Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fabric Dish Mat... or Kitty Blankie???

I have used a plastic tray as a dish drainer for years. In the last year or so, I decided I wanted to have a collection of these to change with seasons and holidays. I thought it would be easy. I thought finding a Christmas tray would be easiest of all. I looked everywhere and never found one I liked. I ended up using a fall leaves tray all through December and every time I looked at it, it annoyed me.

I'm glad my collection idea never got very far. I came across an idea I like even better. A fabric dish mat.

I first saw the idea on Berlin's Whimsy while I was looking at her Swiffer cover how-to.

Berlin's Whisey got the idea from the dish mat she saw on Seams of Life.

I wanted to see more. A search led me to this one by Darby on Fly Through Our Window?
She gives complete details on how it's made.

The other photos give you a better idea of just how pretty it must be in person. I love the fabrics.

Now, I can make my own dish mats. Fabric choices are infinite! I won't have to hunt and hunt for trays I like. I could make the quilted. I could make them from a pretty placemat. I could make them from thrifted fabrics or salvageable pieces of vintage linens. They could be simple or detailed - whatever I'm in the mood for. Or... whatever I have time for.

For my first effort, I impatiently purchased (gasp) fabric to match the vintage fabric in my curtains. I won't waste time feeling guilty, but I really prefer to find my fabrics from thrift stores and yard sales. I love turning a discard into something new. I added two other fabrics to the new and sewed strips of them all together.

I added piping from my scraps and sewed the whole thing onto an old towel.

Here it is in place. I don't know. I made it a little big, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Will it be useful? Trays are easier to clean and put right back in place. This will need to be laundered. I love choosing my own fabrics, my own designs. But, I'm not in love with it. It seems a bit tacky. There's a fine line between kitsch and tacky and I may have crossed over to the wrong side. Possibly a smaller one - just large enough for the dish drainer - would be better. On the up side , I do love the fabric combination - it would be delicious on my porch as a pillow. If I decide I don't want to use it as a dish drainer, it would make an excellent kitty blankie.

This is not how I envisioned starting off the new decade. Another less than fabulous effort. I don't seem to know what I want these days. I used to have a good eye for decorating and putting things together. Or maybe I was just deluded and completely believed my kind friends who said I had a good eye. I sure have had a lot of decorating bombs this last decade. Wrong sofa. Wrong carpet. Wrong paint colors. I'm tired of that and I resolve to move forward with a bit more confidence. (Did that sound convincing?)


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