DIY & Crafts

Homemade gift: Retro trivet

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DIY & Crafts

Homemade gift: Retro trivet

Handmade trivets and tea towels are great hostess gifts, especially when sewn up in a fabric with retro charm. Add them to a gift bag along with a bottle of wine to express your thanks for a delicious holiday dinner, or make them for a friend "just because."

Use natural fabrics (not polyester) and a double layer of foil-insulated quilt batting (such as Insul-Bright) to protect hands and surfaces from hot casserole dishes.

You need:
1 piece cotton tea towelling, 23 cm (9 inches) square
2 pieces Insul-Bright, each 23 cm (9 inches) square
1 piece printed cotton or cotton/linen blend, 21 cm (81/2 inches) square
1 metre (39 inches) 1/2-inch-wide double-fold bias tape in contrasting or coordinating colour
Thread to match
Quilter's safety pins
Fabric marker, chalk or pencil
Acrylic ruler, self-healing cutting mat and rotary cutter

Take a look at a larger image of the finished trivets.

To make:

1. Layer fabric on work surface as follows: tea towelling, right side down; Insul-Bright; printed cotton, right side up and centred on Insul-Bright square. Working from centre out, pin layers together at 5 cm (2-inch) intervals.

2. Mark quilting lines on top layer of fabric and quilt as desired. (We used a simple diagonal grid.)

3. Using rotary cutter and acrylic ruler and working on self-healing cutting mat, trim excess fabric and batting away to make trivet 20 cm (8-inch) square.

4. Fold one end of bias tape 2.5 cm (1 inch) to wrong side and press. Starting with folded-under end in centre of one side of square, sandwich raw edges in bias tape, pinning as you work and mitring corners as you come to them. Layer raw edge of binding under folded edge; pin.

5. Edgestitch around binding, being sure to catch bias tape on both sides.

Designer's note: We fell in love with this fabric line, "Ruby Star Rising" by Melody Miller, and its retro Pyrex-, Fire-King- and Cathrineholm-inspired print. Have a look for new or vintage fabrics that will provide a perfect accent for your hosts' home.

This story was originally titled "Giving Thanks" in the October 2011 issue.

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Homemade gift: Retro trivet

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