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Frugal Living
by Donna Flood
Frugal? Tongue in Cheek


I made a decision to make a frugal gift of potholders for the granddaughter's teacher's for their Thanksgiving day table. Since I knew it was a big thing for them as far as educating the children about the American Indian and legends of these people, we began our project, the children and I.

The kids went with me as we began our foray through the town in order to pick up materials. It was my wish to find a heavy fabric for the pot holders, and of a particular color. I wanted a burnt red which would be reminding them of our Native American heritage and a loved color. No other color would do. Also, it was my idea to trim the burnt red with a small rick rack of metallic gold, adding a touch for a festive occasion.

After the second store and not finding exactly what I wanted I decided we needed fuel for the car and to have the oil checked also. Twenty (20) dollars went into the gas tank and plus the price of the oil.

The third store had the fabric. It was ten (10) dollars a yard (there abouts).

The gold trim was five (5). So now we have spent a total of thirty five dollars but not to complain, the color was perfect for the pot holders and they were a nice weight, actually a light upholstery fabric which would set flat on the table nicely for hot pots.

Oh yes, while I was in the fabric store I saw they had a good buy on some pinking, roller cutters. They were twenty (20) dollars.

The kids had been bribed to be model children by promising them a treat for lunch at McDonald's. This gobbled up another twenty (20) dollars, and since I was just across from Albertson's food market I felt it would be good to pick up a few things, milk etc. along with the gum and candy bars slipped into the basket came to another twenty (20) dollars.

Rounding the figures off I believe we probably spent around one hundred dollars.

After the pot holders were made they were setting by the door ready for the granddaughter to take with her as she came through and my husband noticed them. "Hmm," he noted, "I see you made some pot holders. How much did those cost you?" he knew I always kept an account of what was spent on a project.

"Oh I'd say, around twenty dollars a piece," came the reply.

"Hmm, well....." her husband wasn't getting into any break down of costs at this time of the morning. "Well, okay," Whatever," he smiled.

Easy Potholder Directions:

With pinking shears, or a roller cutter with a pinking round cutter blade, cut two nine inch squares from a splashy designed fabric. Use heavy fabric. You already have saved old towels. From these towels cut two or three squares of eight inches for the inside padding. Since I buy only white towels which never fade we use them until they are almost threadbare. Therefore, I usually have to cut three squares for the padding.

Using long quilting pins, if you have them, pin the fabrics together, toward the middle. Padding, of course, is in the middle of the outside fabrics. Do not hem. Instead, sew a seam about one inch from the edge. Sew another seam this time about two inches in from the edge. Before you finish sew across from corner to corner making an X. After you have finished if the edges are not quite matched simply trim off with the pinking roller cutter until they do.

Find a matching colored ribbon, or a piece of lace. Cut about three inches long. Make a loop and sew at one of the corners for hanger.

Blue Jean Pocket Pincushion Directions

Cut around the edges of the back pocket of an old pair of blue jeans with pinking shears, leaving enough room around the pocket for a seam.

Cut from the legs another square the same size. Sew the two squares together. Now stuff the pocket with fiber fill and sew across the top of the pocket. For blue jeans you must use your heaviest needle for the sewing machine. When finished add safety pins, straight pins, needles on your blue jeans pocket pin cushion.

The pin cushion, the pot holders, and a box of pretty colored paper clips or some other small items can go into a clean, clear, plastic soda pop bottle you have saved. Just slit the back side and the gifts will fit nicely inside. Tie this up with a curly bright ribbon around the neck of the bottle and everyone of the teacher's will get a gift.

The children are fascinated with the pop bottle and not knowing about the slit on the back wonder how you were able to put the objects in the bottle, something akin to a "ship in a bottle," idea. It is all for having fun.


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