Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of my college roommates and best friends is getting married in August (woohoo!). The whole group of us girls who lived together in college have managed, somewhat miraculously, to stay friends over the years and to get together with some frequency to catch up and reconnect. We planned a little get together recently to celebrate Kate’s engagement, and I offered to make her a gift that we all could contribute to and give her together. I thought these personalized placemats turned out really well, and I think that she liked them as much as I did! My hope is that they’ll be a little reminder as she sets her table that her friends love her.


For four identical 13½” x 19” place mats, you’ll need:
  •    4 fat quarters of coordinating print fabrics (I used pinks)
  •   1 yard of coordinating solid fabric (I used gray) for sashing and binding
  •  4 rectangles of batting, each approximately 15” x 21”
  •  1 yard of backing fabric; if the fabric is less than 42” from selvage to selvage, you’ll need 1¼ yards total)
  • A package of fusible, printable fabric (usually sold in the Notions section). I used two sheets, but you may need more or less depending on how large you want to make your labels.

 Cutting instructions:
  •  From each fat quarter, cut four 4” x 12” rectangles (for a total of sixteen rectangles).
  • From the gray fabric, cut twelve 2” x 12” rectangles.
  • From the gray fabric, cut four 2” x 19” strips.
  •  From the remaining gray fabric, cut eight 2½” x WOF binding strips; you will need two for each placemat; set them aside from now.
Sewing instructions:
  1. Arrange four different print fabrics in a row with a short gray strip in between, but not on the ends (Print 1 – Gray – Print 2 – Gray – Print 3 – Gray – Print 4).
  2. Sew the strips together in a row using ¼” seam. Repeat to make three more identical strip sets.
  3. Sew a long gray strip across one long side of each strip set to complete the four place mat tops. Even up the sides as necessary.
  4. Layer each place mat top with cotton batting and backing. I used basting spray to hold the layers together.
  5. Quilt and bind as normal. I just did an all over meander and loops – ultimately, these are utilitarian place mats, so no use spending a TON of time on intricate quilting. It’s also a good excuse to try some new free-motion techniques.
  6. Type up a note to the bride (or other recipient) on your computer in a text box that’s slightly smaller than you want the final label to be. Print the note onto fusible, printable fabric and fuse the note to the wrong side of a placemat following the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat to fuse notes to the wrong side of all the placemats. (It would be fun to put quotes or song lyrics on the backs, too!) The labels fuse really well, but if you’re worried about them coming off, you can fuse them to the backing fabric before you quilt the placemat, but be aware that the thread may obscure some of the writing.
  7. All done! Cute, meaningful, and totally usable – the best kind of gift, in my opinion!




Heather said...

So cute, and what a sweet gift, Kelly. You rock!

Andie said...

Handmade gifts are the best! Great tutorial!

Austin Injury Lawyer said...

My 7 year old wants to sew so bad, and so far we have only made bean bags. This looks perfect for her! We are going to get some fat quarters and get busy. Might even use some different decorative stitches around the edges. Thanks.