If you haven't figured it out by now, Pi Day is an official holiday in our house!
Before being a stay-at-home mom, I was a middle school math teacher. (Yes, "nailing Jell-O to a wall" is exactly what it's like. And I loved it!) Also, our last name is Piland. (Pronounced Pie-land.) So combine these, and the tradition of celebrating Pi Day was born! (In case you're lost, the mathematical term "pi" stands for the approximate number 3.14. So Pi Day - a made-up holiday celebrating all things related to pi - is March 14th.)
Now that we have two kiddos (ages 2 and almost 4), we like to celebrate in ways that involve them, too. We usually make cardboard box airplanes and "fly" around the room like pi-lots. Then we set sail as pi-rates and play in the tub for a bit. We eat lots of round foods and do circle art, too. And of course, no Pi Day celebration is complete without pie!
This year I decided to combine our Pi Day celebration with the final Project Quilting challenge. (You can see what I did for the other five challenges here: Challenge 1, Challenge 2, Challenge 3, Challenge 4, Challenge 5.) After this week, the Project Quilting season will be over until 2018!
The theme for this week's Project Quilting challenge is "Time Is Up!" With Pi Day being this week, I immediately thought, "It's Time for Pi!" I wanted to do something round, which led to a circular pie themed hot pad. (Note: This post is fairly lengthy. I show quite a bit of how to make the hot pad in case you want to make your own!)
I dug through my stash to find a tan color for the crust and a rich blue tonal fabric for the pie (let's say this one is blueberry). I also got out some Insul-Brite batting.
I cut two 12" squares from the Insul-Brite and a 12" square from both the blue and tan fabrics. I also cut 10 - 1 1/2" x 12" strips (straight of grain) and bias binding from the tan.
Using my imaginary bias tape maker (I keep doing projects that need this! I really need to get one ordered!), I ironed the 1 1/2" strips into 3/4" "bias" strips. I just folded the raw edges to the center and ironed in place. I used my fingers to pinch the strip as I ironed to get it close to the center. My strips weren't perfect. I figured I was going for a homemade pie look, not a store-bought one!
Next I made a quilt sandwich with the backing, two layers of Insul-Brite, and the top. I like to use two layers when making a hot pad to give extra protection to my table.
Now for the fun part! I wove the tan strips to mimic a lattice pie crust! I used the lines on my cutting mat to make sure the strips were straight and evenly spaced.
Once woven, I pinned each strip in place.
Using the walking foot on my Juki TL2010-Q and coordinating Aurifil thread, I stitched each strip down along the very edge. This quilted the piece at the same time!
I stitched on the bias binding, still using the walking foot.
Then, like all my bindings, I pressed it from the front, then flipped it over and pressed it again on the back.
To finish, I made a quick lap in the ditch from the front.
Just like homemade pie, the crust isn't perfect. As my husband says when I make a pie, "It's okay if you need to practice some more!" I won't argue with more sewing - or more pie!
This blue hot pad matches both of my Pi Day pie plates quite well. I think I need to make a red one though!
"It's Time for Pi!" is roughly 11" in diameter - the perfect size for cooling my peach pie when it comes out of the oven!
How do you celebrate Pi Day?