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Placemats with a Difference


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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. 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 SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS each placemat 16 inches wide by 14 inches tall

Supplies Needed

  • 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.

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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, and wet felting techniques to create unique works of art. Kay blogs about her craft at She says, "I learned to crochet, knit and sew at my mother's knee. She could do it all from sewing to tatting, crochet, knitting, embroidery. I learned to knit when I was about 6 or 7 and just never stopped learning new crafts and techniques."