Friday, 28 October 2016

Christmas Holly Patchwork Table Centre Instructions

I can't believe that I haven't posted or sewn since July! Here I am back in action after house renovations, a daughter's wedding, trips away, visitors, and all in all just being out of the action and worn out with no time for the computer!

I spotted this idea last year but couldn't find any patterns so decided to have a go making my own.
Here is the pattern I drafted after playing around with various shapes and sizes. This makes a table centre approximately 58cms in diameter. with the centre aperture big enough to take a pillar candle. It is far easier than it looks so have a go and let me know how you get on or shout if you have any problems!
I've just had new spectacles and they are vastly stronger than my old ones and I am finding difficulty seeing until I adjust so please bear with me if you find any mistakes.
For safety I fix a battery operated nightlight at the top so there will be no naked flame and wax will not drip onto the fabric. 
These nighltights are widely available, quite cheaply, in £ shops and supermarkets.
TWO METHODS to follow.....
NOTE....The centre can also be made with only 7 (instead of 8) segments, and the size adjusted, to make a Christmas Tree skirt. By using one less segment the skirt will shape up to fit a tree base.

Allowing a quarter inch extra all round for seams, cut 8 pieces each of green fabric (for the back which fold back to form the front holly leaves), and a contrast fabric (here I chose red) for the front.
Cut out 8 pieces of medium iron on interfacing (eg., Vilene) to the exact size of the template with no seam allowance.
Iron interfacing on to green fabric and position the two fabrics, right sides together, before stitching a quarter of an inch in around the edge.  
Remember to leave an opening to enable each segment to be turned inside out, then press and stitch the openings. (I machine the opening with a zig zag using invisible thread).
Hold together two completed segments (with green sides together).
Fold the template over along the dotted line and use this as a positional guide to sew together the holly leaf shapes.
This is how they will look and you will see the holly leaves forming.
Continue sewing the segments together in this way until all 8 segments are joined and then stitch together the last two leaves to form a circlet.
Press the seams apart using the tip of the ironYou can add red beads or buttons, as you prefer to represent berries, before you place a candle in the centre, just remember the previous safety advice. As an alternative to a candle, a small dish can be placed in the centre to hold sweets or small gifts.This next Alternative method is somewhat easier as the segments do not need turning inside out.Here the interfacing is ironed on to the reverse of the green fabric.Draw around the template 8 times times onto the RIGHT side of the red fabric. Do not cut out until you have sewn around the edges.

This is then laid onto the the green fabric with the reverse sides together sandwiching the interfacing with the two fabrics.
Next using a buttonhole or satin stitch and a metallic thread(as shown below) machine around the template shape which is marked on the right side of the red fabric. 
I find Madeira metallic machine threads work best for me.
It is far easier and neater to sew first and then trim than to try to machine around a cut edge.
Trim around the segments neatly, close to the stitches then join the holly leaf shapes together as in previous instructions. The finished result is still neat and effective. 

Below, I have pinned braid around the front points and these can be machined in place as an extra detail.
Reverse side. 
TIP ... I used white interfacing here and it shows a little so I will disguise it with a green marker pen. 
Grey or black interfacing is better as it will not be as noticeable as the white.
Any queries please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.


Annie said...

Love it Jo....I plan to have a go (if only I can find the time hehehe). Thanks so much for the pattern.
Annie x

Mystic Quilter said...

What a great idea - you're nice and early for Christmas!

tilly said...

Nice to see you back Jo.... we were shown these at sewing club a few weeks ago, hope to find time to have a go
Tilly x

Mimi said...

Looking for the pattern and or template for the Christmas Holly Patchwork Table Center , can someone email it to me ? It's beautiful and would love to try to make it .
Thank you

JoZart Quilts said...

Mimi, you left no email and there is no link to your blog so it is impossible to contact you. Just wanted to say that the pattern and instructions are already there for you on my blog.