The lovely Deborah Harwood from The Textile Space invited me along for a Christmas craft session which can currently be found in the December issue of etc Magazine. Over the next few days I will share with you what we made, and hopefully help inspire a crafty Christmas…
You will need:
- A table cloth.
- Scraps of fabric
- Embroidery thread and needle
- Card for templates
- Pencil and/or chalk marker
- Iron on transfer adhesive (bondaweb)
1. Wash and iron all of your fabrics, this will prevent them from running.
2. Time to make your templates. Top tip: If you are choosing a shape like a heart or star that needs to be symmetrical then draw one half of the shape and then, having drawn around it, flip it over and match the two ends before drawing around it again. You now have the perfect symmetrical outline.
3. Lay out your table cloth and plan out your pattern on the cloth, working out how many of each shape you will need.
4. Take your fabrics and iron the bondaweb to the reverse of the fabric (following the manufacturer’s instructions). Place the iron on one side and gently move across the bondaweb, the second time a little harder and finally turn the fabric over and iron as normal. Top tip: Applying the bondaweb before cutting out the needed shapes is a lot easier and less fiddly.
5. Mark out your shapes using your templates and then cut them out using your scissors.
6. Peel off the paper backing of the bondaweb and place your shapes on the cloth in your desired pattern. Pop a pin into each shape to hold in place as you move over the cloth. Then iron your shapes on, taking the pins out as you go.
7. Time to stitch!
You can use your choice of thread colour as part of your design or choose the same as your fabrics it is up to you. Embroidery thread is made up of six fine strands and is easy to divide up – here we have used three strands on my cloth which we think is about right for the use the cloth is going to get as six strands would have been a bit too bulky on this project.
If you are working on a white table cloth it’s a good idea to wash your hands before you start stitching. We used little tack stitch to attach the pieces but you could use a blanket stitch. Or for those of you with more advanced embroidery skills then you know the sky is the limit.
Once all your shapes are stitched on give your cloth a good iron on the reverse. Then all is left is to bring it out on the big day and admire while you enjoy Christmas lunch. In the meantime you could always use the same technique on the napkins as well.