Gift Ideas,  Tutorials

Patriotic Placemats Tutorial

In honor of Independence Day, I wanted to make some new placemats for my kitchen. They were quick and easy to make and will be fun to have in my kitchen for July.

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Here is how I made them. I used the “Tube Method” to make the blocks. IF you aren’t familiar with this method, watch a great YouTube tutorial on how to do it here. I took 4 sets of 4 blocks to create 4 square placemats. Next I made my “quilt sandwich.” I layered the backing, batting and placemat tops together using Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive to hold everything in place. I prefer KK 2000 to pins especially for small projects because it’s quick and eliminates shifting completely.

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After I made my “quilt sandwich,” came the fun part, picking the thread to quilt it. I knew I wanted to use one of my Sulky patriotic threads but I had to decide between Sulky 40 wt Rayon or Sulky 60 wt PolyLite™.  Of course, we also have a patriotic red/white/blue in the Sulky Cotton Blendables in both 30 wt. and 12 wt., but I wanted something lighter for these placemats.

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After testing both threads on a practice piece, I went with the Sulky 60 wt PolyLite. I am doing fairly tight quilting and I just liked the way the PolyLite looks for this project.

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I did the quilting free-motion on my regular sewing machine. I used Sulky 60 wt PolyLite on the top and in the bobbin. I lowered my feed dogs, my machine speed slightly and my machine tension. How did I know to do all of that? Well, that is the benefit of doing a practice piece. You can work out all those kinks before you actually start sewing on your placemat. It also helps me to get into the rhythm of quilting which is helpful since I don’t have a stitch regulator.

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I like wearing quilting gloves when I am doing free-motion work as well. It helps me move my piece a little easier and smoother.

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Since these placemats will be used a lot and probably washed, I decided to use a decorative stitch and sew the binding down by machine. (OK, so I hate doing binding by hand and I wanted the placemats done, but I do really like how the binding turned out with the decorative stitch! What do you think?)

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4 Comments

  • Judy Graczyk

    I have encouraged our guild members to do just this. One other suggestion is to take technique projects and orphan blocks and turn them into placemats. I’ve started a program where we collect them through the year and donate to the local county commission on aging’s home delivered meals program. They are taken in November before Thanksgiving as an early Christmas gift for home bound seniors who are often forgotten. Some lovely mats have come out of this!

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