Santa’s Cookie Mat

Hey all, Rebecca Silbaugh from Ruby Blue Quilting Studio back for another project! I know it seems too early to start thinking about Christmas. I hardly ever start my Christmas projects this early, but once I caught a glimpse of Blitzen by Basic Grey, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Now, here in Ohio it’s been hotter than normal, it’s been really dry and the grass is crunchy… I’m sure many of you are living in similar conditions right now. This is not the time to be thinking about winter and snow, but working on this project it did get me thinking about Christmas baking and Nana’s cookies. Lucky for me I stopped in for a visit to my Nana today and was sent home with a bag of those very cookies. Thanks, Nana!

This project is great for a designated place for Santa and Rudolph’s treats, but it can also be a table topper or small wall hanging to add a little flair to a space. Whatever fabrics you choose, the charm from the miniature pieces will be stunning.

For one Cookie Mat you’ll need:

1 Charm Pack of a Bella Solid (I used Porcelain)
1 Charm Pack of a Print Line (I used Blitzen by Basic Grey)
1 yard backing (red print above)
1/4 yard of binding (grey print above)

 Lay a charm square from each pack on top of each other right sides together and stitch down two opposing sides.

 Cut the squares in half parallel to the stitching.

Stitch down the newly cut side of each piece.

 Cut each piece in half between the stitching once again.

With a project that has as many seams this one does this close together, you can press all the seams to the print fabrics or you can press all seams open to reduce the bulk and make quilting easier later on.

 Here’s where you have options: You can sew two different strips from above together which will result in an contemporary scrappy look…

 Or you can sew together two strips from the same fabric together for a more traditional approach.

Either way, sew all strips together in pairs.

No matter which option you choose. Cut each pairing into 4 segments, each should measure 1-1/4″ x 3-1/2″. Either mix up the cut pieces for the contemporary version, or keep the same fabric pieces together for the traditional version.

Sew two cut pieces together alternating the solid and print fabrics. Pay close attention to the direction you sew these pieces.

If you sew them together with the solid fabric at the top as shown, feed them into your sewing machine the same way each time. It doesn’t seem like it’d make that big of a difference, but you’ll get mismatched pieces, especially if you press your seams in one direction rather than open.

Press all of the block halves and then sew them all together continuing to alternate the solid and print fabrics. Each block should measure 3-1/2″ square.

The number of blocks you will get will depend on your fabric choices. I only was able to get 76 blocks from my Charm Packs per Cookie Mat since I pulled out the almost white print fabrics.

 If you made the contemporary blocks, they’ll look like this…

 Or the traditional blocks will look like this…

 I used 72 blocks per Cookie Mat in an 8 x 9 setting. Lay out the blocks until you like the layout and sew them together. This is what the traditional setting looks like completed.

And this is what the contemporary setting looks like. If you are able to use more of the print squares, you may have enough blocks for an 8 x 10 setting. Play with your fabrics and see what comes of them!

Each of my Cookie Mats finishes at 24″ x 27″ with each block finishing at 3″ square. This means each of those little squares will finish at 3/4″!

If your seams aren’t perfect (and trust me many of mine aren’t!) don’t fret – once people get a glimpse of your Cookie Mat they’ll be so stunned by the appearance that they won’t notice a stray seam here and there.

Smaller quilt projects like this one may seem easier because they are small, but it’s not always true. I find some smaller pieces are harder overall since you don’t have as much wiggle room to “fudge” if needed. Try this project out before attempting a more complex miniature quilt to see if small is your style. It may be (mine seem to be getting smaller and smaller) but it may not and attempting small straight lines are much simpler than small pointed pieces.

Now to finish off this project you just need to quilt it, bind it (you’ll need to cut 3 strips of binding fabric) and enjoy! Just be sure to get it done in time for the “Big Guy”. As you can see Christmas came a little early this year…

I quilted mine with one of my favorite swirl patterns. For anything that I plan on placing items on (especially food) I tend to over-quilt them. With dense quilting there is less shifting and potential for spills. Plus, the swirls soften the overall appearance of this type of design. Just remember to have as much fun with the quilting as you did with the rest of the quilt.

I hope you enjoyed this and might be in the Christmas mood with me, even if just a little. Hey, if it means cookies from Nana, I’ll make Christmas projects all year round!

Which option did you like best? I can tell you, I thought I would like one style better than another before I get the tops finished, but once I was finished the other won over my heart.

Stop on over to my blog for other projects like this and other tutorials at:

Rebecca Silbaugh