Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stripy Patchworky Placemats


Good morning! Guess what, we had snow on the ground this morning! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm so done with the cold weather. Bring on spring, pretty please!! But wintery weather is good for one thing: staying warm inside and getting lots of craft and sewing projects done. One of my latest gift projects finally reached its recipients and I can now share photos!

Do you remember when I showed you a sneak peek of a grey and linen project, and asked for input on what to do with the leftovers? Well here's the actual project: grey and linen stripy patchworky placemats!

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Some time last year (I don't remember when or how, there are apparently holes in my brain) I befriended Rachael, the crafty maven behind the blog and shop Imagine Gnats. Through email and Facebook, we've gotten to know each other quite a bit and she's just a lovely person, not to mention super inspiring with incredible productivity and creativity (check out her awesome mod quilt and her first embroidery patterns, for example).

When I found out she was getting married on New Year's Day, I decided to make her and her sweetie a little wedding gift. (Yes, this was New Year's Day 2012, not NEXT New Year's Day. I would never be 10 months early with a handmade gift, ha ha, that's a good one! 2 months late, however? Why yes, of course. Ahem.)

I found out (by asking her -- I'm SO sneaky) that one of Rachael's favorite colors is grey. Pretty early on, I had decided I wanted to make something that would 1. be practical and usable and 2. celebrate the fact that their family of 4 was coming together "officially". Placemats, it was! One for each of them. Each unique, but featuring a similar design and assortment of fabrics.

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Here's the process for making these:
- I cut all my gray fabrics into stripes of various widths
- Sewed them together with 1/4 inch seam allowance
- Sliced the stripes into large triangles
- Sewed those onto natural linen
- Added batting and pinned the layers together
- Quilted the sandwich with two lines over the patchwork and two lines on the opposite corner
- Sewed this sandwich wrong sides together with a backing fabric
- Turned the whole thing inside out and top-stitched around the edges!

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

I really like how they turned out but was quite frustrated with some wobbly, wrinkly issues. You can see that one placemat in particular (top left in one of the above photos) is just not cooperating. I am crossing my fingers that when these have been washed and dried, the fabrics will lay together a bit more harmoniously.

With hindsight, I should have basted the hell out of my sandwiches when doing the quilting lines since linen, even when starched, is very temperamental and stretchy. (And I sure hope Rachael won't mind my discussing the issues with her gift here!)

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Jenny: Grey Stripe Patchwork Placemats

Here's hoping Rachael and Nick like these and get to use them!! As always, it is such fun making a gift by hand and thinking of the recipients while doing so. I think it infuses the gift with good energy! And there's my cheerful thought for the day. I hope you have a lovely one!

What do you think of my placemats? What tricks do you have to avoid wobbliness when quilting small projects like these? What kind of gift do you like to make for weddings? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

3 comments:

  1. we love them SO very much :) you are the sweetest! and i always have trouble with linen being wonky... do you think it stretches in ways that other fabrics don't?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do think linen stretches in strange ways. I try to use a lot of starch when combining it with other fabrics. But I think I need to wait until the sprayed starch dries a bit before ironing. When it's too wet, I've noticed that ironing stretches the linen b/c of the dampness, while also starching it. Weird...

    Hopefully they will become nice and "quilty" once washed and dried. Fingers crossed...

    I am glad you like them!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jenny, you are so thoughtful! The placemats turned out beautifully. I have found that linen definitely stretches in different ways than other fabrics, and I'm going to try starching next time!

    ReplyDelete

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