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Friday, February 12, 2016

Trouble with Trivets

The trekkie in me couldn't resist, but really, trivets are no trouble at all.

Trivets make great host/hostess gifts:  everyone needs them, they're easy to make, and if homemade, they're unique and personal.  They're a wonderful way to use leftover scraps and remnants of fabric, too.

PLEASE NOTE:  The step-by-step process below assumes that you already know fundamental sewing techniques such as anchoring your stitching and pinning fabrics perpendicular to the stitching.  If you don't, you might want to read up a bit.  You can also leave me questions - happy to respond!

Here's how I do it:

Top fabric piece
1.      Choose your fabric and cut it to a good size.  You’re going to put these under hot serving dishes so a variety of sizes will work.  Too big is better than too small, of course.  What I'm using here is an upholstery fabric remnant made of Thai silk (not the easiest fabric in the world to work with because it unravels, but so beautiful).
2.      Choose the backing and cut it to the same size.  Felt is a good choice, since it’s soft and won’t scratch wood, but pretty much any material will do.  I'm using pink fleece.
Bottom or backing

 3.      Cut a piece of insulation the same size, if you deem that insulation is necessary.  (If the materials are thick enough you may not need it.)  You can also use batting, padding, or just layers of other material if you don’t have commercial insulation.  (These first 3 steps can be combined into one.)  Fun fact:  I just purchased 100 yards of insulation - enough to make approximately 800 trivets!
Insulation (if needed)

Same order but with RIGHT sides together
4.      Put the 3 pieces together such that the front and back are together, right sides facing each other, with the piece of insulation pinned to either the front or back piece, but not in between them.

All 3 pieces

5.      Sew all 4 sides but leave a gap on the first side of about 3” so that you can turn the whole thing inside out.  The pen is pointing to the gap that I intend to leave between the pins.
6.      Before you turn it inside out, cut the corners – taking care not to cut the stitching, very easy to do! – to eliminate the extra bulk.  You can iron it at this point, if you want; depending on the fabric you use that might make it lie down a little flatter when you turn it inside out.

Cut extra material from all 4 corners

7.      Now turn it inside out so that the insulation is on the inside and poke out the corners with something pointed but not too pointed, taking care not to poke through the stitching.
8.      Fold the sides in where the gap is and pin together.

Gap pinned

9.      Top-stitch around all 4 sides, i.e., sew approximately 1/8" from all 4 edges.  This will close the gap and make the trivet look finished.  You can use a matching or contrasting color thread.  You might want to top-stitch it elsewhere to make it lie down flatter.  Diagonal lines from corner to corner through the center always work or you can stitch along any lines in your fabric.  If you’re a good sewer, you can do decorative top-stitching as in quilting.
10.  Cut hanging threads, remove pins, and...Voila!  A new trivet!  Makes a great hostess or housewarming gift, and a thoughtful offering to anyone who would appreciate a useful and charming handmade gift from you. No trouble at all!
Completed trivet!

Of course, if you decide that you just don’t have time, you can always buy handmade trivets at my etsy shop!

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