Happy Wednesday! With temperatures rising, I am already starting to dream of summer — days at the beach, fireworks, parades and family gatherings.
So, it seemed to be the perfect time to play with Jen Allyson’s gorgeous new fabric collection, Lost & Found in America. The vintage inspired stars and strips and patriotic colors are fun, yet timeless.
I knew needed a quick and easy project to start with, so I decided to go with this cute patchwork placemat.
How easy is it? I think a beginner could handle this one. The only tricky thing might be the binding, but with a good binding tutorial like THIS ONE, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
What makes this project a breeze is this Quilter’s Grid Fusible Pellon. It is as simple as cutting your squares, arranging them on the pellon, and then pressing them with an iron.
For my 15.5″ x 12″ placemat, I used eighty-eight 2″ squares.
I arranged the squares on the Pellon, matching them up to the lines on the grid, and moving them around until I liked the look of it. When I was satisfied with the layout, I simply used my iron to press the squares into place.
The next step is swing the squares together. This is the fun part. Watch THIS VIDEO for the easy how-to.
After you have sewn the squares, make a fabric sandwich (placemat top, batting, backing).
Next it’s time to do the quilting! I freely admit, I might be the most ADD quilter out there, so I rarely fuss over straight lines. I sewed these lines about 1/4″ apart and let them get a little wavy and imperfect looking. I started out using an off-white thread, but had a change of plans part-way through. Because I grouped the plus signs by color — keeping reds in one corner and blues toward the opposite corner, I decided to do the same with the thread.
I stitched red lines on the predominantly red side of the placemat, white lines in the center, and blue lines on the blue side. I think I like how it turned out! Placemats are a great format for playing with color and patterns and quilting techniques. They are small projects, so your heart and wallet won’t be broken if you don’t completely love the outcome. Am I right?
After you have quilted, all that is left is to add some binding. Again, take a look at this great BINDING TUTORIAL. Notice, for my binding, I used half red fabric and half blue, still keeping with the idea of matching reds to reds and blues to blues.
What to do with left over squares? Using the exact same method, it isn’t too hard to whip up a few coasters!
This is also a fun way to play around with quilting and piecing.
Don’t look at my binding on these – this is what happens when you are in a hurry! But to be truthful, I don’t mind that the binding is uneven and a little wonky. I can live with it, but for those who can’t, I recommend taking the time to hand stitch the binding. You have greater control, especially on these small projects, and you’ll end up with a really neat and clean finish.
Most of all, I hope this tutorial gives you some ideas to run with. Whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned quilter, we are cheering you on!
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You can view Jen Allyson’s complete Lost & Found America collection HERE.