November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Memory Tablecloth

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Although I have started crafting a few Christmas decorations already, I have kept up my fun scrappy turkeys, happy fall bunting, grateful frame, and little clay pilgrims.  I love Thanksgiving, and all the wonderful memories!

I've heard people talk about their different Thanksgiving traditions - usually writing down in one way or another the things they are thankful for.  Now that my kids are getting old enough to understand and practice gratitude, I thought it would be nice to have a "thankful" tradition of our own!

I bought a huge piece of fabric from the store to make into a tablecloth.  I picked sturdy material that is pretty thick - not as thick as canvas or duck cloth, but thicker than linen.  It should be easy enough to write on with permanent marker or fabric pens, and the color is very festive!

I hemmed the edges of my fabric using this tutorial here - and it turned out great! I wanted a nice mitered corner, with no raw edges, since I hope to keep this for a while.

I wanted to add something to tie my tablecloth to Thanksgiving, so I decided to add the phrase "gather together & give thanks."  

Here's how I did it:
I wanted my words to look appliqued, so after I chose a dark colored fabric for the words, I first ironed light weight fusible webbing (sewable heat-n-bond) to the back side.
You could use the non-sewable kind, if you don't want to stitch the edges, but there is still a chance that with washes and use, the edges of the words will fray if you don't sew them.

Above you can see the process I used to make the words.  The words are all cut out by hand - no fancy machine required!

1st) I chose a font that I liked on the computer, typed out my phrase "gather together & give thanks", and made the font really big.

2nd) In Microsoft Word you can make the text show an outline only - so you aren't using a bunch of black ink.  To do this, highlight your text, right click and choose "font", click the "text effects" button at the bottom, choose "no fill" in the "text fill" tab.  Then click the "text outline" tab and choose "solid line."  Click "okay" and you should see an outline of the text only.

3rd) Now you can print your words.

4th) Cut around the outline of the text on the paper.

5th) Set your words upside down on the back of the fabric (which should be covered by heat-n-bond) and trace around the paper.

6th) Cut the words you just traced out of the fabric.

Once you have cut all the words out, peel off the backing on the heat-n-bond, heat up your iron, and work on placing your words.  Above, you can see that I carefully centered my fabric, and measured from the edge of the table to create lines of pins.  I used these lines to align my words.

Above - the fabric is all ironed down.

It was a little cumbersome because the fabric is so large, but I used my sewing machine to zig-zag stitch around all the words (see picture above) - and it looks so nice now that it is done!  Like I said, I want to keep this for years, so the extra time it took me to stitch around everything was worth it.  It looks great!  

I'm looking forward to having my family write on it for the first time at Thanksgiving dinner.  I'll be sure to trace my baby's hand, and write the date next to everyone's entries.... I can just see my husband and I looking at this years down the road and reminiscing about when our children were small.  

So, I'd love to know - what are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions??

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these instructions! I'm making a pennant banner for a mantle as a hostess gift. For Thanksgiving, my husband and I made wooden blocks with Thanksgiving-themed kids stickers mod-podged on them, for the kids to play with and set up a First Thanksgiving scene. That's another idea I found it on Pinterest. :) Thanks again.