Quilting Blog

Add Seasonal Flair to Your Space by Sewing Your Own Placemats

With fall in full swing, and Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been busy getting my table ready for entertaining by sewing a new tablecloth and handmade napkins. Today I’ll be sewing placemats, which is such a fun way to add some seasonal flair to your space. 

Follow along with this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to sew placemats for your home. And with the holidays coming up, they also make great gifts! 

Fall leaf placemats

Dazzle them with your dining area decor!

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Sew 5 timeless table linens as you follow along with your world-renowned instructor in 7 online HD lessons.Enroll Now »

A note on fabric selection

Sewing placemats starts with great seasonally inspired fabrics. Choose either print or solid materials in colors and prints appropriate for the season. Most are on sale right now in the leading fabric retailers, so pick two prints or colors that work together. It is best to select fabrics that can be easily laundered, as they are likely to get soiled with food.

The placemats are made using three layers of materials: a top layer, a bottom layer that folds up around the edges to trim and finish each placemat and a layer of fusible interfacing that is sandwiched between the top and bottom layers. Or, you can use a pre-quilted fabric for the top layer, which would eliminate the need for any interfacing. Frankly, any type of fabrics can be used to make the placemats in the manner I am about to describe. You are limited only by your imagination here.

How to sew placemats

What you will need to make four 12” by 18” placemats:

  • 7/8 yard fabric for the bottom fabric
  • 3/4 yard fabric for top layer
  • 3/4 yard fusible flannel interfacing/batting
  • Matching thread
  • One roll fusible webbing – ½” wide, like Stitch Witchery®

Helpful tips:

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make these placemats practical choice and give them a more finished appearance.

  • Don’t forget to pre-wash your cotton fabric to ensure they retain their size and shape when the completed placemats are washed.
  • Invest in a roll of fusible webbing like Stitch Witchery, which help to achieve the squarest mitered corners.
  • Cut the top layer of fabric and interfacing just a bit bigger than needed. When fused together sometimes the combined layers have a tendency to shrink a bit. If cut slightly larger they can then be trimmed to the exact measurement needed. In the end this produces consistent sized placemats that are perfectly rectangular in shape.

Directions:

Step 1:

Cut the two layers of fabric and the interfacing/batting in the following dimensions: cut the bottom fabric so it measures 14 1/2” by 20 1/2”. This allows for a 5/8” double folded binding, or border, around the perimeter of each placemat. Cut the top fabric layer and the interfacing/batting 13” by 19”.

cut rectangles for sewing placemats
Step 2:

Fuse the interfacing/batting to the wrong side of the top fabric. Once fused, trim down to a 12” by 18” rectangle.

fuse batting/interfacing to top layer
Step 3:

Place the top fabric onto the wrong side of the bottom fabric centering it within the frame. Pin the layers together to prevent them from shifting about. The exposed bottom fabric edges should be 1 1/4” wide all around.

sewing placemats
Step 4: 

Press one end of the bottom fabric over the top fabric and press in place. Repeat for the remaining three sides. Make sure the corners are well pressed so creases are visible when unfolded.

press up bottom edge corner pressed

Step 5:

Unfold a corner. Using a fabric marking pen and ruler, mark 1 1/4” in from each edge. Note where the lines intersect. Now turn up the corner toward the intersecting point. The marked lines will help ensure the fold is at a perfect 45-degree angle. Press in place.

ready corner for mitering

turn up corner
Step 6:

Turn the corner point under and press. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the remaining three corners.

turn in corner fold up
Step 7:

Starting at one end turn out the fold. Notice the pressed crease. Now fold the raw edge toward the crease and press in place. Return the fold over the top fabric. This should create a 5/8” border trim. Repeat this process for the remaining 3 sides.

press up border pin in place
Step 8:

Finesse the mitered corners where needed to make sure they join perfectly and re-press.

Step 9:

Put a small 1/2” piece of the fusible webbing and tuck it inside the border at each mitered corner. Finesse the corner so the corner is square and each side of the border matches perfectly over the webbing.

cut webbing tuck into corner

press/fuse corner
Step 10: 

Press the corner to set the fusible webbing and to hold the corner in place. Repeat Steps 9 and 10 for the remaining three corners.

Step 11:

Once all the corners are set, pin the border in place to ready it for the final stitching.

pin border in place
Step 12:

Stitch the border in place sewing very close to the border edge, pivoting at each corner. I used a straight stitch here, but a decorative stitch could also be used.

stitch close to edge
Step 13:

As a final enhancement, I chose to embellish the center lines of the leaves in the print with a row of feather stitching. This not only adds some dimension to the placemat it helps to ‘quilt’ or join the top layer to the bottom layer of fabric.

finished place mat with embellish print

Dazzle them with your dining area decor!

classic table linens

Sew 5 timeless table linens as you follow along with your world-renowned instructor in 7 online HD lessons.Enroll Now »

10 Comments

BarbaraP

Wonderful tutorial. Great photos and instructions. Thank you!

Reply
Dorothy Thiessen

Beautiful, I appreciate your tutorial and you have just inspired me to try to this with Christmas fabric.

Reply
Laurette

I ‘almost’ feel like I can whip up these placemats in no time. Thanks for the easy tutorial.

Reply
Elva

Thanks for the tutorial! I just used it to help me make four placemats & napkins for my son’s school auction 🙂

Reply
Colin Bignall

Cool, I handstiched one, easy! Just need a lie down before I start on the next one

Reply
Rissa

I’m planning to make a set of placemats like this, but I want to add a layer of clear vinyl on both sides to protect them from spills. But I can’t find any instructions on how to do that. What would I have to add or alter to this pattern/tutorial to add those extra layers? I’m a novice to sewing so any advice you could give me would be great!

Reply
Cindy (Cjh68)

Wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much!! I would like to make a number of these for each holiday season.

Reply
Terri

Corners too hard, don’t work.

Reply
Pauline

I’m so glad you said this, I thought it was just me who was inept!

Reply
Judy

I like the foot used for the final stitching around the edges of the placemat. What foot is it?

Reply

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