Twelve Days of Christmas Project 2 – Placemats, Coasters, maybe even a table runner…

7 12 2011

Hello again,

continuing the theme of quick, cheap, easy, scrap efficient little gifts, I will step you through making something smart to dress your table.  SO easy.  You can make these in a Christmas theme, but they would also look great in bright, sunny summer colours for barbeques or outdoor dining. Those of us in the Southern Hemisphere are just starting summer and if it ever actually warms up, there will be a lot of eating outside going on.  Try blues and greens or a combination of orange, hot pink and lemon, or teals and purples.  Anyway moving on.

I have used five different cream Christmas prints.  I did this because when I opened the magic cupboard these were the first Christmas prints I found.  I was halfway through the project when I thought about the practicality of cream coasters mixed with the Whatman’s but that is why they invented Scotchguard and other stain repelant.

Materials you will need:

You need wadding, background fabric, some double sided web, and a mixture of scraps for the top.

How much of each depends a bit on whether you are making just some coasters; coasters and placemats; or all of that plus a table runner.  So, as a guide for 6 coasters, you need your wadding, double sided web and background fabric to be at least 9 by 13.5 inches (24 by 35 cms) square.  For each placemat, you need at least 10 by 15 (26 by 40 cms)  inches of background fabric, wadding and double sided web.  For a table runner I would recommend at least 10 by 24 (26 by 60 cms) inches of everything, more depending on the table.  In every case, start a bit bigger so that you can trim back.  You could make a table runner, six placemats and six coasters out of a metre of wadding and backing fabric.  Excuse the very rough drawing below, but you can adapt as necessary.  If you want to do a proper binding, I would set aside about 10 inches of fabric (across the full width) cut into 9 2.5 inch strips for six placemats and/or an additional 5 inches cut into 2 2.5 inch strips for the table runner.

I strongly recommend you use scraps for your fronts, the more colours, patterns and textures the better.  Each scrap only needs to be 10 centimetres long.

You will also need rotary cutter, ruler and mat or scissors,  sewing machine and thread and an iron.


Getting started.


Gather your fabrics up and check that they all look okay together.  You want some contrast in either pattern, hue or texture.  Cut your scraps into strips that vary from about an inch to 2.5inches wide by 10 to 12 inches long.  Mix them up a bit.

Cut your wadding, backing fabric and double sided web to the sizes required (use above as a guide).

Iron the double sided web to one side of the wadding; remove paper; and iron the backing fabric, right side out, onto the wadding.  This can now be treated as one piece of fabric.  Don’t trim it now, wait until the end.


Creating the top.

Lay your first strip of fabric along one edge of the wadding, right side up.

Lay your second strip on top of the first strip, lining up the inside edges.  These two pieces should be right sides together.

Stitch along the edge (looking at this example, on the far right edge) using a quarter inch seam.  If you don’t have a quarter inch foot, don’t worry just stitch it sufficiently inside the raw edges to be secure and be consistent on each seam.  Open the top strip up so that it sits next to the first strip, both right sides up.  Iron open.

Continue laying strips one at a time onto the inside raw edge, right sides together.  Stitch and iron open.

Keep adding strips until you get to the far edge.  Press the whole piece.

Trim the edges back evenly.  If you loose a little bit in the trimming, don’t worry, just make each piece the same size if you are making placemats.


To make six coasters, cut your finished piece into six 4.5 inch square pieces.


If making placemats, set this aside and get going on the next one.


To finish:

For the coasters, they are really too small to bind traditionally, plus that could make them unstable.  So I have set my machine on a satin stitch (a wide, close zig zag – say 4 wide and 0.2-0.5 long) and stitched around the edges.  If you aren’t happy with the coverage, go around a second time.



Trim any little loose threads to tidy it up and you are done.

With larger pieces, I like the traditional binding, so stitch one and a half 2.5 inch strip together (about 60 inches in total) press length ways, wrong sides together, bringing the two raw edges together. Stitch the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges on the front of the placemat (two raw edges of binding, one of placemat).  Mitre the corners as you reach them (if you don’t know how to do that email me and I will send you to a tutorial).  Once you have gone all the way around the placemat, trim the length to size and tuck the raw end under.  Stitch it down and then iron the binding to the back.  You can hand stitch this down to hold.

Now that was so easy, you will probably make more!  Please feel free to share this post with your friends.






2 responses

7 12 2011
Sandra Askill

Now to check my box of Christmas prints.
Thanks Cecile !!

7 12 2011
Michele Bilyeu

Just beautiful and you are right…something that could be quickly done! Thanks so much for sharing your idea!

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