Friday, April 26, 2013

Summer/Halloween Placemats

I am over the moon!  I finally finished making these four place mats.  I started them over a year ago after I finished this quilt. That quilt (Rigel VII) was a replacement for a quilt my mom had made me back in 1990.

pink front

The quilt my mom made was loved to death.  It was falling apart and shredded in places.  And yet I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.  I knew that there would be some cool way to re-purpose it.

pink back

After much thought, I decided I would recycle it as batting.  It was thin and worn enough that it seemed perfect to use in placemats.

I sewed strips of fabric directly onto the old quilt to make a funky abstract watermelon. Each placemat has it's own color tone (pink, pinkish purple, orange red, and maroon). 

Can you believe all that fabric was in my stash?  A good portion of it was scraps from old projects and scraps from friend's projects as well.

orange red front
After I stitched all the strips to the batting, I lined the back of the placemats with Halloween fabric.  I did this for 2 reasons.  First, at one point I had planned to make a Halloween quilt, so I'd been collecting Halloween fabric for a while.  When I made the placemats I realized that the probability of the quilt getting made was very slim.  Which leads me to the second reason for using that fabric.  If I used Halloween fabric, then I could have placemats for summer and fall!  It's like they'd be double duty placemats.  I loved that idea so, for me changing the use for the fabric from what I had originally intended it for was a great idea.

orange red back
To quilt the layers together I used regular cheapo coats and clark white sewing machine thread, my free motion foot and the supreme slider.  I've had the supreme slider for a while, but this was the first time I worked up the courage to use it.  Now I'm kicking myself for not testing it out sooner.  Basically it's this plastic thing that clings to the sewing surface and makes the fabric move around very smoothly as you are quilting.  It works like a dream.

Usually when I attempt to use the free motion foot my sewing machine acts up.  Not this time!  No problems at all.  I think i was getting some sort of drag from the fabric that was messing up the tension.
pink purple front

I still have a lot to learn about how to get smooth stitches while I am doing free motion quilting.  I can tell which placemats I quilted first, so I must at least be learning and getting a tiny bit better.  The last placemat has very little of that spiderwebing on the curved stitched lines.

pink purple back
The edges should have been done in bias binding.  Frankly, I was just plain lazy and didn't feel like making bias tape, or buying it.  Consequently, a few of the placemats curl up on the rounded part.

maroon front
While making rectangular placemats would have been a lot easier, especially when it came to the binding part, I'm glad I did spend the extra time to make them watermelon shaped.  Our dining room table is oval and the straight edged placemats don't work very well on the rounded ends of the table.  Since these placemats have a straight and rounded edge on them, any placemat can be set at any part of the table. 
maroon back

I wish I would keep forgetting how much I do like trying and learning new things.  My sewing projects would get done so much faster.  I'm stuck in that fear of what if it doesn't turn out, or what if I mess it up.  I should hang a sign up in my craft room that says "Finished is better than perfect," just so I don't forget.


  1. Just beautiful! I love the shape, I've never seen placemats in that shape!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Me neither and I can't be the only one in the world who has an oval table!


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