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Monday, October 14, 2013


I've been having a hoot making Christmas presents this year!   This first project has been in my head since last Christmas.  I was cruising through Kohl's at the end of the season last year and saw a white placemat with the face of a snowman screen printed on it; two black dots for eyes, six black dots in a semi-circle for the mouth and an orange carrot shape for the nose; really basic.  That was the inspiration for my snowman placemats.
I knew I wanted my little guys to have a bit more style and personality.  So, I came up with the idea of a design where it looked as if the snowman was wearing a hat.   I had one tartan fabric already and I spotted another on a remnant table at JoAnn's.  As I started playing around, I decided it would be fun for each of them to have different caps to add some variety to the dinner table.  So, I went to the local thrift store and bought two winter scarves at $1.50 each.  What a steal....since it would be just the amount of fabric I would need!

I chose a white quilted cotton as my base fabric; that meant an already finished front/back.   Once I added the hat and face, I just needed to finish the outer edge.  It was fun watching them take shape and I'm going to be little sad to see them go....but, hopefully my recipients will love them as much as I do!

Here's what you'll need to get started:
Supplies for 8 placemats:
1 ½ yards of quilted fabric 
1 square black felt
2 squares orange felt
shape for the hat
¼ to ½ yard of knit or tartan remnants
4 pkgs. of double fold bias tape
fusible hem tape (stitch witchery)
black fabric paint
black glitter
....and here are the steps to make your snowmen come to life:
Cut 8 circles from the quilted fabric (15"diameter)
Cut 16 ovals from the black felt
Cut 8 triangle shapes from the orange felt
Cut 8 caps from the tartan/knit for the hats
Cut 8 strips of tartan/knit 2" x 14" for the pom-poms
After cutting out the circles, develop the shape of the hat by placing it onto the circle.  I allowed for a 5/8 hem and a 3" brim; fold the hem (right side to right side) and then pull the folded edge up 3" to form the brim. Baste the hat into place around the outer edge.  Now topstitch the upper edge of the hat brim through all thicknesses.  To finish the outer edge sew double fold bias tape around the outer edge.

For the face, I first used fabric glue to adhere the eyes onto the fabric, but I didn't like how "crisp" it made them.  So, I then tried  fusible hem tape and it worked great!  So, those are just steamed onto the fabric with an iron.

The smile is drawn on with fabric paint and glitter sprinkled on top while it's still wet.

Finally the pom-pom for the hat is made from the same fabric.  Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to prevent fraying; then cut the small strips the full length of the fabric in approximately 3/8" widths stopping just shy of the edge.  Roll the fabric, gluing periodically.  Once you've rolled the full length, glue the pom-pom onto the top of the placemat.  

I'll be honest, I see these as decorative placemats....I did spray scotchguard onto the finished product, but the combination of cotton, felt, and wool definitely calls for handwashing in cold water.

Anyway, they put a smile on my face when I look at them and because they're not totally holiday themed, they could be on your table to enjoy all through the winter months!

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