We all have them – leftover blocks from other projects. We don’t want to throw them out, so they sit in our sewing rooms, gathering dust. Today I’ll go over 8 great reasons that you should use these blocks to make placemats!
I’m still using The Dream Machine 2 from Brother, so in posts later on in the week I’ll use this awesome machine to embellish some of the placemats.
THE Dream Machine 2
Reason 1 – get them out of your sewing room
I don’t know about you, but when I have lots of UFOs (unfinished objects) in my sewing room, they weigh on me. They take up valuable room in my sewing space and in my mind. Getting things out of both of those places feels great! Tomorrow on QUILTsocial I’ll show you five different ways that you can incorporate an orphan block into a placemat.
Reason 2 – experiment with free motion quilting
Success at free motion quilting takes time and lots of practice. Placemats are the perfect size to practice on and to try out some new designs. If you want some new designs to try, check out my QUILTsocial posts from August 2014.
Reason 3 – try out some fancy stitches on your sewing machine
THE Dream Machine 2 has an unbelievable number of specialty stitches, and trying them out on placemats is ideal to see how they look stitched on fabric before adding them to a larger project. We’re going to play with some of these stitches on Wednesday.
Here are some of the decorative stitches available on THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother. I definitely want to use those maple leaves!!
Reason 4 – use up bits and pieces of leftover batting
If you’re like me, you probably have lots of small pieces of batting left over after trimming quilts. Lots of these pieces would probably be the perfect size for a placemat. And if your pieces are still too small – use your sewing machine to zigzag them together to make larger pieces. This is the way to tidy up your sewing space!
First of all, trim the edges of your batting pieces so that they are straight.
Butt the sides of the batting up to each other and then use an open toe zigzag foot and cream colored thread to sew a wide zigzag stitch down the seam. Make sure you catch the batting on both sides of the seam and that you don’t overlap the batting at all.
Three pieces of batting zigzagged together makes a piece that’s now big enough for one of my placemats!
Reason 5 – try a new embellishment technique
If you have a new technique you want to try, but afraid to commit to using it on a large project, a placemat is the right size to experiment on. Couching is a neat technique to use to add dimension to your projects, and THE Dream Machine 2 has a very cool couching foot, so Thursday we’ll try using it to add some embellishment to one of our placemats.
Reason 6 – use up leftover bindings
I have a plastic bin full of leftover bindings. Some are long, some are short but they’re all just waiting to be used for another project. We’ll talk about how to organize leftover bindings and how to use them for placemats on Friday.
Reason 7 – they’re great for gift giving or donating
Charitable organizations such as Meals on Wheels would LOVE to give their clients a handmade item such as a placemat. Our Thousand Islands Quilters Guild in Brockville donates placemats to our local Meals on Wheels organization every year and they look forward to delivering them to their clients every January. What a nice way to brighten someone’s day!
Reason 8 – it feels GREAT to finish something
Whether it’s a bed size quilt or something the size of a placemat, we all get an amazing sense of accomplishment when we actually finish something! Give yourself a little lift, by taking those leftover blocks and finishing them as placemats. You’ll feel great, your sewing space will feel less cluttered and if you give that placemat away, you’ll make someone else’s day too!
Tomorrow on QUILTsocial I’ll show you 5 different ways that I used THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother to sew some orphan quilt blocks into placemats. See you tomorrow!
This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
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