by Jessica Smith
Materials (for 4 placemats):
10 FQ's to make strips
1 yard backing fabric (or 4 FQ's)
1 yard low-loft batting
4-3”x22” strips to cover your center line on front
· Cut a 14”x20” rectangle from your batting and backing fabrics.
· Place your backing fabric right side down, and lay your batting squarely on top of it. Secure the two together with a few pins or a basting stitch with water soluble thread. (You will take the pins out as you go or wash the basting stitch out when the project is complete.)
· Draw a center line horizontally or vertically across the batting. (This can be centered or off center, whichever you prefer.)
· Use your ruler to draw a line at a 45 degree angle from the center line to the edge, on both sides. This should make a V. (OR you can use a sharper or more slight angle if you desire.)
· Measure each leg of your V and add 2 inches to each measurement to determine the length of the strips you will need for either side of your center line.
· Cut strips (using the length determined above) out of your FQ’s at varying widths, from 1” to 3”. (OR you can choose to make all of your strips the same width.)
· Put your strips into paper bags, keeping the two different lengths in separate bags. When sewing down the strips, you will draw them randomly from the bags. (OR you can plan your color order.)
· Choose your thread carefully—remember, this is the quilting color that will show up on the back of your finished placemat.
· Draw a strip from your bag of long strips, and sew it right side up on your sandwich along the long leg of your V, backstitching at your center line. Use a quarter inch seam allowance. — Make sure and backstitch in the middle of the placemat, or your stitches will come out!
· Choose another strip from your bag of long strips. Place it on top of the loose edge of the first strip, right sides together. Make sure you leave enough room at the edge of the strip that it covers the batting all the way to the edge and to the center line, even when it is turned over right side up.
· Turn the strip right side up and finger press the seam.
· Trim the edges at the center line and at the edge of the sandwich. (Do not trim edges until after you have turned the new piece right side up.)
· Continue adding strips in this direction until the batting is completely covered, then start adding strips to the other side of your original strip.
· Once your batting is completely covered on the long side of your center line, repeat the process on the short side of your center line.
· Remember to make sure each strip will cover both the edge and the center line after it is flipped right side up; this works a bit differently when you start going in a new direction, so be very careful.
· Take one of your 3”x22” strips to cover the center line, and fold it in half. Finger press or iron it.
· Place the raw edge of your folded strip along your center line. Make sure that your quarter inch seam will cover all of your ugly edges. Stitch it down with a matching thread, using a 1/4” seam allowance. (Remember that this strip is there to cover the beginnings of each of your stitch lines on your V.)
· Fold over the strip at the seam to cover the raw edges and center line. Use a decorative stitch and a high contrast thread when sewing down the second side. (You can go in and add this decorative stitch down the first side of your strip as well, or just leave the one decorative stitch.)
· Next, you are ready to square up the project. Turn it over, and trim it down (squaring it up) to 13” by 19”.
· Bind your placemats. I use 2” wide strips for the binding, and do continuous binding. You can use all one color for the binding or piece together several of your colors to make a colorful binding. You can also play with decorative stitches when putting on the binding. Have fun with it, this is your last chance to add extra design and color!
· Repeat to make 4 placemats.
Be creative with this design; do your own thing! You can adjust this pattern in a thousand different ways and never have the exact same placemat as someone else. As always, I encourage you to find your own inner diva designer!