A New Christmas Table

What a blessing and gift it is to gather everyone around the family table during this special time of year. As a quilter, nothing is more satisfying than creating something beautiful and unique for our own decoration. Seeing a craft I personally made put to good use is incredibly satisfying. I hope you too can experience this joy in your own home this Christmas season.

Today's post is a Christmas Tree Placemat you can create to your own liking and use this year at your own table. I will walk you through the basic steps demonstrating how I made my own placemats. In the pattern, you will find everything you need to complete the project. Let's get started!


You will need (3) fabrics for the tree and stars as well as your background fabric. The fabric requirements are as follows:

Fabric 1: 1/4 yard

Fabric 2: 1/4 yard

Fabric 3: (1) Fat Eighth

Fabric 4: 1/2 yard (background)

For this demonstration, I chose some Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids which are a "go to" for me when it comes to solids. Their fabrics are gorgeous. I usually find I can created that "muted" look I so often tend to lean towards. Here is what I chose for these placemats:

Half Square Triangles (HST)

Once you decide on your fabrics, it's time to cut all your fabric. All the cutting requirements are well laid out for you in the pattern with diagrams. Note: The pattern will actually make (2) placemats. So if you're wanting a total of (4) placemats, just double all your numbers. Say you're getting ready a for a larger party and you want (12) placemats, just multiply everything by (6). It's easy to do the math if you're wanting to make more than the (2) described in the pattern.

The pattern will walk you through making (8) HSTs at time. (Here's a FREE Cheat Sheet for your reference to make any size HST.) If you have never learned this method, no worries. Each step in described and diagrammed in the pattern. I also have a tutorial in a recent blog post entitled The Magical World of HST.

Back to the pattern, once you make all the HSTs, it's time to trim. The Half Square Ruler is my favorite method for trimming. Each one comes out perfectly trimmed...much better than I can ever do using a Square Off ruler.

Half Rectangle Triangles (HRT)

The next step is to make the HRT. These might seem a bit overwhelming but they're easier than you think. Once you do a couple, you'll see that they are actually quite fun to make! As far a piecing, I always lay them out just as the pattern diagrams. You'll actually have (2) different directional triangles for each placemat. Here is a look at one of them.

You'll notice that I've laid out the triangle to mimic the finished HST. The triangle on the left is from Fabric 4 and the triangle on the right is from Fabric 1. Simply flip the Fabric 4 triangle to align RST. Sew a 1/4" along the long sides of the triangles.

The trimming can be a bit tricky only because you're working with an angle that's not the most common 45 degree angle. You'll line up the 1/4" dot/mark of your quilt ruler right on the intersecting line of the HRT. Make sure as you trim the first two sides, the HRT is measuring LARGER than your final cut size. Trim the first (2) sides of the HRT. This is all explained and diagrammed with more detail in the pattern.

Once you trim the first two sides, you'll notice the triangle tip that was just trimmed now has about 1/8" inch across the top. That's good and what your want.

Then you flip the HRT 180 degrees and trim to the desired size. This trimming is more traditional in that you're lining up the HRT with the ruler to achieve a specific size. And that's it! Now you have beautiful HSTs that are about to become a Christmas Tree!

Placemat Assembly

Those are the only units you need to create before assembling your placemat top. From now on, it's a jigsaw puzzle. And who doesn't like putting together puzzles?

First, you'll put two opposite HRTs together to create your tree.

Then you'll take the HSTs and a couple of solid squares to create the half stars. It all starts to come together quite quickly at this point. It's just a matter of piecing the stars, the tree and background pieces to bring it all together.

Quilts, Coffee, and Jazz

It's about this point where my coffee runs out. And you might be asking why I interrupted this tutorial to talk about my coffee. That's because Quilts, Coffee, and Jazz is a perfect combo around CCQ. I love this trio so much that I actually give my own suggestions with each pattern for your own enjoyment. So before we move on, let's take a break.

For the coffee suggestion, I recommend a Salted Caramel Cold Brew. I remember seeing a Starbucks customer receive this gorgeous, venti iced coffee and was baffled at what that might be. Probably about 3/4 of the cup was black, iced coffee with a light and airy dairy topping floating at the top. I actually asked the barista what that was because I just had to have it. Yep, you guessed it: Salted Caramel Cold Brew. And I think salted caramel anything goes great with Christmas!

And for the jazz, I highly recommend "Christmas Time is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. It's classic. It's soothing. And it will get anyone in the mood for Christmas! If you haven't started Christmas projects yet, I have a feeling a hearing of this song will get you started!


Back to our project...After you finish your quilt top, it's now time to quilt. For these (2) placemats I made for this blog post, I kept it quite simple. First, I went around the star and the tree with a stitch in the ditch.

Second, I echoed the star and tree by a 1/4" quilting outline.