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Of Dishes and Peace

August 12, 2011
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When Lily moved last weekend, she took my favorite knitting buddy, her KitchenAid mixer, the mixing bowls (I mixed muffins the other night in a salad bowl), and the dish drain.  (I kept the stockpot, the ice cream maker, and most of the silverware, though, so I think we’re even.)  With a sink full of dishes to wash, I dropped by Bed, Bath, and Beyond to see about replacing the dish drain, and oh, goodness.  Let’s just say a new one isn’t in the budget.  I was a little stressed about this until my mom pointed out that she’d never used a dish drain at all, much less a fancy-pants $60 model.  I felt a little sheepish.

While I’d like to replace the dish drain at some point, we’ll get along fine without it for now.  I’ve been drying the dishes on a couple of tea towels laid on the counter, but our supply of towels is small, and a thicker material would be better suited to the job.

Several months ago, Amanda at Soulemama posted pictures of her new dish drying mat, which I thought might be just the thing for my own kitchen.  I went fabric stash diving, and came up with a thrifted white flannel sheet, a vintage Vera Wang tablecloth from a church rummage sale, and a whole pile of hideous things I can’t believe I ever brought home, even if they were only $2 for a full grocery bag.  The hideous things were banished to the Goodwill pile, and the two pretty bits went under the knife.  Er — rotary cutter.

Cutting into that beautiful tablecloth was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done.  But it’s quite badly stained, cost $3, and I will never, ever use it on any of my tables.  The stains really won’t matter on a dish drying mat, so I saved some of the nicer bits for a less utilitarian project.

I measured the countertop where the dish drain usually lives (17″x22″, if you’re curious), cut fabric pieces of appropriate size, and stitched them together – one piece of flannel and one of tablecloth, right sides together.  I turned the piece inside out, pressed it with the iron, and topstitched around the edges.  (And then I did it all again, so I can have two.  I like to limit how often I do laundry, after all.)  It now sits, in its lovely, colorful, cheerful glory, next to the sink, covered in dishes.

I think this pretty little mat will do the trick nicely, until (and even after) we replace the dish drain.  More than just filling a need in my kitchen, though, this project was just what I needed this week.  It’s been a busy, anxious few days, and I needed to make something – something pretty, something useful, start to finish.  I cut out the pieces before bed on Wednesday, stitched the first mat before work on Thursday, and finished the second Thursday night.  Start to finish.  Done.  Accomplished.  There’s an awful lot of peace in that.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane Farr permalink
    August 12, 2011 9:16 am

    And now, to sit on top of that pretty thing, and only $7.65 at Ace Hardware: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=dish+drain&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16387077210770278240&sa=X&ei=D1FFTrWRF-rjiALLzoz0AQ&ved=0CH8Q8wIwAg

  2. Ashley permalink*
    August 15, 2011 6:40 am

    Ah, yes. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a teeny bit overpriced, yes?

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