The enduring virtually unchanging cultural customs of important winter holidays for many has in modern times greeted us with cheery, albeit commercial, symbols of red-striped candy canes, mistletoe and evergreen wreaths, gaily wrapped packages, bright poinsettias, smiling snowmen, jolly bearded Santas, and decorated Christmas trees, bright six-pointed stars or seven-lamp menorahs. Holiday traditions remain unaffected even by turbulent times and we seek to recreate the comfort they bring year after year.
Choose a festive holiday theme for your kitchen fabric makeover - snowflakes, Santa, snowmen, holly leaves, pinecones, winter birds, candy canes, poinsettias – then visit your local fabric store, thrift store, or use one of the many online websites to purchase a few yards of your holiday print fabric. Holiday themed fabric prints are often so charming; it is hard to choose a favorite.
To dress up a kitchen for the holidays, consider sewing a window valance, simple awning or swag to brighten up a kitchen window then, should time permit, harmonize the window fabric with a table runner and fabric catch all tray, or simple to sew chair back covers and the kitchen is instantly festive and bright.
Quick table runner with border - To make one rectangular table runner that incorporates an easy decorative border, use 1 yard (or more if your table is longer) of 45 inch-wide fabric. Cut the fabric in half length-wise. You will have two equal pieces. Re-cut one of the fabric pieces 5” or 6” narrower lengthwise than the first. Right sides together sew the two long edges first using a ¼” inch seam, turn right-sides out, press. The larger piece then will show as a border. Then finish the short edges by turning under and stitch closed for a straight edge. Note: If a traditional triangle point on the short ends is desired, fold each short edge to meet as a triangle point, then stitch across to secure. Add a tassel to the end for additional flair.
Catchall fabric tray - Cut any two pieces of coordinating fabric, in a rectangle or square shape, the desired size plus enough for seam allowances all around. One piece will be for inside the tray and one for outside. Also cut to size a medium thick fusible interfacing type product to fuse to the undersides of each fabric piece. Once the interfacing is fused, sew right sides together leaving an opening on one side to turn right sides out. Trim corners to reduce bulk, turn and then press. Stitch opening closed. On the now sewn rectangle or square, use a heat sensitive disappearing ink pen or water-soluble fabric marking pen to draw in lines to define the bottom portion of the tray. Stitch on these lines. Then pinch in each corner to stitch across each corner’s edge that will form the tray’s sides.
Easy chair back covers - A simple rectangle of fabric can be used to drape over a wooden kitchen chair back, even part way covering from front up over to the back. When completed fabric ties on each corner can loosely secure the cover to the chair back. For the length of fabric needed - measure the chair back from front side over to the back (decide how the cover will lay when finished), multiply by two and adding two additional inches for a 1/2 inch seam allowance top and bottom as well as to account for the small amount of fabric that curves over chair top. For the width – measure chair from side to side (or desired width) and add one inch that will allow for the 1/2 inch seam allowances. Fold the rectangle of fabric in half, right sides together (one short end will be a folded end), sew 1/2 inch from the three raw edges. Leave an opening for turning. Turn, press and top stitch to secure. Add lengths of ribbon to all four corners to tie to the chair.
Additional easy-to-sew kitchen fabric projects to consider – make coordinating appliance covers, oven mitts and hot pads, placemats and napkins, individual utensil holders, plastic grocery bag holders or even a whimsical door draft stopper, all can add old-fashioned charm when dressing up a busy kitchen for the holidays.
Sew happy, sew inspired.