I love making gifts with my own two hands especially when I can include a personal touch, such as the receiver’s favorite colors or a meaningful motif. For quilters, making placemats is no different than making a quilt. They include the quilt sandwich, a quilting design, and binding. In fact, placemats are great practice projects for new quilters. You’ll have four passes at attaching binding and mastering those binding tails!
Any quilt block can be turned into placemats. However, in this tutorial I used simple strips of red checked fabric because that was the kitchen decor of the couple for which I made these.
My placemats had a finished measurement of about 14” x 20”. Here is how I constructed them.
First, I cut my fabric and batting as follows:
Four (4) strips of the larger center check fabric 5” x 21”
Eight (8) strips of the smaller check fabric 5” x 20”
Bias binding cut 2” wide, approximately 308” (8 ½ yards)
Four (4) backing rectangles, cut 17” x 22”
Four (4) batting rectangles, cut 17” x 22” ( I like to use craft felt as batting for placemats)
Place one center strip and one side strip right sides together and stitch with a quarter-inch seam allowance. Sew the remaining side unit to the center strip. Repeat this for all four placemat tops. Press your seams.
Trim your placemat tops to 14” x 20”.
On a flat surface, layer your quilt sandwich in this order: backing, batting, placemat top. Using a temporary adhesive spray, adhere your backing and top to the batting. Go lightly with the spray; it takes very little to do the job.
Your placemats are now ready to mark with quilting lines. I chose to use grid quilting and made two diagonal lines (mirror images of each other) through the center of the placemats at 45 degree angles.
Using a walking foot, stitch your quilting lines. Attach a seam guide to your walking foot and continue quilting the top of your placemats. The seam guide makes this a very simple process since the bar is placed in the previous row of stitching and guides you as you sew the new line of stitching. If you don’t have a seam guide, just continue marking your top and quilting your design.
With your quilting complete, it’s now time to round the corners of the placemats. You can use any round object you like to accomplish this step. I have circular acrylic templates that I find useful.
However, you can use dinner plates, container lids, old CDs, or whatever else you have around the house. I think I’ve used them all at one time or another.
Either mark the corner and cut with scissors or cut the curve with a rotary cutter.
Your placemats are now ready for the binding, which I will demonstrate in part two of this tutorial.