Create Sophia Palmer’s fruity table set for al fresco dining. The warmer weather has got us dreaming of picnics and summer lunches in the garden, which is where Sophia Palmer’s fun dining set will come in handy! Featuring bold, bright fabrics and fruit motifs, this project allows you to experiment with curves, free motion embroidery and tiny rolled hems. Create smart napkins, matching coasters, plus a fruit basket that can be folded flat when not in use.
Cut two circles, 11cm diameter, from spotty fabric. Trace apple or strawberry shapes onto adhesive web, loosely cut out, then iron onto plain fabrics. Trim carefully, and iron in the centre of one of the circles.
Machine embroider the fruit motif with black thread. Press, then lay the embroidered circle on top of the other one, right sides together. Sew around the outer edge with a 10mm seam allowance, leaving a small gap for turning.
Clip into the seam allowance and turn the coaster right sides out. Press, then topstitch around the whole edge, closing the gap.
Snip as many pieces of spotty cotton out as required, in squaresof 40cm or more. Using your machine, finish all the edges of the squares with a narrow rolled hem.
Draw around the strawberry and apple templates onto adhesive web, cut loosely, and iron onto plain fabrics. Trim carefully, and iron onto one corner of each napkin. Machine embroider the fruit motifs with black thread, then press to finish.
Trim two 40cm squares from yellow and red spotty fabric. Trace the banana templates onto adhesive web, loosely cut out, and iron onto the reverse of plain yellow and brown cotton. Snip out, and iron centrally on one of the squares. Machine embroider the banana in black thread, then press (it will appear on the base of the basket when finished).
Mark 9cm from each corner and tack a 16cm length of ribbon at each point, facing into the centre of the square. There should be eight ribbons in total. Press each edge in by 9cm, to give the lines for stitching; you can also use a friction marker. Place the plain square on top, right sides together, and sew around the edge, leaving a gap on one long edge between two ribbons. Turn right sides out.
Cut four rectangles of pelmet interfacing or cardboard, 7cm x 20cm, plus a 20cm square. Slide these inside the fabric squares and use pins or clips to hold in place. The corners should be left with nothing in them.
Sew straight lines, 8cm from the outer edge, down every side. Edgestitch the gap closed, or sew it by hand. Tie the ribbon together at the corners to create the fruit basket when needed.