When my friends get married, one of my favourite gifts to make and give is a set of placemats and napkins. In this simple modern design, I love how the alternating parallel quilting lines create subtle puffy chevrons. The finished placemats are soft, flexible, and fully machine washable.
Here’s how I did it.
For each placemat, cut the following pieces.
Main color (grey):
18″ x 2.25″
18″ x 10.75″
Contrast color 1 (blue):
14″ x 1.5″
10.75″ x 1.5″
2.25″ x 1.5″
Contrast color 2 (mustard):
18″ x 2″
1.5″ x 2″
Back (blue): 14″ x 19″
Binding (blue): 2.25″ x 68″ (can be joined from smaller strips, directions to follow).
Batting: 14″ x 19″ thin cotton or bamboo batting.
Sew the 18″ x 2″ mustard strip to the 18″ x 2.25″ grey strip and the 18″ x 10.75″ grey piece, using 1/4″ seams. Press seams open.
With the mustard strip at the top, cut two strips from the left hand edge of the whole piece, 1.75″ and 1.5″ wide.
Stitch the 2″ x 1.5″ mustard piece to the 2.25″ x 1.5″ blue piece and the 10.75″ x 1.5″ blue piece, using 1/4″ seams. Press seams open.
Arrange the pieces as shown.
Stitch together with 1/4″ seams. Press seams open. This completes the piecing of the top.
Sandwich the thin batting between the pieced top, and the backing fabric, lining up all edges. Secure with about 20 safety pins through all layers.
Starting next to the inner stripe, quilt with parallel lines about 1/3″ apart, removing the safety pins as you go. At the end of each line of stitching, rotate the placemat 180 degrees before sewing the next line.
Also quilt at 90°, along the mustard stripe. Trim the quilted placemat to measure 18″ x 13″.
To make a long enough strip for the binding, stitch sections at a 45° angle as shown, using a 1/4″ seam. Press seams open.
On one long edge of the placemat, with back facing up, mark a gap 12″ long with two pairs of pins.
Leaving about an 8″ tail, begin stitching the binding strip to the placemat at the left hand set of pins, using a 3/8″ seam.
As you approach the corner, mark a dot 3/8″ from both the bottom of the side. You will stop stitching at this point.
Backstitch at an angle away from the dot, off the bottom edge.
Gently fold the binding straight upward forming a 45 degree fold.
Fold the binding back down, with the binding’s raw edges aligned with the edge of the placemat. Start sewing again at the fold. Continue around all edges, using the same method at each corner, until you arrive at the ‘ending’ pins. Backstitch.
Lay the loose tail of the start of the binding flat against the placemat’s edge. Cut the end of the binding strip at a 45° angle so that it generously overlaps the start of the strip. Mark the same angle on the starter strip below.
Make a second mark, half an inch closer to the cut edge. Cut along this second mark.
Hold the start and end of the binding strip as shown, creating a 45° angle. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam.
Press seam open, and finish stitching the binding to the placemat.
Press binding to the front of the placemat.
Unfold, and press in half so that the edge of the binding is just shy of the edge of the placemat.
Fold back over the placemat, and pin, mitering the corners as you go.
Stitch around the binding with the top of the placemat uppermost, angling the stitches along the mitered corners as you come to them.
Repeat for remaining placemats. To make matching napkins, cut fabric 18″ square and hem all four edges with a narrow hem.