Saturday, November 19, 2011

Placemat tutorial

As I posted here, I had a few of these to make ... and as I indicated in my previous post, I have completed 16 out of the 28 needed for this years Christmas bundles.

I got a late start for a variety of reasons ... but one was that I didn't actually know how to make a placemat ... and as I learned from my pot holders ... just treating it like a mini-quilt does not always work.

So I decided to put together at tutorial for anyone else out there that might be trying to figure this out ...

The tutorial is not about how to design the front of the placemat.  As I had previously mentioned, the inspiration for my placemats this year was Kate at Needle and Spatula.  But rather, the tutorial focuses on how to put the place mat together.

First, I start with the excess batting I have laying around from making quilts and cut a piece for each placemat.
15" x 20" batting
Then lay the back of the placemat onto the batting -- if you're using a print, you'll want the wrong side of the fabric to face the batting.
14" x 19" back of placemat (right-side up)
Then lay the top of the placemat onto the back -- in this case you want to put the right side down towards the backing material.
14" x 19" front of placemat (wrong side up) pinned
Sew 1/4" from edge of fabric, leaving an opening on one of the long sides of the place mat that is large enough to get your hand into (you will need to turn it right side out).
Open seam seen at top
Trim the excess batting and clip the corners.
Clipping the corners
You will then need to turn the place mats inside out.  Pushing the corners out as much as you can with your finger.

Right-side out placemat
Then I use a letter opener to finish pushing out the corners (be careful here not to push to hard and rip the fabric).  

Then gently iron around the perimeter, getting the fabric to lay flat and closing up the opening you used to turn it right-side out.  
Ironed (you can see opening on bottom left)
I then stitch about 1/8" of an inch from the edge -- this ensures that you get the opening caught and closed to avoid fraying later.  I have also been shifting the needle one notch to the right (as opposed to keeping it central).  This gets me that much closer to the edge.
Stitching close to the edge
I performed two rounds of perimeter stitching, as in my inspiration placemat.  

Perimeter stitching
I also did some straight line quilting ... which you can see front and back below.
Quilted Top
Quilted back
Let me know if you have any clarity questions.

All the best


  1. Love the tutorial and the placemats. Your friends/family will all have the most stylish tables next year :)

  2. Thank you! I have never done them, either, and this will help.

  3. Hi there!
    I was just wondering what kind of fabric you used for the non-quilted placemat top (the gray) and for the placemat back. I'm totally copying these and need some guidance on what fabrics to buy!

    Thanks so much!

  4. Thank you, Lisa, these are wonderful! I am making a set for my friend for Christmas. Some of the fabric I am using are scraps she gave me, left over from the batik napkins she made! She will be so surprised to see these.

    Next, will be a set for us...

    All the best,


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