Will you be a cook or a guest for Thanksgiving tomorrow? Maybe a little of both? I’ll be a guest this year at my aunt’s house, and while I’m going to bring a pecan pie (my personal favorite!), I also always think it’s nice to bring a little something to thank the host or hostess. Conveniently enough, there are a couple of very cute and FREE Thanksgiving designs from Embroidery Library right now! Hurry and download them now–they expire Nov. 30!
Either one would be perfect to embroider on a tea towel, napkin or mini quilt, or in my case this potholder/trivet which is definitely quick and easy enough to finish by Turkey Day. I downloaded the larger Turkey Gobble design, which measures 4.79″x6.85″. Read ahead for instructions on making a simple Thanksgiving potholder to thank the host this year or just to brighten up your own kitchen.
Start with a piece of cotton or linen that’s bigger all around than the design. The piece I started with is about 7″x8″, which will be trimmed to size after embroidery.
Since the potholder is quilted, I hooped the linen with Battilizer from Hoop Sisters. Battilizer is a pretty awesome product if you do a lot of quilting with embroidery, because it’s a combination of stabilizer and batting in one. If you don’t have Battilizer, you could use a mediumweight tearaway stabilizer and then add batting after embroidery.
Since the fabric is smaller than the hoop, I adhered it to the battilizer with spray adhesive and pinned the perimeter.
After loading the design and placing the hoop onto the machine, I decided to advance the design through the first thread color to skip it. Since I used ivory fabric, I decided that would suffice for the area behind the feathers instead of ivory fill stitching. I used Madeira Polyneon Thread to embroider the design because it’s vibrant and strong and will hold up well to washing (which a pot holder is certain to need at some point).
I stuck with the cute “gobble” phrase under the turkey, but you could also always skip that step and stitch a family name or “Happy Thanksgiving!” message instead.
Remove the fabric from the hoop, and then cut out a rectangle, centering the turkey design with a 1 1/4″ margin all around it.
From insulating batting, such as Insul-Bright and coordinating backing fabric, cut rectangles to the same size as the trimmed embroidered rectangle. Sandwich the batting between the fabric layers, aligning the edges. If desired, round the corners of the rectangles by tracing a spool edge and then trimming.
Pin the quilt sandwich, and then baste the perimeter using a 1/8″ seam allowance. I decided to quilt around the turkey to highlight the design and anchor the layers together.
Binding time! Now, I happened to have some very cute 1/2″-wide printed premade double-fold bias binding that coordinated very well with the harvest colors in the design. You could use prepackaged tape like this, or you could cut bias strips and piece them together to make your own.
To make a hanging loop, cut a 5″ strip from the binding and then edgestitch the long open edge; set aside.
Unfold the binding, and with right sides together, align one long raw edge with the potholder perimeter, gently stretching it around the curved corners. Fold one binding end at a right angle to conceal the short raw edges. Pin the binding generously, lapping the raw short end over the folded beginning.
Stitch just inside the first binding fold using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Trim and clip the curved corners, and then fold the binding toward the back along the original foldlines to enclose all of the raw edges. Slipstitch the binding to the pot holder back by hand. Even if you don’t like hand stitching, this project is small enough that it doesn’t take long at all. Or, if you’re very short on time, set the machine to a very wide zigzag stitch, and then stitch the binding from the right side to catch all the layers at once.
To insert the hanging loop, fold the strip in half, matching up the short ends, and then pin the short ends inside the fold 1/2″ from the upper-right corner. Slipstitch the ends in place as you stitch that binding corner.
Fold the hanging loop upward, and then tack it in place near the lower edges.
You’re finished! Well done! Here’s a front and back view of the completed project.
And a kitchen photo, before it gets messy!
Now, if you’re such a sewing star that you’re already onto the next big holiday, this project would work just as well with a Christmas design. In fact, there happens to be a delightful little free applique ornament design just waiting for you to download from our CME Christmas Cheer Collection until Dec. 15!
Wherever you are and whatever you’ll be doing tomorow, we wish you and your family a happy and wonderful Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble!