Coming up with the right gift for a family, friend, or workplace gift exchange can be frustrating. A homemade stocking is a good way to give something fun, from the heart, and it’s super quick and easy!
Don’t forget to fill it up with sweet goodies and everyone will be wishing for a Secret Santa like you!
If you’re like me, every once in a while you need a break from those big projects to work on something that will give you instant gratification (and add a little pizazz to your house)! It’s even better when you can use that fat quarter bundle you’ve been wanting to cut in to. Check out the process below for these quick and easy reversible placemats I’ve been making lately!
First thing’s first, choose a fat quarter bundle from your stash (or shop for one at Missouri Star Quilt Co. HERE) that you know will look great on your dining room table. We chose to use the lovely Garden Splendor Fat Quarter Bundle by Wild Apple for Robert Kaufman.
You can choose to use the same fabric for each side, or mix and match fabric from the same collection. It’s also fun to pair an Autumn themed fabric with a Christmas or Winter themed fabric. Then all you have to do it flip the placemats over as the seasons change!
Cut your fabric to 14.5″ x 20.5″, place your two fabrics right sides together and pin them in place.
Next, take them over to the sewing machine and sew a quarter inch seam around the edges, leaving about a 3″-4″ opening so that it can be flipped inside out.
Hi there, everyone! It’s Natalie Barnes, here. Proprietor of beyond the reef pattern company, licensed designer for Windham Fabrics, and author of A Modern Twist (Martingale/TPP).
I’m just so excited to be here at Missouri Star Quilt Co.’s blog! This year, I had the great opportunity to participate in the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Birthday Bash with Windham Fabrics. I just fell in love with the work that MSQCo. has done with Hamilton, Missouri! Every detail you could possibly want or imagine is available for your visit. They have beautifully organized each and every one of the different shops, provided great dining and food options, and even created a retreat center! For me, with a background in interior design/architecture, I loved seeing the buildings being restored to their original grandeur, and it was fascinating to hear about the local history that MSQCo. is keeping alive! Thank you, Jenny, for making all of this a reality.
There’s no getting around it. As quilters, we are precise. And we are organized. Each and every one of us, organized. Well. In our own way.
Personally, I fall into the “controlled chaos” method of organization. If you look at Amy Ellis’ charts and graphs manner of calculating yardage, you’ll see another way. Or Angela Walters’ ribbon candy quilting. Precise. Organized.
We know exactly where a 1/4″ seam lies on any sewing machine we come across. We always know where our sewing scissors are and where we keep (read: hide) the rotary cutters. We know how much yardage we need for binding, and like Mama Jenny, we know that there are twelve (12) 5″ squares in a fat quarter, and fifty six (56) 2-1/2″ square “snowballs” or “dog ears” in a fat quarter, as well.
Precise and Organized.
That’s what I’m going with.
Until someone calls and says, “You’re hosting Tuesday’s luncheon”, and we go into a sort of….well….you know the drill. How many 10″ square napkins can I get out of two yards of fabric? What is the standard size of a placemat? Can I just turn them right sides out and quilt? Will anyone notice they’re not bound? I need something to go with the runner I have on the dining room table!!! Oh. Wait. Food. She said luncheon, didn’t she
Jill Marie Landis, writer, best girlfriend, and inspiration for my pattern company, beyond the reef, would say, “If I walked in to Natalie’s house before a party, and didn’t find her just stepping out of the shower, I’d think I was in the wrong home.”
“But the placemats are done”, I would reply, “and they match the runner”!
One day it hit me. Make the table runners in pairs, run them along the short side of the table, and voila! The table is coordinated. Table runner as placemat. Two for one!
And with the amount of resources that Missouri Star Quilt Co. gives us, a quick review of the youTube channel is all we need to select a fool proof block large enough to use for our runners doubling as placemats.
Once the fabrics are chosen, create a “color recipe” for the project.
The Blossoms will be made using the three medium value prints.
The Leaves will be the bright/dark prints, and they are scrappy – the more the merrier.
The Center of the Blossom will be the grey print, and the snowballs will be a mottled solid. (Palette by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics)
Select a favorite print from Hand Maker for the backing – and use a contrasting binding. This will give you two runner “looks” from one set of runners!
For the two 13-1/2″ x 67-1/2″ runners, 1 x 5 blocks each, cut a total of:
Blossoms: (40) 5″ squares
Leaves:(40) 5″ squares
Centers:(10) 5″ squares
Snowballs:(160) 2-1/2″ squares
Remember, your piecing accuracy is only as good as your cutting accuracy. Here’s my first hint – – take time with this step, and enjoy the process. Using the 2-1/2″ ruler and the 5″ ruler from the MSQCo. shop is really time efficient. There’s no stopping to confirm the dimension is 5″ not 6″ (admit it, you know you’ve done it. I’ve also cut tons of 3″ squares, thinking they were 2-1/2″, too. Precise 3″ squares. I’ll admit it….)
Snowballs:1 yard mottled solid
Binding:2-1/4″ straight binding / 2/3 yard
(10) 40″ x 2-1/4″ strips
(leaving 4″ top and bottom for machine quilting / placing two runners
side by side when machine quilting)
Use Mama Jenny’s proven method of ironing the snow balls from corner to corner, and settle in with a good wholesome “lots of dialog” movie and start stitching until all of the snow ball corners complete.
Here is Jenny’s full tutorial:
Here’s another little hint – press open your snow balls and be sure they align with the corners of the 5″ square BEFORE trimming the fabric from the back. This will help keep your 5″ squares “square”.
Once all of your pieces are completed, head to your design wall, or other flat surface, and lay out the pieces, until you are satisfied with the look of your runners, and the colors are dispersed evenly throughout your project.
Finally, it’s time to pop in the second movie, and begin sewing your 5″ squares together to form your runners.
Now that the tops are complete, it’s time to let Angela Walters do her magic. Angela is an author, instructor, lecturer, Robert Kaufman Fabrics licensed designer and Owner of Quilting is My Therapy in Liberty Missouri. If you’re looking for a private long arm quilting lesson, or even want to purchase your own Handi – Quilter long arm machine, head to Quilting is My Therapy. Having a machine quilter is the closest I can come to having four hands! It gives me time to cut, sew, and prepare the binding for the quilt as it’s being quilted. Thank you Angela, for taking time to quilt this project!
Once the quilts have returned, I like to reconnect with my project. So, I use “natalie’s quilted binding” – by sewing the binding on to the wrong side, and turning it to the front. Then I use a pearle 8 cotton and a running or quilting stitch close to the folded edge of the binding to attach or “quilt it’ on to the front of the quilt. Finally, I look for a consistent area in each block to add in some big stitch pearle cotton quilting. It adds a different texture, and, well, it’s just my “finishing touch”.
Precise and Organized, I say. That’s how Hand Makers get things done.
So, give me a call. Schedule a luncheon. The table will be set, and I’ll be ready!
And if you’re looking for a new recipe, here’s my mother’s version of Waldorf Salad….just in case it’s your turn to host next month’s luncheon…
Many many thanks again to Missouri Star Quilt Co. for letting me stop by today and visit with all of you!
Here’s where you can find out more information about Natalie Barnes / beyond the reef