When Dorothy arrives in Oz to meet the Wizard, the pageantry of her welcome includes the amazing "Horse of a Different Color." When I was young and saw this, I was convinced that horse was real and longed to find one. I got a little older and realized it was a metaphor, as were those terrifying winged monkeys. Although I still stand respectfully back from the primate enclosure at the zoo, the Horse of a Different Color remains a favorite and is a great description of what can happen when you take a project and look at it from a different angle. It's the theory behind our Re-imagine & Renovate series, or R&R as we call it. We take one of our favorite classic projects and try it in new fabric with a new color palette - sometimes even changing up one of the techniques slightly. Today we're re-doing our very popular circular trivets.
I've always loved trivets because I've always had dining tables that needed protection, and I like to serve food hot from the stove or oven. Trivets are also beautifully decorative as a mat for a vase or as a unique take on the popular mug rug.
We used 10" x 10" layer cake squares in Curio by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics with a natural linen for the back. Curio is an older collection that is no longer readily available, but don't let that stop you! You can use other layer cake squares or cut 7" x 7" squares from your scraps. Each trivet features six different fabrics; it's a great exercise in blending prints and colorways. You'll need a slightly larger piece for the back as well as wide rick rack in an accent shade. There's a full supply list in the original tutorial, which is linked below.
Fabric and Other Supplies
Because the trivets are circular, so is the quilting. The original ones we did used the very handy Janome Circular Sewing Attachment to make quick work of this technique. For today's R&R version, we show you how to create the circles with a standard Walking foot and quilt bar.
To Re-imagine & Renovate your own set of Circular Quilted Trivets, go to the original tutorial (which also contains the pattern links):
The construction is the same as the original except we used a linen substrate for the back instead of cotton and did not include this linen within the 12 top wedges. Plus, as mentioned above, we did not use a Circular Sewing Attachment. Instead, we used our Walking foot with a quilt bar.
To accomplish the hand quilted look, we set the stitch length at 3.5 and used cream all-purpose thread in the bobbin and monofilament thread in the top.
Place a pin in the center of the trivet where all the points match up.
Using a measuring tape or ruler and a fabric marking pencil, measure from the center pin 1" to the left and mark, then 1" to the right and mark.
Pivot the tape/ruler and repeat at several points, marking to the left and the right each time. You will end up with a circle formed by a dotted line.
Repeat this at 2" out from center, 3" out from center and 4" out from center. This will give you four concentric circles, each formed by a dotted line.
Attach a quilt bar to your Walking foot. Set the bar at 1".
Leave the pin in the center of the trivet and let the bar rest against it. Sew in a circle, following the drawn line and using that pin as your pivot point.
For the subsequent three rows of quilting, set the quilt bar on the previous line of stitching to guide your quilting.
Hints and Tips
As we always mention when it comes to finding fabric, If you love a fabric, get it while you can. Because, like fashionable apparel, popular fabrics come and go; at some point, even the most amazing fabrics are no longer in stores or online. You can check your favorite fabric source to find out if they have it in stock or can get it for you. You can also try Googling the fabric name along with the designer's name or the design house. Prints from older collections can also sometimes be found on Etsy or eBay.
Looking for more information on blending, mixing and matching your fabrics? Check out these tutorials:
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild