Archive for November, 2010



Like I said in my last post, we celebrated Christmas over Thanksgiving this year and we made it a “Homemade Christmas.”  Us kids swapped names so we’d know who we’d be making the gift for. I was given my sister-in-law! I racked my brain trying to figure out what to make her. I thought about a re-useable grocery bag since I know she loves them but I knew she probably already had a few. So my next idea was place mats!


I didn’t want to make any old boring kind of place mat but a fun and colorful one with some vintage flare. I recently found a great quilting shop nearby and I searched for fabric designers like Amy Butler and Heather Baily. My heart fell in love with every type of fabric I found there. It took me a while to figure out which fabric that would scream my SIL’s name but I decided on this lovely pattern:




Free Spirit with Heather Baily 







what you’ll need:



* A yard of both a pattern top fabric and a contrasting color fabric for the bottom

* Roughly 2 yards of light weight fusible interfacing

* Coordinating thread

* Pre-wash fabric

* Seam allowance : 1/4″

* This makes 4 place mats

Make a pattern out of newspaper of the size of place mats you’d like.



Cut out (4) 17″ x 13″ pieces of your top fabric

Cut out (4) 17″ x 13″ pieces of your contrasting fabric

Cut out (4) 17″ x 13″  pieces of interfacing

(sizes can vary)

 Lay aside once all pieces are cut.



I started off by finding a font I liked using Microsoft Word. I traced the letters on paper and then transferred them to a sturdy folder.

Once I traced them to the folder I cut them out and this became my pattern for the letters.




When you have your letters cut out put them aside.


Take your left over interfacing and the contrasting fabric and iron the two of them together. This will give more weight to the letters.



Once you are done with ironing take your letters and start pinning them to the contrasting fabric.

 You will need to cut out each word (eat & yum) twice.




Depending on how ornate your letters are, you may want to take a deep breath before you start cutting. My hand was completely sore when I was done and I only cut out 12 letters total. I’m a wuss.


I then used fray check around the edges. Looking back and depending on the type of stitch you use you may be able to skip this.



Position your letters and start pinning them to your top fabric in preperation to start stitching them in place.



Take your fabric to your sewing machine and use an applique stitch. This was my first time doing this and it was a success!! It’s basically a zig-zag stitch with a short stitch length.



Go around the edge of the letter to as use that as your guide. Take your time because you’ll need to constantly twist and turn your fabric.


Here it is!



It looks fantastic!

Do this to the remaining letters.


When that is complete you can start on ironing the (4) 17″ x 13″ fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the contrasting fabric.

Read the directions on the interfacing as it will tell you what temperature to use and if you use steam. 

After that you can pin the right sides together of both top patterned and the bottom contrasting fabric together.



Sew along the edges (1/4″) and leave an opening so you can turn the place mat right side out.


Cut out the corners so when its right side out the corners will have a nice point to it.



Do a hidden stitch to close up the hole in which you used to turn the fabric. (no picture) 


I added a double top stitch around the edges for a decorative touch. 




And you’re done!



The lighting and picture is bad…but you get the idea 🙂


Here’s my sister-in-law unwrapping her new gift!




Yay! I think she liked them!!



I’m linking up to:

I Heart Nap Time

Sumo’s Sweet Stuff

 Making the World Cuter


Get Your Craft On

Saturday Mornings


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This Christmas my family and I are doing homemade gifts for each other. We’re also celebrating Christmas over Thanksgiving, thus a “thankful Christmas!” My husband and I will be traveling back to Indiana in just a few days and until then I’m staying busy finishing up my gifts. Did I procrastinate a bit? Sure! But most people say they do their best work when they procrastinate and I guess I’m one of those people too 🙂

I can’t wait to share my projects! I’m super excited about one of them in particular!

See ya soon!

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The French Knot


In highschool, I took a sewing class my senior year. I loved it! I made a hideous bandana style tank top/ halter, a button down shirt out of ugly sea-foam green fabric and (the one thing I still have and use) a pin cushion with an attached scrap bag. Over the summer I went to our local fabric shop and ran into my old sewing teacher. I told her I started sewing more and she was thrilled.

One thing I remembered learning from her was how to make a french knot. All it is a fancy way to tie a knot at the of the thread but it was my enemy. I’ve tried to remember for the longest time and I’ve had no luck. I picked up some sewing/craft books at the library and a few had directions on how to make it but it seemed like I was just reading a foreign language. It didn’t make sense. Finally, the other night, I was pretty darn determined to figure it out. I would not take “no” for an answer and ya know what?! I did it!





1. Thread your needle like you would normally do.


2. Then take the ends of the tread and place them behind the needle with a little extra left on top. Shown above.





3. Once you have the thread in place you are going to wrap the extra thread around the needle 2-3 times. This will create the knot.





4. Hold the thread in place, you might want to switch hands, and then pull the twisted thread (the knot) thru the back-end of the needle.





5. Continue to pull the knot down to the end of  the thread until it can’t move anymore.






6. You just created a french knot!



Even though a regular old knot would completely work it’s still nice to know how to make different variations!


Hopefully the directions are clear 🙂



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