If you are like me, you have at least 10 times as many things you’d LIKE to make or do than you have time for. Creative intentions are often bogged down by other priorities like work, sleep and showers.
Having designed 12 months of placemats – 6 per month for a total of 72 placemats – OF COURSE I want to make and use them all!
I finally had a “DUH!” lightbulb moment.
I didn’t HAVE to use traditional binding, I could just sew 3 layers (placemat, batting and backing) together, turn, press topstitch and quilt them.
I was able to make 6 placemats with fabric from the January placemat panel (part of the Monthly Placemat Panel program from Riley Blake Designs) in just a few hours and I LOVE how they turned out!
If you are an avid quilter, you are probably going to balk at this idea – but this post isn’t for you.
This is a great sewing for beginners project or a way to get placemats done quickly in between all the other things going on in your busy life.
- Fabric Placemat Panel (January panel from the Monthly Placemat Panel program from Riley Blake Designs shown)
- Backing Fabric (approx 13″ x 19″/placemat. 3/8 yard makes 2 backings. If you use the same backing fabric for all 6 placemats you need 1 1/8 yards.)
- Batting (same as backing fabric – this is a great project to use leftover pieces from quilting projects if you are a quilter)
- Rotary Cutter
- Rotary Cutter Mat
- Straight Pins
- Fabric Pen (optional)
- Turning Tool (optional)
- Sewing Machine
In this video you will learn how to sew beautiful placemats from a fabric placemat panel WITHOUT having to make and add binding. While binding is great, sometimes you don’t have the time or desire to do it or you want a more modern look.
Making placemats without binding is easy and a huge time saver. The most important step is cutting the placemat panel. If you take you time to get this done correctly your results will be amazing!
SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:
01:10 Cutting the placemat panel
03:15 Cutting the backing fabric
04:06 Cutting the batting
05:11 Sew fabric layers
Easy Placemats to Sew – Written Tutorial
STEP 1: CUT YOUR FABRICS
TRIM THE PLACEMAT DESIGNS
This is by far the most important step because if these aren’t squared well your placemats will be tilted and shaped a little off.
CUT the 6 images apart from the placemat panel.
For each image, you want to cut 1/4″ around the design. So you want to have a 1/4″ border of the print that is between the images, on all sides.
TRIM a short edge first then line it up along a guideline on a cutting mat.
PLACE your ruler to create the 1/4″ border of the next side. If the edge of the design and border aren’t straight so the border will be an even 1/4″ (making sure the first side stays lined up on the cutting mat), gently pull and adjust the fabric to square it. (fig. 1)
REPEAT for the remaining sides. Even though the designs are perfectly shaped, sometimes the fabric needs to be adjusted before cutting.
CUT THE BACKGROUND FABRIC
CUT background fabric that is about 1/2″ wider than the placemat on all sides. You don’t have to be exact about how you cut this (unless you are using stripes or another more geometric print). I put a placemat top down and simply cut around it. (fig. 2)
CUT THE BATTING
Lay the background fabric on top of batting and cut to the same size. (fig. 3)
STEP 2: LAYER AND SEW TOGETHER
PLACE the batting on your workspace.
PLACE the backing fabric on the workspace, right side up.
CENTER & PLACE the placemat on top of the backing, right side down. (fig. 3)
PIN together and sew around the placemat with a 1/4″ seam from the edge of the PLACEMAT layer, not the backing/batting. Leave a few inches open to turn.
STEP 3: TURN, TRIM & PRESS
After sewing, TRIM the backing and batting to match the sides of the placemat. (fig. 4)
TURN right side out and PRESS flat, pressing the opening under so you can’t tell where it is.
TOPSTITCH all the way around the placemat, 1/8″ from the edge.
STEP 4: QUILT AS DESIRED
QUILT your placemat as desired.
You can free motion around the art, stitch lines, squares or any way you choose! (That’s the beauty of sewing, right?)
In the video I show how I use heat erasable fabric marking pens to draw lines on the placemat, sew over them and then iron the placemat to make the marks disappear. It’s like MAGIC! (Advance the video to the 6 min 29 sec mark to see that process.)
If you want to see how to make placemats with binding read this blog post which also has a video tutorial.
See the other monthly placemats and more projects here.
Happy sewing and bon appetit!
🧵 Tara Reed
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I didn’t want the snowflake print that was left over from the panel to go to waste so I whipped up some key fobs for winter. See how easy they are to make here. There are both written and video tutorials.