Monday, 10 November 2014

Christmas Decor... and an unwelcome visitor

So as I mentioned in my last post, I have decided to make quilted Christmas placemats and coasters for my table. I recently purchased a lovely round red jacquard tablecloth for my inside dining table and a rectangle green scallop edged table cloth for my large outside dining table. We have cork backed placemats and coasters which we always use to protect the indoor dining table, but as they are pink (actually we do have some new nicer ones that aren't pink, but I'm not ready to let people damage those yet), they clashed with my new table cloth (not everything/everyone can pull off red and pink together like me) So that was the thought process behind this most recent project.

The green scallop egded table cloth. It's a bit pilly, but for $2 I'm not complaining.

My dining table with my new christmas table cloth (also $2!)

I saw some lovely ones online like these quilted ones from etsy and also a tutorial for these Patchwork ones so I went to Spotlight one afternoon before my evening Tafe class to check out their Christmas Fabrics. I ended up buying 2 fat quarters each of 4 designs, both in 2 different colours. I stuck with Red and Gold as these are the colours I use on my Tree and in most of my christmas decorating.

Ironing all the fat quarters to start

The prints I got are polka dot, chevron, stars and snowflakes, each one both in gold on red and gold on off-white. I initially thought of patchworking them a little, but the Husband thought it would look best with a red side and an off-white side, in just the one print (and I happened to agree) So I got to measuring and cutting, and worked out I had more than enough to make 2 in each design (8 in total) so I can use 4 when inside, or the whole 8 when outside (or 6 or 2....)

I decided to go for fairly large placemats and coasters, with the placemats being 11 inches by 19 inches, and the coasters being 5 1/2 inches square. So to start with I cut out rectangles 12 inches by 20 inches. whilst doing this I discovered just how sharp my new rotary cutter is... Ouch!

Then I sewed around the 4 sides, leaving a gap of about 4 inches open on one of the long sides to turn it through and add the batting. Clipped the corners, and turned it through. For the batting inside the placemats I had half of an old mattress protector that I had cut up to use inside a baby quilt. I grabbed it out of my sewing room (it has just been sitting on my sewing table) and had it on the dining table, waiting for me to cut. I picked it up to show the husband what I would be using, unfolding it to show how much I had left, then bunching it back up to put back on the dining table, when the Husband asks me to open it back up again (I assumed he had noticed some of the missing quilting stitches or the slight yellowing in parts) but then he tells me to put it down, put it down now!

THERE WAS A BIG BLACK SPIDER ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I am happy to report that spider is now a smear on a tissue in the bin. But it still shook me up a bit, and I will definitely be more careful EVERY time I pick up a piece of fabric or item of clothing in my sewing room (in fact I have been already checking my clothes before I put them on, but now I'll be more pedantic about it)

This has been followed by several sleepless nights filled with spider nightmares :(
But luckily I have tomorrow off work, so I can sleep in

But anyway, I did end up cutting out pieces of the batting for all 8 placemats and coasters (there wasn't much left after) and inserting the batting through the gap left in the side seam. I top stitched around one of the placemats, but wasn't completely happy with how it looked, so the rest are all still sitting there with gaps in their seams, waiting for me to make up my mind. I will have to do some sort of stitching to fix in the batting, otherwise the first wash will make it all wonky. I think what I really want is gold thread to do the topstitching, but as I don't have any, it's not happening...... yet.

As they are now. I think I will just ladder stitch them closed for now...

I still have a fairly decent amount of the fabrics left over for another project. I just have to work out what that will be. A table runner, pot holders, tree ornaments, tree skirt, pyjama shorts, decorative tea towels.....

Now I will leave you with some more photos of our christmas lights


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