Last week I told you I had a self-diagnosed case of Winter/1st trimester blues and I also told you I had self-prescribed the latest medication called the Blues-Buster (scientific name: createsomethingeveryweekuntilspringticus)
Last week was my first project and started out SIMPLE, but tackled a to-do that has been on my list since last summer. (Why does it seem the easier the project the more procrastinating?)
A BREAD CLOTH
I am a bread maker. As you probably know, I am going to amp up that title pretty good in the next few months so now is as good a time as any to get this project off my to-do list.
I have this GIGUNDO bowl with about an 18 inch diameter. I bought it for a large bread recipe and wondered what I would EVER use the thing for besides that. Turns out~ SO MUCH. That bowl is such an asset now and is used weekly. For harvesting. For canning. For rinsing. For kneading (without making a sticky flour mess on the counter!). For huge vats of popcorn. Pizza night. I use the thing all the time.
Only problem is: when rising, a dishtowel doesn't cut it (it isn't wide enough to cover the whole thing) and plastic wrap seems like such a waste. I noticed the problem especially, this past summer when I would plunk my dough out in the sunshine to rise and cover it with plastic wrap so no bugs would get any clever ideas. I thought then, how nice it would be to have a rising cloth that actually fit!
It occurred to me, too, how handy it would be to make sure said rising cloth was properly weighted so a bit of wind wouldn't set it sailing.
Thus, the weighted rising cloth was born. If you know how to straight-stitch you can do this. In fact, I feel sorta bad making this a tutorial at all, since it is such an elementary project but I have seen tutes for cloth napkins (that people actually appreciated) so-I guess I can do this.
Here goes nothin'.....
Step 1: Measure your bowl. Add 2 inches to that measurement. 1 inch for overhang and 1 inch for your seam allowances ( 1/2 inch seam allowance each end) and cut your fabric. My gigundo bowl was 18 inches across so I cut the fabric 20 inches, squared. If you have a gigundo bowl, feel free to do the same.
Step 2: Fold 1/2 inch down on one side and Iron to crease. Open it up then fold the raw edge down flush against the crease. Iron again. Then tuck THAT over, encasing the raw edge. Your initial crease (the 1/2 in. seam allowance) will now be on top and the hem will be 1/4 in. Pin in place.
Step 3: Miter corners. I don't know how everyone else does it. This is how I do it and it works for me...but if you have a better way~by all means. Ignore me! Mattie does all the time!
Step 4: Continue around all four sides and stitch into place.
Step 5: Find a weight: washers, nuts, and quarters all work well. I used quarters because, if ever I am in a pinch, I will know where that last buck is.... ;-) Trace a simple circle (or in this case a heart) allowing a bit of extra space for stitching. I used felt to avoid all that applique mumbo-jumbo. You can too. Or not. Whatever.
Step 6: Place it in all four corners and stitch it on. (Be sure to use a hide-able thread since your stitching will show up on front.) You can stitch the whole thing closed (with weight already inside) or leave a space on top to make weight removeable.
And that's it!
A fabulous rising cloth! My bread won't be rising outside anytime soon-15 degree weather isn't really conducive to rising-but I have a nice woodstove that does the job really well in the meantime. And now a rising cloth to be sure so specks of soot float too close!
The end result of above baking? Three loaves of egg bread, deliciously golden. Yum-o. It's official...a rising cloth IS worthwhile.