November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving! Turkey Placemats

Thanksgiving is next week! Don't forget to start defrosting your turkey soon. How soon? I have no idea - I've never cooked a turkey. Speaking of turkeys...

The Book -
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott

Mrs. Bassett is starting to prepare the thanksgiving turkey when someone arrives to tell her that her mother is ill. Mr. and Mrs. Bassett rush off, leaving Tilly, their oldest of six children, in charge. She decides to go ahead with the thanksgiving preparations to surprise her parents when they return. With the help of her sisters, Tilly creates a memorable meal!

Although it is probably too long for younger children, this is a sweet story girls will love. The illustrations by James Bernardin are beautiful and nostalgic, full of candle and firelight. The characters are Little House-esque (or maybe Little Women-esque) and will capture the imagination of the little girl in your life. On the last page of the book is a recipe for Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump.

The Craft - Turkey Placemats

Isn't he cute? I've been seeing some hand print turkey appliques on the blogosphere and thought they would make great Thanksgiving placemats. Never mind that I have no clue how to applique anything; I've conquered my fear of the sewing machine! So I bought four green placemats from Walmart for less than $2 each, traced my family members' hands, and sat down to work.

First I cut out a square of fabric (leftover from my pumpkins) around my handprint. Then I stitch-witched to the placemat the part of the fabric that would lay over the palm.

Next, I pinned the handprint to the the square and placemat. Doesn't it look painful?

Setting my sewing machine on the slowest setting - because maybe I haven't entirely gotten over my sewingmachineophobia - I stitched around the fingers.

Ta-da! Unpin the hand and you've got... a hand.

Carefully trim off the excess fabric. Using the machine, stitch two little legs. Then handsew a button for the eye and a piece of felt for the waddle. And suddenly that hand is now a turkey, ready to make your Thanksgiving table extra special!

I only had time to make my placemat, so I have three more of these gobblers to create. I'll probably handstitch the girls', because their hands are so small. Just think how fun it will be next November when we pull these out and see how much their hands have grown!



  1. My brother made a paper baseball ornament at his nursery school back in 1975. It has his name in his 4 year old handwriting. Every year he checks to see if that baseball is on the tree. I can totally see these placemats becoming that kind of favorite holiday decoration.

  2. We do these every year with the kids at school. I would have never thought of making them a permanent keepsake! Love this idea!

  3. That's awesome Christianne...I'm impressed, and what a fun tradition.

  4. Totally cute. I would have sewn that paper right onto the placemat and been cursing the whole time. I don't think my sewing machine comes with a slow setting. Isn't it all just the foot pedal pressure? I have not idea what I'm doing. I need a sewing class.

  5. love these - going to attempt them today -

  6. Oh super cute!! What fun fabric too. :)

  7. I love these! I would be cute to have their names put or monogrammed on them. Very neat idea. You and I are alike in that we've both conquered the SMP (Sewing Machine Phobia) recently. I still sew very.slowly!

  8. Oh my gosh, he is so cute!! I love this :)

  9. That is so cute! If you live in the US, you should enter the tutorial contest I'm hosting:

  10. I absolutely love this idea! That is so adorable! I love the way it turned out. What a great memory this will be every year!

    I wish I had more time to make these. I guess it will have to be for next Thanksgiving! : ) Thanks for sharing!

  11. Those are super sweet and I'd love to see one with the whole family's handprints on it together. How fun and a great commemorative placemat to use each year.

  12. girl, you are on the crafty crow today! :)

  13. These are great!!!
    Wow, wish I'd seen it sooner. There are six of us!--I'll get the kids to stitch their own, so we can get them done in time.
    Great idea! It will be neat to compare the size of their hands every year, too. :) (I'll write their name and date with fabric marker on the back of each placemat.)

    Thanks so much!

  14. Ohhh, I like Katie's idea, too. Wouldn't that make a great table runner? :) I think you've started a turkey handprint applique theme!

  15. I really like these--especially if I use my grandkid's hands.


More Fun...

Related Posts with Thumbnails