Christmas, Christmas, Christmas… whenever I look up from my deskjob this is pretty much what my brain starts chanting excitedly and then I have to pop my head back down before it gets out of hand. With not long to go, I’m getting so excited about... well, pretty much everything! The family gatherings and celebrations spread out over the month, various drinks parties with family, friends and neighbours who we don’t get to see very often, festive games evenings – Mario Kart, bring it on!, that first disgusting sip of mulled wine – gotta love it, Christmas carols playing on LP whilst wrapping presents under the Christmas tree, staff Christmas parties with so many comedy stories the following morning...
...relaxed evening Christmas shopping mooching round a few key Kentish towns, the Christmas lights springing up outside households around our neighbourhood, the Christmas lights dangling from our own home (!!!) as we turn into the drive, meals out (we never get to eat out!!!), crisp morning walks in the frost, finding ways to make festive fun for those less fortunate or just plain bah humbuggy, the snuggly variety of silly woolly hats that get to come out and play, the thrill of Christmas eve whilst peeling a plethora of root veg, the anticipation of hanging our stockings – yes we still hang stockings, for the cat and rabbit too, the excitement of Christmas morning with salmon and champagne eagerly awaiting the family to arrive, the teasing clues for treasure hunts around the house for presents, the opportunity to spoil our loved ones a little, the gut bursting aches after dinner whilst various family members nod off as their cracker hat slides down to their chin. I. CANNOT. WAIT!
Anyhoo… my very crafty friend Yuta and I had a craft evening last week and I managed to squeeze in two new envelope cushion covers for the dining room chairs and the table placemats for our Christmas dinner. Upon arrival Yuta asked what I was making that night, I told her about my cushion covers, but feeling lazy I was armed with my many safety pins and planning on just pulling the fabric in and pinning it. Shocked, Yuta asked how I would react to a pin coming undone and stabbing our guests, well, quite frankly where it would hurt quite a great deal. She had a point. You like the pun? So with the loan of a needle and thread (still no sign of my sewing kit after the Great Big Move), I set to work on a basic envelope template.
Turns out it was real easy. You just cut a rectangle of fabric (an old curtain in my case) and fold it over the cushion and overlap at the back. My overlap was already hemmed from its curtain days, but just fold over again and sew neatly to finish the edge. Next, turn it inside out, sew down both edges and then turn the right way out and stretch it over your cushion, flattening the overlap flap at the back. You could secure it with a button or ribbon if your fancied. We’re sitting on ours, so I did not bother. It only took me about an hour to do both cushions. I did however thin out the cushion inners because these are to be used at the dinner table and I did not want some guests to sit towering over everybody else, so one cushion inner made both of these beauties.
I also laminated a few more placemats (first seen here) for our table and they came out very well. It's so simple, just laminate a set of paper doilies, carefully cut around the edges and you have yourself some heat proof and wipeable homemade table place mats. I have not tried them with plates straight from the oven, that kind of heat may test their limits, but they work very well with warm dinner plates. So that’s the dining room ready for Christmas day! Onto the next job list item… whilst trying not to get too excited and lose my head :)