Thursday, November 12, 2009

Okay, Now, Here's What You're Going to Do . . .

Are you ready to make some placemats? Is this the cutest placemat fabric, or what? I found it at Quilters' Corner, a local quilt shop, during a lunch hour excursion today--it's from a Timeless Treasures line called Kitchenette (you can find it on the internet too--try eBay). My friend Teri pointed out that it would make a great apron too!

Anyway, pick out three fabrics and grab yourself some batting. Get out your cutting stuff and have at it! Here's what you'll need and what sizes you'll cut. For the two front pieces, cut two different fabrics that go well together:

Backing fabric - 12-1/2" x 18-1/2"
Batting - 12-1/2" x 18-1/2"
Front pieces - 12-1/2" x 13-1/2" and 12-1/2" x 7-1/2"
Rick-Rack - Approx. 12-1/2"

Here are my pieces cut and ready:

Now, on the bottom, set the piece of batting. On top of that, layer the backing piece that measures 12-1/2" x 18-1/2" with the "right" side UP. (Layer so edges line up--I've just offset mine so you can see what I'm doing.)

Next, the smaller front piece that measures 12-1/2" x 13-1/2"? Turn one edge under about 3/4" and press so you have a finished edge. That edge will be placed toward the center of the placemat and the piece will be on the right side of the placemat, so if you have a directional fabric, please take that into consideration when deciding which edge to press under. Now layer that right side piece, "right" side DOWN, on the right side of the placemat. If it's directional, place it so the top of the print is at the bottom of the placemat closest to you and the bottom of the print is at the top of the placemat. In other words, the placemat, as you're layering it is, upside down. I hope that makes sense!

Finally, place the left side (larger) front piece, "right" side DOWN on the left side of the placemat. Pin all four corners and pin where the front pieces overlap on the long sides. (Note that the two front pieces are on top--you should see the two different fabrics with the backing fabric in the middle of the "sandwich" (facing up) and the batting on the bottom.)

Now, sew all the way around, taking a 1/4" seam. I prefer to use my walking foot because I feel the layers feed better and don't shift, but you probably know how your machine works best. Just keep in mind that the bottom layer, the one against the feed dogs, is your batting. Once I'm done with the seam, I also trim the corners almost to the seam lines to reduce bulk.

Okay, this is the cool part, I think! You know how you make a pillow cover and overlap the back pieces to slip the pillow in? Well, the placemats are kind of like that. Turn the placemat right side out through the overlapped opening between the two front pieces. Press the outer seams flat so you have a sharp edge and press any other wrinkles out at this point.

The final step is to stitch the center opening closed and add top stitching along the outer edge of the placemat. I like to add something like rick rack to stitch down and cover the place where the two front sections come together (just turn under the raw ends and sew down). In this case, I wove two colors of rick rack together, wrapping them back and forth. I used monofilament as my top thread so it was clear. At this point, you can also add additional quilting to the placemat if you wish, although it's not really necessary.

These can be made fairly quickly. I cut enough fabric to make six placemats but I only finished this one because there was nothing else to watch on TV tonight--I'll finish the other five tomorrow night and show you--they should go pretty quickly, although the most time-consuming part will be weaving the rick rack!

Enjoy! (P.S.: Yes, the placemat I showed you to begin with isn't the same one I eventually sewed together first. All six of my placemats will be different, and the one I sewed just happened to be on top after I pinned them all--you're not going crazy or getting confused!)


Three Birds Inspired said...

Excellent! I have a piece of fabric that I originally intended to use for kitchen curtains. That will be my FIRST set of these babies. What a great gift!

Chocolate Cat said...

I have to admit I was reading along getting more and more confused when all of a sudden I had that lightbulb moment!!! These look easy enough and doable for me! I can't wait to pull out some fabric and have a play. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love your placemats. So festive. Can I ask what size the blocks are in your Peppermint Quilt. Also how big are the diagonal corners. I have been playing around and think I will make a wallhanging for Xmas

Linda Z

Kimberly said...

I think these placemats are just terrific! They will really spruce up my kitchen with some yummy new fabrics I bought recently and wasn't sure what to do with. Thanks for sharing. I'm off to make four placemats for our kitchen island!