Saturday, July 14, 2012

SEW & QUILT-IN-0NE PLACEMATS


Free-motion quilting totally scares me!  I even bought a sewing machine for my birthday last year that would make this easier for me to do than my other machines.  If I am totally honest I have to admit that the only time I have tried to do free-motion quilting was at an orientation lesson to familiarize me with my new Janome sewing machine.  I am so intimidated and terrified of the whole process.  A new friend to a new neighbors' quilting group I belong to, Sharon, does it all the time and says it is so easy.  She has promised to show me her method.  

Until then I will continue to choose quilt patterns that I can do simply machine quilting stitching---stitch-in-the-ditch, outline stitch, diagonal stitching across the square, and what I call sew and quilt-in-one.  The latter one is so easy and even easier if you have a walking foot attachment for your machine.  This foot keeps the top fabric from stretching as you sew the layers together.  You can buy the attachment to fit your machine if you didn't have one come with your machine.

The first project I did using this method was a baby quilt for granddaughter Madison before she was born.  I don't have a picture of the finished quilt to show you (I know, how did I manage to not get a picture of it?), but trust me, it was really cute.

I have so much Christmas material that I have collected over the years that it fills a big tub.  The quilting group I mentioned earlier (we need to come up with a name for ourselves besides New Neighbors' Quilting Group) decided to make placemats for fall.  I think I have a picture of mine, but I don't know what disk it is own....I know I need to get organized with my pictures....Will try to find it and show them to you before fall. 

 
After we finished our fall placemats, I decided I wanted to make some I could use for Christmas and Winter.  I remembered the technique of sewing and quilting all in the same stitch that I had used for Madison's baby quilt and knew that was how I was going to make the placemats.  I used various Christmas prints (18 different ones----told you I had a lot of Christmas fabric) and then a snowman print for the back.  I have always made a distinction between Christmas and Winter.  This snowman print has nothing that shouts "Christmas" so I simply turned the place mat over after Christmas and continued to use the placemats until March and Spring.  






When Spring came and I had to pack up my Winter stuff, I knew I needed to get going on the Spring ones quickly.  I love the 30's reproduction prints and knew that was what I wanted to use for them.  I chose a fabric print that looked good with them (even though you don't see both sides of the placemat at the same time) and sorta looked more like summer than the prints I chose for the Spring side.

Since I started this blog less than a month ago, I don't have extensive pictures to illustrate my instructions.  But I have been asked several times by friends how to make the placemats when they saw them, so I will show the one picture I have along with a couple of excellent links for the binding.

What you need to make 6 placemats:
          
          Chosen prints(18 fat quarters - or 1/4th of a yard of 18 prints) or scraps at least 1.5 in X 18 in
          1.5     yards of thin batting
          1.5     yards of material for back
          3/4th  yards of material for binding

What to do if using chosen prints:

You will cut  3  strips across the width of your fabric 1.5 inches wide. Then cut the strips into 18-inch long strips.  Do this until you have used all 18 prints cut.  (Note:  it is ok if you are not using 18 different prints but will be repeating prints)  You will need 18 strips for each placemat. 

Decide on the arrangement for the strips.  I made all 6 of mine identical, but you wouldn't have to whether you are using the chosen fabric or just scraps.

Cut the thin batting and the material for the back 18 in X 14 in.  If you fold the fabric for the back, you will cut a total of  3  strips across the material every 14 inches. Then cut the strips into 18 inch rectangles.
Layer the materials to start sewing this way:  Backing -- right side down;  batting; the first 1.5 in X 18 in strip--right side up; and the second strip -- right side down on top of the first strip. Line the strips up on the right side of your backing/batting sandwich.  Sew the two strips together using a quarter inch seam sewing thru all layers.  Backstitch at the beginning and end of this seam.  Press seam open with your fingers and then press with iron.  (Make sure you "press" and not "iron" so that you don't stretch the material.)  Lay the next strip down with right sides together and sew with a quarter inch seam. 
 Continue until you have worked across the placemat and used the 18 strips.

Trim the placemats with your rotary cutter to the same size -- about 17.5 in X 13.5 inches.

When I make the binding, I cut my strips 2 inches wide.  You will see different widths used in different directions...probably the most common is 2.5 inches.  BUT I like to work with a 2-inch wide strip.  I can thank my friend Kay for suggesting this.  You have a nice neat trim binding when you finish and the binding is the same amount on both sides.

For the binding:  With the fabric folded in half, cut at least 6 strips 2 inches wide across the width of the fabric. Since I don't have any pictures showing how to make the binding, I will direct you to several links that will illustrate the process.  You will sew the strips together using a diagonal seam and then trim the seam to a quarter of an inch as illustrated HERE.  Do this until you have sewed all 6 of the strips you cut together.  Then fold the long binding strip with wrong sides together matching the raw edges and press fold. Working on the strip side of the placemat, lay the folded binding strip about 3/4ths of the way across the bottom of the placemat with the raw edges matching and start sewing several inches from the corner using a quarter of an inch seam.  You will be leaving a tail of the folded binding free so that you can join the two ends together when you get back around. THIS TUTORIAL shows pictures and explains the process of perfectly mitered corners and making an invisible joint.

Once the binding is sewed on the top, I fold the binding around to the back and sew the binding down using a blind stitch. You can see how to make a blind stitch HERE.  

Hope this was helpful and that you will try to make your own Sew & Quilt-in-One Placemats.


You might be interested in checking out my post/tutorial for my fall placemats.  I used this same method but with varying widths of strips. 


Update!! 

I just finished this baby quilt using this method. You can check it out HERE. I show lots of pictures showing each step.








Another Update!!


This afternoon I made a hot pad with some scraps using this method. It was so easy. I need to make a number of these since I do so much baking.


EVEN ANOTHER UPDATE!!!!!

I just figured out how to make the log cabin pattern block for a hot pad using my Sew & Quilt-in-One method. You can find that tutorial HERE. Here is what it looks like.


Front....









and back

















Here is a picture of another one I made my friend Fran.

















If you need to see detailed pictures illustrating this method of sewing and quilting in one, check out this POST where I made a baby blanket using the method.


30 comments:

  1. I paid no attention to how you made those placemats...but I want you to make me some ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What colors or prints? I will gladly make you some. FMI: Could you not understand my directions? I only took one picture back in the spring when I made them. I hunted for good tutorials to show the binding. They are good for anything you are doing with binding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the way this quilting looks. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you think this could be used for a baby quilt? Something small to go in a crib?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely Helen. I made a baby quilt for my granddaughter several years ago that probably is what got me to thinking about making placemats this way. It was different but you sewed and quilted it in one step. I should work up a tutorial for it. Would love to hear how your blanket turns out. Thanks for your question.

      Delete
  5. I am having a problem with puckering on the reverse side. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make slightly longer stitches.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I hope she tried that. I didn't hear back from her after all my suggestions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Delete
  6. Are you using a walking foot attachment on your sewing machine? That really helps with creeping. If your fabric is puckering maybe your tension on your machine needs to be adjusted. Let me know if you are still having problems. I have a few more ideas. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My walking foot helped, but it is still puckering. I am going to make this set for myself and continue to try to get the back to lay flatter. Any other ideas would be appreciated. Could my batting be too thick?

      Delete
    2. I use a thin batting about the thickness of good felt. It is even thinner than warm and cuddly, my favorite batting to use when quilting. Sorry that I can't think of the name of it. That just might be your problem though. If I find out the name of it, I will let you know.
      Patricia

      Delete
    3. I just had another thought. Not sure the length of stitch you are using. Lengthen it just a little and see if that helps. On my machine I would use at least 2.5 to 2.8. When I machine quilt I use a stitch length of 3.

      Delete
  7. Hello Patricia ... I was wondering if I could make a queen sized quilt, using this method?
    Or, should I just make a bunch of placemats and sew them together?
    I obviously would leave the binding off the placemats though.
    I'm not sure how that would work out.
    I'm fairly new at quilting, but I love this idea!
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of the size of a queen sized quilt, it would be easier to make a bunch of "placemats". I have a book called Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel. She shows you how you would have to sew the blocks (placemats) together. After you have all of the blocks sewn and the arrangement decided, you would assemble the horizontal rows. The tops of the blocks are machine sewn to one another leaving the batting and the backing free to be hand sewn in a flat, lapped seam. Once you have all the horizontal rows made, you will probably have to trim the batting to make the flat seam on the back that you will sew by hand. Then you would assemble the rows together in the same way pinning back the batting and the backing, trim the batting, and then slip stitch the backing. If you could find the book, it would help being able to see the illustrations. The copyright date is 1982 by Oxmoor House, Inc. You could do one huge "placemat", it would just be cumbersome. The strip should be no wider than 5 inches...6 inches at the most. Thanks for your question Susan. I hope my answer helped. Let me know how it works out.

      Delete
    2. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your question. You have inspired me and got my creative juices flowing. Overnight I thought about your question more and have some added suggestions. If you want to make the blocks, here is a pattern I came up with. I would make nine blocks..four blocks with the strips going horizontally and five blocks with the strips going vertically. Depending on how wide and how many strips you wanted in each block, you could cut them as wide as 6.5 or even 5.5 or narrower like 3.5 inches. If the fabric you are using for the backing had an obvious pattern, the backing for the horizontal blocks would be cut 33 x 31 and the vertical blocks would be cut 31 x 33. If there is no pattern, just cut all nine blocks the same .. just sew the strips on differently. The finished blocks after you have sewn them all together would be 30 x 32 /32 x 30 inches. I cut them an inch bigger to allow you to trim them down to all the same size. I would also cut the first and last strip for each block a half inch wider so you have a little extra to play with when you are sewing the blocks together. Because of the assembling of the blocks that I described in my earlier response, you should start and stop an inch from the beginning and end when sewing down the strips. Back stitch at the start and stop so the seams won't come undone. This is necessary for when you sew the blocks together. You will then have to slip stitch on the finished top to secure the seam all the way. By alternating the blocks horizontally and vertically you don't have to be concerned that the strips match.

      As I said, you have inspired me and I think I will actually have to try this for our bed.

      Thanks, again and let me know how it turns out if you decide to do it. If I need to further explain something that I have said, please let me know.

      Patricia

      Delete
  8. Patricia,

    I saw this somewhere this morning on Pinterest and immediately pinned it to read later. I could hardly wait as it's just after lunch now... lol I'm a big fan of "quick" quilts as I've yet to make one, but have big dreams. Thank you again for the pictures... they really help as I'm a visual learner. I did read the instructions, but found the pictures helped the most. Thanks again... this is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I am also a visual learner. I didn't have as many pictures for this project as I usually do. Hope you will check out some of my other quilting projects.

      Delete
  9. this looks amazing.. I cant wait to try this on what I call "tummy time quilts "for babies ... thank you!! .. EWE BEAUTY .

    ReplyDelete
  10. back again Patricia .. do you think this would still work making the strips a tad wider? say 2 1/2 inches ?tks
    EWE BEAUTY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely. In fact recently I was thinking about them and string quilts where the strips are all different widths and not even consistently the same width down the strip. Yes it would work. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for your question.

      Delete
    2. Ewe Beauty I have some fall placemats I made and did a tutorial that had different widths. Check it out.

      Delete
  11. I love these. Thank you for the great pictures, I like the use on Christmas fabrics too. Placemats are not that important to a single lady, but the potholders would make nice gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can also make a table runner. My friend Fran wants to do that. Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
    2. You can also make a table runner. My friend Fran wants to do that. Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  12. Always wondered how this could be done. Wow! My imagination is now cruising in overdrive. Ideas flying about left and right and all around. Huge thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I know what you mean. Glad I could help you.

      Delete
  13. I think they are all beautiful, and you did a wonderful job getting over your fear. Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dot. I still am afraid of free motion quilting but this sew and quilt in one is so easy and fast. I hope you have a Merry Christmas also.

      Delete
  14. I use warm and natural for my batting on all my place mats.

    ReplyDelete