It makes a lot of sense that my contribution to this wonderful BERNINA Advent calendar should appear just before Christmas. Not because the best is saved for last.
Rather more because this is around the time at which it strikes me every year that there are only about 5 minutes to go until Christmas. With 5 children, 3 grandchildren, partners of children, nieces, nephews, siblings, parents, etc., etc. who should REALLY have been thought about earlier, this gives rise to certain logistical problems. Not to mention a very bad conscience.
I have friends who by the end of September every year have already prepared a list of Christmas gifts and cards that need to be sent – and by the end of October at the latest, everything is bought and wrapped, the cards are written and ready to post – and they can then relax as the holidays approach. When the aforementioned friends show or tell me this, just as I am falling into my annual “Oh-My-God-how-is-it-possible-that-it-is-already …. – and-I-don’t-have-any-presents-at-all” panic… I always deduct a few points from their friendship credit balances. (Just so that those particular women know – it needed to be said!)
Anyway, I can always argue that we are Jewish so Christmas is not really our celebration. The only problem is that I am equally badly prepared for Hannukah, Passover and Rosh Hashanah. After all, we avail ourselves of both the Jewish and the Christian holidays. In December – the month of both Christmas and Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights – this has therefore become known as Chrismukkah.
In any case – I am always very happy when I manage to complete anything on the decoration front, so that it is not so obvious to my family that everything has again been done at the last minute.
And this project is just perfect for this purpose – plus you can make use of the last remnants of your Christmas fabrics. You always have one or two plain coloured bits, and those of you who sewed my basket a few months ago can use the last leftovers of your Soft & Stable fleece here. If you hadn’t already realised – the project involves creating sewn place cards for Christmas dinner with the family. I needed a total of 11 cards and these took me about 1.5 hours from start to finish.
Material requirements (for 1 card!)
Christmas fabric: 1 piece 3 cm x 10 cm
1 piece 9 cm x 10 cm
Plain coloured fabric: 1 piece 6.5 cm x 10 cm
Soft and Stable: 1 piece 11 x 15 cm
As I needed exactly 11 cards, I was able to use a 12 cm strip over the fabric width of 110 cm and a white strip of Jelly Roll – which I then simply sewed to each other lengthwise with a seam allowance of 1 cm. Only then did I cut these strips into smaller rectangles of 10 x 14 cm. If you are making smaller cards – or using various bits of old fabric, you must of course sew these individually.
Iron your rectangular patch (seam allowances towards the darker or patterned fabric) and place it on a slightly larger piece of Soft & Stable.
Now sew all around close to the edge. I did additional top stitching above and below the white stripe. Then cut off the excess fabric all around.
And now to the most enjoyable part – putting on the name. For this you can, of course, use your embroidery module, and sew the name onto a piece of plain fabric in advance with the appropriate spacing, before then trimming and integrating it into the card. But I wanted the names to be in my handwriting.
For this, you attach the BSR foot (or you can use the foot you use for your freehand quilting), lower the bottom feed, thread in the contrasting coloured thread and off you go. I did each name three times – forwards, backwards, forwards. You should always test in advance on a piece of paper the best way to write the name in handwriting without stopping.
Almost finished – now stick the backing fabric onto your pieces, right sides together, stitch a seam allowance of 1 cm all around, leaving an opening of 5 cm (see purple marking) on the upper edge (the side without the name).
Reduce the seam allowances to 2 mm on three sides, leaving the seam allowance wider on the side with the opening and only cutting off the corners.
Now turn it inside out, pull out the corners using a not too pointed object and iron flat. Naturally you should make sure at this stage that the seam allowances of the opening are evenly ironed towards the inside. Fix in place with needles or wonder clips.
Now stitch around once again close to the edge, thereby closing the opening. Fold the rectangle in half backwards and then stitch along the folded edge to ensure the name card stands up nicely.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and/or Hanukkah festival, including a relaxed time between the festivities, good food, good company, interesting conversations and reading, and of course time for sewing!
Best wishes, Grete