The day that both kids left for college, Jeff and I took the leaf out of our kitchen table. We also removed two of the chairs and put them in the basement. It was so liberating to make this change because our kitchen table had never been without a leaf and six chairs. What a difference this has made in our kitchen - it just feels bigger. It was such a simple change for us to make, but it was our way of reclaiming our home as we began our new life as Empty Nesters.
So now we have a smaller kitchen table. And we like it. But this change has wrecked all sorts of havoc with my stash of seasonal table decor because everything I have was made for a long rectangular table. We don't have a long table anymore. Instead, we have a short table that is almost the size of a square. It's as though my kitchen table went on a diet and now it needs a new wardrobe.
At first, I was fussing about not having the right attire for my table. I definitely didn't want my table to go barenaked, and I certainly didn't think that placemats alone would cover her up the way I like, and so I kind of had to make do with the few things I had on hand that actually fit a small table. Thankfully, all this happened in the fall and I did have some autumnal attire that would work in a pinch. But now it is approaching winter and the autumnal decor is not longer in season. More importantly, the holidays are here, and that means decorations in every room. My poor kitchen table. She needed help.
Which leads me to the project I made last week while I was drowning in another project known as "Snuggie Hell." I took time away from the Snuggies (I made five in one week) so that I could dress my kitchen table. Here is what I came up with:
At first glance, this doesn't look very Christmas-y. And that's a good thing because my desire was to find fabric that would dress my table through January. The solution was prints with snowflakes and winter trees. Even the little snowman lamp is not actually Christmas-y. But still... this works for Christmas as well as for January. Success!
The bonus is that this fabric actually matches the Jingle Bell wreath and the Jingle Bell Christmas tree that I place on the side table in our kitchen during the holidays:
Hooray for alternative holiday colors. I especially like how the alternative colors conveniently match my wall paper.
For those who are interested in the sewing details of the placemats and the small quilted centerpiece, the specs are as follows:
* 1 yard each of three coordinating print fabrics
* 2 yards of a fourth coordinating print to be used for the backing
* Batting (can use flannel in place of low loft batting if desired)
** You will have fabric left over
*** A partial jelly roll is perfect for this project; backing and binding will be additional
1. Cut four 2.5" strips from three of the prints
2. Cut six 2.5" strips from a fourth print
3. Sew strips together to create TWO sets of 9 strips each
4. Using a store bought placemat, trace pattern onto a piece of tissue paper
5. Cut 3 placemats out of the first set of strips
6. Cut the fourth placemat out of the second set of strips
7. Set aside remaining length from the second strip (will be used as the centerpiece)
8. Using the tissue pattern, cut out 4 backings and 4 battings
9. Place the strip placemat tops onto the batting and the backing
10. Stitch in the ditch and add any additional embellishments or top stitching
11. Bind with bias tape binding
Bias Tape Binding:
1. Select a fabric print to use as the bias tape binding and cut ten 2" strips
2. Sew the strips into one long row to create the bias tape binding
3. Detailed sewing instructions (with pictures) can be in a tutorial I wrote in 2008: Bias Tape Binding Instructions
1. Take the remainder of the second set of strips and cut to desired size (square or rectangle)
2. Repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 of General Sewing instructions
3. You can add width or length by cutting a 2.5" cross-ways piece/strip from the strip scraps; sew these two pieces to the right and left side (or the top and bottom) of the centerpiece. (Double click on picture above for a closer look at the ends of the centerpiece)
Here are a couple of pictures that show the close up details of the embellishments and top stitching:
So there you have it: how to dress your Christmas table the Kelly Edge way. Fast. Simple. Easy. And very fun!