How to make patchwork placemats

Written by kate lee
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You can use just about any patchwork design to make a placemat. This design uses strips of various fabrics to make a simple yet elegant placemat that’s easy to sew. You can use just two colours of fabric (such as black and white or two contrasting colours) for a striped placemat, different shades of the same colour for a monochromatic or gradient look, or use all different colours for a rainbow placemat. To make a placemat with two colours, you’ll need 1/4 yard of each fabric for the strips plus 1/2 yard of fabric for the backing. To make a placemat with many colours, you may want to use scraps leftover from other projects or buy remnants.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Strips of fabric for patchwork
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for backing
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • Matching thread
  • 1/2 yard of lightweight craft batting
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Cut 10 strips of fabric, each 2 1/2 inches wide by 15 inches tall.

  2. 2

    Arrange the strips in the order you would like them so that they form a rectangle. You may want the strips to go from light shades to dark shades, in rainbow order or in alternating shades or colours.

  3. 3

    Pick up the strip on the left side of the arrangement. Pick up the next strip and flip it over. Place it right side down on top of the first strip. Pin them together, then stitch them together along the long right edge using 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  4. 4

    Unfold the strips. Pick up the next strip and flip it over. Place it right side down on top of the second strip. Pin them together, then stitch them together along the long right edge.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 until all the strips are sewn together in a rectangle. Press all the seams open.

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of fabric 15 inches tall by 20 inches wide for the backing. Or piece together a second patchwork rectangle the same size as the first if you want the placemat to be reversible.

  2. 2

    Lay the backing right side down on your work surface.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece of lightweight craft batting the same size as the placemat. Lay the batting on top of the fabric backing. Place the patchwork placemat right side up on top of the batting. Line up all the layers, then pin them together.

  4. 4

    Wrap the bias tape around the edge of the placemat with the fold of the bias tape covering the edges of the fabric and the batting.

  5. 5

    Cut off the end of the bias tape, leaving about 1/2 inch extra. Tuck the ends of the bias tape under and press the end flat.

  6. 6

    Pin the bias tape to the placemat, making sure to catch both the front and back of the bias tape in the pins. Sew the bias tape to the placemat using matching thread.

Tips and warnings

  • You can quilt the placemat if you want to add an extra decorative look.
  • Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.

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