Thursday, 9 May 2013

Patchwork Placemat Tutorial

 So my latest little project has been to use up some of the masses of fabric that have been relegated to my scrap bin. I had started on a table runner, but I need to get some different batting, so decided until I get around to getting the batting I would start on something else in the meantime. Very unlike me I decided to try something a little smaller than a full on quilt, and have been trying my hand at patchwork place mats! I have a new found respect for any person who can actually do proper quilting as I think it is slightly impossible. But we have now gotten one whole place mat completed with only five more to go! 

I used an old towel as batting as I wanted to try and use all recycled items when making these. I think it turned out really well enough padding to kinda give it that 'quilted' look, but still thin enough to put a plate or glass on without it going all topsy turvy on you. 

I started out with my new quilting cutting board that has handy measurements on it, laid out the fabric pieces and pinned them all together at the edges. I went for a size of 12 x 17 inches, and cut off any scraps that didn't fit into that size which left me with these pinned place mats all the same size.
This is the first place mat pinned and ready for basting. I used a loose zigzag stitch along all the of the edges to keep everything in place before I went back around all the edges using a much tighter zigzag stitch which hid the raw edges and gave it an interesting look, plus it was easier than trying to do official style quilting. I still have no idea how you would do that where edges of fabric don't meet up in perfect angles, so for at least these place mats I'll continue using the zigzag stitch, plus I just like the look of it.
 This is the place mat basted but not with the final zigzag stitch, but you can see how all the pieces are a bit more 'together' and easier to work with and not flopping around by just being held together by pins. So far so good!
Action shot! I just used a normal foot and set my machine to a zigzag stitch long enough to catch both sides of fabric and voila! Job done. Plus it went pretty quick once you got going. All you had to be careful was you were still getting both sides of the fabric as the zigzag stitch wasn't super wide, so you just had to keep a close eye while sewing. 
 This was when I was layering the patchwork top layer, towel and bottom blue polka dot layer, be sure to leave about an inch around the edge of the patchwork with your batting when sewing, and about an inch and a half around for your bottom layer. 
I then did diagonal straight stitching across all three layers to give it a 'quilt' look, and to adhere all the different layers together. I went around after and trimmed the towel batting to fit the size of the patchwork top layer, then folded in the raw edges of the bottom layer, pinned them to the top of the place mat and straight stitched all the way around. That was all!
Tah Dah! Final product. I'm pretty happy with it, hope you enjoy making some awesome place mats and post some photos of your finished projects! Happy crafting!