Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christmas Placemats - Quilt As You Go

Make quick placemats for Christmas with this 'Twelve Days of Christmas' panel.  You can make all 12 as placemats or use a couple for potholders or trivets.  I made the placemats to finish 14" by 17".
Cut the panel designs into 7 1/2" by 7 1/2" squares.  I lined the 7.5" marks on my ruler with the design of the square.  There is usually a little difference in the printed design so it isn't quite square but it was easy to fudge this print to make it look square.
Cut the backing and batting to 17" by 14".  Spray or pin baste the batting to the wrong side of the backing.  Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner of the batting for placing the centre square. A chalk marker or heat removable marker work well on batting.  You could try pencil or pen but it could be harder to draw with the nappiness of the batting.  I used scraps of backing and batting which weren't perfect but there is extra on all sides so knew I would be okay.  I didn't have any more squares of the Twelve Days so I am using turquoise and lime.  Your red is my lime.  Your border print is my gray background with turquoise and lime. 

Lay a centre panel design on the batting right side up. 

In the bottom photo I found the centre of the square and matched it to the crossing of the diagonal lines, looking to see that the corners were about the same distance from the blue lines.  In the top photo I lined the upper corners on the blue lines.  Either way works to keep the square in alignment.  Pin the square to the batting.
Cut strips 1 1/4" wide.  You need one strip for each placemat.  Cut 2 side strips 7 1/2" by 1 1/4".  Place right sides together on the sides of the centre square.  Pin.  Sew, making sure to backstitch at the ends because you are quilting through all layers.
Press the strips away from the centre.  Cut top and bottom strips 9" by 1 1/4".  Add to top and bottom and press away from the centre.
Add the side pieces of the second border.  I cut mine 3 1/2" by 9".  You can make them wider or narrower, depending on the finished width you want.  Here is the calculation:
Decide on the finished width.  Measure the width of the centre square with strips sewn on. 
Subtract finished width - current width, then divide by 2 and add 1/2" for seam allowances. 
Cut and add to placemat.
Add the top and bottom border.  I cut mine 2 1/2" wide to finish 2" wide.  The length doesn't matter as long as the strips are greater than you need.  After they are sewn on, press away from the centre.  Trim placemat into a rectangle.  I trimmed the Christmas ones to 12 1/2" by 15 1/2".  You can add more quilting now if you wish.  Bind as you do your quilts. 
Hope this makes sense.  Enjoy!


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