Thursday 3 December 2015

Christmas Table Topper

Of all my patterns I think the Patchsmith’s Alphabet is one of the most versatile.  This pattern is only $1.99 yet it contains three full sets of alphabet letters (one upper-case, one lower-case and a smaller mug-rug alphabet).  
Create a personalized mug rug gift
It is great for adding initials to the back of a quilt, making a personalized mug rug or adding a name to a school plimsoll bag.  

It is also perfect for making a topper for the Christmas table - a place where you can rest the sauces, pickles and condiments.  

And here is how I did it .....

You will need:
One 18” x 6” rectangle for the background
One 16” x 5” rectangle of tartan fabric for the word
One 16” x 5” rectangle of fusible webbing
One 18” x 6” rectangle of batting
1½yds of binding (I used 1¼” single fold binding) 
Ribbon/rick-rack/trim (optional)

If you are making this as a hostess gift you might want to make the batting heat-resistant (i.e. Insulbrite etc).
I only had a remnant of tartan
so I created my applique in two sections.

1.  Start by drawing a straight line onto the paper side of the fusible webbing so that it is ½” up from the bottom edge.   Next trace your preferred word onto that line starting at the right-hand edge and working towards the left.  I used the upper-case and lower-case letters.  The templates are already reversed making it quick and easy to copy and trace.  
Overlap your traced letters with each other very slightly and overlap them on the traced line. 

Overlap the letters slightly so that they join together and set the bottom of each letter very slightly below the straight line to create a crisp straight bottom to the word ‘Christmas’ (you will cut along the straight line to create the word).

Connect the dot above the 'i' to form one continuous letter. 
Join the dot above the 'i' to the letter.

2.    Once your word is traced onto the fusible webbing, cut around it roughly leaving ¼” between the edge and the tracing.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and fuse to the WRONG side of the tartan fabric.  (I use Bondaweb so all I need do is iron it with a fairly hot iron and a little bit of steam – it works a treat.)
See how my letters overlap slightly?

3.   Allow to cool before carefully peeling a corner of the paper backing away from one end of the tracing  – just a little bit – this will make it easier when it comes to peeling the paper off later. 
Peel back a corner of the paper before cutting out the word .
This will make it easier to peel the paper off once the fabric is cut out.

4.   Now cut out your word accurately as one piece - do not cut out each separate letter - just cut around the outside edge of the word.  You also need to carefully cut out the middle of some of the letters – I use a small pair of embroidery scissors for this part.

5.   Peel the backing paper away starting with that corner you have pre-peeled.  Take care not to stretch the word out of shape.  Once all backing paper is off, place the ‘Christmas’ centrally onto the 18” x 6” backing rectangle. 

6.   When happy with the placement fuse in place.  Stitch around the letter by hand or machine.  Don’t forget to stitch the cut-out middles too! 
Stitch around the middle of the letters.
7.    Layer the backing, batting and ‘Christmas’ top before quilting around the ‘Christmas’ word.  Finally trim batting, backing and top before binding using your preferred method. 

And there you have it.   A lovely addition to any table this festive season.  

Until next time ........ 


  1. You've sold me on this! Now I've got lots of ideas running through my head on using this great pattern. Thank you!

    1. You won't be disappointed Kathy - it is a great pattern to have to hand. Email me anytime if I can help at all (email is in 'About the Patchsmith' page). The hardest part is choosing the fabrics.

  2. Another Great Pattern! I'll have to check it out.

    1. Thank you Susie. It is one pattern that I return to time-and-time again. I made a Father's Day mug rug using the upper-case letters this year and a couple of named mug rugs. I hope you enjoy the pattern.

  3. It is a lovely addition... to tables and walls and anywhere! Beautiful work Amanda!