Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Christmas Star {Gift Idea}

my sweet William

I can't believe there's only one week left until Christmas! Can you? Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping? Made any Christmas crafts? Done any special Christmas-y things?

The last six weeks have flown by for me thanks to this little guy...he's my best Christmas gift! :-) I told you I would officially announce my new baby, so here he is--

William Shepherd B. 
10 pounds, 22 inches

Yes, he's a BIG, little guy! I am very happy to have him out!! :-) I don't think I've ever been so glad to not be pregnant anymore. Things have been extremely busy with a new baby in the house (and please don't pay any mind to the mess in the background of this pic!), but I've still managed to get a few Christmas projects done (thanks to my very helpful husband and mom). It just wouldn't be the same kind of Christmas if I didn't get to make a few things!

So, with the help of my mom, I was able to make some really cute Christmas gifts for my son's school teachers last week, and I'd like to share the project with you! Here's a tutorial on how to make a Christmas star using three homemade potholders. Enjoy!

List of supplies:
-- material for 6-7x7 in. squares in coordinating colors
-- thread in coordinating colors
-- thin quilt batting cut in 7x7 in. squares (need 6 squares)
-- metallic embroidery thread for decorative border stitch
-- ribbon
-- basic sewing supplies

This project is pretty easy. I think even beginners could do this if you have some basic sewing skills. Each potholder/hotpad takes about 30 minutes if you go fast and know exactly what you're doing. Let's get started!

Step 1: Pick 3 coordinating fabrics, and cut 2 squares (7x7 in) out of each fabric.
Step 2: Cut 2 squares (7x7 in) of thin quilt batting per potholder (so, 6 total).

Step 3: For your first potholder, pin both squares of batting to a single, fabric square. Make sure your batting is touching the wrong side of the fabric. Using a 1/8 inch seam (or just move your needle to the right and then use the edge of the presser foot as a guide), sew around the entire square (basting stitch). You do not have to back-stitch at the beginning or end.

Step 4: Take your second fabric square and pin it to the first square, making sure that the right sides of each fabric piece are touching each other. Using a larger seam (move needle to the middle and use edge of presser foot as a guide), stitch around the block again, BUT leave a 2-inch opening for turning it inside out. Also, be sure to back-stitch this time.

Step 5: Trim off a little of each of the corners so they won't be so bulky when you turn the potholder inside out. Just don't cut too close to the thread!

Step 6: Turn potholder inside out, and hand-stitch (blind stitch) or machine top-stitch (very close to the edge) the opening closed.

Step 7: Using a fabric pen, mark an X on the potholder (see picture below). Stitch along the markings (be sure to back-stitch at each corner). This will help hold the batting in place.

Step 8: This step is optional, but I think it really helps give the potholder a beautiful, finished look. Using your sewing machine and some coordinating metallic embroidery thread (the metallic thread has a lovely sheen to it), sew a decorative stitch along the edges of the potholder (FYI--scallops are really hard to do around the corners, so you might want to stick with a simpler stitch like the zig-zag!). Be sure to do some practice runs on a fabric scrap before you attempt the real thing! 

Step 9: Your first potholder is complete! Repeat process for next two potholders.

Step 10: Fold each potholder in half and arrange them as shown below. You should see a star! Tie all 3 together using your coordinating ribbon, and then top the star with a Christmas-y bow! 

My mom and I made a total of two stars (6 potholders), and I think they turned out gorgeous! They really make a lovely, Christmas gift! They are a little labor-intensive, but the finished project is so beautiful. And once you get the hang of it, you really can go fast. I'd say if you worked an assembly line with each step, you  could finish a star in an hour. That's if you don't have to change the thread/bobbin out for each potholder like we did! Something to keep in mind when you're picking out your fabric.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I'd love to know if you end up making a set of your own. And let me know if you have any questions! 

Partying here!
Lil Luna

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