Handmade Christmas Table Napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins are lovely to use and they also make great gifts.  I’ve made these ones using 22″ squares of white linen and a star embroidery stitch from my domestic sewing machine.  You could make them using a different stitch for any time of year.  I also have some red linen and I think that I might try them with a white star embroidery round the edges.

Handmade Christmas table napkins – size

For the first napkins that I made I used 18″ squares of fabric but I’ve used 22″ squares this time and I think that I prefer these – a good lap sized napkin!




Clip the corners

Clip the corners

Basic preparation

First step is to clip the corners to reduce bulk.  Try to clip the same amount from each corner.  I use my ruler and cutting mat so that I can check that I’m taking off the same length from each side of the corner.  I’ve clipped a good 1/2″ from each side of the corner.

Pin the straight edges first

Pin the straight edges first

Next begin pinning the edges.   I begin by turning under a double hem on all the straight edges of the square.  I find it easier to turn under the corners when the edges either side are already pinned, but that’s just personal preference.

Fold across the corner

Fold across the corner

Making mitred corners

This is the step that I think makes handmade Christmas table napkins look more professional.  Fold down the clipped edge of the corner – about 1/2″.

Turn under the hem on one side

Turn under the hem on one side

Now continue the double hem from one of the edges, turning one side of the corner under twice.

Pin quickly!

Pin the other side

Pin the other side

Repeat with the hem on the other side of the corner.  You are aiming for a neat join of the two edges forming a diagonal line down the corner.

This may not go quite right the first time – well it doesn’t for me anyway.  It’s worth taking the time to do it a couple of times if necessary.

Embroider the edge

Embroider the edge

Add the embroidery

Now you can add the embroidery.  As these are handmade Christmas table napkins I have chosen the star stitch on my machine.  Obviously you could choose whatever stitch suited you.  You need to use the same thread in the bobbin as on the spool so that the stars will look the same on both sides of the napkin.  I always work on the wrong side both because that’s where the pins are and also it’s more easy to check that you’re catching the hem in your embroidery.

That’s really all there is to it – a lovely simple project either for your own Christmas table or to make as a gift.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Cross Table Runner Pattern

Christmas Cross table runner

Christmas Cross table runner

The Christmas Cross table runner is very simple to make and I think it’s really beautiful – but I would say that, wouldn’t I!  I’ve used three blocks which are 16″ square finished size and added a red frame to it.

The table runner measures 18″ by 56″ and it takes 1/2 yard each of red, green and gold.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas cross table runner

4.7/8″ squares:  six red, six green

2.7/8″ squares:  twelve green, twelve gold

4.1/2″ squares:  six gold

12.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  three gold

2.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve green

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  twelve green

18.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  two red

1.1/2″ by 48.1/2″ strips:  two red

You will also need rectangles about 20″ by 60″ in both backing fabric and wadding.  Oh yes – about 170″ of binding as well.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

You need to make half square triangles with both the 4.7/8″ and 2.7/8″ squares.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangles which are either 4.1/2″ or 2.1/2″ square.

Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Christmas cross table runner block layout

Christmas cross table runner block layout

Make the Christmas cross quilt block

As this is a simple block, I have shown the full layout rather than showing it in stages.  Place a 12.1/2″ gold rectangle in the middle with a gold square above and below it.  In each corner of this central section place a red/green half square triangle with the red on the outside.

Make the outer frame with green rectangles and green/gold half square triangles.  The top and bottom rows are made with 6.1/2″ green rectangles on either side and a pair of green/gold half square triangles in the middle.

For the sides lay down two 4.1/2″ green rectangles with a pair of green/gold half square triangles between them.

Sew the patchwork pieces across the row for all the rows except the middle one.  For this one you need to sew the two half square triangles at the ends together first and then sew the pieces across the row.

The block measures 16.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make three of them.

Add red to the sides

Add red to the sides

Assemble the Christmas cross table runner

Sew the blocks together in one column.  Sew a 1.1/2″ red strip to each side of the column.

Mark a curve on the corners

Mark a curve on the corners

For the ends of the table runner I chose to round the edges but you might prefer  just to leave them square.

Fold the red rectangles in half along the length so that all the corners lie together.  That way you make sure that you have the same curve on each corner.  Mark a small curve across the corner – I used a plate – and cut along the curve.

Sew rectangles to the ends

Sew rectangles to the ends

Sew one rectangle to each end of the table runner, with the curved edges at the ends.

That completes the Christmas cross table runner.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  This is done in the same way as for a quilt.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

I should add here that as there are curves on the corners I should recommend that you use binding cut on the bias but these are such small curves that when I bind it I will just use normal straight binding.

Here’s the video:

Trip to London

Wellington statue

Wellington statue

Last week my daughter managed to get hold of tickets for Live at the Apollo in London.  We had a wonderful evening and the next morning I took a walk around the Buckingham Palace area before catching my train back to Birmingham.  So much splendour!

The buildings are wonderful and I was particularly struck by how much parkland and greenery exists even in the middle of London.  Look at all those trees around the statue of the Duke of Wellington.

Wellington archway

Wellington archway

It was a sunny day and I couldn’t see the screen of my camera very easily so the photos of Buckingham Palace either show too much sky or too much pavement – but then I’m sure you’ve seen many images of Buckingham Palace already.

The English Heritage photo of the Wellington archway shows more detail than mine does – and it gives you the history as well.  Apparently it was built in the early 19th century and then moved towards the end of the century.  The archway is very imposing and again you can see the trees very close to it.

Christmas Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Christmas Star quilt

Christmas Star quilt

The Christmas Star quilt is bright and cheerful and will definitely put you in the festive mood!  It’s small enough to be relatively quick to make but large enough to be useful as a throw, lap quilt or even on the festive table.

I’ve used 1.1/4 yards each of white and red, 1/2 yard each of batik green and metallic green with 1/4 yard of brown fabric.  The quilt measures 46″ square, using nine 12″ squares finished size with a Christmas tree border.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount by clicking on Christmas Star quilt kit.




Completed Christmas star quilt block

Completed Christmas star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas Star quilt

4.1/2″ squares:  nine white, four metallic green

4.7/8″ squares:  eighteen each in red and batik green, eighteen each in red and white

2.7/8″ squares:  thirty six each in metallic green and white

1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white and two brown, eight red

2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four white

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a red square eight sides together with either a green or a white square and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This gives you two half square triangles which are now 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Christmas star quilt block layout

Christmas star quilt block layout

Make the Christmas star quilt block

Lay the squares out in three rows of three.  Place a 4.1/2″ white square in the middle with a red/white half square triangle on each edge of the central square.  Lay a red/green half square triangle in each corner with the green on the outside, forming the corner of the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  This measures 12.1/2″ square at the moment and you need to make nine of these.

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.

Make the base of the tree

Make the base of the tree

Make the Christmas tree border

For this border I have changed to a different green – this one has a gold sheen to it, more like a decorated tree I thought.

For the trunk of the tree you need a brown square with a white strip on either side of it.  The simplest way to make this is by strip piecing.  Sew together a 1.1/2″ brown strip with a 2″ white strip on either side of it.  Cut this panel at 1.1/2″ intervals.  This creates rectangles 1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ for the base of the tree.

Christmas tree layout

Christmas tree layout

Make half square triangles with the 2.7/8″ white and metallic green squares.

Place two half square triangles side by side with the green triangles forming a larger green triangle.  Lay the rectangle for the trunk beneath them.

Sew the half square triangles together and then sew them to the rectangle.  This creates a rectangle 4.1/2″ wide by 3.1/2″ high.  I was going to add a 1.1/2″ red strip across the top at this stage but then I realised that it would be far quicker to add a red strip after the tree blocks have been sewn together.

Sew the trees in strips of nine

Sew the trees in strips of nine

You need to make thirty six of the tree blocks and sew them together in four rows of nine trees each.

Add the first border

Add the first border

Complete the first border

Cut four 1.1/2″ red strips 36.1/2″ long and sew one to the top of each strip of trees.  Much easier doing it this way, isn’t it!

Sew one strip to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.  Remember to place them so that the tree trunk is nearest the quilt.

Add the side borders

Add the side borders

Sew a 4.1/2″ metallic green square to each end of the two remaining strips of trees.  Sew one strip to each side of the quilt.

Add the final border

Add the final border

The final border

As a final border I have used more 1.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 44.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas Star quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Osborne House

Osborne House

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful few days in the Isle of Wight.  If you live outside the UK, this is an island off the south coast of England.  I took loads of photos and had great fun deciding which ones to show you.

Formal gardens

Formal gardens

In the end I decided that you would be most interested in Osborne House.  It was built for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th century and apparently they spent a lot of time there.  I can certainly see why!

Osborne House interior

Osborne House interior

The gardens and parkland were gorgeous – and the interior was exquisite.  Some of the rooms were completely breathtaking.  Funnily enough, they didn’t feel formal – I felt that I could imagine Victoria there with her children and grand children running round the place.

Christmas Wreath Quilt Pattern

Christmas wreath quilt

Christmas wreath quilt

I’ve made the Christmas Wreath quilt with four 21″ blocks of my own design – and obviously I have used Christmas fabrics. I’m a bit late starting on all my Christmas projects, but I felt that this design would be suitable for a throw, wall hanging or tablecloth, so it’s quite a versatile start to my Christmas sewing.

If you live in America, I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday.

The quilt measures 50″ square and I have used 1.1/4 yards each of dark green and red, 3/4 yard of gold and 1/4 yard each of white and light green.  You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.




Christmas wreath quilt block

Christmas wreath quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Christmas wreath quilt

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in dark green and white, twenty four each in red and gold, eight each in red and light green

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty two dark green, sixteen red, forty eight gold

For the borders you will need to cut five 2.1/2″ strips in both red and dark green, cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Making the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.

Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will make two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Central area of block

Central area of block

Making the Christmas wreath quilt block

As it’s quite a large block (classified as a seven patch), I’m showing the layout in stages.  The central area of the block is a simple nine patch.  There’s a red square in the middle with a dark green square on each edge of the central square.  In the corners are four red/light green half square triangles, all placed so that the red is on the outside, forming the corners of this section.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Use red/gold half square triangles to form the corners of the next frame.  Again these are placed with the red on the outside to form the corners.  Between each pair of corners place three gold squares.

Add the corners of the final frame

Add the corners of the final frame

In the final frame of the block make the corners with one dark green square and two green/white half square triangles.  As you can see, the half square triangles are placed so that the two green triangles with the green square form a large triangle across each corner.

Christmas wreath quilt block full layout

Christmas wreath quilt block full layout

Place one red square and two red/gold half square triangles in the spaces between the corner triangles.  The red square is in the middle of each edge of the quilt block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  Make four of these.

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

Add the borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.

Make the second border with 2.1/2″ strips of dark green fabric – two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Christmas wreath quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

View from Gas Street

View from Gas Street

I’ve always known that there are many parts of Birmingham that I haven’t explored yet, but it was a very welcome surprise when a friend took me to an area right in the city centre which I hadn’t known existed.  It’s beside the canal and is called Gas Street because it was the first street in Birmingham to get gas lighting – obviously a very long time ago!

It’s a beautiful, very vibrant area with a cinema and loads of restaurants.

Part view of the Cube

Part view of the Cube

One of the buildings is called the Cube.  That had always rather thrown me – most buildings are cubes, aren’t they?  But it is a very unusual and attractive design.

View down to the basement

View down to the basement

What I hadn’t expected was that the inside of the building is hollow, so that you can see up and down to all the other floors.  What a gorgeous design for a quilt that is on the basement floor!




Nordic Stocking Advent Calendar

Nordic stocking advent calendar and bunting

Nordic stocking advent calendar and bunting

The Nordic stocking advent calendar is a collection of 24 delightful stockings with a modern design on them.  You could just applique them to a background fabric, but I have chosen to make a traditional advent calendar with the red stockings and a string of bunting with the grey stockings.  You can buy all these fabrics here.

Cutting requirements

One panel of stockings for each project together with about 1 yard of fabric for backing the stockings

To make the bunting you will need  two 2″ strips of fabric cut across the width for the tape.

For the advent calendar you will need a 29.1/2″ square each of wadding and backing fabric, together with a 27″ square of background fabric and 1.1/2″ strips of red fabric for the border:  two at 27″ and two at 29″.  The hanging sleeve is made with a rectangle 3.1/2″ by 26″ of fabric.




Preparing the stockings

Cut the individual stockings out

Cut the individual stockings out

First you need to cut carefully round each stocking shape.  There is a grey seam allowance included on each stocking.  Cut carefully around this.  Place a stocking on the backing fabric and cut twenty four background stocking shapes which are longer at the top than the original stocking.

Clip the seam allowance at the curves

Clip the seam allowance at the curves

Turn the seam allowance at the top of the stocking towards the wrong side and sew in place.  With right sides together, sew each stocking to one of backing fabric, following the stitching line on the stockings.

Trim the seam allowances and clip all the curves through the seam allowance, taking care not to cut the seam itself.

Turn the stockings right side out, gently pushing out the curves and press.

Making the Christmas bunting

Fold the fabric to make tape

Fold the fabric to make tape

Cut a 2″ strip of the fabric to be used for the tape.  I should probably have used a length of fabric cut on the bias, but I have to confess that I just used a straight strip here.

Press the strip in half along its length, giving you a 1″ double strip.  Then fold each raw edge in towards the fold so that you have a 1/2″ strip, four layers of fabric, and all the raw edges tucked away.

Slip the stocking into the tape

Slip the stocking into the tape

Trim the background fabric above the stocking to 1/4″ and slip this background fabric between the layers of the tape.  You want the front of the stocking to be just below the tape so that the stocking can be opened.  Sew the tape across the top of the stocking, then slip the next one between the folds and sew that in place.  I have just put six stockings each to four lengths of tape rather than making one long length of bunting, but you might prefer to make one length with all 24 stockings on it.

Make the background panel

Make the background panel

Preparing the Nordic stocking advent calendar

For the background of this calendar I cut a 27″ square of blue Christmas fabric and sewed a 1.1/2″ strip of red fabric to the edges to frame it.

Layer the advent calendar

Layer the advent calendar

Then I layered it:  a 29.1/2″ square of wadding followed by the same sized square of backing fabric with right side up and then the background panel with right side down.  Sew all round the edges of three and a half sides, leaving a gap to enable you to turn the whole thing right side out.  Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners and turn the calendar right side out.  Slipstitch across the gap.

Assembling the Nordic stocking advent calendar

Arrange the stockings

Arrange the stockings

Prepare the stockings as above.  Trim the backing above the stockings to about 1/2″ and turn this down inside the stocking so that the front and the back of the stockings are at the same level.

Pin them in place on the background fabric.  I would recommend pinning them all in place so that you can check the placement and not run out of space at the end.  I have chosen to use straight rows and to place the stockings in numerical order, but obviously you might prefer a random placement.

Star embroidery looks better on the back

Star embroidery looks better on the back

In order to sew the stockings in place, I was going to use a straight stitch but then decided to use a star embroidery stitch as I thought that this would look better on the back of the calendar – it fits in better with the backing fabric.  It’s a bit fiddly just sewing the backing fabric of the stockings in order to allow the stockings to be opened and filled, but I felt that the result was well worth the effort.

Add a hanging sleeve

Add a hanging sleeve

The reason that I left sewing the stockings on till the last step (rather than sewing them to the panel before I sewed the layers together) was so that the embroidery stitches could form the quilting, holding the three layers together.

Finally I sewed a hanging sleeve on the back of the Nordic stocking advent calendar.  You can get more ideas for hanging wall hangings here.

I hope that this has given you some ideas for your Christmas sewing.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Sweet Bag – Homemade

 

Christmas sweet bag

Christmas sweet bag

The Christmas sweet bag is I think the first time that I have managed to produce a festive project in July, in keeping with the Christmas in July trend which gives crafters plenty of time to make things for Christmas.  This is a very simple and easy to make bag, so that may be why I managed it now!  It would be great for either sweets or small trinkets and measures about 6″ square and a couple of inches high.

Cutting requirements for the Christmas sweet bag

10″ squares:  one each in green and red

cord:  about 40″of matching cord or ribbon

Place squares right sides together

Place squares right sides together

Making the Christmas sweet bag

Place the two squares with right sides together and sew around three and a half edges.  Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out through the gap in the stitching.

Close the gap with a small seam

Close the gap with a small seam

Turn under a small hem on the unsewn part of the seam and press in place.  Top stitch all round the edge to hold the seam in place.

Lay the square out so that the side that you wish to be the outside is on top – in my case that’s the red.

Turn a corner in towards the middle

Turn a corner in towards the middle

Lay the cord across a corner and fold the corner in towards the middle.  If you measure both sides of the folded section at 2.1/2″ then you’ll be sure that the turned in triangle is even.

Obviously in normal times the cord would have matched the fabrics, but most of my stuff is packed away ready for the move and all I could find was this pink cord – which is totally inappropriate, but illustrates the technique for making the bag.

Repeat with all 4 corners

Repeat with all 4 corners

Sew across the corner just inside the cord, but making sure that you don’t catch the cord in the stitching.  Backstitch at each end of this seam.

Repeat with the other three corners.

Slowly pull the cord from 2 sides

Slowly pull the cord from 2 sides

Tie the two ends of the cord together so make sure that they don’t slip out from inside those folded corners.  Slowly begin to pull the cord from two sides to draw up the sides of the Christmas sweet bag.

Christmas sweet bag with folds outside

Christmas sweet bag with folds outside

Keep tightening the cord until you feel that the bag is as tight as you wish it to be.  In the photo at the top I have the edges of the bag (between the folds) inside the cord so that they form folds within the bag, but you can see it here where I have pushed the edges to the outside -it’s up to you which way you prefer to arrange the fabric in your Christmas sweet bag.

I haven’t sewn the red folds in place on either of these versions, but you may wish to do so in order to make the bag more secure.  It really depends what you will be putting in the bag.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Wreath Template

 

Christmas Wreath template result

Christmas Wreath template result

Christmas Wreath Template you ask??  I know that we are only a few days into spring, but the reason that I am posting this today is because I didn’t have time to try out the template before Christmas and I have just been asked about it by someone who’d like to know more about it – understandably.  You can’t tell a lot from a photo of a pack containing a template!

Fabric scraps to be used with the Christmas wreath template

Fabric scraps to be used with the Christmas wreath template

Trying out the Christmas Wreath template

I began by selecting out some Christmas fabrics and backing them all with some kind of  fusible backing.  I used mistyfuse because it’s thin enough that it doesn’t get in the way.  The reason that the fabrics are bunched together like that is because I put down a section of mistyfuse and then overlapped the fabrics on it so that there was no interfacing showing when I ironed the fabrics.  I found that I could cut most of the parts of the Christmas wreath template from scraps about 3″ by 2″.  Then I cut small circles from any leftover bits of fabric.

Shapes cut from the Christmas Wreath templates

Shapes cut from the Christmas Wreath templates

When drawing round the parts of the template, you’ll need to bear in mind that the holly leaves need to be various greens, although I did make one white leaf.

The parts of the bow are broadly red, but I used gold for the small oval shapes that go beneath the bow to look like the underside of the ribbon.  That seemed to work quite well.  You’ll need to cut the main part of the bow (bottom left in the photo) once on the top side of the fabric and once on the wrong side of the fabric in order to get the two sides of the bow.

Use a white square for the background

Use a white square for the background

For the background block for the Christmas Wreath template, I used a 9.1/2″ white square.  It might perhaps have been better to draw a circle but I just placed the pieces by eye, getting a broadly circular shape.  At this stage I was just pressing the pieces on to the background so that I could move them around as much as I wanted to.

After I had finished, I dotted any leftover circles both on the wreath and around it.  Looking back at the photos now, I’m not sure that I don’t prefer the version shown below without any added circles.

Completed Christmas wreath

Completed Christmas wreath

When you are happy with the layout, press the wreath in place.  I haven’t quilted this one yet, but you would need to sew the pieces down just in case they came away from the background.

The Christmas wreath template and the Pine tree template are intended to be sold for £5 each, but now that I have made one I feel that this is excessive so I am going to sell both the templates for just £5 for the pair – I feel that this is a more fair price, even if I am then making a loss on them.

You can buy them here.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Card Holder Pattern

Christmas card holder wall hanging

Christmas card holder wall hanging

This Christmas card holder wall hanging pattern has been made simple enough that you can run it up fairly easily for yourself or for any Christmas charity stall.  It’s probably no good as a Christmas gift because everyone will have their cards already hung by Christmas.

You can buy the complete kit including Christmas fabric, ribbon, wadding and backing fabric with a 10% discount in this week’s special offer here.

I have used the lovely Baroque Christmas fabric and used less than 1/4 yard of each of three colours.  The wall hanging measures 9″ wide by 54″ long but you can adjust the length to whatever suits your requirements.

Cutting requirements for the Christmas card holder

3.1/2″ squares:  twelve gold, eighteen green, twenty four red

ribbon: about 6 yards

backing fabric and wadding:  rectangles about 11″ wide, 56″ long

Christmas card holder layout

Christmas card holder layout

Add a top and bottom row

Add a top and bottom row

Making the Christmas card holder

I’ve used a basic two row block repeated all down the Christmas card holder.  I kept going until I had used all the squares that I had cut, but it’s probably ended up a bit longer than necessary.

Altogether I made eight sets of the two rows – sixteen individual rows altogether.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

The pattern uses more red squares than gold or green so I used up a few of these in the top and bottom rows.  I made two rows of gold, green, gold and sewed one to the top and one to the bottom of the Christmas card holder.

Layer the Christmas card holder

Layer the Christmas card holder

Trim the excess wadding and backing fabric

Trim the excess wadding and backing fabric

Press the patchwork and layer with the wadding and backing fabric:  lay the wadding down first, then the backing fabric with right side up followed by the patchwork with right side down.

Smooth gently and pin in place.

Sew around three sides using a 1/4″ seam  – two long sides and one short side.  Leaving the fourth side unsewn means that you have created a pouch and can use this to turn the fabric right side out.

 

Turn the Christmas card holder right side out

Turn the Christmas card holder right side out

Clip the corners and trim the excess wadding and backing fabric.

Pull the fabric down on itself to turn the whole thing right side out.

Make sure that you turn between the patchwork and the backing fabric so that you don’t end up with the wadding on the outside.

I have deliberately kept this project simple by making it a straightforward rectangle.  You may prefer to trim the top and bottom to make a curve or a triangle if you would like to add something more to your Christmas card holder.

Turn under a small hem across the fourth side that is unsewn and pin in place.  Topstitch across this side to close the gap and then continue top stitching the other three sides as well.  This just helps to keep the three layers in place.  For this topstitching I used my normal sewing foot rather than a walking foot and it seemed to work okay. (Saving time again!)

 

Beginn adding the ribbon

Begin adding the ribbon

Take the ribbon straight across at the bottom

Take the ribbon straight across at the bottom

Adding the ribbon

The cards are held in place by a zigzag of ribbon running all down the Christmas card holder.

Place the end of the ribbon on the top left corner of the first red square.  Turn the end of the ribbon under to avoid fraying and sew in place.  Run the ribbon across to the bottom of the second row on the other side and sew in place.  Continue adding the ribbon in a zigzag right down to the last but one row.

Form another zigzag going up the Christmas card holder

Form another zigzag going up the Christmas card holder

Take the ribbon across the card holder in a straight line, running along the seam line above the bottom row.  Then start to take the ribbon back up the card holder in a zigzag which crosses the first line of ribbon in the middle.  When you get back to the top, take the ribbon across the seam line to join up with the beginning of the ribbon, cut and sew the end in place.

Add a loop at the top

Add a loop at the top

Finally sew down the middle of the Christmas card holder to fasten the ribbon in place where the two ribbons cross.  This holds the ribbon in place when you push cards in.  I sewed a line of machine stitching for speed but would probably have been better hand sewing – the fabric bunched up a bit as I got near the bottom.

Add a loop with a small length of ribbon and that’s the Christmas card holder wall hanging complete.

Here’s the video:


Craftsy

Christmas Table Centrepiece – Pinwheel

Christmas table centrepiece

Christmas table centrepiece

My Christmas table centrepiece doesn’t change every year, but every now and again it’s good to bring out something new.  This year I have tried out the Sew Simple fusible foam batting and I am thrilled with the way it works.  It’s not cheap, but I made my Christmas table centrepiece in a fraction of the time that I had expected – plus my project lies very flat, which isn’t always the case.

Cutting requirements for the Christmas table centrepiece

9″ squares:  four red, four green

Binding:  two 2″ strips of gold fabric cut across the width of fabric

Wadding:  one 16″ circle of fusible foam batting (it came in a pack of four, so I’ve got three more to play with.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Making the Christmas table centrepiece

I’ve made this project reversible, just to show you two options that you could use.  The fabric is a range called Joy at Christmas with a lovely paisley pattern.  I cut one 9″ strip across the width of red and of green.  You can cut four 9″ squares from each strip.

Make half square triangles with two red and two green squares.  Place a red and a green square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles from each pair of squares.

Sew the squares together in fours

Sew the squares together in fours

Sandwich the layers

Sandwich the layers

Sew the four half square triangles together to make a pinwheel for one side of the Christmas table centrepiece.  Sew the remaining four squares together to make a four patch unit for the second side.

Sandwich these two squares together with the 16″ circle of wadding.  Pass a pin through the middle of one side and make sure that it also passes through the middle of the other side.  If you’re using fusible sponge, as I did, you just need to iron now and the three layers will be stuck together beautifully.  If you’re using ordinary wadding, you’ll need to pin at this stage.

Quilt a spiral on the Christmas table centrepiece

Quilt a spiral on the Christmas table centrepiece

Add the binding

Add the binding

I quilted a spiral on my Christmas table centrepiece, starting in the middle and working out to the edge.  Because the pattern is different on the front and back, I couldn’t do any stitch in the ditch quilting, so a spiral seemed a good option.

Trim the excess fabric around the edge of the foam circle.  For the binding I chose to use 2″ strips of fabric, rather than my normal 2.1/2″.  This gives a smaller, neater finish.  I also used straight cut strips of fabric whereas I should have used strips cut on the bias because of the curves.  That was just because I was pushed for time, but it’s a small enough project that the binding looks fine to me.

Back of the Christmas table centrepiece

Back of the Christmas table centrepiece

I was really impressed with the fusible batting.  It saved time and made my Christmas table centrepiece very flat and easy to quilt.  The photo shows the second side which was made just using a four patch unit.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Christmas Bunting Templates


How to make Christmas bunting flags

How to make Christmas bunting flags

As Christmas approaches I thought that it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on how to make Christmas bunting flags:  my method is very simple and there’s a link to the bunting templates below.  I have made six bunting flags here but of course you could make as many as you needed depending on the length that you need and either repeat the designs or make up some of your own.

Cutting requirements

Light background fabric:  9″ strips cut across the width of fabric

Scraps of both Christmas fabric and interfacing

Length of ribbon or cord to hang the bunting

Click for Christmas bunting templates

Making the Christmas bunting flags

Mark 60 degree lines

Mark 60 degree lines

Mark and cut the bunting flags

Mark and cut the bunting flags

Cut a 9″ strip of fabric across the width of fabric.  Place your ruler so that the 60 degree line runs across the bottom edge of the fabric and mark a line on the fabric.  Turn the ruler to use the other 60 degree line to mark the lines in the other direction.  Cut along the lines to create the triangles which will form the bunting flags.

 

 

 

Two methods to stop fraying

Two methods to stop fraying

Turn under a 1/2" seam on the top

Turn under a 1/2″ seam on the top

In order to prevent fraying I tried two different methods.  On the left hand triangle I turned under a small hem and sewed it down with straight stitch.  On the right hand one I just zig zagged all the way around.  On balance I think I prefer the left hand option with a hemmed edge, but the other one does give a slightly wavy edge which you may prefer.

Along the top edge, turn under a 1/2″ seam.  Sew this as close to the bottom of the seam as possible to create a tube.  You will need this to thread the ribbon for handing the Christmas bunting flags.

Cut the bunting templates

Cut the bunting templates

Place the shapes on the bunting flags

Place the shapes on the bunting flags

Cut the bunting templates out in paper.  Make up a series of scraps of Christmas fabric with interfacing – I was able to use scraps of interfacing here.  Cut the template shapes in fabric and place one on each bunting triangle.

 

 

 

 

 

Zigzag round each shape

Zigzag round each shape

Sew around the edge of each bunting template shape using a zigzag stitch.  I set my sewing machine to stitch width 3 and stitch length 1.  In the example shown, when you reach the tip of a star, finish with your needle down on the right hand side before you swivel the fabric.  When you reach the base of each spike of the star, finish with your needle down on the left hand side before you swivel the fabric.  This should give you a neat corner in each case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread the ribbon on a safety pin

Thread the ribbon on a safety pin

Push the safety pin through the bunting flag

Push the safety pin through the bunting flag

When you have completed the Christmas bunting flags, it just remains to string them up.  Thread the end of the ribbon on to a safety pin.  This will give you a solid end to push through the tube at the top of each flag.  Keep going until you have all the flags threaded, hang up and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

 

 

 

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