Use our letter patterns to add a name or personal greeting to your placemats. A "You Are Special" applique can make your special person feel appreciated on a birthday or other occasion. The same pattern will create a candy cane theme by simply changing fabrics.
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Your choice for: border stripes, center square, binding, backing
Note: You will get entirely different looks by changing your fabrics. Use one solid piece of fabric for the side borders (instead of stripes), use horizontal strips to make the borders,
use contrast fabrics for binding, finish without binding, use different fabrics for backing etc.
For the two side borders, it iis best to use fabrics for the stripes that contrast with one another in order for them to show up.
Allow extra if you are using one-directional fabric. Remember to pre-wash and dry your fabric before cutting to ensure the correct size. The amounts below allow for some shrinkage and some extra in case of errors. These quantities assume a width of 42"-45" for the fabric bolt.
The following quantities will make 4 placemats:
Border (stripes) Fabric
For two-color stripes (such as candy cane): yard color 1; yard color 2
For 4 color stripes (such as special occasion mat): 1/3 yard each of 4 different colors
For solid borders (no stripes): yard
Center Square Fabric
Each center square is 12.5" x 12.5", so you will need yard for 4 squares
Placemat Back Fabric
Each quilt back is 12.5" x 21", so you will need yard for 4 backs
This makes the edging that runs all around the outer perimeter of the placemat.
Adding binding is optional; it is possible to finish without binding (see separate instructions on
binding and finishing): yard fabric
Batting, felt or fusible fleece
You will need enough filling (batting or fusible fleece) for four 18" x 21" placemats.
TIP: Fusible fleece or batting makes layering your placemats quick and easy. Just fuse to your fabric top, then add the backing.
NOTE: Fusible fleece adds a nice padding. It noes NOT provide insulation. If you need insulation against heat or cold, use cotton batting and Insul-Bright.
Scrap pieces for letters
Fusible Web (also called iron-on adhesive) for attaching letters until they are sewn (optional)
Quilter's Square & Quilter's Ruler
Scissors: good sewing shears are a must. Thread cutters are very helpful also.
Cutting Mat, rotary cutter
All seams are 1/4 inch
You may use your own large quilter's ruler, rotary cutter and mat to measure out and cut the pieces,
or use another straight edge and scissors.
Cut the following pieces: (width x height) Quantities are in parenthesis
Border Fabric 2-color:
Cut 12 strips of each of the two colors. Each strip must be 1.5" wide. Cut across the entire width of the fabric (strips will be 1.5" x 42"-44" depending on your fabric width). You will have 24 strips.
Border Fabric 4-color:
Cut 6 strips of each of the 4 colors. Each strip must be 1.5" wide. Cut across the entire width of the fabric (strips will be 1.5" x 42"-44" depending on your fabric width). You will have 24 strips.
Border Fabric 1-color (no stripes):
Cut 1 strip that measures 12.5" in height. Cut across the entire width of the fabric (strip will be 12.5" x 42"-44" depending on your fabric width).
Cut strip into eight 5" segments. Each piece will measure 5" width x 12.5" height. You will have two border pieces for each mat.
Center Square Fabric
Cut 2 strips of fabric. Each strip must be 12.5" wide. Cut across the entire width of the fabric (strips will be 12.5" x 42"-44" depending on your fabric width).
Now, cut the first strip into 12.5" segments, so that you have three 12.5" x 12.5"
squares. Cut one more 12.5" x 12.5" square from the second strip.
Cut 2 strips that measure 12.5" in height. Cut across the entire width of the fabric (strip will be 12.5" x 42"-44" depending on your fabric width).
Now, cut the first strip into 21.5" segments, so that you have two 12.5" x 21.5"
rectangles. Repeat with the second strip. You will have 4 backs in all, each measuring 12.5" x 21.5"
Batting or Fusible Fleece
Use your backing pieces as patterns
for cutting batting (or fleece or felt) pieces.
For felt that is only 36" wide, you will
need to place one mat vertical, as shown
on the right.
Step One: Make your diagonally striped borders
(go on to step two if you are using solid borders).
Sew your strips together along long edges.
If you are using two colors, you will alternate the
colors. If you are using 4 colors, you can repeat
color patterns, or sew them together randomly.
When finished, you will have a piece of
"striped fabric" that measures 45" width x 24" height.
You will now need to rotate the fabric piece 45 degrees and cut the borders from your striped fabric.
Be sure all 8 pieces fit before you begin cutting! It might be helpful to cut 8 pattern pieces from
paper, each measuring 5" width x 12.5" height, and lay them out before cutting.
Step 2: Assemble Fronts
You will now sew your two border pieces to your
center squares. Use your solid border pieces if
you did not make striped pieces. Each border
measures 5" wide x 12.5" height. When the
front is sewn together, your front piece will measure
21.5" x 12.5" height.
Step 3: Attach Letters or Other Applique
If you wish to add letters, do so at this time.
Cut out squares or rectangles from fusible web and fabric to fit your letters. Next, trace the letters onto the paper side of the fusible web.
The letters on the paper side of the web will be backwards. Follow the package directions for attaching the fusible web to your letter fabric
(iron the non-paper side of the web to the wrong side of the fabric). Now, you can cut out your letters.
Then, iron the letters onto the right side of the placemat front (be sure of placement before ironing). Stitch a zig-zag around the outer edges
of the letters (close satin stitch or "crazy " zig-zag). This will hold them securely. If you are going to wash the mat by hand, you may not need
to sew the letters into place. If you are not going to add the stitching, be sure they are securely ironed.
You can finish the edges with fabric paint to help prevent fraying. Spray-on glitter can also add a nice touch.
Go to: Applique for applique tips and instructions.
To create your own FREE alphabet for applique, use any software you have that allows you to create interesting letters.
Another good source for letters is coloring books and embroidery transfers.
The letters at the right were created using Paint Shop Pro.
Or, you can download our letters, available in pdf format. For instructions on downloading pdf files,
go to: pdf instructions.
Go to: Assembling and Binding a placemat or quilt
for instructions on how to assemble the layers and finish the edges of your placemat.
You can finish the mat by adding a binding around the edge, or finish with top-stitching. To finish by topstitching layers together,
cut felt slightly smaller than top piece. Fold edges of top piece under felt. Iron. Fold under edges of back piece. Iron.
Lay backing wrong side up. Lay top piece over backing right side up. Stitch through all layers.