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Tea cozies, etc

 
master gardener
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In my email, today, the Piecework magazine newsletter addressed the fairly anticlimactic 'legend of the tea cozy'. Meh. I'm not biased, though, and am just as happy to pop one over a coffee carafe. But, over all (heh), it brought my mind back to all the things that could benefit from some sort of 'cozy' or cover. Things like kitchen appliances that might sit unused more than a day or two - just long enough to collect dust, cooking oils, or moisture from the air, causing a need to wipe them down again, before they can be used. I've long wanted them for my mixer & blender. They stay on the counter, because they're used quite often, but sometimes do sit untouched for a week - then, no matter how efficiently I cleaned them, after using them last, they've accumulated just enough grunge that it seems gross to not wipe them down again, before using them. Frankly, I'm tired of washing twice for each use! I'm too lazy busy for that nonsense! I began throwing a dish towel over them. But, that just looks ridiculous - like I'm using my appliances as towel drying racks, or something. Ok, so maybe that's where my idea of using a dish towel started, but, c'mon.

So, I thought to sew some up, because I'm too cheap to buy them Um.. I'm too lazy to shop for them. I mean, I've got a ton of fabric options, and winter is coming, so I'll be stuck inside anyway, and I've only got a list of fortygazillion other things awaiting nasty weather that forces me into the house for stupid lengths of time. So, what's a few added little cozies, right? My search for patterns began and ended in less than an hour, because they all look like something even my great, great, great grandmas would have rolled their eyes at. So, I've decided to just design my own, and customize them to all. The. Things. (Nope - not interested in looking at any more patterns, but thanks for the thought) I'm seriously thinking of adding elastic or drawstrings to the bottoms, to snug them up around the items I want to cover, including my kitchen appliances and primary sewing machine(since it's not on a table that can close up to keep the dust off), but not the antiques, because I like seeing them. My design will most likely end up very simple, with very little embellishment, because unless I truly adore it, I'll get sick of it. And while it seems like a ridiculous thing to worry much about, I do want them to be neat, tidy, and pleasant to see, because I'll be seeing them a LOT, and I don't want to be embarrassed by them (as I sometimes am now, by the occasionally grimy looking appliances), when others come to visit.

Here are my questions, and I'm really hoping for input, to help me decide my design elements:
Do you use cozies/ covers for any of your stuff?
If you do, what do you use them on, and what made you decide to do it?
Did you make or buy them, or were they gifted to you?
Do you love or hate them? And why?
What fabric(s) are they made of?
Do yours have some means of securing them, at the bottom? If so, what, and do you like that feature?
Is there anything you'd change about the ones you have; what, why, and how?
 
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I made covers for all my appliances out of towels with the same design.  

When I was into a mushroom design for the kitchen, I had mushroom potholders and I found towels with mushrooms.

Depending on the size of the appliance, though all I had to do was fold the towel wrong side out and stitch the sides together.  It made a perfect appliance "cozy".

Every so often all I had to do was throw them in the washer and they were good as new!
 
master gardener
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To answer your questions:

No, I don't use cozies.  Um, the end?

LOL but for real what came to mind as I read your post was to try to standardize as much as possible.  Like, same height, same shape (rectangle, cylinder, etc) in coordinating colors.  That way you can chuck them in the wash and swap them out.  You'd also have the benefit of assembly-line construction.  The disadvantage is they wouldn't be fitted and you'd have to design to the tallest appliance.  Or maybe have a couple sizes.
 
pollinator
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Do you use cozies/ covers for any of your stuff?
If you do, what do you use them on, and what made you decide to do it?
Did you make or buy them, or were they gifted to you?
Do you love or hate them? And why?
What fabric(s) are they made of?
Do yours have some means of securing them, at the bottom? If so, what, and do you like that feature?
Is there anything you'd change about the ones you have; what, why, and how?



Basically no. all my appliances go into cupboards when they are not in use. nothing sits on the side. And we don't own a tea pot. the only thing that has a cover is the sowing machine, and it has one in some form of plastic coated fabric. I did once have a kenwood mixer that had a cover, it was also some form of plastic coated fabric that you could wipe clean. neither of the covers "do up" at the bottom they are both fitted to their respective machines.
 
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I have sewn such things in the past when I had spare time (which is currently in rather short supply!) I made the patterns myself to fit the specific appliance I wanted to cover. I made them washable. Other than to keep things clean, my goal was to make things less cluttered/busy, so in general I was looking for plain fabric which toned in as opposed to fancy quilted patterns or anything loud or busy.

I wish I could get my kitchen organized enough that more things were in cupboards, but I did not design this kitchen - it looks great when you walk in, but in fact many of the cupboards are too narrow and too deep to use effectively, and I lack an actual organizable pantry to hold canning jars and the like.
 
Carla Burke
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This is exactly what I'm thinking, Jay. Our kitchen is actually pretty big, with a fair amount of counter space(John and I can mostly both work in the kitchen, on different projects without running into each other), and what *looks* like loads of cupboard and pantry space, lol. The previous owner/builder definitely cooked. But, there are 2 of us, and we both tend to glom onto gadgets. John is a retired chef, whose passion for cooking didn't stop simply because he stopped cooking for pay, and I'm a former baker, with a similar post retirement passion, plus I'm a soap maker and an herbalist. The cupboards are full of equipment, and almost all of it is used often, and I can only think of one thing that we don't use, at all. The blender and stand mixer are the two things I use most, and there truly just isn't space in the cabinets for them. The thing he uses most is the sous vide. Not one of these would fir into the space vacated, if we got rid of that one appliance, lol.

I'm planning on adding shelves into the pantry we use for actual food, but the one that holds the mixing bowels, often used appliances, vinegars, other liquids, and oils, is equipped with roll out shelves, and it's perfect for us, as far as space utilization.

Honestly, I hate having ANYTHING left out on the counters, and I'm constantly battling (what I see as) the clutter, but it is what it is, and there's almost always something cooking, resting, fermenting, or soaking! Our kitchen is an incredibly busy place, even when we are able to walk out of it - it's still got stuff going on. For example, John made cheese and yogurt, the other day, so yesterday, I started reducing the whey - that's still going; the dehydrator has been on pretty much 24/7 duty, for weeks; we currently have 2 or 3 items fermenting, and at least 6 things infusing on the counters; I think John started something in the sous vide, this morning, for tonight's dinner; and yesterday, he started breaking down the hog we bought, into freezable portions, and got the bacon curing...

So, yup - even though I'm finishing my coffee and taking care of emails & modding on a couple sites, and John is outside on the tractor, repairing the damage the rain did to the driveway, our kitchen is still going strong, and we will both be back in there, working on more projects, throughout the day. Simple is an absolute necessity. Washable is an absolute necessity. Simple, streamlined, quick, easy construction is an absolute necessity. That's why much thought and planning is going into something that seems like it *should* be a breeze.
 
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To answer first question: No, I don't have covers or 'cozies' for kitchen appliances. I do my best to keep my counter top as empty as possible. Only dirty things stand there, before washing up. As soon as something is clean, it goes in a cupboard. There it stays clean, is my experience.
My reason to put everything (if possible) out of sight is: my kitchen is small. When the counter top is empty it looks like there is more space.

I do like cozies or 'coozies'.
In my opinion they are meant for keeping warm. A tea cozy goes around the hot pot of tea, to keep the tea as hot as possible for some time. So you can have your second cup of tea later and the temperature is still nice. It's like a thermos. I have plans to make an old fashioned tea cozy in patchwork, with wool filling. And I want to make a bigger version of it to make my 'hay box' (look and work) better.
But a 'coozy' is for keeping a drink cold, like a drink in a can or bottle from the fridge on a hot summer day. I made one out of felted wool and one in the nålbinding technique (of sock yarn).
 
Carla Burke
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I'm aware, lol. That's why I didn't mention 'coozies'. The cozy/cover monikers were both used, because while I agree with your definitions a - I am including the likelihood of matching cozies (not coozies) for my coffee pot, tea pot, and hot water kettles, and b - there are those who regionally interchangeably use cozy and cover for both items.

 
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Hmmm, being the lazy (oh, sorry, that would be "effort minimization master") person I know myself to be as much as I love the idea, it would likely not happen.

BUT, if perchance several appliances are clustered together, could a "curtain" instead be used. Attached to the underside of the cabinet via track or velcro...it would be very simple, and serve the same purpose.

When I designed my kitchen we put in a corner "pantry".  My plan was to have slide out shelves that would house appliances like the coffee maker, toaster oven, and other such appliances - but to my chagrin, everyone thought I was nuts, so it did not happen.
 
Carla Burke
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Hmmm, being the lazy (oh, sorry, that would be "effort minimization master") person I know myself to be as much as I love the idea, it would likely not happen.

BUT, if perchance several appliances are clustered together, could a "curtain" instead be used. Attached to the underside of the cabinet via track or velcro...it would be very simple, and serve the same purpose.

When I designed my kitchen we put in a corner "pantry".  My plan was to have slide out shelves that would house appliances like the coffee maker, toaster oven, and other such appliances - but to my chagrin, everyone thought I was nuts, so it did not happen.



I KNEW there had to be a more appropriate title for me! And, THAT just might be the easiest solution! Thank you! I think I'm going to do this!! Even if I later decide it's not working like I'd hoped, the fabric can still be used to make 'proper' individual covers. Actually that pantry where we keep the majority of the appliances, Oils, vinegars, etc has exactly the kind of drawer-pull shelves you described, and we LOVE them! The only downside is the ones we have aren't the best quality, and the bottom one has fallen apart. But, I think I can fix it, and just use better wood.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Carla: I am also a "cost minimization master"! Likely due to my Scottish heritage of frugality!
 
Carla Burke
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Carla: I am also a "cost minimization master"! Likely due to my Scottish heritage of frugality!


Mine is primarily Scot & Irish, too, lol
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Carla: I am also a "cost minimization master"! Likely due to my Scottish heritage of frugality!


We, people from the Netherlands ('Dutch') are known too for our frugality / cost minimization.
 
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