Placemats are fun to use in the kitchen to decorate your table. This video and photo tutorial will show you how to make simple reversible placemats that are customizable to any decor.
The placemats use two fat quarters to make one placemat. By using two different fabrics, you can make reversible placemats. I received some inspiration for this tutorial from a tutorial by Polka Dot Chair, Quilted Placemat Patterns; A Fat Quarter Project.
These simple quilted placemats would make great gifts for the holidays and can be made very quickly. This quilted placemat pattern is a wonderful beginner sewing project to teach kids or adults how to sew.
Want napkins to go with the placemats? Try our simple cloth napkin tutorial.
Read on or watch our video tutorial on how to make this Quilted Placemat Pattern. We have many suggestions for quilting the placemats so look below for photos of many different options.
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STEP 1: CUT FABRICS
For each placemat, cut two rectangles from the fat quarters and from the fusible fleece or cotton batting. The finished rectangular placemats will be 14 1/2" by 17 1/2".
- From one fat quarter cut a piece sized 15" x 18"
- From the second fat quarter cut a piece sized 15" x 18"
- From the fusible fleece or cotton batting cut a piece 14" x 17"
If your fabrics are directional, be sure to cut the fabric in the correct direction. If you look at my samples below, I made the mistake of cutting the fabric in the wrong direction for the directional fabrics.
Feel free to adjust the sizes of the fabrics to make the placemats the desired size. Remember that there is a 1/4" seam allowance on all sides so the finished placemat will be 1/2" smaller by width and height than the cut fabric.
STEP 2: Cut corners (optional)
This step is optional. To make a finished placemat which looks like the placemat below, cut off the corners. This gives the placemat a more octagonal look.
To cut off the corners, layer the two pieces of fabric on top of one another. If making more than one placemat, you can layer up to about four layers and cut them all at once.
Using your 6" square ruler, line up the corner of the fabric along the 45-degree lines as shown.
Using a rotary cutter, cut along the ruler edge from corner to corner. If you do not have a rotary cutter, simply mark your cutting line and cut the corner off with scissors. Cut off all four corners in the same way.
If you do not have a 6" square ruler or rotary cutter, use any ruler and measure the 3" from the corner in both directions and make a mark. Use your ruler to mark a line connecting the two marks. Cut along the line with scissors.
Cut the corners off of the fusible fleece or batting in the same way. The pieces will look like the photo below.
Step 3: Fuse the Fleece
Next, take one of the two fabric pieces and fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the fabric. When fusing the fleece, the shiny side faces down towards the fabric.
Center the fusible fleece on the fabric so you have an even amount around each edge. Follow the directions on the fusible fleece to fuse. See the photo below for a sample.
If using cotton batting instead of fusible fleece, spray the one side of your cotton batting with the basting spray. Place the sticky side of the batting onto the wrong side of one piece of fabric. Center it so that the same amount of fabric is showing all around the edge.
It does not have to be perfectly centered. Just estimate and put it approximately in the center.
Step 4: Layer and Sew
Pin your two fabrics right sides together. The fleece will be on the outside. In the photo below, the fleece is on the underside. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around the placemat leaving a 2" - 3" opening on one side.
I prefer to leave the opening on one of the short sides so start sewing about 3/4 of the way down one of the short sides. Don't forget to back tack to secure the thread.
When you come to the corner, stop with the needle down about 1/4" from the edge. If your 1/4" foot has marks on it, these can be helpful to show where to stop. Lift the presser foot and pivot your fabric.
Continue sewing around the placemat. Remember to stop 2" - 3" before your starting point. Placing two pins side by side at the starting point will help to remind you to stop sewing.
Step 5: Clip Corners
Before turning the placemat, remember to clip the corners as shown in the photo below. Do not cut your stitching line! Clipping the corners will make the placemat have nice corners that lay flat.
Step 6: Turn Placemat
Turn the placemat through the 2" - 3" hole in the side seam. The right sides of the fabric will be facing out. Use a stick or pencil to push the corners out so they look nice.
Give a nice pressing so that the whole placemat is flat, the edges are straight and the corners are pushed out. At the opening, fold the fabric to the inside and press nicely so that the opening will not be shown.
Step 7: Topstitch
At your sewing machine, topstitch close to the edge of the placemat all the way around. The topstitch will go over the area with the opening and close it. Use a coordinating color thread for the topstitching and bobbin as this shows on the finished placemat.
The topstitch will hold all layers of the placemat together.
Step 8: Quilt the Placemat (optional)
Quilting the placemat is optional. The topstitch in the previous step will hold the placemat together through washings. But, adding some extra quilting can be decorative and make the placemat more special.
There are many options for quilting the placemat. Look below for many different ideas. For the demonstration, I quilted straight lines across the placemat.
My sewing machine comes with a bar that can be used for following previous stitching. This is makes stitching lines at equal distances apart easy to do.
If you want to have all lines be equally apart, measure your placemat and calculate how far the lines should be apart.
I just picked a distance and did not worry about measuring. The lines I stitched were about 1 - 1 1/2" apart. Start the first line by having the guide follow the topstitching. Stitch across the placemat.
Move the placemat over and stitch the next line. The guide will follow the first stitched line.
Stitch two or three lines from the one side. Then turn the placemat around and stitch three lines starting from the other side in the same manner. Once 3 lines are stitched from each side, decide whether you need more lines to fill in the middle. The middle of my placemats had a larger gap than the other lines but it makes it interesting.
See below the two finished placemats from the video demonstration. A sample with cut off corners and the quilting lines going horizontally is on the left in the photo. The right side placemat is a rectangular placemat with the lines quilted vertically.
This is a close up of the finished sunflower placemat with quilted vertical lines. Three lines were quilted from each side and then there is a larger gap in the middle.
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Samples of Placemats and ideas for quilting
For all of the placemats below, I used a variegated thread for the topstitching and quilting. A variegated thread can add additional interest to the placemat. Use any thread which coordinates with your fabrics.
This fish placemat has quilted horizontal lines. These would be quilted as described in the tutorial. For this placemat, I cut the fabric in the wrong direction so the fish are swimming up and down instead of across the fabric. Be sure to cut directional fabric in the correct direction!
This placemat uses squiggly lines and follows around the edge. For this one, I used a decorative serpentine stitch on my machine. This serpentine stitch was stitched instead of the topstitch around the edge. Then using the guide, I stitched around once more following the shape of the placemat. One last decorative squiggle down the center finished it off.
This ship in the bottle placemat has horizontally quilted lines. These were quilted as described in the tutorial.
For this seashell placemat, I used the guide to follow around the edge of the placemat. Adding 3 rounds of stitching finished this one off nicely.
For this placemat, I cut the directional fabric incorrectly. For this one, I simply quilted across the center in each direction once. This is more simple, but it will still hold the placemat together.
This is another directional print that I cut incorrectly. For this one, I quilted across the placemat from corner to corner in an X.
We hope this gives you many ideas for quilting your placemats. There are so many options. This is a wonderful project to use some of those decorative stitches on your sewing machine.
We hope you have fun making lots of placemats. These are so quick and easy to make that you could make several in an hour. Make some for holiday gift-giving!
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