Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick & Easy Gifts

I teased in the latest newsletter that I made napkins, coasters and potholders in less than an hour to give away as gifts this season.  Hard to believe I know, but really it's super simple and can be done. 
Here is how I made the potholders: 

One fat quarter (18" x 22") will make two pot holders.

Cut the fat quarter so that you have two 9" x 18" pieces.

Fold one of the pieces, right sides together, so that you have a 9" x 9" square.

Sew a 1/4" seam down the two sides - leaving the top open.

Cut the batting so that it measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". 

You are going to insert the batting into the folded piece, the easiest way I found to do this is to lay the batting on top of the sewn piece (which is still wrong side out)  and turn the whole thing right side out, as one.  It will still take some fussing, but I find it's less then trying to stuff the batting in after turning the fabric piece.   

Turn the opening in 1/4" and press.

Now you get to sew!  Using a 1/8" seam allowance sew closed the opening first.  Now go all the way around the potholder using a 1/8" seam allowance until you are 1/4" away from the first seam you made.  Leave your needle in the down position, lift the presser foot and turn the potholder 90 degrees.  Use the side of your presser foot as a guide and sew 1/4" away from the first stitches until you get to 1/4" away from the second seam you made.  Keep going around and around your potholder this way until you get to the middle.

End your seam by going back and forth in the center to lock your stitches.

 The coasters are made the same way, but starting with a 5" x 10" pice of fabric and 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" batting.  The napkins were made using a fat quarter cut to 18" x 18" and using the rolled hemmed on either your serger (which is what I used) or your sewing machine, to finish the edges of the napkin. 
My gift set includes: 4 napkins, 4 coasters and 2 potholders.  Total fabric needed: about 1 3/4 yards, total time: about one hour!


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