Category Archives: placemat

DIY fail, and placemats.

Well, I THOUGHT I was going to excitedly share my DIY flip-out drawer jobby doober.  You know–in front of the sink-those fake drawers can be used!  Holds sponges, tooth brushes for scrubbing, and those kinds of things?  Well, even with pilot holes, I can’t get the dang screws in.  I’ve now pissed off my wrist, and pissed off myself.   ugh.  One of those weeks where I can’t do anything right.  I REALLY want the living room to look nicer, too.   But it needs a paint job.  BADLY!  (Who the heck puts flat paint in a house anyway?   Cheap contractors, that’s who!)

So, how about some placemats? 

I’ve already shown you the Leaves in The Unbinding Tutorial.  Here is the 6 foot long runner to go with it.

And a set of Black-N-Gold Log Cabins

And a set of Simple Black-N-Gold.

Please stay tuned!!  Tomorrow is the BLOG HOP!!   I am SO super excited!

peace and pieces,

The Unbinding tutorial-aka pillowcase method

I love making place mats, table runners, and mug rugs.   Small stuff.  But that small stuff can be a pain to bind.  Enter the “pillowcase” method.  Honestly, I don’t know why it’s called that, but I DO know it works.  I like to call it “The Un Binding.”

This is a set of place mats that I just finished.  The client has a round dinette table and prefers a more streamline look.  (She has a table runner to match for her dining table, but more on that in another post.)  She sent a newspaper pattern.

I traced the pattern onto the back side of the block.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, this step can be skipped.

Cut a piece of binding and a piece of batting the exact size of your top block.   Lay the batting down.   Then the backing goes down, RIGHT SIDE UP.   Last, the top goes RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the rest.   This is your quilt sandwich.

Stitch 1/4 inch around the edge.   I sewed on the markings.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, sew 1/4 inch from the edge of the sandwich.  Leave open a 3-4 inch hole on one of the sides, so you can turn it inside out.

If necessary, trim the edges and snip the corners to reduce bulk.  Even on rectangles, sometimes the batting will shift.

Now reach in, between the 2 fabric layers, and pull the sandwich right side out.

Use a knitting needle or other Poker Thingy  (yes, that IS a technical term!   Why do you ask??) and make your corners nice and neat.  Wiggle the seams all around to get them neat as well.  Tuck in the edge on top.   I usually stick a pin in there, just to hold it together nicely.  Then press.  I use a LOT of steam on the corners and edges.  It makes everything lay nice and flat.

Next step is to top stitch.  I set my needle to the right 2 notches, and then I can still use the 1/4 inch marks on my walking foot.  You need the stitching to be about 1/8 an inch from the edge.   This way it catches the open area, without the need for hand sewing!!  It also makes the whole thing looks crisp and clean.

And you are done!  Well, mostly.  You COULD be done.  Place mats and mug rugs are small enough that they don’t need to be quilted.  I LIKE to quilt mine, though. So…….how about straight line quilting in the leaf?

You like even more quiting?   I do too!

Free motion “wind” seems to work really well! 

And that is Pillowcasing!   It can technically be used for any size quilt, although I prefer anything larger than this to be bound with traditional double fold binding.  If there are any questions, please let me know!


Please don’t forget to come back on September 27th, 2012!   My Autum Splendor block will go LIVE!   I’m so excited.   I’ll have a bio/profile on The Quilting Gallery‘s site, too.   There are LOADS of free block patterns and giveaways going on.   Take a peak at what everyone else has to offer.  I’ll have a goody to hand out as well!!!!

The rest of Christmas

Just thought I’d show ya’ll what I gave MY mom!

The runner

Notice the AWESOME wine glasses!!  From my equally AWESOME Aunt!

closeup of the quilting

Just a general meander.

with place mat set #1

MORE left over blocks!!  I didn’t realize I could have done this quilt 2x!

with place mat set #2

And yes, she has 2 complete sets.  When we come over, my kids do a number on her tableware!!  LOL

So all that’s left to show off is Dinah’s desk set.  Eventaully, I’ll break in and photo that, too! Until then…

peace and pieces,


Christmas gifts 2011

This is my last post of 2011!!  I hope to have many many many new posts in 2012!

I made quite a few gifts this year.  I hope I took pictures of them all, but I’m not sure I did!  Let’s see.

Gifts for my nieces in NC–One loves BLUE, so she got this.

Blue Windows for Amber

closeup of the orangepeel quilting

For the other NC niece, I went much more modern.  I’m disgusted with the pictures.  It rained ALL week, so I had to take indoor pictures.

Modern look for Bobbie

LOVED the backing

3 days before Christmas, Mike started saying that HE was getting a quilt for Christmas.  CRAP.  Walmart’s precut batik strips to the rescue!

Mike's Rock Candy Christmas



Gifts for the inlaws—

for Pop Pop

the yellow smudges are Phillip!

GiGi's placemats. Boys were crawfish..

..and the girls were crabs

waterbottle carrier for Tina

totebag for Tina

I did some goodies for Louetta–beautiful placemats–no pictures.  I did a horsie set for Dinah–notebook, binder, and kleenex cover–no pictures.  MOM didn’t get her stuff yet, so no pictures of that yet.  I THINK that was all that I made for gifts this year.

Here is to many MANY more posts in 2012.  Thank you to my loyal followers!!  Keep posted–I want to get more traffic to my blog this year, so I’ll host a giveaway, have some free patterns, and a few other stuff.  I am ALSO going to start charging taxes.  This will be the first year I actually might be in the black, so I figure I’d better sign up with the state and be legal!  Paperwork–YUCK!  LOL  so lots of changes on the way.

peace and pieces,


Gearing up for the Craft Fair


So many ideas, so little time!!!  Here are some potholders…

Several sets of place mats in this style…

Gift Cards left over from last year…

felt bird and pear ornaments

Into my Safari collection!  Journals


and chapstick carrier.

My model and her water bottle tote!

Photo boxes filled with a water bottle tote, journal, and chapstick holder

And then reversible cup sleeves

They fit insulated strawcups

and insulated coffee mugs

And this will be finished…

As will this.  Both are throw sizes.

And this will be a tree skirt , and it will be finished, too.


Hope to see ya’ll there!!!

Peace and Pieces,

Another set of placemats

This is what I started to test out my tutorial pattern.  I almost like these better!!  This is Connecting Threads’ Sunny Skies.  HOW stinking cheerful is THIS???

Once again, an overlock finish.

I smile just looking at this color combination.

It reminds me of my Mom’s quilt.  I made it several years ago.

Stay tuned—I’m working on a Table runner.  It’s a tad more complicated than the place mats (free tutorial HERE), but still fairly easy.  And I searched to find something similar, and found NOTHING!!   Did I really invent something totally new???  We shall see!!!

peace and pieces,

FREE Placemat Tutorial

I was messing around with a layer cake, trying to throw together something as an Instant Gratification Project.  I managed to make 6 tops and 6 backs in about an hour.  It was AWESOME!!!  So I decided to make another set and show you all how I did it!!  Are ya’ll ready???

Materials list:
1 layer cake, or  24  pieces of fabric, a 10 inch square of each
Binding material
Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
Batting of your choice

I started out with a GORGEOUS Layer cake from Moda.

I picked out the 12 pieces I want for the fronts-

Now pick out another 12 for the backs. (I know, they are JUST as pretty as the back!!  If you want, go find yardage of something more boring to use and save these for another set of fronts!) 

Now, it’s time for the cutting!!

Take your 12 fronts, and put them in stacks of 6.  I don’t care how you sort, just make 2 stacks.  Stack them NEATLY, and square off the front edge.  Cut a 4 inch, a 2.5 inch, a 2 inch, and a 1 inch.

Take the second stack and also square off the front edge.  Then cut a 3 inch, 2 inch, 1.5 inch, and another 3 inch.

Take a SINGLE fabric from each stack.  mix and match until you like the way it looks.  You can do this any way you want.  In this picture, I only have one piece of each fabric shown.

You can also do it a bit more organized.  In this picture, I picked 2 fabrics from each stack.  Doing it THIS way, you will have 3 sets of place mats that look very similar.

Just be sure you have one 4″ strip, two 3″ strips, two 2″ strips, a 2.5″, a 1.5″ and a 1″.  That is 8 strips in total.

Sew them puppies together!!!!  Iron all the seams in the same direction.

Now you should have 6 completed tops!!  Aren’t they AWESOME???  They finish at approx. 10″ x 15.5″.

Now for the backs.  Take 2 squares of fabric.  Cut ONE in half.

Sew to the sides of the other one.  Iron the seams.  The backs finish at approx 10″ x 19″. Do this 6 times.

There you go!!!  Now go find some scraps of batting.  I’m SURE you have as much laying around as I do!!

Sandwich the 3 layers.  Try to line up the top and bottom edge as best you can.  Baste anyway you prefer. For small projects like this, I love to use a basting spray.

Now, quilt however you want.  I thought a simple grid, or a tight stipple would hold it all down nicely.  Use your creativity and have FUN!

Now to trim up the rough edges.  Square it all up nice and pretty.  Mine ended up trimmed to 9.5 x 15.

You can bind the edges now.  Do that however you prefer.  For true newbies, there are MANY YouTube Videos telling you how to do that.  I’m a “lazy” quilter, and do it all on my Bernie.  In fact, for THIS set, I opted to just use the overlock stitch.  And I LOVE the way it turned out!!  A more casual look is what i prefer, and I think this is perfect.

Here are the fronts.

and here are the backs.

And there you go!!!  6 amazingly gorgeous placemats!!  With enough squares left over to make a matching table runner!!!!!!  Tutorial for that later.

peace and pieces,