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Binding a Place-mat is like Binding a Quilt

Yesterday we secured the three layers together by quilting them and today is the day to finish the project. Binding a place-mat is like binding a quilt just on a smaller scale unless of course you’re into mini quilts. I personally have never made a mini quilt but could be up to the challenge with the right project.

First though before we talk about binding we need to add some ties to the place-mat so that it can be rolled up and ready to go on a picnic. Hence the reason it’s called an ‘on-the-go place-mat’.

Making and Attaching the Ties

The ties require 2 strips of the accent fabric (piece G).

The easiest way I found to make the ties is with the Clover Bias Tape Maker. The bias tape makers come in many different sizes and I use the 1 inch one for the ties. The tape maker is very simple to use and for some step by step instructions check out my tutorial on making ties or drawstrings.

The strips in the blog are much longer than what is needed for the ties. I made the strips 18 inches for this project. Once the strips are made then the next step is to fold over the fabric, press it well with steam and topstitch down the edge just as we did with the napkin bands an ⅛″ from the edge.

I zigzagged one end of the tie so that it wouldn’t fray. I had no issue sewing a zigzag stitch on this tiny bit of material using the IDT system and open toed decorative foot. To finish off the ties I tied a little knot at the end of each tie. Now they’re ready to be attached to the place-mat.

Attach the two ties to the back of the place-mat between the napkin holders. Stitch them in place with an ⅛″ seam. When the binding is attached the ¼″ seam will further secure them in place.

Ties sewn to the back of the place-mat.
Ties sewn to the back of the place-mat.

 

Binding the Placemat

The binding requires two strips (Piece H) of which ever fabric you want to bind it in, I used the dragonfly fabric.

Make and attach the binding using your favorite method. My favorite method is to sew the binding on the front and then hand sew it to the back. If you’d like some help with binding you can check out these two tutorials on how to make binding and how to attach binding to a quilt.

When I’m hand stitching the binding in place I use the red Wonder Clips from Clover to keep the fabric in place. I love these little red clips. Prior to finding these I never used anything and now I don’t bind without them.

Binding clipped in place for hand sewing to the back.
Binding clipped in place for hand sewing to the back.

 

So the project is all done and dusted. Can you stop at just one? I don’t think I can.

On-the-go place-mat complete with coaster.
On-the-go place-mat complete with coaster.

 

Using Up the Leftover Bits of Fabric

I made a coaster from the left over bits of fabric that I had and quilted it with some decorative stitching. What a great time I had playing with the decorative stitches on the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 – only 200 + to choose from. I have managed to use a few stitches today and a few last month. The bias binding was a bit tricky attaching the ends together due to the size of the project but I was successful. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

The coaster folds in half and can be stowed with the napkin.

Leftover fabric with decorative stitching make a great coaster to go with the on-the-go place-mat.
Leftover fabric with decorative stitching make a great coaster to go with the on-the-go place-mat.

 

Adding in the Easy Quilt Blocks

I was very excited about this little project and once I had made the first one with plain pieces of fabric I decided to use up those easy quilt blocks that I made way back on Monday. Boy that seems like a while ago!

I cut them up and used them for the utensil holder, napkin bands and coasters. It worked out just perfectly and I love how the blocks add just a little bit of pizazz to the place-mats. Each one is definitely unique.

Which is your favorite? Mine is the curved one.

Utensil holders, napkin bands, and coasters made with blocks from day 1.
Utensil holders, napkin bands, and coasters made with blocks from day 1.

 

Fun With Dragonflies

So I just couldn’t seem to stop myself and since I had some fabric left over and not really enough to do much with I decided to make a nine patch table topper and add in some applique. A few dragonflies flying in a circle. The machine performed beautifully with the blanket stitch and doing the stitching in black has certainly made the dragonflies standout.

This piece is 18 inches square which fits perfectly on the center tile of my deck table.

Dragonflies appliqued onto the nine patch dragonfly table topper to match the on-the-go place-mats!
Dragonflies appliqued onto the nine patch dragonfly table topper to match the on-the-go place-mats!

 

What a great week I had making these on-the-go placemats and accessories with the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2machine. This machine has so many great features that made the sewing, piecing, quilting, and finishing of this easy quilting project a delight. I’ll be the envy of the neighborhood with my fancy on-the-go placements ready for any picnic or outdoor eating adventure.

Binding a place-mat is like binding a quilt and now that the place-mats are all bound I can set my picnic table in style.

Happy Quilting

On-the-go place-mats and matching quilted table topper make for a striking table setting!
On-the-go place-mats and matching quilted table topper make for a striking table setting!

 

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

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