Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Holiday Sew-Along

on October 23 | in Color Block Placemats + Napkins Sew-Along, Sew-Alongs, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 32 Comments

Today we have our final set of instructions for the Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Holiday Sew-Along from designer Elizabeth Hartman of Oh,Fransson!. Elizabeth is the author of The Practical Guide to Patchwork, a beautiful and comprehensive guide to creating fresh and modern quilts.

Today’s post focuses on finishing the placemats; for previous sew-along instructions visit Part 1: Selecting Fabrics + Cutting, Part 2: Sewing the Napkins and Part 3: Piecing the Placemats. Be sure to add photos of your progress and finished pieces to the Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Sew-Along group this week for a chance to win a pack of 12 Kona fat quarters.

Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins: Part Four
Greetings, Sew-Alongers! We’re up to Week 4 and all that’s left is to finish the placemats. If you’re familiar with quiltmaking, this should be pretty straightforward-– You’ll just finish each placemat as you would a mini quilt.

If you’re not familiar with quiltmaking, don’t worry! Consider this an opportunity to practice some basic techniques on a small scale.

In addition to your pieced placemat tops, you should have 1 piece of batting measuring 15” x 20” and 1 piece of backing fabric measuring 16-1/2” x 21-1/2” for each placemat.

Start by laying a piece of backing fabric, right side down, on your work surface. Center a piece of batting on top of the backing fabric, and center a pieced placemat top, right side up, on top of the batting. Use small, curved safety pins to hold the layers together during quilting. (For a small project like this a total of 10 or fewer pins should be just fine.)

If you haven’t already, you’ll next want to decide how to quilt the placemats. I machine quilted both sets of mine, but hand quilting would work equally well.

If you’re familiar with free-motion quilting, a small canvas like this can be a great opportunity to try out quilting patterns that might be more challenging on a larger scale. For my orange and gray placemats, I used a water soluble marker to draw a grid of 2” squares on each of my placemat tops and free-motion quilted a dogwood flower motif in each one.

Straight line quilting can also provide a clean and beautiful finish. In order to sew through the layers of your placemats with ease, I recommend using a walking foot. For my scrappy placemats, I used my walking foot to quilt vertical and horizontal lines across the top of each placemat. When straight line quilting, I avoid stitching “in the ditch” (right on top of the seams), opting instead to quilt about 1/4″ away from the seams. I just think it creates a cleaner look.

When you’re finished quilting, Use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim the edges of each placemat even with the pieced top. In theory, each placemat should measure 13-1/2” x 18-1/2”, but don’t be alarmed if quilting has reduced the size a bit. That’s totally normal!

Now it’s time to bind the raw edges. If you followed the cutting directions from Week 1, you should have 2 strips 2-1/2” x width of fabric to make binding for each placemat. I used my strips to make double-fold binding that was machine sewn to the front and hand finished on the back of each placemat. If you prefer to finish your binding by machine, don’t hesitate to use that method here.

And that’s all there is to it! Enjoy your beautiful finished placemats. Thank you for sewing along.

If you need more step-by-step information on how to do the machine quilting or binding, please check out my book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork. You may also want to check out this earlier post on Sew,Mama,Sew!, which includes a list of quilting and binding resources.

Comment today for your chance to win a new sewing book! We’ll select two winners from the comments each week. This week you might just win Sewn by Hand: Two Dozen Projects Stitched with Needle & Thread or Get the Most from Your Sewing Machine. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN!

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32 Responses to Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Holiday Sew-Along

  1. Steph says:

    No PDF for this one? Disappointed. I have loved following along with this QAL and finished all my placemats but I would have really liked a PDF of Week 4 also.

  2. LONGOR says:

    Thankyou for sharing Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Holiday Sew-Along ~ Part 4 Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog with us keep update bro love your article about Color Blocks Placemats + Napkins Holiday Sew-Along ~ Part 4 Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog .

  3. MarciaW says:

    I like your dogwood quilting motif. Thanks for the informative tutorial – thoroughly enjoyed learning how to do this project.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have my napkins made – just need to get the camera out so I can post them on flickr! Can’t wait to start on my placemats!

  5. Cathy R says:

    Just finished my placemats and napkins. This was so much fun and great instructions! I haven’t quilted in almost a year and this inspired me to start again. I am planning on making more for my mom – Thank you!!!

  6. Debbie says:

    This looks like a fun project!

  7. Ginger says:

    I think I’ll finally try free motion quilting using these place mats.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    There is no pdf this week because, unlike the other weeks, there are no cutting instructions, diagrams, or other specific information. This week, the task is just to finish the placemats using your preferred quilting and binding techniques. (The post itself should still be viewable on an iPad.)

    Good luck and happy quilting, everyone!

  9. Jacque says:

    Appreciate the detailed instructions…I’ve been wanting to make a set like this for gifting – now I know how!

  10. Bridget says:

    Any chance we can get this in a PDF?

  11. Alice in WV says:

    Is there a PDF file for this installment? If so, I can’t find it. Sigh. Can someone please come over and point to it for me?

  12. Teresa Block says:

    I finally have time to start on this project… thanks so much for putting all the detailed info on this website/blog!!

  13. Nancy says:

    I was disappointed that there was no pdf to download. I have been using the other pdfs in my sewing room on the iPad.

  14. Maureen says:

    Like the colors and the beautiful quilting design.

  15. Maureen says:

    Really like the quilting design.
    Will have to practice.

  16. Maureen says:

    Perfect placemats. Like them very much.

  17. Judi says:

    Beautiful! I’ve got some catching up to do ;)

  18. Beth says:

    I am obsessed with napkins! I am very new to sewing, but those napkins look professional! They are so beautiful! Great job!

  19. Ramona says:

    They really are cute. Maybe I will make these after all.

  20. Natasha says:

    These have turned out awesome!!!

  21. Those are beautiful! I really need to get in gear and make some for myself.

  22. poppyinpink says:

    That is a smart look for any table. The crisp red binding makes a really snappy finish. I like the choice of quilting pattern too..really excellent craftsmanship and its stirring me in the right direction.

  23. Joelle Lambert says:

    Maybe I’ll be done by Christmas!

  24. Angela says:

    Those look great! I have never made placemats but these look so beautiful I think I’m going to go for it!

  25. Nancy says:

    These are so beautiful and look so professional!! Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I love the fact that we were able to use up some of our scraps! I still need to post my pics!

  26. sandy says:

    great tute! They turned out looking fantastic and l’m looking forward to completing mine!

  27. HeartOSunshine says:

    Almost done! Thanks for the great sew-along!

  28. PennyDog says:

    Blimey, better get a move on with piecing the tops! I got set back a bit with my sewing machine breaking! Napkins are 95% done though.

  29. Glenys says:

    Nice fabrics!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  30. Kate says:

    These look so lovely – Christmassy, but such nice colours, and the flower motif is just beautiful.

  31. SewCalGal says:

    Beautiful. Any chance you could write a tutorial for how you did the FMQ floral border design as a continuous pattern?

    SewCalGal
    http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

  32. Charlotte Lund Rasmussen says:

    Sounds difficult with free motion quilting, but I think I’m going to give it a go :)

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