Thursday, January 9, 2020

Pink and Grey Placemats and Two Great Tips

With a few hours to spare, I've knocked off another item on my rather lengthy Q4FAL List. 2019 was definitely the year of the placemats, and 2020 so far has been fulfilling family quilty requests.

Dayna originally fell in love with the Opal Silk placemats I made for Brianne, asking for those colours. And then, in keeping with her Demando Dayna nickname bestowed upon her by my friend Rose of something rosemade, who has a Demando son, and recognized this quality in my daughter, Dayna said, "Well, I'd like the turquoise ones for my outside table, and I'd like four more for my inside table, but in pink instead of the turquoise." All right then! She opted for a soft pink and I like the look. In all honesty, I am most happy to oblige these quilty requests. The mending or altering requests, not so happy to oblige...
I knew I had a two to three day window before focusing on the Island Batik January challenge (well not really, but I work well under pressure, remember?) so I looked at that Q4 List and thought what could I knock off there in pretty short order? Yes, the Bear Paw baby quilt is almost a flimsy and will be quilted fast as it will be for sale. But then I thought hmm, I need to finish up some of these 'want to', or 'have been asked to' makes for my family. Enter the placemats.

Both daughters like the no frills placemat pattern I designed. They consist of three squares @ 6.5", alternated with three 4-patches. To make the 4-patches, sew two 3.5" squares of one colour with two 3.5" squares of another. Lay them out how you'd like. I did two placemats with the pink in the top left corner of the 4-patches, and the other two with the white 'XO' fabric there. The placemat will be 12.5 X 18.5". Layer it with batting and backing.

Here is the spinning seams tip that so many loved when I hosted the Postcard From Sweden QAL two years ago. This time I made a little video for you that may help clarify that initial 'pull apart the few stitches of the intersecting seams' step:
Note that this technique only works with nested seams; if you press yours open, they won't spin.

I bring the backing to the front as the binding. To do this, I leave a good inch extra of backing fabric all the way around the placemat. Then I just turn over the seams 1/2" press, and turn over once more and topstitch the double-fold down as the binding. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A tip for quilting the straight lines, which is what my daughters both wanted, is to use a Hera marker.
This way there is nothing to erase.😊

The placemat palooza started with Brianne requesting placemats a year ago, but "not quilty ones." Dayna liked the simplicity of the straight lines and simple patchwork too, and they do lie nice and flat. I considered quilting an inch apart but it seemed a little puffy. I varied the width on previous placemats, but for the pink ones, I did half an inch apart. These placemats got two lines of Sulky Blendables 12 weight thread, alternating with one line of Aurifil 50 weight. I love how it looks.

It didn't take too long, even with getting a wee job from MacGyver to carefully remove extra drywall mud dust from the crevices around the dormer windows and carefully with a DAMP sponge (he told me like five times, and no I wasn't at all ticked to be told that many times...) to wipe the sills.

Two placemats got topstitched down with the Sulky, and two with the grey Aurifil.

Let's have a look at the backing, shall we?

I believe I snagged this yard of fabric out of Sew Sisters Quilt Shop (no affiliation) clearance section a little while ago. I knew it would go to Dayna somewhere down the road. She really liked it as the backing for her placemats. When you use the backing as the binding by bringing it to the front, you don't have a seam on the back in which to insert your label, so I fold over the raw edges and then topstitch the label onto one placemat's corner.

Things have kind of halted on the kitchen reno front as the upstairs is getting all the attention so we can get the final drywall and primer inspection. It has its first coat of primer on up there, yay! We will be selling this much-loved rattan dining set (sniff) in order to have an island (read more storage) in our kitchen. It's not big enough for both.


Yes, I still have one Christmas decoration out, my aqua and silver glass tree, because I love it so much, and it's fitting for my kitchen and for January, although we still don't have any snow, which is not fitting for January.

Rolled up ready to go to Dayna!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 18.5 X 12.5"
Fabric: Kona Dusty Peach, a JoAnn's Fabrics 'Designed in Ohio' cotton, Benartex Solid Silver
Backing: "The Cats Meow" by Whister Studios
Batting: cotton scraps, maybe Hobbs or Nature's Touch
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with GĂŒtermann; quilted with Sulky Blendables 12 wt, and Aurifil 50 wt.

Here is a peek at the sewing room dormer area with one coat of primer on it. I love the angles. MacGyver is going to MacGyver up a barn wood look for the LVL beam you see. That's our fan you can just see in the top right corner. It's so nice to see that up, the new light over the stairs, and all the pot lights!

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
The Madd Quilter
Quilt Fabrication
Alycia Quilts-Quilty Girl
TGIFF at Slice of Pi Quilts
Clever Chameleon
Dizzy Quilts for the Q4FAL


  1. The placemats would be well used in our home; ours are starting to fall apart a bit and I think 2020 might be the year to make some new ones for our table. Your sewing space is really starting to come together; it looks great!

  2. Those are great placemats, Sandra! I love the xo fabric and also the backing - so cute! Glad to see there is progress in your sewing room, too.

  3. Wow, your sewing room will be wonderful! And the placemats are so nice.

  4. Lovely placemats, and a great view of the sewing space in-progress!

  5. I really like those. But I won't be making them for my table because I use some that I wove.

  6. I'm with you on the mending or altering requests..uck Your sewing room is looking good.

  7. Love your placements and I am with you on the mending.

  8. The placemats are awesome! And I really love your soon to be new sewing space! I totally can identify with the mending requests! I just wish my daughter would WANT something quilty. Alas, she is a "modern" girl and not into quilted beauty.

  9. They are really great, Sandra! I need to concentrate on making a few placemats in the very near future. Is there a link for using the backing as binding?

  10. I am sure you can hardly wait to get in your new sewing space, have you got a set up all planned?

  11. Hi Sandra! HAHA! Demando seems very fitting for Dayna, indeed. I love it when I get requests for items with specific choices, and I know you do, too. No, 'whatever' isn't really very helpful at all so good job Dayna. Thanks for the video on spinning the seams. Gee whiz, you made that look so darn simple (and I enjoyed hearing you voice - it matches you and my imagination). I'm going to try that on the next 4-patch I make. This weekend - I'm going to make some just to give it a try. Was MacGyver thinking you were deaf and didn't hear the other FOUR times he said it? Or did he think you would use a dripping sponge so that it would wreck the drywall? OR, more likely, was he not thinking and forgot that he didn't need to say anything more than once. Love the straight line stitching - my weekend is definitely filled with that! Progress on the sewing room - n.i.c.e. That dormer lets in a lot of light - and pot lights are perfect. It won't be long and you'll be sewing up there. Right?! ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. If 2019 was the year of the placemats for you, I think it was the year of the pillow for me. I should do a review maybe. Hmm. Those placemats are so simple and perfect. Amazing what we do for our Demandos, is it not? As to the mending/altering - yeah, no. Had to chuckle over the 5x reminder comment; we've had those conversations (ahem) here as well. Of course, I can well relate to the "I can sneak that project in" as I'm sitting here wondering if I could start a project with another due on the 1st. :-) The backing for the placemats is adorable! Nice finish, Sandra!

  13. Great idea to use both the sulky blendable 12wt and the aurifil. I will have to try that. I will be pleased when my academic children (both PhD's in their 30's) have longer term positions so they can ask for specific items. Right now I don't add to things they'd have to move. I do have so many ideas for each thought! Love that you wrapped the binding around, something I know about but have never tried. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. I love the peek at your studio - you sure have been patient. Those are lovely placemats and will be well loved and used!

  15. Placemat Palooza, indeed! Love the threads you chose for the quilting. Yum! I'm glad to hear that you don't find the demands too Demando :)

  16. Hi Sandra, those are great placemats and reversible! Awesome :-)

  17. The place mats are very pretty, that soft pink is just right. Congrats on all the progress on finishes. It's still early in the year. The sewing room is looking amazing. Hope it's not much longer till your back in business there.

  18. These are so pretty. I just love the colors and the straight line quilting is perfect.

  19. The placemats look great. I mending or altering!!

  20. Fantastic placemats. Love the colors and the quilting. Thank you for that little clip on the center pressing. I get to that point and can't remember how. Now with the little tip about seams going around in a circle, I hope it sticks. And I am so impressed with the sewing loft. Won't it be lovely to have that finished sooner rather than later? We had a table similar to the Rattan one you have, inherited from family. Used it until the cat managed to chew through some of the critical areas.

  21. Have you demoed how you do the corners when you fold the backing over as binding? Using the backing to bind would eliminate having to join the ends of the binding strip. I'm going to be making some placemats with my grandson while we are in TX.

  22. Those are so great! what a fun way to decorate!!


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