Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tea Cozy

I decided I wanted a tea cozy. This is a quilted cover that goes over a full pot of tea to keep it from cooling off too quickly. You want the second cup of tea to be as warm and the first! I looked online for a pattern, but didn't find what I wanted. So, I decided to try to figure it out on my own. This is what I came up with.

First I talked my friend Rose into going with me to the fabric store. She has been taking quilting classes for a while and I wanted her input. Plus, it's always more fun with a friend. I decided to get some quilted fabric. But even that was not thick enough, so I decided to double it, with a stiffener in between. I didn't want it to sag over the teapot, but to stand up over it.

There were some nice fabrics, but I picked one with chickens. My mother loves chickens and we always had a few. Plus, she is the one that used to have tea parties with me after school. So this is for Mom. Except that she can't have it. It's mine.

I got out a few teapots and some of the advertising inserts from the Sunday paper for the pattern. I figured those wouldn't transfer ink to the fabric. I measured height and circumference and came up with a size of 10 X 16 inches. I marked it on the paper, drew an arc and then folded the paper over so it would be symmetrical.

After I cut out the pattern I tested it on the teapot and then took it to my craft room. I cut two pieces for the out side and two for the inside. The inside had a pretty daisy pattern that I wanted to keep.

The outside had stripes of chickens so I placed a long quilting pin on top of the stripes on the outside of the first piece I cut and then turned it over to cut the next one. In this way I hoped to line up the stripes with the quilting pins. You may not be able to see the pins as the heads are yellow. It worked pretty good for an amateur. I didn't worry about the inside as it looked like random daisies and won't show much. I also cut two pieces of a fabric inner facing that has glue on one side so that when you iron it, it sticks to the inside of the fabric and gives it some support.

Next it was time to assemble. My first thought was to place the wrong sides together, stitch the seam, then turn and restitch. This gives the inside a finished look and a little ridge of stiffness on the outside. But this project was getting VERY thick and I wasn't sure the machine could handle all that, so I assembled it as follows. One inside piece facing down, inner facing, then outside piece facing up. Next the second outside piece facing down, the inner facing and the inside piece facing up. This way the two chicken sides were facing each other and the two daisy sides were on the outside.

Now I wanted a little handle to lift it off and on, so I used some quilting binding that I stitched to stay together. This had to be placed with the loop in between the two right sides and the tail end hanging out the top. I pinned everything together and started stitching.

I won't bore you with the stops and starts. Suffice it to say that I finished the seam and then turned it right side out. (There was one small part where the stitching didn't catch. So I restitched it.)

To finish it off, I used more of the binding to cover the bottom edge. I could have turned it under and stitched it, but I liked the yellow border. So, I pinned that to the bottom and stitched it on. It was hard to catch the outside and the inside over the two seams, but I was able to go back and do some top stitching. I used a zig-zag stitch.

So now I have a tea cozy that I like. It is not something that I think I can sell at craft shows or anything, but it was a fun project to get me ready for my quilting class next week and it serves a function. Plus it is CHICKENS and kind of cute!

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