May 252016

I’m catching up on old projects now — this past Christmas, I finished up some Wild Olive fruity placemats for my friend. They’re such a creative way of using English paper piecing!

Wild Olive fruity placemats

I like to use freezer paper for my EPP: I cut the shapes out of freezer paper, punch holes in the center, and then iron them to the fabric. That way, it’s easy to prep them for fussy cutting, and I don’t have to do anything to hold the fabric and paper together for basting. Also, I avoid sewing through the paper while basting so that I can pull the papers out using the punched hole after everything is sewn together. They’re reusable!

blueberries placemat

When I first learned to do EPP, I whipstitched the pieces together, but nowadays I use a ladder stitch.

pineapple placemat

I love the little faces that Wild Olive puts on everything!

watermelon placemat

I always feel a little guilty when I give people placemats — they’re super fun to make, but I wouldn’t want to receive them for gifts. My kids are still at the messy stage, so that would just be stressful. Plus, we also use our dining table for storage and Lego-building and quilt basting (like normal people, yeah?), so getting placemats out of the way all the time would just be irritating. I inflicted placemats on my sister-in-law when I first started sewing, and she kept them out on her dining table for years before they finally disappeared. She stuck in there way longer than I could have! 😀

Wild Olive fruity placemats

Oct 282011

A couple of nights ago when I was ready to finish up my Sew Mama Sew holiday sew-along placemats, I was excited for a quick finish because I was going to use the awesome cheater binding method that I used for my last set of placemats. I hadn’t cut out the backing fabric in the first week since I’m constantly worried about my projects coming out to the correct dimensions, even though it’s gotten a lot better since I got my quarter-inch foot.

So I went to get my yard of pretty solid blue… but there wasn’t much left of it! Where did it go? Then I saw the stack of binding strips that I had cut in the first week. Noooo!

After dithering for a bit, I pulled out four different fabrics that I liked but haven’t been able to figure out how to combine with other fabrics. I think they look cheerful together, so yay!

Since I already had my blue strips cut, I bound the placemats the normal way; I only have one under-the-table bin for my scraps, and it’s getting mighty full, so I figured I shouldn’t be lazy and put the strips aside for later. That meant that there was no quick finish for me, though — I sewed the binding down over the next couple of days.

I’m planning to give this as a Christmas present to my friend who’s going to grad school… I have a tough time thinking of things to give her, but everyone eats food on dishes that can then be placed on something like a mat, right? :}

Ooh, I feel like I can link this to Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish It Up Friday because I was working on this throughout this month. 🙂

Jul 272011

I finally finished all eight of my sister’s placemats!
wonky stars placemat
To recap, they’re made with fat quarters of purply Sugar Pop fabric that I bought quite a while ago. I used most of each fat quarter for the backing, and then used the scraps to make different designs on the front.
circles placemat
I finished them off with Made by Rae’s cheater binding method, which I liked very much for these placemats.
flower placemat
I realized after I had done five of them that I’d forgotten to put on my twill labels (and that the cheater binding didn’t really leave me a place to put them, anyway), but it’s okay since it’s not like my sister’s going to forget who made them. 😀
diamond placemat
The free-motion foot for my machine came in the mail today, just in time for me to try it out on the hearts on this placemat. My stitches look pretty funky, but it sure was easier using the fmq foot for these fiddly little shapes than my walking foot!
love placemat
I need to learn how to use my camera — all of these use the same Kona coal, but my pictures make some of them look different. >_< checkerboard placemat
Can’t take new pictures, though… the baby’s waking up!
hexies placemat
I had fun doing new things for these placemats — I made my first freezer paper-pieced hexies, freestyle-pieced letters for the first time, and made my first wonky stars.
zigzag placemat
I’m linking to Needle and Spatula’s July Dinner Party. Yay for being done!

Bloggers' Dinner Party