Advent Tree

Materials

For two place mats you will need:

  • 70cm (3⁄4yd) red background fabric; choose a small, not too busy pattern
  • 25cm (1⁄4yd) patterned fabric for binding
  • 30cm (12in) felt squares in white, red and green
  • Dark green quilting thread
  • 50cm (1⁄2yd) wadding; Chris used cotton Soft and Natural
  • A few red beads
  • Green and red embroidery floss
  • Sewing and quilting threads
  • Card for templates

Finished Size

Approx 26 x 46cm (10 x 18in)

Skill Level

Beginner

The inspiration for these appliqué teacups holding napkins comes from an 1940s women's magazine, brought up to date with bright fabrics and felt for easy appliqué.

Getting Started

  1. For each place mat, carefully cut two pieces of red background fabric 11 x 19in. Also cut one piece of wadding 11 x 19in.
  2. Lay one piece of background fabric right side down and place the wadding on top. Place the second piece of background fabric face up on top. Secure the sandwich with quilter's safety pins, or tack (baste) the layers together.
  3. Using a free motion foot and with the feed dogs down, quilt the sandwich as in the picture. Chris used a simple holly leaf motif in a continuous design, as shown on the pattern sheet, but you can use a simple vermicelli meander or a quilting design of your choice. Beginners to machine quilting could use straight lines in a diagonal grid. The aim is just to hold the backing, wadding and top fabrics together.

Holly Leaf Teacup

  1. Draw your holly leaf, berry, teacup, handle and saucer templates onto card and cut out.
  2. Use your templates to cut the teacup, handle and saucer out of white felt. Cut out three holly leaves from green felt and three berries from red felt. There is no need for a seam allowance on these felt pieces.
  3. Position the saucer in the right hand lower corner, at least 1 1 ⁄4in in from the edge and pin well. Following the guideline on the pattern sheet, make a running stitch using green embroidery floss, joining the saucer to the background.
  4. Blanket stitch around the edge of the saucer using green embroidery floss. Following the placement in the picture, blanket stitch the handle in position.
  5. Position the three holly leaves on the teacup and pin. Using green embroidery floss, stitch a running stitch down the centre of each leaf.
  6. Pin the three berries in position. Stitch around each one with red embroidery floss, then stitch a red bead on each berry. Before securing the cup in place, blanket stitch with green embroidery floss along the top of the cup.
  7. Next, blanket stitch around the cup to secure it onto the placemat. The cup should overlap the handle edges and sit slightly over the backstitch on the saucer. Ensure that the top of the cup is left open.
  8. Cut a 60in long strip of patterned fabric, 2 1⁄2in wide, for binding the edges of the placemat. Fold one end at 45 degrees and press. Trim to a 1⁄4in allowance. Stitch the binding to the front of the placemat, turning the corners neatly, you can round them slightly. Overlap the end of the binding with the start. Turn the binding to the back of the placemat and slip stitch in place by hand.
Figure 2: Layout plan for whole tree
Figure 2: Layout plan for whole tree

Snowman Teacup

  1. Use your cardboard templates to cut the teacup, handle and saucer out of green felt. Cut out a snowman's head and body from white felt. Cut out the snowman's hat from red felt. You don't need a seam allowance for these pieces.
  2. Position the saucer in the right hand lower corner, at least 1 1 ⁄4in in from the edge and pin well. Following the guideline on the pattern sheet, make a running stitch using red embroidery floss, joining the saucer to the background.
  3. Blanket stitch around the edge of the saucer using red embroidery floss. Following the placement in the picture, blanket stitch the handle in position.
  4. Position the head and body of the snowman onto the teacup and pin. With red embroidery floss, stitch around the shape, making the stitches big and bold and slightly in from the outside edge.
  5. Pin on the hat and stitch to secure. Cut out two scraps of green felt and stitch on for the eyes. Stitch a mouth and stick arms as in the picture. Add red beads for buttons.
  6. Before securing the cup in place, blanket stitch with red embroidery floss along the top of the cup.
  7. Blanket stitch around the cup to secure it to the placemat. The cup should overlap the handle edges and sit slightly over the backstitch on the saucer. Ensure that the top of the cup is left open.
  8. Cut a 60in long strip of patterned fabric, 2 1 ⁄2in wide, for binding the edges of the placemat. Attach in place as shown in step 8 of the Holly Leaf Teacup above.
  9. Add a napkin of your choice to your placemats, or make your own from a 40cm (16in) square of fabric, turning a double 1 ⁄4in hem all the way round

First published in Popular Patchwork Christmas 2007