Sunday, 8 April 2012

Placemats and coasters

Hello there

I had friends round for dinner last night and so the pressure was on (pressure only created by me I have to admit) to make new placemats and coasters for the Spring season. The weather has reverted back to awful rainy, miserable greyness, so some happy colours were definitely in order. The blue is alot darker than I wanted really but that's my fault for shopping for fabric online and rushing to make a decision. I bought from online-fabrics, which I have done before and they're reliable and approachable which I appreciate. Recently I've found seamstar as well but haven't used them yet to give any sort of opinion on their service but I love the look of the Domestic Bliss Vintage Inspired range they've got 'new in'.

This post will serve as a kind of tutorial for me and anyone else interested but if anything doesn't make sense or you're unsure, please don't hesitate to contact me. I always find with any sort of tutorial that you have to actually try to do something yourself, not just read about it online for it to make sense....... My daughter recently watched a 'Big Bang Theory' on tele and one guy on there had tried to learn to swim by reading online! Sufficive to say, he'd actually have to get wet to actually swim himself......

  • I cut the dotty material 10 x 13 inch.  Measure a plate first to see how big you want your placemats and also check that they'll fit neatly on your table along with the coasters. Use templates if necessary, then it'll also be quicker for the next set of placemats you make.
  • Cut your backing pieces at least an inch bigger to allow for laying down of the 'sandwich'
  • Cut your webbing/batting an inch bigger than your front piece too.
  • I cut the flowers on my Cricut using the Walk in my Garden cartridge. Size 2in I think it was.
  • Lay your backing piece right side down - tape it to your work surface with low tack tape, put your webbing down on top of that and then place your front piece centrally on the top. Use pins or much better still, use quilting safety pins (the bendy ones) to connect all three layers together, trying to prevent any wrinkling of the fabric.
  • Remove tape
  • Machine sew your quilting lines, again trying to manoeuver the fabric the best you can to avoid sewing wrinkles in.
  • Iron on your 'heatnbond' backed die-cuts to the front of your design. (Ask if you're not sure how to do this but it does explain on the packaging. Remember to buy the Heatnbond lite, so that you can sew through it.)
  • Use your transparent quilting ruler to help you to cut off the excess from around the front piece, so all layers are the same size. Cut down one side using the lines on the ruler and on your mat to make it as straight as possible and then turn it around one turn (straight edge on the top) and place a line from your ruler along that straight edge you just cut and line up your fabric on the right so you're cutting as little as possible off the top layer of fabric and cut through all layers. Repeat for each edge.
I have a rotary cutter but not a large enough self healing mat - yet more shopping required. .... don't let these things stop you from making though - go for it! 'Mend and make-do' as my Gran's old saying goes.

  • Machine sew the die cuts in place. I don't have a free-hand embroidery foot for my machine, so this bit was not fun for me but hey ho, improvise as necessary; work through any difficulties you face with charm and dignity..... or much grumbling and whingeing about needing a free hand embroidery foot like I did :-)
  • Now for the fun bit - is my sarcasm evident?!! Bias binding - booooooooo hissssssss! I don't think this is the right post for me to run through how to do that, so watch this space for a future post dedicated to the awful thing that is making and attaching bias binding. You can always buy bias binding of course but if you want to have binding which matches your fabric and uses left over fabrics, you have to make your own of course. Machine sew the binding onto the front of each placemat. I then trim the fabric overhang behind the binding, so as to lessen the density of fabric that the binding has to go over, which makes the hand sewing easier. 
  • Handsew the binding over on the back. I allow about half an hour to sew the back of each placemat - yes; it is time consuming!
Placemat finished. Now repeat as many times as necessary to do the amount of placemats you need.
  • Now for the coasters. Firstly a practical point. These coasters are padded of course so please make them slightly bigger than you would think. This is to allow for things like wine glasses; with not so wide bases to sit comfortably on there. You don't want your bubbly spilling all over the table, your guests, your floor, your placemats, the dog... you get the message :-)
  • I cut my layers (front piece, wadding and back piece) all the same size this time at 5in. The batting goes on the bottom, one piece of fabric in the middle with the right side facing up, and one piece of fabric on top with the right side facing down.
  • Iron on your die cut pieces. N.B I purposefully don't quilt these, as again it's linked to the stability of your drinks on the coaster. I.M.H.O to create too much quilting on the top, forms too many bumpy surfaces, which could make it useless for placing a cup/glass onto securely. I machine sewed the die cuts on.
  • Machine sew  .25in around the edges of the coasters but leave at least an inch gap on one edge, to allow you to turn it inside out.
  • Turn your piece inside out ensuring that the batting goes in the middle of the two fabric layers.
  • Hand sew over the gap.
  • Machine sew all around the coaster about .25 from the edge. I like the border look this provides, to link in with the placemats which have the binding as the border. Use the same coloured thread as your binding to confirm this link.

Done! And in time for my dinner guests, so we had a good night of catching up on events

Take care out there

p.s see my earlier post about making a napkin box for the Spring too

1 comment:

  1. How cute! I'm sure your guests appreciated the extra effort you went to to make new table stuff! Very impressed ... So much better than the plastic tablecloth we use! Lol!


Go on, you know you want to comment! Have you tried anything like this? Do you want a few more snippets of information about this project to help you do something similiar? Has it inspired you or given you ideas to do it differently?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...