31 Days of Shut Up and Sew: Patchwork Placemat

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's Day 3 of...

I love setting a pretty tablescape, don't you?  I love table runners, placemats, napkins, and all the stuff that goes along with them, but finding cute ones at a reasonable price can be difficult at times.  Thus...

The inspiration came from here on on Thirty Handmade Days.  I didn't follow her tutorial but maybe I should have (caution: major fail ahead).

I ordered a jelly roll of Amy Butler's Lark fabric line from Westwood Acres on Etsy for $21 because I wanted some super cute, vibrant fabric and the fabric shops where I live are, shall we say, less than trendy.  Plus a jelly roll would mean no cutting long strips of fabric - hooray!

Can I just say that I love love LOVE all of these fabrics?  I mean, gah, super cute.

6 strips of fabric:  2.5" x 18.5"
Coordinating fabric for back:  12.5" x 18.5"
Interfacing (I used Pellon 808 CraftFuse):  11.5" x 17.5"
Coordinating thread

About 40 minutes for one placemat

Let's start with the patchwork front.  It's basically the same thing we did yesterday for the Coffee Cozy.  Pin 2 of your strips right sides together on the 18.5" side.

Sew them together using 1/4" seam allowance.

Keep adding strips and sewing until all 6 of them are sewn together.  Iron your seams flat.

If you haven't already, iron your interfacing on (if it's the iron-on kind, obvs) to your back piece.  Then pin the front and back together, right sides facing.

Sew all the way around, leaving a 5" opening on one of the long sides for turning.  What I do is start on one of the short sides, sew around three sides, turn the corner of the last side and sew a few inches and backstitch, then lift the presser foot up, move my fabric up 5" and then start sewing again until I reach the other corner.  This way your corners are nice and neat.

Clip the extra fabric at the corners then turn the placemat right side out, pushing out the corners with whatever sharp-but-not-too-sharp tool you have lying around.  I use my Martha Stewart bone folder.

Iron it to within an inch of its life, making sure to iron under the fabric around the opening so it looks like the rest of the placemat.  Then do a topstitch all the way around to finish it off.  If I had it to do over again, I would do a smaller topstitch... this one is about 1/2".

But there you have it!  An easy, graphic placemat to make any meal more fun.

Okay, so about that fail I mentioned earlier... making one placemat is a piece of cake.  Making a second, third, and fourth one with the intention of giving the whole set as a gift is quite another.  I made four placemats, and when I was stacking them on top of each other to admire my handiwork, I realized that all.four.of.them are different sizes.  I have no idea how it happened.  They're not just a little off.  They're each like 1/2" smaller than the one before.  So...

What I Learned
When making a "set" of something, make sure to allow yourself enough time at each sitting to complete the same step on each item.  For example, Day 1: cut all the strips, Day 2: sew strips together, Day 3, cut back piece and interfacing, and so on and so forth.  I think what messed me up was I did these one at a time.  I completed each whole placemat before moving on to the next, sometimes with days between each one, therefore forgetting the measurements and the exact steps I took.  So I can't in good faith give these horribly uneven placemats as a gift.  I'm ripping out all the seams (you can feel sorry for me now) and creating something entirely different, that is not a set.  Stay tuned...

To read all 31 Days of Shut Up and Sew, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I am so happy I found your blog! Learning how to sew is creeping up to the top of my to-do list, and I'm excited to get some inspiration. These placemats are adorable!