I Saw Three Choc Chips Come Sailing By On Christmas Day In The Morning
Joy To The Swirl-d

Chestnuts Coasting On An Open Fire

The quilt is bound. Ta daaa!! I can never finish the binding by machine as nicely as I can by hand, I can't bear that the stitching on the back is never in the right place. It is OK if I make the backing bigger than the 'topping'. Then I can just turn the backing in twice and stitch that. MrsDrWho will no doubt post a picture on her blog as she is only 24 hours from Freedom, only one day away from her Holidays!!

Today I cooked some gingerbread, some figgy swirls, and chocolate fudge and white chocolate and craisin biscuits. I made gingerbread reindeer, snowflakes, trees, stars and then a tree made from stars stacked up.  The white chocolate and craisin mixture made 60 biscuits. You really feel you have 'baked'. I wonder if there's a recipe anyone is desperate for me to share?? Let me know!!

Harki and Peri are a little neglected because I was out. Harki's a bit hoppy today and Peri's looking very dilapidated with her tufty coat. So, peepo, here they are looking spiffy: Peri on the left and Harki on the right. They are my avatar whenever possible. I love to see their happy smiling faces.They are looking right at me and I'm sure their eyes follow me around the room. How very Cooke and Moore's Vernon Ward's ducks of them! (Ducks in the morning, ducks in the evening, ducks in the Summertime)


MrsDrWho kindly read very fast and so I am in possession of Todd McCaffrey's latest Pern book, Dragonheart. I am so busy, cooking, crafting, walking The Labradors and napping that I have only read two chapters. Can a book burn a hole in your pocket??

Every year it is the tradition that I make Christmas coasters for The GardyGardeners. It began one year when I made coaster like decorations that they used for  actual coasters. So every year, as well as other things, there are the obligatory coasters. And so, I present, The Obligatory Christmas Coasters: Make your own!!

Obligatory Christmas Coasters

To make one you need:

  • plain fabric, a 12 x 12 cm  and a 16 x 16 cm square (mine is cream poplin)
  • 5 cm wide coloured strips for the border:  two 5 x 12 cm and two 16 x 5cm
  • thin wadding, I used cotton batting: 14 x 14cm square (approx)
  • embroidery thread and needle
  • a motif or shape to apply
  • some Heat'n'Bond or Vliesofix to adhere the motif or shape
  • some ribbon if you want your coaster to be a hanging decoration

Because my coaster will be used as a coaster I am not embellishing, but you can add beads, buttons, ribbon, whatever you like.

All seams are 1.5cm. Really you should wash your fabric first.

Coasting along

  1. I chose two squares from a Christmas fabric to applique and I cut them out roughly and then ironed the Heat'n'Bond on the back. When it cooled I cut around the shape carefully and then peeled the backing away.
  2. I ironed the square onto the 12 x 12cm square, try to make it straight and even. I apparently can't. It works very well on the diagonal too, with just one ribbon in the top corner.

  3. Next I did blanket or buttonhole stitch all the way around the motif using two strands of embroidery thread. I used green for the green and red for the stars.

  4. Sew the 12 x 5cm strips to the top and bottom, pressing the seam towards the strips so they don't show through the light fabric.  Then sew the 16 x 5cm strips to the sides, pressing as you go. There isn't a picture for this second part, you will have to use your imagination.

  5. Pin the 16cm square of fabric to the coaster front, right sides together. Now if you want to add ribbon hangers, this is where you do it. Make a ribbon loop the size you want, then add 3cm for the seam allowance. Fold in half and then pin, centre it over the seam at the top on the inside. Do this twice.

  6. Place the batting or wadding over the backing fabric and remember to leave a gap at the bottom for turning. I didn't pin at all so mine is wonky, but I trimmed it after I sewed to straighten it up. I am usually more careful, but not today when there is a blogging deadline. Sew the seam.

  7. Trim across the corners and then trim the seams. You need to be careful near the point, but you have to be brave as well, or the point won't be pointy. Don't trim the gap.

  8. Turn it inside out, and poke out the corners really gently. I use a blunt knitting needle or a pencil.  Turn the edges of the gap to the inside so they match the rest of the edges and then press and hand sew the opening closed.

  9. Using two strands of embroidery thread, 'quilt' though all the layers a few millimetres in from the strips as pictured. Add your name and the date/year to the back and they are finished.

I have made coaster with holly and stars and baubles and one year just some lovely fabric. They are very quick to make if you are in a hurry. They wash well and you can tailor them to suit the recipient, it doesn't have to be a Christmas theme.




So I have to know what a 'figgy swirl' is. Is it like a fig newton? Because I love fig newtons!


great post Cindy! Is the figgy swirl like a puff pastry kind of thing? Also I have a little something to post to you, so may I please have your snail mail addy?


That is a heck of a lot of cooking for one day!

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