Group Post #3: And So (Sew?) The Season Begins . . . With a Giveaway!

“How would you describe your holiday style?”

That was the question “on the table” late last month as we began discussing our upcoming, holiday-themed posts for See How We Sew. We quickly discovered that, although we number just four, each had her own unique take on how to “deck the halls” at this special time of year.

Laura loves the traditional look and remembrances of Christmas past, as exemplified by her Dickens Village and vintage Santa collections. A nostalgic array of handmade photo ornaments, one for each daughter to mark each year, is a beloved tradition on the family tree.

Christie’s whimsical holiday scene centers around a small tree adorned with bells and bows and a large collection of holiday critters and snowmen, all of whom dance and party at night when the house is quiet!

Jennifer favors classic red and green holiday decor, with large doses of warm gold, although a recent passion for snowflakes (especially iridescent, sparkly versions) now complicates the mix. Her compromise is to drop snowflakes from the ceilings, affix them to her walls, and tape them to her windows–yes, it’s an OBSESSION.

Darra’s seasonal style is a casual blend of natural and homespun: live tree (always!), lots of greenery, pine cones, candlelight, and handmade ornaments–fiber, paper, glass, ceramic, tin, wood, cornhusk–some heirloom, some gifts from “crafty” students and friends, many gathered during her years in the North Carolina mountains.

So…how do four women with such divergent tastes launch the traditional holiday season in a single post? With a challenge, of course! Knowing that so much of holiday tradition centers around the holiday table, we decided to create two distinctive table settings, using seasonally themed placemats and napkins as the focal point.

Coming up with a placemat pattern was a no-brainer: we selected the versatile (and easy!) Table Chic pattern from Christie’s Artichoke Collection pattern line. For napkins, we went back to our archives, and agreed on the clever, two-sided napkins featured in Laura’s May 3rd post.

In the spirit of compromise (and given four busy lives), we worked in teams. Laura and Jennifer opted for an elegant and sophisticated palette of gold and silver. Their fabric selections sparkle with a wink of metallic, and the motifs are more seasonal than holiday- specific to carry comfortably into the new year.

For their interpretation, Christie and Darra chose a contemporary–and somewhat whimsical–take on the time-honored palette of red and green. Their fabric choices feature Rudolph and candy stripes, snowflakes and festive, funky holiday trees.

When we gathered for “the big reveal,” we were more than pleased with the results, and amazed at how the same basic placemat and napkin could yield such different looks. We also agreed that the project was easy, easy, easy, and either set of placemats and napkins would be welcome on the table at our own holiday gatherings, or as a quick-and-easy gift…

…which leads us to today’s giveaway.

How would you describe your holiday decorating style? Traditional? Sophisticated? Whimsical? Homespun? Kid-friendly? “On trend?” Do you have a favored holiday color scheme? Leave us a comment by Sunday, November 27, 11 pm (PST), and we’ll pop you in the drawing for one of the placemat and napkin sets we made for this post. Each set includes four placemats and four napkins; be sure to tell us if you’d prefer the gold and silver, or the red and green set.

Option 1: Jennifer and Laura

Along with the placemats and napkins, each winner will receive Christie’s placemat pattern so that she (or he) can add to the set, or make a set for family members or friends. Laura will announce the winner in her post on Tuesday, November 29.

It’s our way of saying “thanks” to our wonderful readers…like you!

Option 2: Christie and Darra

Before we sign off, congratulations to Janice, Sandy, Lisa, and Brenda–winners of the November 8th giveaway. Each receives a downloadable version of Christie’s Urban Chic pattern.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone (and a special “thanks” to our friend, Kim Butterworth, for the beautiful table-top photography)!

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39 Responses to Group Post #3: And So (Sew?) The Season Begins . . . With a Giveaway!

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  2. Shirley Schmeyer says:

    I would love to do this pattern using several themes for Christmas. My grown son like music, my daughter-in-law is from New Zealand, and my grandson likes games. Using the pattern I was thinking about putting the themes in the middle and working around that.
    I liked Christie and Darra combination

  3. elaine says:

    not sure what my “style” is. it was very traditional. however, i had a “designer” friend create an angel tree for me the last year my mom celebrated Christmas with us. so i have made angels my tradition. my other tradition is to put up the tree one week before Christmas and take it down on the Epiphany. i always enjoy seeing how easy the team of seeHowWeSew puts together such great projects. i’ve made these easy-to-make placemats and just didn’t think of having “seasonal” ones. thanks for keeping us busy!

  4. Cindy Schwarz says:

    My decoration style is very eclectic. I love the Dickens villages, but also the elegant, traditional style. I would love to win the silver and gold placemats and napkins. Happy Holidays to you !

  5. Cindy Schwarz says:

    Happy Holidays! I would love to win the gold and silver placemats and napking. I am enjoying your website!

  6. Judy, SC says:

    My decorating style – guess you would call it whimsical/traditional. Other than my ‘memory’ ornaments, my tree is all bells, any thing that is bell or bell shaped. The rest of the house is decorated with my collection of over 175 snowmen. They are placed in settings, some on the mantel with a set of 3 small trees any way you get the picture. The only exception is the foyer which gets the gold angel made by my son in the 2nd grade and the manger under the tree. I know that is a lot of snowmen but many can stay after Christmas for winter decorations. I use a lot of red and green for back drops, ribbons etc. so would love the red & gren placemats.

  7. WandaFish says:

    I love this blog – so many wonderful ideas! What a fun project to team up and produce the placemats and napkins, and how fabulous they all look :) I really love both sets but I think my 4 year old might just prefer the red and green if they were winging their way here!
    I guess my decorating style is eclectic and evolving. I’m happy to put up almost anything that provides festive cheer or has good memories attached. I’ll be involving the little one this year so the mix may be more odd looking than usual :)
    Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

    • Mina Askari says:

      I love both sets but really prefer the gold and silver. I find them elegant and sophisticated. They can add the extra “chic” touch to any dining room.

  8. Sue says:

    The gold and silver placemats would fit very nicely into my decorating scheme. Some years ago I “ditched” the toy-themed Christmas tree (afterall my son was 30 years old at that point) and went to a more Victorian-themed Christmas tree with gold, silver and pastel ornaments. I have pink beaded garland draped all over the tree until the Siamese remember it from last year and plot and scheme to remove it. I still purchase a live tree – it isn’t Christmas without the smell of pine in the house. I love the small white twinkly lights but putting them on the tree is my least favorite Christmas task. I live in the Sierra Foothills surrounded by pine and cedar and madrone trees. My neighbors have alot of outside Christmas lighting so it’s like a fairy tale village at night!!

  9. Mary Couch says:

    First of all… thank you for all the great ideas! Visiting this blog is always an adventure into the world of possibilities. My Christmas style is everything… eclectic would be a good word. However, I always seem to set the Christmas dinner table in a more formal, special style… china, sterling, candles… The gold placemats would be a beautiful added touch.
    Thanks for this wonderful give-away.
    Hugs from Mary

  10. Linda Flanagan says:

    I love both sets of placemats and napkins! My decorations are an eclectic mix of the traditional and non-traditional. Because I have 3 cats who “undecorate” my Christmas tree every night, I put garland over all my windows (I have many) and hang the most delicate ornaments from the garlands. The tree gets the stuffed and wooden ornaments!

  11. Barbara says:

    Our traditional color was silver decorations with white candles, but I have added some gold tones to the mix in recent years. Should I be a lucky winner I would like the gold set although both are looking very nice.
    Happy Holidays,

  12. Pingback: A Sorta-Fast Sparkling Holiday Pillow–A FREE Downloadable Pattern (Part II) |

  13. Pam says:

    I’m more traditional–got to have red and green at Christmas. Both sets os placemats are delightful, but I live the striped binding on the red and green. Maybe I’m a little biased because Darra was president of my guild in Charleston before she headed for the mountains.

  14. Sandy says:

    I’m very much a traditionalist when it comes to decorating for Christmas. My tree is always decorated with a variety of ornaments. Some were inherited from my parents and many others were made by hand. Lots of memories there! Both sets of placemats look great, but the red set is my favorite.

  15. Cheri Harrison; Paw Print Quilts says:

    My holiday is SO casual and filled with joy and Love…..LOVE the placemats and napkins !!!

  16. Audrey says:

    I’m usually pretty traditional, but my new favorite Christmas color combination is red, apple green and black. This weekend I plan to finish a kaleidoscope wall hanging quilt using poinsettia and snowflake fabrics in those colors. It sounds odd, but it looks awesome. Choosing just the right fabric/colors is a big part of the fun of quilting for me. I love how much one pattern can change when made in a different color combinations. Both of your placemat/napkin sets are great, but if you pull my name, I’d love the gold and silver ones! Happy holidays!

  17. Mar says:

    Beautiful placemats. Beautiful blog post. Thanks so much for the eye candy! (and inspiration to sew)

  18. Nancy says:

    What a great post. Thanks for all your wonderful and creative ideas. My Christmas style would tend to be more traditional. My favorite ornaments are the ones my children made over the years. I know one day I will pass them on to them when they are married with their own trees but until them they remain on my tree. I also do a tree decorated with ornaments with an Irish theme as my husband and in-laws are from Ireland. We have collected many ornaments and I love this tree. Both of the placemats sets are amazing. I have made these for gifts but I don’t have any myself.
    Happy Holidays,

  19. hedgehogi says:

    I guess my decorating style has always been traditional colors. I just had a little girl so I will have the kid ornaments some day! We usually have two color schemes for our tree and lots of crystal ornaments mixed with ornaments of sorts bought from the past few years. I would love to red and green set. I love the bright colors and my husband would as well. Thank you! at gmail dot com

  20. Patty Hom says:

    What fun!

  21. Doris says:

    I’d call mine “Whimsical Sophisticate”, our tree is covered in iridescent glass bulbs in bright saffron, lipstick, peony, teal, blueberry and plum colors–and we purchase a special German glass ornament each year. The mantle (right next to tree) is filled with snowmen and three pyramid shaped irridescent trees, silver, white & blue glass bulbs, and bright colored stockings hanging from the mantle. While the brights fit with my theme, I’d choose Option #1, because the golds and silvers would be fabulous with our irridescent stuff!

  22. Hmm, not sure how to describe my style – maybe traditional with a twist? :) One thing I know – it is always featuring favorite keepsakes memories, things made by kids, (when they were kids, LOL), etc. I always admire those elegant Christmas trees in one color scheme or theme but mine has to have all those keepsakes, kid-made or friend-given ornaments, so no “elegant” for me! But everyone loves it just so and that is the most important thing. Our tradition is when tree comes into the house mom (me) first puts lights on it, then all the children come (some married now) and we all decorate the tree together and than dad ceremoniously puts the top on! Taking few pictures follows with some food of course! I think we love it even more than opening the presents, ha, ha!
    LOVE the placemats and napkins – very simple and elegant or simple and fun – can’t pick a favorite, so you pick! :)

  23. Karen says:

    My Christmas decorations are traditional. I have ornaments from my grandmother, mother, and ones that I’ve bought over the years. I also have handmade ornaments my sister, my sons, and I made that are on the tree every year. I love both the gold and silver and green and red placemats and napkins. But if I have to choose, I pick the gold and silver. Thanks and happy holidays to all.

  24. Marilyn Chapman says:

    The red and green speaks “festive” to me.
    Christmas at our house brings all the kids and grands together on Christmas Eve.
    My mother just turned 98 and is with us to enjoy all specialness that
    the season brings. Thank you for your many gifts of crafts that often
    make me look good! May your families be blessed with joy and peace.

  25. Jenn says:

    All I can say is WOW to the four of you. Both placemat/napkin sets were brethtaking. You all are very amazing. I think I would like my style to be more elegant, when in fact I’m more family friendly, whimsical. I actually put up two christmas trees every year. One is white lights, crystal ornaments, gold star garland. The other one is colored lights, silly and handcrafted ornaments, even several photos of my daughters over the years with santa. It even has the treasured painted macaroni ornaments made in pre-school by my daughters. It warms my heart and makes me smile as I remember the found memories. Oh how I get lost in my memories. So please include me in your contest and I would be pleased as punch to be the lucky winner of either set as they are both simply stunning! Happy Thanksgiving to you all and continue with the GREAT posts.


  26. planetcyndy says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas! My style is very eclectic. I want those placemats!!

    Happy Turkey Day to you wonderful women!

  27. Sally says:

    Great job gals! I favor the red & green placemats as decorating with red brings out the sparkle & joy of everything around it for me. A big THANK YOU to the four of you for inspiring us each week with your incredible talents that keep our creative energies flowing..

  28. Patti O says:

    I decorate in a traditional manner. The ornaments on the tree are a mix–A collection of ornaments I have purchased over the past 30 years as souvenirs of trips (some very elegant and others rather whimsical) and the ornaments we have given to our two children to commemorate something of significance that happened during the year or their interests. My 31 year old son still wants to be the first to hang the two ornaments he got for his first birthday.
    I would love the red and green set.

  29. Debbie says:

    My holiday style is traditional. When I was in college my mother got a fake tree and went to a gold and silver trim scheme, boxing the traditional ornaments. They “accidently” ended up in the trunk of my car, individually wrapped in bubble wrap, when I moved to California! I love the gold and silver look!

    • Jennifer says:

      I hear ya Debbie! My mother banished the all-color scheme when I was in kindergarten and I still remember my confusion. Plus, she too bought a fake tree; however, her purchase had be soaked sequentially in hot then cold water to open the greenery?!? She went for a gold/white theme with exquisite hand-made jeweled ornaments. I love that woman dearly, how can a mom banish colors on Christmas? Just had to share after reading your comment . . . we’re sisters in holiday trauma! Wish I’d thought to squirrel away the colored ornaments, but I was only 5.


  30. Oh my gosh – both sets are just way too cute! I tend to go with traditional colors but have been thinking about changing it up a bit to go with non-traditional colors such as turquoise and copper look or the silver and gold combined! It’s so great to be able to change the looks so easily with a change in fabric. How fun and thank you for the posting about your efforts.
    Laura T

  31. Bonnie says:

    I like to decorate with mostly handmade items, though I also add a touch of whimsy with some fun snowmen and Santas.
    I like both sets of placemats. That pattern is very versatile. But the red and green would be my first pick.

  32. Pat says:

    Absolutely love them both, but if I had to choose, the gold and silver ones match our dining room decor to a “T”. Thanks for the wonderful offer, would love the pattern to make sets for some special daughters and DIL’s.

  33. Sue Leenders says:

    I love both sets! This year has been a comedy of errors, I could use some peace and tranquility – so I will go with the cream and gold set.

  34. Nanette says:

    Love the gold and silver, our christmas’s have changed with age,(my age) But have always had a tree with the homemade ornaments from 4 children. I love opening the box every year and the memorys flood through me. Love your blog.


  35. Susan says:

    I like the red and green setting!

  36. Annie richardson says:

    Our style is eclectic–ornaments made in kindergartens many, many years ago; twinkling white lights; and the Charlie Brown tree on the porch with all the worn out ornaments, tasteless gift ornaments and featherless bird ornaments that cats played with throughout the years. We go simple as there are many grandkids running around– from teens to crawlers. I would love the gold set of placemats. Thanks and happy holidays

  37. Marsha says:

    I LOVE the gold and silver placemats and napkins! Amazing how two different color schemes, one more whimsical than sophisticated, take on a new look. Love your post and glad we’re all so different and can still enjoy the same holiday with our own twists. I love the traditional look for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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