Thanksgiving Sewing Projects

Thanksgiving Sewing Projects

Thanksgiving is the start of the family visiting season. Shortly after Thanksgiving comes Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and New Year’s Eve. At each of these, family visits and enjoys time in your home visiting and seeing what’s changed since their last visit. It’s a great opportunity to impress them with your sewing skills, starting with Thanksgiving sewing projects to set the tone for the rest of the year. These projects are sure to be a hit with everyone who visits during the festive seasons at the end of the year.

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Child’s handprint sewing craft

At school this time of year, kids trace their hands and turn them into construction paper turkeys. This fabulous sewing project takes that school craft to the next level. Handprints sewn in fabric coupled with a hand sewn pumpkin make a great center piece. And your kids will love that they get to be involved in your sewing project.

Oak leaf bowl

I love oak leaves! Unfortunately, unlike maple leaves they don’t hold up well when trying to use the from DIY projects. Instead, to bring the elegance of oak leaves to the Thanksgiving table, check out these amazing oak leaf bowls. They’re perfect to hold after dinner mints or hard candies for your guests to enjoy.

Thankful garland

There’s always room for gratitude, but Thanksgiving is a time when we all focus on it a bit more. This felt banner will look great over your dining room table during your Thanksgiving meal and also focus attention on all we have to be thankful for this year.

Corn bundles table décor

Traditional Indian corn, also known as maize, has been associated with Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims had the very first feast. Although corn isn’t a typical thanksgiving dish, you can still honor this delicious food with a fun sewing project. The corn bundles make a great center piece on any table and they’re fun and easy to make.

Enhance your Thanksgiving celebrations this year with Thanksgiving sewing projects. Your family will be impressed with your skills and they’ll be great conversation starters for any new guests.

9 Cutting Tools for your Sewing Room

9 Cutting Tools for your Sewing Room

Do you know the difference between scissors and shears? I didn’t so I looked it up and now I can edify us all. Scissors usually have equal-sized finger holes and are under 6″ in length. Shears have one hole that is bigger than the other and their blade lengths are normally longer than 6″. The terms scissors and shears are often used interchangeably and for the purposes of this article, I flip back and forth between them.

Fabric scissors

These are the scissors you hide. Or keep locked away. Or you write in Sharpie on them. DO NOT USE. CLOTH ONLY. MOVE AWAY FROM MY SCISSORS. If you haven’t convinced your family to stay away from your fabric scissors, then move to the second pair below.

These are the scissors you hide.

These are the scissors you hide.

All purpose scissors

THESE are the pair you hand people who want to use your fabric scissors. Keep them sharp so no one is ever tempted to grab the pair you keep for working on your stash.

THESE are the pair you hand people who want to use your fabric scissors.

THESE are the pair you hand people who want to use your fabric scissors.

Heavy duty shears

When your regular fabric scissors won’t cut it. I’ve used these to cut canvas, Sunbrella, and leather. Don’t let your friends or family use these for everyday use. They’re heavy duty. Emphasize that by saying it in a low voice, “Sorry, these are heavy duty.”

Don't let your friends or family use these for everyday use.

Don’t let your friends or family use these for everyday use.

Snipping scissors

Snipping scissors, or scissors with very short, sharp blades are genius for cutting threads as you sew.

Snipping scissors, or scissors with very short, sharp blades are genius for cutting threads as you sew.

Snipping scissors, or scissors with very short, sharp blades are genius for cutting threads as you sew.

Pinking shears

Pinking shears are what you need if you are working with fabric that ravels or if you plan to leave a cut edge exposed. Pinking shears do what zig zag stitching or serging does, they stop fabric from unraveling. They are genius. You should get a pair.

You should get a pair.

You should get a pair.

Herb cutters, fringe scissors

Yes, bring the kitchen into the sewing workshop. These scissors are frequently used to quickly chop up herbs, but in the sewing room they create fringe.

Bring the kitchen into the sewing workshop.

Bring the kitchen into the sewing workshop.

Perhaps you want to make some fringe-cut garland? These would be your tool. They work best when you put the fabric back towards the center of the scissors and stop cutting before you reach the tips. If you have a LOT of tiny snips like this to make, however, you’ll want to see the next pair of scissors.

If you have a LOT of tiny snips like this to make you'll want to see the next pair of scissors.

If you have a LOT of tiny snips like this to make you’ll want to see the next pair of scissors.

Rag quilt scissors

For when you aren’t messing around. Rag quilt scissors have short, sharp blades that let you snip through chunks of fabric to create the famous look of rag quilts.

For when you aren't messing around.

For when you aren’t messing around.

Pro Tip: If you get a pair, make sure to get them spring loaded. Your hands will thank you!

My oldest made this rag quilt with and I snipped it right up with rag quilt scissors. Just put on a TV show you can zone out to and start clipping.

My oldest made this rag quilt with and I snipped it right up with rag quilt scissors.

My oldest made this rag quilt with and I snipped it right up with rag quilt scissors.

Rotary cutter

Rotary cutters are becoming more and more popular. Once you learn how to cut fabric with them, your fabric scissors may start to see a lot less use.

Goodbye fabric scissors!

Goodbye fabric scissors!

Ye olde kitchen drawer scissors

Also known as ‘household scissors’ or ‘the scissors you can do just about anything with and mom won’t get mad.’ They are the unsung hero of your scissors quiver because they keep the rest of your tools safe.

The scissors you can do just about anything with and mom won't get mad.

The scissors you can do just about anything with and mom won’t get mad.

What types of cutting tools do you use in your sewing room? Let us know in comments!

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Charlotte Kaufman is a writer and sewist in Mammoth Lakes, California. She specializes in marine and home interiors and continues to fall more and more in love with quilting. You can follow her at charlottekaufman.com.
The Scraps of Christmas

The Scraps of Christmas

It’s officially Christmas week, guys! The day is just around the corner, and soon we’ll be heading into a less twinkle-lit world. Until then though, there’s still time to revel in the holiday for one more blog post! For this particular one, how about we go with a nice wrap-up idea?

You see, I’ve covered a tree skirt, ornaments, and homemade gifts, but if you chose to go all of those routes, you potentially would have collected a series of Christmas fabrics. Each project could have its own material, so there might be quite the variety. Another decent assumption would be that you didn’t have just enough material for all projects, so you could easily have scraps of Christmas fabric left over from your handmade-Christmas-extravaganza.

The Scraps of Christmas

Sure, you could stash it away for future use, but if you keep every scrap of material you ever come across, you’re treading on fabric-hoarder territory! There’s nothing wrong with keeping the pieces that would reasonably be user-friendly in the future, but I’m talking about the small bits that won’t be much use without other smaller parts to make something happen, or for a small enough project.

So, maybe this post will help keep that fabric stash a little smaller and farther from hoarder territory by answering one simple question: What projects can you do with those small parts of leftover Christmas fabric?

Answer: Plenty, and I plan to take you through a number of those options!

Possibility #1: Make a banner

This is such a simple option, but it can add a classy touch to your Christmas decorations. All you need to do is pick a shape for your fabric, cut the scraps in that shape, make sure those hems are smooth, and link them together—maybe with some ribbon or yarn. If you’re feeling particular, you can make sure that each of those shapes is two-sided by sewing two pieces together—maybe spice things up by using more than one fabric for the cause. With that method, you could have (as an example) a bell-shaped addition to your banner that has Rudolph on one side and Frosty on the other! If you’re good at embroidery, use enough shapes to embroider a message across. You could even do this laundry-line idea if you had the right fabric! The options on this idea alone are numerous!

The options on this idea alone are numerous!

The options on this idea alone are numerous!

Possibility #2: Make fabric garland

This is like the banner, but requires strips of fabric tied instead of differently shaped pieces embellished and sewn. I mean, sure, you could add gems and such, but the draping quality of the fabric is kind of its distinctive factor, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the Merry Christmas message! Still, this is a simple, elegant idea that could add a touch of holiday cheer to your house by hanging from your mantel. And, as is the main idea of the post, it’s a great way to use that extra Christmas fabric you might have once you finish your holiday sewing projects!

This is like the banner, but requires strips of fabric tied instead of differently shaped pieces embellished and sewn.

This is like the banner, but requires strips of fabric tied instead of differently shaped pieces embellished and sewn.

Possibility #3: Make a Christmas tote

While you might not have enough material to make the entire tote in one style (then again, maybe you will!), you could create a patchwork look for a homemade Christmas tote! You can find patterns for totes here, and Sewing Machines Plus offers free patterns for bags as well. Can you imagine a patched-up Christmas tote in this design! I would definitely carry one of those!

I would definitely carry one of those!

I would definitely carry one of those!

Possibility #4: Make fabric bookmarks

Call me a literature nerd, but how awesome would it be to give someone a copy of A Christmas Carol with a hand-sewn bookmark to go along with it? In fact, this could be a thing you do next year — give out holiday classics with hand-sewn bookmarks in Christmas fabrics! These projects are small, and who knows how many you could make in one day? And they require little fabric, which is the theme of this post! Whether it’s to hold your place for your own holiday reading or for small gift-gestures to let someone know you’re thinking of them, these creations could bring a festive touch to a book-and-hot-chocolate December time!

Call me a literature nerd, but how awesome would it be to give someone a copy of A Christmas Carol with a hand-sewn bookmark to go along with it?

Call me a literature nerd, but how awesome would it be to give someone a copy of A Christmas Carol with a hand-sewn bookmark to go along with it?

Possibility #5: Make a keychain

Since childhood, I’ve had an interest in keychains. I don’t know why, but it’s true just the same. So, why not take a bit of that excess material and make a one-of-a-kind keychain? Keyrings don’t have to be expensive, and it’s possible that everything else you’d need you could find around your house—maybe even down to buttons like what you see in the picture. Given the teeny-tiny-ness of keychains, this craft would be a good way to use some of that excess fabric! You can find this possibility (and #5) here!

Given the teeny-tiny-ness of keychains, this craft would be a good way to use some of that excess fabric!

Given the teeny-tiny-ness of keychains, this craft would be a good way to use some of that excess fabric!

So, the moral of the story is that you don’t have to be a Christmas-fabric hoarder after your holiday sewing! There are plenty of avenues to expend some of that scrap material!

Christmas Sewing Projects

Christmas Sewing Projects

Christmas is fast approaching.

Christmas is fast approaching.

Christmas is fast approaching. Thankfully, there’s still time to sew special Christmas decorations or gifts. With so many Christmas themed fabrics to choose from, it may be hard to decide which one(s) you want for your project, but with so many projects, you won’t have to narrow it down too much.

Christmas Tree Skirt Sewing Project

This 50.5” x 50.5” square Christmas tree skirt is easy to make and uses multiple fabrics to create a look that suits any home. Basic quilting skills are necessary as is a template to use for the center circle. An inverted bowl works well. You can make it from fabric scraps and by using washable materials, it’s easy to clean. The red ties in the back are cute and ensure the skirt isn’t pulled off by pets or kids.

Christmas Tree Ornament Project

If love hand sewing, this cute hot cocoa mug ornament is a perfect way to add some whimsy to your tree. The pattern ensures accurate placement of the faces on the mug and marshmallows. You will need to know how to make a French knot for the eyes. If you’ve got felt scraps, you may be able to use those for the bulk of this adorable Christmas sewing project.

Christmas Stocking Sewing Project

Christmas isn’t complete without “stocking hung by the chimney with care.” With this easy Christmas stocking pattern, you can make individualized stockings for everyone in your family. The large size makes it the ideal stocking for creative stocking stuffer gifts and depending on your choice of fabrics, it’s entirely washable. Choose different colors or patterns for each person in your family to personalize the stockings.

Christmas Tree Angel

There’s something about angels…they belong adorning a Christmas tree. This sweet ribbon angel adds a touch of class to any tree. Use different colored ribbons to make each angel a little different. Sewing is optional with this project, but it’s a great opportunity to use some of the wide ribbon you’ve got sitting around from previous projects.

Christmas Garland Sewing Project

Garland doesn’t have to be tinsel and shine. This adorable garland adds Christmas cheer with rows of fabric Christmas trees. You can either use bits of fabric from your stash or buy remnants from your local fabric shop. This is a great project to do with kids! Their small fingers are great for everting and stuffing the little trees. The number of trees you make will depend on the length you want for the finished garland. A coordinating ribbon completes the project. Use it to decorate your tree or string across a doorway.

What other Christmas sewing projects do you enjoy? If you try any of these, please share the results! I’d love to see them.