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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quick Quilted Placemats Tutorial

Placemats make a great last-minute gift and they can be more fun than a regular quilt since they are smaller.   Use scraps from your stash or that one piece of fabric you LOVE but don't know what to do with.

Every time I saw this primitive patchwork design at Joanns I wanted to buy it.   I was dreaming of the fun quilting I could do with the patchwork but didn't want to piece together all those 1" squares.  I needed a gift for my secret sister at church, so I decided to make her these placemats.   I get to work with the pretty fabrics, and she gets some placemats! Win-Win!


  • Main Fabric - 1 yard *
  • Accent Fabric - 1/8 yard *
  • Backing Fabric - 1 yard *
  • 4 pieces of scrap batting 15" x 22" *
  • Safety Pins 
  • Quilting Pins 
  • Rotary Cutter and self-healing mat 
  • Sewing Machine
  • Piecing and quilting thread

*yardage is for 4 placemats

Main Fabric:
4x  - -13.5" x 8.5"
8x - - 3.5" x 10.5"
8x - - 3.5" x 21.5"

Accent Fabric:
8x - - 1.5" x 8.5"
8x - - 1.5" x 15.5"

4x - - 15" x 22"

1.  We are going to be making little quilt sandwiches.  Start by piecing together your "top" according to the chart here:

2.  Press your top and layer Top/Batting/Backing as you would a regular quilt.
 3.  Trim the edges of the batting and backing EVEN with your quilt top.
 4.  Remove the backing and set it to the side.
 5.  Pin the quilt top to JUST the batting with safety pins.  Leave an inch or two around the outside edges free.
 6.  Lay your backing piece of fabric on TOP of the quilt top - Right Sides Facing
 7.   Pin all around the edges.
 8.   Decide where you want your opening to be.  It should be about the size of your fist.    Mark the beginning and ending of your sewing line with double pins.  This will let you know where to start and stop sewing.    Choose a section that is not directly in the center of a long edge, but not a corner either.   Sew a quarter inch seam allowance around the edge leaving the opening free.  Backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing line.
 9.  Flip your quilt inside out through the opening.  (Like you would a pillowcase)  The edges and corners might need some fiddling with.  I like to roll the edges on a hard surface until they are smooth and flat.

10.  Remove the pins in the center first, and iron with steam.   Then remove the remaining pins in sections and press the entire quilt with steam.
 11.  Hand stitch the opening closed.

* I am not a fan of hand sewing at ALL, in fact I avoid it all costs.  But for this project I definitely recommend hand sewing the opening closed.  You need to use a loose whipstitch and you might need to do a bit of fiddling/tucking while you sew so that you have a straight line.   This only takes about 5 minutes so I believe it's worth it. 
 See how the hand-stitches are barely noticeable?  If I had done this by machine the line would not be straight and I would have to stitch all around the whole project and it's not too pretty ;c) 
 12.  Finally, Quilt as desired.

  I've found that I tend to OVERquilt all of my projects.  . . . it's FUN, but it's not the best LOOKING option most of the time.  I am going for a less-is-more approach these days.

 I started by quilting a swirl/feather in the borders.  Then I stitched-in-ditch in the 1" inner border.  Finally I did an echo/crosshatch pattern in the center using the patchwork fabric as a guide.
If you would like to try to use this quilting design -  Start by drawing your curved stem with chalk or erasable marker.  Quilt each swirl, and then add feather or two right afterwards, then move up the spine until you get to the next swirl.  Easy Peasy!

 Finished Placemats!

 I hope my Secret Sister likes them!

1 comment:

  1. I so agree. Placemats are so fun to make. Your quilting on these is delightful.