Why Yes, Quilted Placemats Are the Perfect Beginner Project

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If you're ready to give quilting a go, but aren't quite ready to dive into an entire quilt, it's time to meet the quilted placemat. It's the perfect project for practicing new skills, is totally manageable for newbies and, well, it's deliciously stylish.

This particular pattern is extra fun because — hello! — it's reversible. With a solid gold fabric on one side and a cheery polka dot print on the other, your mat can go from average weeknight dinner to fancy soiree with a quick flip.

Quilted Placemats

What You Need

Instructions

1. Make the Quilt Sandwich

Layer a piece of batting between the two pieces of quilting cotton, wrong sides touching the batting. Pin or spray baste the layers together.

Good to Know

Seasoned pros can skip this step — we did, and the layers stayed together well while quilting. But spray basting is a good technique to practice if you're new!

2. Quilt Your Layers

Starting in the middle, quilt through all the layers using a walking foot . Smooth out the layers as you go. We sewed vertical lines at a slight angle, but feel free to play with design here . Continue until all the layers are quilted together.

3. Trim to Size

 Using a ruler and rotary cutter, trim the placemat to 13" x 18". Let the lines of your cutting mat act as a guide to make sure the edges are straight on all four sides.

4. Attach the Binding

 

Place the raw edge of your binding strip along the raw edge of the placemat. Beginning in the middle of one side, sew a straight line about ¼" from the edge. When you get ¼" from the corner, pivot your placemat under the sewing foot and sew toward the corner.

5. Create the Mitered Corners

Fold back the binding strip at a 45-degree angle along the line you just sewed. Use your fingernail to make a crease along this fold.

Keeping the fold you just made, fold the strip at a 90-degree angle as pictured. Press the crease with your finger, and place the binding strip's raw edges against the next side of the placemat.

6. Sew Around the Placemat

Sew the next side of the binding strip to the placemat. Continue around all four sides, mitering each of your corners along the way.

7.  Finish the Binding

When you get close to your starting point, leave a gap of about 4".

To join the binding tails, place a sewing pin at the point where they meet, pinning close to the placemat. Make sure the right sides of the binding fabric are touching.

Pull the pinned fabric away from your placemat. Carefully sew a straight line where you pinned together the strips. Trim off the tails ¼" past the stitched line.

Press the seam open and fold the binding in half so it lays nicely on the placemat. Stitch down the remaining binding, being sure to backstitch at both ends.

8. Fold the Binding Over

Press the binding on the front side around to the back; secure with binding clips. Make sure the binding extends past and completely covers the previous stitch line (so your stitches will blend in on the opposite side).

9. Sew the Binding Into Place

With the back side of the placemat facing you, hand-stitch or machine-stitch the binding to the back of your placemat, stitching ⅛ " from the edge of the binding in one continuous stitch. (Backstitch when your final stitches overlap the first ones.) 

Pro Tip

We used thread that matches the front of the placemat in both the spool and bobbin for a nice contrast on the back side. If you prefer stitches that blend in, simply match your top thread to the binding.

That's it! With one placemat down, keep going and make yourself a full set. They don't even have to match — use whatever fun fabric you have to create a laid-back boho vibe.

Variations on Quilted Placemats

1. Skip the Quilting

If you want to opt out of the quilted part of these placemats, skip the batting and fuse a 13" x 18" piece of lightweight interfacing to the front and back fabrics instead, to give them more weight.

2. Skip the Binding

If you're going rouge with no batting and no quilting, you can skip the binding, too. Sew the top and bottom as you would a simple pillow cover. Stitch the top and bottom fabrics right sides together, ¼" from the edge, leaving a 4" turning gap. Turn the placemat right side out. Poke out the corners. Press and hand sew the gap closed. Topstitch the placemat ⅛ " from the edge to finish. This method also gives you a double-sided placemat.


Find Your Next Project

Now that you've mastered some tableware, here are three more small quilting projects you can totally take on. Best part: You could finish each one in a single weekend!

Put your budding quilt-as-you-go skills to use on a lovely quilt that calls to mind a flock of birds. Gudrun shows you how to create a "quilting map" as a placement guide, and then reveals how to make and assemble your units in neat rows.
It's time to stand back and admire your work! In this final lesson, consider how to quilt each piece to unify your mini series. Watch as Suzy demonstrates basting the layers, along with hand- and machine-quilting basics. Plus, she shows you how to frame your quilts so you can proudly show them off.
Don't let your scraps from prior projects go to waste - use them all up in a gorgeous pillow! Gudrun walks you through the process of preparing and color-auditioning your scraps, marking the batting, and assembling your pillow with either an envelope back or zippered closure.

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Why Yes, Quilted Placemats Are the Perfect Beginner Project