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Quick Quilted Placemats with Matching Napkins

Quick Quilted Placemats with Matching Napkins

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Want to give your dining a whole new look? Here's just the thing - quilted placemats with napkins to match. They add beauty to your table, and they're incredibly easy to sew! They also make great housewarming gifts - keep them in mind.

We'll start with the placemats. Although they can be made in any size or shape, we've chosen to do rectangular placemats with a common finished size of 12"x18". Choose a fabric that is firmly woven, and light to medium weight. You will need fabric for both the front and the back, so use your imagination. You can do the same fabric on each side, coordinating prints or solids - the possibilities are endless! Think about the look you want to achieve when you buy your fabric - country, bold, flowery, feminine, masculine - and consider the decor of the room where you'll be using them. Buy low-loft polyester or poly/cotton blend batting - it holds up well, and you'll probably be washing these placemats quite frequently!

YOU WILL NEED:

3/4 yard fabric for placemat fronts
3/4 yard fabric for placemat backs
3/4 yard batting

(These amounts are enough for four placemats; if you want to make more, increase the fabric amounts accordingly.)

Matching thread
Air-erasable marking pen or tailor's chalk
6"x24" yardstick or quilting ruler
Safety pins (to pin-baste the quilted layers)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preshrink the fabric (wash and dry it as you regularly would).
Align edges of the fabric to the lengthwise and crosswise grains.
Measure and cut one 13"x19" rectangle of fabric for each placemat front and back.
Cut one 13"x19" rectangle of batting for each placemat.

Now you're going to draw your quilting lines.
Take the fabric for the placemat fronts.
Using your yardstick or quilting ruler, mark a dot 2 1/2" from one side of the fabric, near the upper edge. Continue making dots at 2" intervals across the top - the last dot should be 2 1/2" from the other end of the fabric.
Repeat the marks across the lower edge.
Connect the dots by drawing parallel lines.

Take the fabric for the placemat backs and turn them over the wrong side.
Mark dots 1/2" from the edges, in each corner.
Take the batting.
Place the placemat front on top of the batting with the right side up.
Align the cut edges.
Now put the placemat back over the front with the wrong side up (in other words, right sides together).
Align all four edges.
Pin the layers together along the outer edges.
Leave a 6" unpinned opening at the center of one edge.

Set the machine at a straight stitch, with 10 stitcher/inch (2.5mm).
Place the pinned fabrics under the presser foot with the batting at the bottom.
Position the needle to enter the fabric just ahead of the opening you left; the cut edges of the fabric should be aligned to the 1/2" seam allowance.
Backstitch, then stitch forward until you reach the dot in the first corner.
Stop the machine; the needle should be completely down at the dot.
Lift the presser foot.
Turn the fabric so that the next side aligns to the 1/2" seam allowance guide.
Continue stitching around all four sides, pivoting at the corners.
Stop sewing and backstitch when you get to the opposite side of the opening.

Remove the fabric from the machine and press the outer edges flat (this will set the stitches in the seam).

Now you have some trimming to do:
Trim the threads as close as possible to the fabric.
Trim the batting seam allowance close to the stitching line.
At the opening, trim the batting 1/2" away from the edge.
Turn back the seam allowance and press (this will make the seam look neater from the outside).
At the opening do the same by pressing the seam allowance back 1/2".
Flip the placemat over and turn back the remaining seam allowance for the opening.
Turn the placemat right side out by reaching in through the opening and pulling out each corner.
Insert a point turner (if you don't have one, use the opposite end of a seam ripper), into each corner to push them out so that you get perfect corners.
Iron the placemat flat, making sure to keep the seam right on the edge of the placemat.
Pin the opening closed so that the folded edges are aligned.
Edgestitch all around the placemat, including the opening; overlap the stitches when they meet.
Now you're going to baste the layers together with the safety pins.
Using your safety pins (small ones work best), pin the layers together at approximately 4" intervals, working from the center towards the sides. Be sure to place the pins between the marked lines so that you won't have to remove them as you sew.

You're ready to quilt!

If you have a walking foot for your machine, attach it now; if not, your regular presser foot will do.
Insert the fabric into the machine so that you will start sewing near the center of the placemat.
Align the needle so that it will enter the fabric at the beginning of a center quilting line.
Lower the foot and turn the handwheel of your machine for one stitch.
Stop with the needle at the highest point; raise the foot and pull the thread so that the bobbin thread comes up through the fabric.
Set the stitch length at almost 0.
Bring both threads to one side, under the presser foot.
Lower the foor with the needle positioned to enter the fabric at the edge of the placemat.
Stitch a few very short stitches to secure the thread.
Increase stitch length to 10 stitches/inch (2.5mm) and stitch forward on the quilting line, slowing down as you reach the opposite side.
Decrease the stitch length to almost 0 just before you reach the edge, and sew several stitches to secure the threads. Remove fabric from the machine, and repeat for each quilting line.
Guess what – you're done!

Cut all threads and remove the safety pins; puff up the quilting by holding a steam iron over the placemat (don't touch the fabric with the iron!).
Get ready for compliments the next time you sit down to eat!

Now, for the napkins!
These are so easy you won't believe it. When you go the fabric store for your placemats, buy an extra yard of matching or coordinating (or the same) fabric for napkins. One yard of 54" wide fabric will give you six 18" cloth napkins.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut the selvages from the fabric. Measure and mark six 18" squares from your fabric. Cut the squares; if possible, pull threads out of the crosswise and lengthwise grains to mark the cutting lines.

Set your machine to a narrow zigzag stitch (approx. 12 stitches/inch, or 2 mm). Stitch 1/2" from the edge around each napkin, pivoting at the corners. Pull threads to fray the outer edges of each napkin side, from the cut edge up to the stitching.

Could it be any easier?

Bon appetit!




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