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About the designer

Kay Stephenson is a freelance writer and fiber artist living in Atlanta, Ga with her husband, Mark, and her dog, Lady. Working in several fiber related craft areas, she combines quilting, crochet, ...

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Placemats with a Difference

from Stitching Times
(7) Name: 'Quilting : Placemats with a Difference
Placemats with a Difference
Placemats with a Difference
Placemats with a Difference

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • This is a beginner's pattern to learn basic machine piecing and quilting techniques
  • You will also learn how to make mitered corners

Pattern Description:

These placemats are a great practice project for machine quilting. The idea is to make several placemats with the same fabric layout, then quilt each with a different technique or pattern. I made a set of twelve so that I could practice all of the techniques I later used on a large wall hanging. I wanted to perfect the techniques (ok, maybe not perfect, but at least improve) before I started working on the wall hanging, which is likely to get a bit more scrutiny than every day placemats only noticed by family.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • each placemat 16 inches wide by 14 inches tall


  • Select quilter's cottons for the top, backing, and binding that coordinate well. I used over 20 different fabrics because I was using up bits and pieces from another project. However, if you are purchasing new fabric for this project, I would recommend that you select at least 8 different but coordinating fabrics, and look for small prints and patterns since the pieces are quite small and a large motif will be lost.
  • Top: Depending on the number of fabrics selected, you will need to purchase Single fabric: 2..." yards Two fabrics: 11/4 yards each. Eight fabrics: ..." yard each If using all fat quarters, you will need a total of 11 pieces to make 6 placemat tops.
  • Batting: 36 inch wide craft batting - 1 3/4 yards; 90 or 96 inch wide quilt batting - 1/2 yard; 40 inch by 60 inch crib batting - 1 piece; or any combination that will yield 6 pieces that are each 18 x 16. I recommend all cotton batting. These placemats will be washed frequently, and you want something with low loft so that it will lie flat enough for stemware to stay upright.
  • Backing: 1 3/4 yards
  • Binding: 3/4 yard

You Will Also Need:

  • Thread: to machine piece the top, for machine quilting of tops and to attach and finish binding. Specialty machine quilting threads are available, but not required. I generally use cotton all purpose thread. Try to select colors that will blend with all of your fabric choices so that you do not need to change thread frequently throughout the project.
  • Rotary cutting tools (self healing mat, rotary cutter, quilter's ruler)
  • Sewing machine with 1/2 inch patchwork foot, even feed/walking foot, and free motion/darning foot
  • Seam ripper, thread clipper or embroidery scissors, sewing gauge or ruler
  • Fabric markers (I prefer washout), stencils, and/or tracing paper for transferring designs from free motion quilting.

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