didn’t want him to prejudge (he is Not a labour-intensive person!). But the hot pad has been passed with flying colours – soon I will hunt out my old scrap stash & change all the store-bought hot pads - I want a woven one too ! 
Unless you insist on distracting me ;-P

Speaking of distractions, check out what the other talented pin chicks have hatched !!!
Margaret , Suzanne & Carollyn have already posted their challenges; Imoshen’s is an ongoing process this month, with 2 posts already uploaded. But I’m not telling – you’ll have to click on the respective names for an eye-candy tour :-)
I’m the last to post this month - you gals keep me on pins & needles ;-P

Happy pinning & join us anytime you wish
(all you need is to contact Suzanne)


  1. Gosh you must have been working on it all month, a lot of work went into the mat and very useful for the dinning room table when placing hot dishes. Lovely colours and a useful item
    Thank you for joining us with such a great item

    1. Actually only the hand-sewing took time & effort, Margaret, the rest was play while watching TV, etc. And yes it worked ! Used it last night YAY!

  2. This is so fun and interesting, as a child I grew up making the paper ones all the time, so I could do this with my eyes closed really (we use our gum wrappers) :) I never once thought about using fabric, at all, ever. This is such a great idea love it! You could even use one strip to frame a fabric project! I love this, PinChick!!!

    1. We used gum wrappers too, Carollyn !!! And those transparent wrappers made such beautiful buntings, etc.
      Good idea about the frame :-)) This folding has a lot of potential.

  3. Love this, a lot of work but the result is very nice and useful.

    1. Some work, lots of fun, and functional - what more can I ask ?! hanks Ninetta :-)

  4. Wow muskaan, that looks very intriguing. I guess you could make the strips less folded for a thinner mat? Be easier to work with but perhaps not quite as useful.

    1. You are so right, Jane ! :-) If one worked with felt, it would be so much easier - no sewing & one could determine the layers/folds.

  5. Wow Muskaan you are so clever, this is amazing! I've seen this v fold style done with paper but never material. I really must try this myself!

    1. You are so kind, Suzanne ! Would love to see you give it a try :-)

  6. Very nice design and a good use of your scraps.

    1. Thanks Bernice :-) Kind of like back to the past ;-)

  7. That is so neat! I remember making bracelets in a similar fashion. Making it out of, that's amazing!

  8. That looks so awesome!!!! :)

  9. Thanks Imoshen & Sue :-) It does take one back to school days & activities ;-)