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  • Irina

Christmas gifts from denim and scraps

With Christmas coming so soon we all need gifts that are quick to make. So, why not to use your scraps and old denim? As you know I love to recycle, It doesn´t only bring satisfaction but allows you to make new from old. Sustainable gifts are trendy and always appreciated. In this blog post I will share how to make small, stylish table mats from old jeans and a few scraps with a touch of hand stitching.

1.Piecing the batting

It is a perfect project to use all those batting off cuts. I don´t even bother to cut them unless the shape is really odd. I place 2 pieces so they overlap and simply zig zag on both edges.

The pieces with more seams suit better for Quilt As You Go (QAYG) projects.

You can also use all those weird colors of thread from your stash (just make sure that they won´t be seen through the fabric). Once the batting slab is pieced, iron it.

2. Making the top

Find an inspirational fabric scrap. I used small pieces of Marimekko fabrics. You can cut it in any shape you want - a triangle, square or a pentagon, or a skinny strip or piece a small patchwork panel.

Place the scrap on the piece of batting. It looks more interesting when it is positioned asymmetrically rather than in the middle.

Then place a piece of denim suitable in size to the right side of the scrap (right sides together) aligning the edges and stitch along the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold the denim piece to the right and finger press the seam. Attach pieces in the same manner around the scrap going counterclockwise. Iron.

You can quilt the pieces of fabric as you add them (here you can find the details how to do that) but I prefer to quilt the top later as it gives more possibilities in quilting designs and thread options.

3. Quilting

There are so many possibilities here, the only limit is your imagination!

I recommend marking the designs on the top before quilting.

I use Clover white water soluble pencil for marking on dark denim. It does the job well but the sharpened tip dulls quickly.

I think this type of table mats looks the best with minimalist hand quilting. Here are some ideas:

1) Simple hand quilting in two colors around the scrap and at the side - that scrap has an odd shape and I wanted to emphasize it with quilting.

2) Here I added simple embroidered stars because this piece somehow reminds me of a starry night.

3) Snowflakes and straight lines - here I wanted to create winter feel.

4) Sashiko (running stitches) in 3 colors (orange, white and red) inspired by the strip of Marimekko fabric Raanu. I think a stitched shining star, symbol of Christmas, fits perfectly there.

As you can see in these pieces the choice of quilting designs is related to the shape of the scrap and Christmas/winter inspired elements.

4. Embellishments

You can add a small charm made either entirely from denim or with fabric on one side (here is the tutorial for Easy Christmas ornaments from denim).

You can add a tag from the same fabric or upcycled leather and a small hanging loop.

You can as well embroider some words if you wish by machine or hand.

5. Finishing the mats

Once you finished the top panels you can square them and then round the corners if desired (by tracing any household round object like a glass etc).

Place the top right side up. Pin the loop and label in place and stitch them to the top 1/8" from the edge.

Cut a piece of backing fabric and batting slightly larger than the front panel (we will trim it later). Place the batting on the mat, then the backing fabric right side up, then the front panel with batting facing up. Pin at the edges and sew around with 3/8" seam allowance leaving the 3 inch gap.

Trim the seam allowances to 1/4 inch with zig zag scissors.

Turn the piece right side out through the gap. Iron it with the steam and sew the opening closed with blind stitch.

Here are my finished table mats! I am sure they will make recipients happy!

This is my last post for 2020. It has been truly challenging year for all of us! I am thankful for my friends, support and kindness I have seen much more this year than usual. I hope 2021 holds only nice surprises for all of us! Take care and stay healthy, my friends!

Happy Stitching and See you here next year! ❤

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