Sewing Blog

An Easy Method for Sewing Your Own Placemats

Freshen up your dining table with a set of reversible, quilted placemats! This tutorial will teach you how to sew a placemat that’s both practical and stylish.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

The thick placemat is quilted for durability, and it’s the perfect size for a dinner plate, silverware and drinking glass (and it doubles as a coaster).

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

And better still, it’s reversible! I put a solid gold print on one side and a snazzy polka dot print on the other side, so it can be used for both formal and more casual dinners. The blue binding coordinates with both sides. Let’s get started!

How to sew placemats step by step

Materials for each placemat:

Step 1: Make the quilt sandwich

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Layer a piece of batting between the two pieces of fabric. The batting should touch the wrong sides of the fabric. Spray baste the layers in place or pin in a few places, if desired. I skipped this step, and my layers still stayed together well while quilting.

Step 2: Quilt it

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Starting in the middle, quilt through all the layers using a walking foot, using your hands to smooth out the layers as you go. I sewed vertical lines at a slight angle, but you could choose a different quilting design. Continue until the layers are all quilted together.

Step 3: Trim to size

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat  

Trim the placemat to 13″ x 18″, using a ruler and rotary cutter. Using the lines of your cutting mat as a guide, make sure the edges are straight on all four sides.

Step 4: Attach the binding

  How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Note: If you are making your own binding, check out this post for tips!

Place the raw edge of the binding strip along the raw edge of the placemat. Beginning in the middle of one side, sew a straight line about ¼” from the edge. When you get¼” from the corner, pivot your placemat under the sewing foot and sew toward the corner as pictured above

Step 5: Create the mitered corners

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Fold back the binding strip at a 45-degree angle, along the line you just sewed. Use your fingernail to make a crease along this fold.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Keeping the fold you just made, fold the strip at a 90-degree angle as pictured. Press the crease with your fingernail, and place the binding strip’s raw edges against the next side of the placemat.

Get more tips on sewing perfect binding corners here.

Step 6: Sew around the placemat

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Sew the next side of the binding strip to the placemat, and continue around all four sides. 

Step 7:  Finish the binding

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

When you get close to your starting point, leave a gap of about 4″.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

To join the binding tails, place a sewing pin at the point where they meet, pinning close to the placemat. Make sure the right sides of the binding fabric are touching.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Pull the pinned fabric away from your placemat. Carefully sew a straight line where you pinned together the strips. Trim off the tails ¼” past the stitched line.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Press the seam open and fold the binding in half so it lays nicely on the placemat. Stitch down the remaining binding, being sure to backstitch at both ends.

Step 8: Fold the binding over

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Press the binding on the front side around to the back; secure with binding clips. Make sure the binding extends past and completely covers the previous stitch line (so your stitches will blend in on the opposite side).

Step 9: Sew the binding into place

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

At this point you can either hand-stitch the binding to the back of your placemat, or machine stitch it on, as I’ve done here.

With the back side of the placemat facing you, stitch 1/8″ from the edge of the binding in one continuous stitch. (Backstitch when your final stitches overlap the first ones.) 

I’ve used a thread that matches the front of the placemat in both the spool and the bobbin, for a nice contrasting look on the back side. You can choose to match your top thread to the binding for stitches that blend in.

How to Sew a Quilted Reversible Placemat

Now you that you know how to sew placemats, you can make a whole set and get ready for your next dinner party!

Variations on this quilted placemat

Skip the quilting

If you don’t wish to quilt your placemat, you can skip the batting. Fuse a 13″ x 18″ piece of lightweight interfacing to the front and back fabrics instead, to give them a bit more weight.

Skip the binding

If you choose the method above, you can skip the binding as well. Sew the top and bottom as you would a simple pillow cover. Stitch the top and bottom fabrics right sides together, ¼” from the edge, leaving a 4″ turning gap. Turn the placemat right side out. Poke out the corners. Press, and hand sew the gap closed. Topstitch the placemat 1/8″ from the edge to finish. This method also gives you a double-sided placemat.

Use mitered corners

For a one-sided placemat with mitered corners, follow this tutorial for DIY dinner napkins and use a linen or home-decor fabric.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and was updated in December 2017.

14 Comments

BarbaraP

Wonderful tutorial. Great photos and instructions. Thank you!

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Dorothy Thiessen

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

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Laurette

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

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Elva

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

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Colin Bignall

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

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Cindy (Cjh68)

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

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Jackie

What clear precise instructions. I am so pleased I searched on line before jumping in the deep end and making mistakes. Thanks so much.

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Cynthia Brewer

Can some one tell me exactly how many yards of fabric it will take to make 1 set of placemats this size? It is easier for me to plan in yards rather than the direct measurements.

Thanks

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Terry Sheldon

Come on now, easy math! For 4 placemats, or four 13″ x 18″ pieces, 3/4 yard of EACH fabric will give you enough, right? You cut 2 strips (from selvedge to selvedge) of 13″, then subcut into 4-18″ rectangles (of course, removing the selvedges before cutting). If you’re using the same fabric on both sides, that 3/4 yard will give you 2 placemats… four rectangles = 2 placemats.

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Terry Sheldon

If you draw out a rectangle representing 40″ wide fabric, it’s easier to see if you’re a true beginner…

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Andresa

It looks like each placemat can be made from two fat quarters, so a set of four placemats would require two yards of fabric before the batting and binding. Not sure how much would be needed for those.

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Nina

Thank you. I will give it a try

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Kim

I pinned this to make later and it is not the same tutorial. I have looked at it a few times since I pinned it so I’m sure of what I pinned and this is not the self binding placement I pinned.

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Michelle

Yes I saved the old pattern and cant find it either. 😢

Reply

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