Quilting items for bazaars can be a rewarding experience because you can showcase your quilting techniques with a wide variety of small quilted items. Rather than invest all of your time making large quilts for the bazaar, try making two or three different types of small items; make each type in various styles and colors. Use your creativity to customize each item, making it unique.
Quilted potholders make practical and simple items for a bazaar. Make two quilt blocks the size of the desired potholder plus the seam allowances. You can make the blocks any way you like, using a mixture of colors and prints, but be sure to use a natural fabric, such as cotton. Use only heat-resistant batting, which can be purchased at fabric stores; regular synthetic batting will burn your hands if used in a potholder. Consider selling the potholders in pairs for a more complete bazaar item.
Make a set of four to six quilted place mats for one bazaar item. To make quilted place mats, select enough fabric to cut a 13-by-19 inch front, back and piece of batting for each place mat. Cut the fabric into those dimensions, layer the right sides of the front and back together, and place the batting on top. Stitch all around the perimeter of the place mat, leaving a small hole on one side. Turn the place mat right-side out and sew up the hole by hand. Quilt through all layers of the place mat in any design or pattern you desire.
Sets of coasters are another quilted bazaar item option that is quick and easy to complete. Make coasters in the same manner as the place mats, except start with square pieces of fabric five-by-five inches. For a variation on the basic coaster, consider making a patchwork style top to dress them up. Once you have completed six coasters, tie them together with a fabric ribbon in a contrasting color for a decorative presentation.
If your bazaar is around the holidays, it might be worthwhile to quilt some Christmas tree ornaments. One option is to cover foam balls with patchwork quilted fabric, adding a ribbon from which to hang the ornament. Another option is to make small quilted shapes, such as stars or hearts, stuff them and add a ribbon from which they can hang. To make the stars and hearts, cut out two stars or hearts, lay them wrong-sides together, stitch around the edges, leaving a small hole, turn them right-side out and stuff them. Sew up the small hole by hand.
Jeris Swanhorst is a writer and English and literature instructor at the college level, and owner of SwanJay, a knitting and crochet business. She earned a master's degree in English from Minnesota State University in 2007.