Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Thrilling Evening

Puttin' on the Ritz, maybe?  Painting the town red?  A night on the tiles?  Hmm.  Tiles and painting may have been featuring heavily in our evenings but not quite in that glamorous a way!  

I was shocked to see how long it is since I had managed to post something on my little old blog.  The days and weeks are flying by so here I am at 8 o'clock and depressingly, it's already dark outside (though it has been a beautiful day).

You can guess what has been occupying most of our time for the last six weeks.  The longest kitchen makeover in history?  (Do feel free to chip in with your own horror stories, we can make each other feel better.)  We are about 95% there now and tonight, Mr HenHouse is at it with his drill.




Behind him, I am occupied with indeed quite thrilling matters and am sitting at my new island with a spot of quilting in hand.  And so the conversation goes: 

Hen: "I've made these new place mats for us".

Mr HH:  "That sounds lovely.  I'll turn round in a minute and have a look."




Mr HH:  "Blimey, you're not expecting me to eat my dinner off those are you?  I'd have tomato sauce on it in minutes!" (Tonight's dinner is indeed meatballs in the aforesaid sauce.)

Now, I do know what my other half means.  I started these a few days ago and all the centre panel of 82 x 1.5" squares to be exact, was thriftily cut from my scrap box (times two, for two "His 'n' Hers" patchworky place mats).  So far so thrifty.  But once I had sewed the whole thing together, sandwiched the front with two layers of left-over wadding and a piece of vintage candy striped sheet on the back, and started in on the pretty pink perle hand quilting, the thought of oozing gravy and stray peas on my place mat was starting to seem a little too much for comfort.

But they were made from thrifty scraps after all and what else shall I use them for? Would I then have to just make another, maybe simpler, set of mats which I still might be too fearful to use? Are handmade place mats just not a good idea at all?

So the question is, to place mat or not to place mat?




I'm sure your evenings are made of much more exciting matters...

34 comments:

  1. NO,NO,NO!! she shreiks.
    Far,FAR too beautiful to be used as place mats.Lovely table centre though. :0)

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  2. Your evening sounds lovely, and I would have the same dilemma if I had made such beautiful place mats. :)

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  3. They are indeed beautiful. Perhaps have them out and when dinner is ready whip them away and put something not quite as lovely in there place.........cork or other such utilitarian ones. Or make everyone wear a bib?

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  4. Everything comes out in the wash and in a couple of years you can always embroider or applique over any stains - it also may make younger ones more conscious of the boundaries of their plate.... wow, I do seem to have quite an opinion. Lovely seeing what you are up to Hen. Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

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  5. I've just been doing the ironing,about to start on some mending so ,no, your evening is WAY more thrilling than mine. Placemats- well, they will wash- my embroidered cafetiere covers get regularly soused in coffee and they ( and the perle thread they are embroidered with) survive...mind you, if they don't it is an excuse to make some more. Good to hear you are within sight of the end at last.x

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  6. They are way too beautiful to actually use. but I love the idea...perhaps place mats for show, to be removed before eating! x

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  7. I love those tiles in your kitchen! They are a lovely color! I always tell people, please use the things I make and give to you! And then, when I try to use them, they are just too precious, so I know exactly what you mean. Perhaps you could use them for a different purpose? Maybe under that beautiful cake stand or green pitcher that you have pictured?

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  8. That's a toughy! They're gorgeous and obviously very thrifty, but then you factor in your time and the beauty of them. But just for fear of a gravy spill or spot of tomato sauce does that mean you're resigned to blah looking placemats?! I'm not sure what the answer is. If the thought of a spill on those delightful works of art makes your stomach go flipsy flopsy then maybe not; maybe the answer is to make something less elaborate. Otherwise, I'd say what is beauty if not to be enjoyed and utilized, and if it gets a spill, then it will add to the scrapiness of it all. Not much help, am I?!

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  9. It's only the first splash of sauce that you need worry about, really. After that they're already broken in. So I say go for it!

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  10. Mmmm liking the look of your worktops... and those tiles look like the ones in my bathroom. I remember you saying you were going to use them in your kitchen.
    I have a placemat suggestion - matching bibs??!
    Now hurry up and finish that kitchen. I'm dying to see the rest.
    Ellie
    x

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  11. Wouldn't let anyone with gravy within 100 yards of them - far too gorgeous. Beautiful as table settings but cover mats or hubby with tea towel before fork is aimed at mouth ...

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  12. They were made to be used so, yes, I would use them. They are beautiful so you will get great pleasure from using them.
    Carol xx

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  13. They're beautiful. I say, go for it. This summer, I made a set of six quilted Dresden plates into placemats. They're beautiful and delicate, and I'm sure my husband thinks I'm nuts for making them, but I put them on the dining room table instead of the kitchen one, which is where we usually eat. So they are more for display purposes than practical ones, but I haven't ruled out using them on special occasions. On a related note, your patchwork is just like a small quilted piece I have from my husband's grandmother, probably made in the 1940's or 50's; same size squares and similar colors/prints. I have no idea what to do with it, as it has unfinished edges and I only have the one. I'm thinking trivet for the kitchen table (after I finish the edges), and you're my inspiration! :)

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  14. They are beautiful. I'd put them in the middle of the table and put a vase of flowers on it.
    Claire

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  15. I suggest you use these as breakfast placemats and make other tomato sauce friendly placemats for dinner time. They'd be perfect for cereal and milk and a few toast crumbs or even a swipe of jam would be easily washed out without a stain. It would be a pity for them to be hidden away in a drawer somewhere, they need to be used and adored, methinks.

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  16. I'm voting for using these as centerpieces or doll quilts and buy some that you won't worry about staining. :-) It's gorgeous and I can't wait to see the finished kitchen! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. Use them!! They're beautiful & will make you smile everyday :) x

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  18. I would use them. After all they were made to be enjoyed, and what better a time than now with your brand new kitchen. You can always make some more later on if they need replacing.

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  19. Use them! They are beautiful in every way, but if you use them you'll see and admire them every day and hey, they will wash ok. I made some dresden placemats, complete with perle cotton hand quilting, I'm using them loads - so far they've not come off too badly and the one I mad for my Little Madam is washing well!

    S x

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  20. Use them! They are beautiful, you made them to be used. Make another set when you feel like it to replace those when they are in the wash.
    I love the tiles.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  21. It's beautiful but crikey, I could never give my hubbie or little boy something so beautiful to eat from. I've just watched my hubbie place a coffee spoon on our plain placemats. Now heading for the wash basket as there are 3 coffee stains! Your kitchen is looking lovely. Those tiles are gorgeous. Fiona

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  22. I wouldn't dare put those on our table! They are so pretty! Ada :)

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  23. What a beautiful colour your tiles are! Looking forward to the final reveal of your kitchen (I hope you are doing one as I'm sure we'd all love to see it!!). I would use the mats, maybe not for meals that may cause stains but like it has been said before there is always the washing machine and what a waste it would be to not use them!! I know what you mean about the demon tomato sauces, I had my lovely oilcloth a week and one meal of spag bol and the thing is stained!! But that is why we have oilcloth, to make mess and keep what's underneath clean?!! How about making a patchwork oilcloth mat???!
    Ali
    :)

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  24. They are very pretty - but i guess it depends on whether or not they would stand up to the rigors of hot washing?

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  25. Well being someone who is a magnet for anything messy in the food department, I am with Mr Hen here. They make lovely dolly quilts though!

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  26. My 90 year old Mum suggests a sheet of thin plastic to cover each that is to be used by or near any male member of the household. Clearly she has forgotten who was the major sauce-dropper of our household in the 1960s.... ME!
    They are beautiful, Hen. You've done it again.

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  27. Your mats are so pretty you will have use them, perhaps you could use something else for "messy" meals.
    Thea x

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  28. Oh gosh - life is tooo short. Use them!! They are pretty and practical and yes, they may get stained but then these things do with time anyway. Enjoy them and take pleasure in setting your table with them!! Why save something of such beauty for best - they'll be wasted sitting in a drawer. You are so very talented. I have to say I LOVE the tiles in your new kitchen. Yum!! J9 x

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  29. NOOOOOOOO!
    they are way too beautiful to use, just put them out for show and then when you do actually need a placemat whip out one of those wipeable thingys!
    : )

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  30. NO No Use them then if they get too washed and warn to be used in the future you'll have the perfect excuse to make some more!!!!
    L

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  31. THOSE TILES are ridiculously beautiful!!!! I'm looking forewards to seeing your completed room :)
    What beautiful place mats too, far too beautiful to use! x

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  32. Hi we are at the stage with our kitchen where hubby is adding the finishing touches like shelving a gap but matching the frame of the unit next to it. The biggest problem fro me is painting the walls - I cannot choose a colour - so there will be more match pots this Saturday! and then there are tiles for behind the cooker - I am terrible at making a decision!

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  33. Looking forward to seeing the whole kitchen! The placemats are both useful and beautiful... OF COURSE you must use them! Jo x

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  34. Oh, how sad not to use them! We use ours at the weekends. People love to see them in action, and they make the table look happy. Make more, they are just beautiful!

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