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Of the many ways to use up scraps, I think making fabric twine is my favorite. I can do it when I am watching television, thus satisfying the part of me that has been indoctrinated from an early age by capitalism to always be occupied*. It’s also a meditative process. And you end up with yards and yards of a new craft material without having to go to the store.

In my book, Sew Witchy, I included a craft project using fabric twine to make altar offering bowls. Since then I’ve been working on the other projects to use the copious amount of twine I have on hand. In fact, I have a major project I’m working on that I’m not quite ready to talk about just yet. However, I do want to share with you one of the projects I’ve been making: fabric twine trivets.

A basket of fabric twine balls
I make fabric twine when I’m watching television.

I never had proper trivets. Most of the time I’d lay down a kitchen towel or even just place the hot dish just on the counter or tabletop. But that was when the countertop was a cheap 80s laminate and the dining table was an IKEA desk that was a dozen years old. Currently we rent a house with nice counters and eat at a table that belongs to our housemates. I wanted to take care of both, thus today’s DIY.

Materials

  • Fabric Twine
  • Thread

The trivets don’t take much time to sew. They do require a lot of thread due to the zigzag stitch. I have found that I can use up all of my odds and ends of spools on this project and the mismatched thread just adds to the charm.

If you’ve never made fabric twine before you can find an easy to follow tutorial on Youtube.

Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Zigzag Presser Foot
  • Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needle
  • Ruler or Tape Measure
  • Scissors

The fabric twine can be very difficult to sew through, so make sure to use a heavy duty sewing needle. One that is used for jeans or canvas will work.

Construction

1) Start with one end of twine. Fold it into a small coil and place it under your sewing machine’s presser foot. Have the excess fabric twine leading out to the right of the presser foot.

2) Use a long zigzag stitch to secure this center coil. Stitch back and forth.

Starting the fabric twine trivet
Run back and forth two or three times on the first, inner curve of the trivet to secure the thread and the center.

3) Turn the coil counter clockwise, continuing the zigzag stitch. Be careful as you sew as the first couple of rotations will require some effort to move under the presser foot.

First coils of the trivet
Center your zigzag on the space between each coil of fabric twine.
Fabric twine trivet in progress
Work slowly and take care not to catch your fingers in the needle!

4) Continue to rotate the trivet, checking the diameter of the circle every once in a while. I made mine 7″ based on a quick web search that showed me several commercial trivets were that size. You can make yours as large or small as you wish.

Measuring the size of the trivet
7″ is a standard size for a trivet, but you can make them as large or small as you wish.

5) Once you’ve reached the desired trivet size stitch back and forth to secure the end of the fabric twine then cut off the excess. Knot the end of the leftover twine to keep it from unraveling.

Close up of finished end
Zigzagging back and forth over the end bit of twine keeps it from unraveling when you cut off the excess twine.

Your finished trivet might curl a bit at the edges and curve at the center. It will flatten out as you use it, being pressed by hot pans, dishes and plates.

A couple of fabric twine trivets
A couple of the trivets I made. The fabric twine for the bottom one was made from selvages.
Fabric Twine Close Up
The trivet will curl slightly at the edges at first.

*This is something that I am working.

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