Table Topper – What’s it for?

We see them online all the time. Toppers are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes and colors. One day I was making a quilted table topper and my son commented that it looked really nice but “what do you do with them?” Huh. It got me thinking he wasn’t the only one out there who questioned the purpose of a table topper. Ever notice how few tablecloths we see on the kitchen, dining room, and living room tables in the beautiful Pinterest photos? All those bare tables with vases, bowls, and trays. A topper not only adds to the theme in color or design, but also protects the table surface from spills or from scratches that occur by moving dishes, vases, etc. around the table.

Let’s look at some of the ways they can be used:

  • Complement  your table theme with color, texture, or design
  • Protect your table from spills and scratches
  • They serve as hot pads for hot serving dishes
  • Place on top of your favorite tablecloth
  • Nice accent and easy decorating solution
  • Use alone in the center of any table as decoration
  • Looks great in either formal or informal setting
  • Use for special occasions – change the theme of your room to match the occasion or holiday
  • Wall hanging, especially quilted table toppers

 

This turquoise table topper is displayed on a table but would also make a nice wall hanging

Now that we’ve looked at why we use table toppers, where do we use them:

  • Dining room
  • Ktchen table
  • Coffee or sofa table
  • Hall table
  • Patio table
  • End table
  • Night stand
  • Dresser
  • Mantle

So if your table is looking a little bare, give it a little pizazz with one of these ideas:

  • On the dining room table with a plant, silk flowers in a vase or candles
  • On a kitchen table with napkin holder, salt and pepper, and fresh flowers
  • On a coffee table as a place to put your snack bowl and drink
  • Hall table, end table, night stand or dresser with a lamp or knick knacks

Hope this helps answer the question “what do you do with a table topper?” and given you a few ideas about how you could use them around your home.

Lorraine is a New England homemaker with a passion for quilting. See her handmade table decor and baby quilts at New England Patches.

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Simple Table Decor

 

Welcome to the first post of my “For the Home” blog. I’d like to share my ideas about a simple way to enhance your home decor.

We’re always looking for new ways to enhance our home decor. One simple solution is a tablecloth. They seem to pull it all together and add a more homey feel to a room rather than just having a bare table. I particularly like to use quilted tablecloths. Whether it’s a centerpiece topper, runner, or placemats, they provide an accent for your room decor and provide the added benefit of protecting your tabletops from scratches and hot dishes. They can be used on a dining table, kitchen table, side table, dresser, night stand, or patio table. They’re great as a wall hanging or even to line a basket. The list of uses is endless. Quilted tablecloths can blend with the theme of a room decor or be the focal point in design and color.

Here are the topics I’ll be posting from time to time:

  • My primary focus will be home decor and the effect of decorating with table runners, toppers, and placemats;
  • An easy way to de-junk, de-clutter, and organize your stuff. This is the first step in home decorating. Once you control the disorganization, find a place for everything and put everything in it’s place, you’ll be able to add decorative accents to those surfaces previously filled wit accumulated stuff;
  • The addition of indoor plants for your home decor and how they can fill areas of your rooms like blank walls, windows, or tables;
  • Will add some free and easy DIY quilt tutorials for those who’d like to try their hand at beginning quilting.

I’d love to hear from you about your table decorating ideas. What other ways do you use your quilted tablecloths?

Lorraine is a New England homemaker with a passion for quilting. See her handmade table decor and baby quilts at New England Patches

Organize it in 6 easy steps!

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Seems like a monumental task to organize our homes. You’re having guests for an upcoming occasion and want to do some home decorating. But home decor seems like a fantasy when every surface in the house is Covered with an assortment of things.

Let me share a method that makes it easy. I call it finding a place for everything and putting everything in it’s place:

  1. Pick a room, any room. Start sorting all the things in the room into piles. Each pile represents the room where each of those objects belong. This could be the bedroom pile, the kitchen pile, the den pile, etc. Just make sure each item is in the right pile.
  2. Once all the items have found a pile to live in, work on each pile separately. Take the bedroom pile to the bedroom, the kitchen pile to the kitchen, etc. Put the items in the corner of the room where it belongs.
  3. The only things left in the room where you started should be things that belong in that room.
  4. Find a place for every thing in that room. If it’s something you don’t want, put it in a “donate” pile. If it’s junk, put it in a “trash” pile. If you decide to keep it, find a place for it to live permanently. This is where it will go in the future after each use every time. The same way silverware always goes into the same drawer.
  5. Now repeat steps 1-4 in each of the remaining rooms. You already have a pile that belongs there from the first room. Now go through all of the out-of-place items in that room, making piles of things that belong in other rooms adding any appropriate items to the donate pile and trash pile.
  6. Collect all the “donate” piles and put them in containers to take to Goodwill. Collect all the “trash” piles, put them in plastic bags and add the bags to your weekly trash pickup.

The secret is to make sure there is a place for all these things.That way it’s easy to put it back there when you’ve finished using it in the future. Treat every new thing the same way. From mail that’s delivered that day to the new shower curtain you just bought. Always think “where should I put this?” Throw away the junk mail, file the bills to be paid (in a place for those bills) and, unless you have time to install that new shower curtain right away, put it where you can find it. Not on the dining room table. Maybe in the linen closet?

Works for me. Let me know how it works for you.

Lorraine is a New England homemaker with a passion for quilting. See her handmade table decor and baby quilts at New England Patches

Make Easy Quilted Potholders

Make Easy Quilted Potholders

Here’s a simple step by step method for making quilted potholders. You’ll see how easy they are to make for yourself or as a gift for someone. Also, for those of you new to quilting, this is an understandable introduction to learning the craft.

blog purple potholder 2015 1

You will need the following:

  • Fabric #1 – two 14″ strips and one 7″ strip, 3 1/2″ wide
  • Fabric #2 – one 14″ strip and two 7″ strips, 3 1/2″ wide
  • Batting – two 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ (you may want to use Insul Brite for extra heat resistance as one of the layers)
  • Backing – two 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ pieces of fabric

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Using a 1/4″ seam, stitch above the strips together and cut the sewn units into 3 1/2″ sections as pictured below:
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Stitch these segments together, 1/4″ seam, being careful to match the seams. This will complete the top of the potholder.

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Next layer the potholder. The patchwork top and the backing are right sides together, and layers of batting are placed on either side of the “sandwich” as pictured below:

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Pin the layers together leaving a 5″ – 6″ opening on one side:

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Once it’s sewn, carefully clip off the corners before turning inside out making it easier to square the corners. Now turn inside out through the opening, carefully pushing each corner outwards:

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Press the potholder turning in the raw edges of the opening. Insert a piece of ribbon or make a 5″ loop out of your fabric to hang the potholder. Unnecessary if you don’t plan to hang it! See below:

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Now top stitch all around the potholder 1/8″ from the edge closing the opening.

At this point I like to quilt diagonally across the solid purple squares in each direction in an X design to keep the layers from shifting as seen in the finished photo at the top of the page.

There you go, a really nice potholder for you or your gift recipient. Now wasn’t that easy!

Lorraine is a New England homemaker with a passion for quilting. See her handmade table decor and baby quilts at New England Patches