Monday, August 5, 2013

{Easy Peasy} Quilted Placemats Tutorial

If you're looking for a quick and easy project to use up some of your pretty scraps and keep them in front of you every day, look no further. After I made this pretty set of placemats for my friend, I decided to write up the tutorial as it's a perfect project for gift-giving, or for your own home.


With the print squares just 2.5", they're a great way to make some room in your scrap bin. You could also use a mini-charm pack for them. I made the original set using pink scraps against Kona Champagne. The second set I'm making is for our own house and we each picked a combination of 2 colours, which I then pulled my scraps from. I can see this working for Christmas prints too. This tutorial is suitable for all levels, and is a great project for beginners. The instructions & fabric requirements are for a set of 2 placemats. It's easy to scale up to make 4 or 6 or however many you want. So I hope you enjoy!

Please read through tutorial fully before starting. If you are a complete beginner and need some tips on basic skills such as cutting and sewing accurately, you'll find a Sewing Basics tutorial here.

Set of 2 Contrasting Placemats.

Fabric Requirements:

20 scraps of fabric in your chosen colours (measuring at least 2.5" square).
1 FQ of solid fabric
2 piece of fabric measuring 13 x 15 for backing.
2 pieces of batting measuring 12 x 14
Approx 52" binding fabric per placemat.

Cutting Instructions:

From your scraps of fabric, cut 20 x 2.5" squares. Ensure you have sufficient of the required colours, you need 6 for Placemat 1 and 14  for Placemat 2.

From your solid fabric, cut the following (assumes you are using a FQ cut)

Placemat 1:
Cut 2 x 3.5" strips across the long edge of the fabric. Cross cut each of these into 1 x 4.5" strip and 1 x 12.5" strip.

Placemat 2:
Cut a 6.5" x 4.5" rectangle.
Cut 2 of each of the following strips: 1.5" x 12.5" and 1.5" x 8.5"

Piecing Instructions:

Please note all seams are 1/4". I also used a scant seam for accurate piecing (a scant seam is marginally narrower than a full 1/4" - I usually move my needle over 1 setting to achieve it).

Placemat 1.

Lay out your 6 x 2.5" squares in 2 rows of 3, ensuring you are happy with the fabric placement.


Piece each row of 3 together and press seams in opposite directions, so they "lock" nicely when you piece the 2 rows together.

 Sew the 2 rows together and press the seam (you can press it to either side, or open if you prefer):

Take your 3.5" x 4.5" pieces of solid fabric and piece to either side of your squares block. Press seams to one side.

Then take your 3.5" x 12.5" pieces of solid fabric and piece to the top and bottom of this row.

Yay! You did it, Placemat 1 is pieced!

Placemat 2:

Lay out your 14 x 2.5" squares in a rectangular shape as per the photo below, ensuring you are happy with the fabric placement.

Take the 2 squares on the left and right sides of the central rectangle and piece together. Then piece to each side of the 6.5" x 4.5" solid central rectangle as per the picture below.

Next, piece the top and bottom strips of square together:

Thenk piece them to the top and bottom of the central rectangle. Make sure to match and pin the seams at each end.

As per the process for Placemat 1, sew the 1.5" x 8.5" strips of solid fabric to either side of the rectangle, press seams, and then sew the 1.5" x 12.5" strips to the top and bottom.

Yay! Second placemat complete.

Now, all that remains is to baste, quilt and bind them. I'm not going to cover these processes in detail here, but you can find tutorials on basting and quilting here and one on binding as part of this tutorial

The first set of placemats I made, I straight line quilted a quarter inch apart. This made for very dense quilting, but gave a lovely effect.  I did the same for the purple and yellow placemat:

I marked the first line in the centre, using my ruler and a Hera marker (you could use the blunt edge of your scissors, or a butter knife) and then I used the outside of my foot as a guide on the rest of the lines.

I also experimented with "organic" lines on the pink and green placemat; I really like how it looks.

If you are quilting vertical lines on your placemats, be sure to start in the middle, and work your way out to one edge, then return to the middle and work out to the other edge. Also be sure to sew the lines up and down, changing direction each time. Otherwise, constantly sewing in one direction will distort your placemat shape and pull it down or up on one side (trust me, I am the voice of bitter experience!!)

Also ensure to use good quality thread for your quilting as it will show up nicely and is such a feature in dense quilting like this. I use Aurifil 50wt thread for all my quilting. Its 100% cotton, and gives fabulous stitch definition. It appears expensive as it comes in big spools, but it lasts for absolutely ages, so it actually is great value. I always have a white, a neutral and a grey on my sewing table. 

Lastly, you need to add your binding. I machine bound these as I wanted them to stand up to the sort of washing that only a 5 and 7 year old can generate at the dinner table.

I still need to make the 2 boys' mats but they finally informed me of their colour choices today so I'll get around to them later in the week. And I'll do one for the baby when she gets a bit older :-) I love the idea of having 4 different colourways on the kitchen table, brightening it up.

Don't the original ones look pretty on my patio table? I'm pretty sure you need some too ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make some placemats, I'd love to see them so please post them on Instagram and tag me (@sewfairyface) or add them to my Flickr group Made From FairyFace Designs Tutes

Any questions, post a comment or email me at fairyfacedesigns at gmail dot com Linking up to 733 blog:


Patty C. said...

Awesome tutorial!

JoyceLM said...

Thanks for the great tutorial.

Catherine said...

Fabulouas and thanks for a fantastic tutorial

Isisjem said...

Great tutorial and so pleased you shared this. I loved seeing your mats when you blogged about them the other day!

Ruth said...

Really great project - I have a charm pack of Christmas fabric that would be perfect for these. I can see handmade christmas presents in my future!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

I long for the day when my lot would be able to make it through a meal without staining; hence no mats here :(

Rosa said...

Wonderful placemats and thanks for the fantastic tutorial!

Katy Cameron said...

Very pretty, love the alternating inner/outer thing :o)

Nicole said...

What a great way to use up those scraps! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I think I would do this, but with a print where you have solids and solids as the blocks (or possibly a coordinating print) so that it would hide stains better. We have messy middleschoolers all the way to preschool here. ;)

Heidi Staples said...

I love these, Sarah! The quilting makes them extra lovely!

Anonymous said...

Wow, they are stunning! Love them and so simple.Thanks so much. Julie Beard. Adelaide South Australia.

Anonymous said...
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cabezuela said...

gracias por el tutorial es genial