Friday, 3 October 2014

Quilting Placemats

A couple of years ago I make several sets of table napkins for various seasons of the year.

These are the autumn ones which I start using on the first day of fall.

I wanted to make some placemats to go with them but didn't have any matching fabric so decided instead to just find some fabric that would coordinate with them colour-wise.

I found Halloween fabric that would work and whipped up these reversible placemats.

 Although not a match, I think they're fine with the napkins.

With right sides together and the batting cut to the finished dimension, I stitched 1/4" around leaving an opening for turning. I anchored the batting with some fusible web so it wouldn't shift with the turning.

I had watched this excellent video about wrapping the corners rather than pivoting and trimming the corners at a 45 degree angle. I was inspired to buy Nancy Zieman's book "Sewing A to Z" after seeing this video but joy of joys, my local library had it so I checked it out yesterday and will be reading up on other nifty sewing tips.

After turning, I stitched a 3/8" around the outside using the edge of the walking foot as a guide. It was my first time using it and I was pleased I remembered how to attach it to my machine after all this time since buying that attachment.

As I haven't done much machine quilting, I decided to just do simple stitching lines. I started at the centre and stitched vertical lines 1 1/2" apart until I got to the last gap which was 3 1/2" wide. For the first, centre, vertical line, I just used some masking tape to delineate it and stitched close to its edge. I was careful not to stitch right on the tape so I wouldn't gum up my needle. I saved the piece of tape to use with each successive one. I then used the guide arm in the walking foot following previously stitched lines as a guide.

At the last gap of 3 1/2", I added 1/4" to the spacing, to cut the gap in half.
I then handstitched the opening closed. If I were to make these again, I'd add 1/4" to each of the outside dimensions for an initial seam of 1/2" before turning. Then, when I turn and do the 3/8" border, it will close the opening, thus avoiding me having to hand stitch. If I can avoid handstitching, I'm all for it.

Initially, I thought the design said 'Love' (which didn't make sense) but on closer inspection I realize it says "Happy Halloween".
I'm already planning the Christmas placemats. And I already have fabric that matches my Christmas napkins exactly.

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