Christmas crafting

I was talking to one of the cleaners at work today. On Saturday she went to the Christmas market in Birmingham. And she deep breath finishedherchristmasshoppingandthenwenthomeandwrappeditallupandputupherchristmasdecorations.
Including the tree.

I had to say it fast otherwise I might have started sobbing halfway through.

I am in awe of people who are that organized. I thought I was doing well because I bought my Christmas cards in the January sales this year. I have no idea where they are now, but hey, they are in the house somewhere. And in my head, that’s that job done.

So I thought about doing a big Christmas shop and then bringing it all home and wrapping it when the kids are in bed. Then I thought “nah”.

So much more fun to procrastinate and spend the time making stuff instead.

I find one of the nice things about this time of year is the way the house smells warm and inviting with the scent of gingerbread and spices from the Christmas baking hanging heavy in the air. And I like the house to smell like that even if all we have been doing in reality is arguing over the homework or cooking fish for tea.

Scented Christmas Coasters

These are so easy to make, and once you’ve placed a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate/mulled wine/insert hot beverage of choice) on top, the scent of the spices is released and you will be enveloped in a warm fug of seasonal goodwill and coziness.

Tempted?

You will need
Coaster sized piece of backing fabric
4 Smaller sized pieces of coordinating fabric
Wadding
Bias tape in a coordinating colour -enough to go all the way around the coaster.
Assorted Christmassy spices.
Cardboard
Pencil

First of all, decide on the size of your coaster and then work out how big your patchwork squares would need to be if that coaster was divided into 4. Draw yourself a template to this size on card and cut it out. Use the template to cut out 4 squares of pretty Christmassy fabric in complementary colours and patterns,

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allowing a 2cm seam allowance all round.

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Also cut out a piece of fabric for the backing and a piece of batting, these should be the size you want your finished coaster to be.

Sew your 4 smaller squares of fabric together to make 1 larger square

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Press the seams open and trim any excess, loose threads etc.
Now make a sandwich with backing fabric (right side down), batting in the middle and patchwork (right side up) on top. Pin the layers together.

Now take some bias binding and pin it around three sides of the coaster. Sew the bias tape in place.

Take some dried spices – I used cloves, a little bit of cinnamon bark (crushed with a pestle and mortar) and some star anise – and place them inside the coaster. Make sure they are well distributed so you don’t get any lumpy bits.

Now sew the last section of bias tape into place, sealing the coaster.

Make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or hot chocolate/mulled wine/hot beverage of choice), place it on the coaster in between sips, and let yourself be enveloped by the smell of Christmas.

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Having a pile of Christmas cards to write as you do your sipping is optional.

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