Patchwork placemats are a colorful way to use up extra scraps and leftover quilt blocks without starting a major project. They are also a fast and easy last-minute gift item. The pieces are small, manageable and affordable. The project uses low-loft batting or even squares of old blanket as filler. All of the sewing can be done on a sewing machine; a rotary cutter and cutting board make cutting quilt blocks fast and easy, but plain old scissors will do.
Items you will need
- Cotton fabric
- Quilt block pattern
- Cutting board
- Rotary cutter
- Ironing board
- Sewing shears
- Low-loft cotton quilt batting or cotton blanket
- Straight Pins
- Sewing machine
Select from your fabric collection or purchase print cotton fabric pieces. Select a traditional quilt pattern that can best utilize the fabrics you have on hand. The pattern need not be complex. Easy traditional patterns can be found at Ivana Michalova's Free Patchwork Pattern (free-patchwork-pattern.com/) website.
Cut the pieces by placing them on a cutting board and using a rotary cutter, or press the fabric on an ironing board and cut them using sewing shears. Lay out the pieces for the complete set of placemats to make sure you have enough fabric of the right colors to make the complete set. If the pieces you have cut don't seem to quite come out even, you may need to incorporate a different color into the patterns.
Pin the quilt block pieces together, and sew the blocks; then pin the blocks together to make the mats, and sew them together. Press the pieces. Stack them up, matching seams and edges. Trim the edges so that they are all the same size.
Cut back pieces of single fabric pieces, or create another set of patchwork pieces so that the mats will be reversible. Cut filler pieces of low-loft cotton quilt batting or cotton blanket. Again, press the pieces, stack everything together, and trim the edges to make sure all the mats are the same size.
Place a bottom piece on a flat surface, then a filler piece, then a front piece. Pin them securely together. Using dressmaker chalk, draw a quilting pattern on the front. Sew the pieces together using a sewing machine to stitch along the lines of the pattern, then sew around the edges of the mat.
Cut three inch wide strips of fabric that are long enough to go all the way around the perimeter of the mat. Pin the right side of the strip to the back of the placemat. Stitch in place using the sewing machine. Fold the strip over to the front, and turn under the edge of it into a hem, making blanket corner miters at each corner. Pin in place. Topstitch on top of the hem edge all the way around the mat.
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