Today, I’ll assemble the first of 4 house and home placemats.
Yesterday I cut the fabric pieces and am ready for the sewing machine. Speaking of sewing machine, indulge me as I give a shout out to Nancy Terry of the excellent quilting shop Sew Inspired, she let me use the PFAFF quilt ambition 630(!) for this week’s project. Sew inspired indeed!
Normally, I use a light gray thread, but I do wait to see what colors my final fabric choices are before committing to a thread color. I decided to use cream.
When you bought your sewing machine, some needles may have come with it, or, you may have some leftover from other sewing projects.
TIP You should always start with a fresh needle, especially when you’re not sure of the size, type or condition of the needle that’s currently in your machine.
There are many different sizes and types of sewing machine needles that are used for different purposes such as machine embroidery, sewing through thick denim or even leather to name a few. For quilting, I use needles such as either: Klassé Universal Sharps Needles – size 80/12 or UNIQUE Sewing Sharps Needles – size 80/12.
After you install a new needle in your machine, you’re ready to sew.
If you look at the diagram of the house placemat, you’ll notice that a letter identifies every piece. Yes, there are triangles, and yesterday I only cut squares and rectangles. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that!
If you ask any homebuilder, they’ll all tell you to start the construction from the foundation and work up. Will I do the same? Being the rebel that I am, no, I won’t. I’m starting with the roof (pieces C, D and F)!
Three half-square triangles (HSTs) make up the roofline of the home. Today, I’ll show you one of the methods to make HSTs.
Let’s begin by taking the C, D and F fabrics and cutting them diagonally from corner to corner.
With fabric triangle pieces right sides together, create the following sets:
- C and D
- C and F
- D and F
TIP It is very important that you use the ¼” presser foot on your sewing machine when sewing the sets together.
Now, take each set and sew a seam ¼” from the cut diagonal line as in the following diagram.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, use a ¼” seam allowance for all seams.
If you’re new to quilting and sewing, get yourself a good, labor-saving iron.
Most irons should be rested on their heel when not in use. This can mean a lot back and forth wrist action, which can be tiring for both your hand and wrist. An Oliso iron such as the Oliso TG1050 Smart Iron doesn’t have to be placed on its heel when not in use! As soon as you take your hand off the handle, two legs lift the iron off the surface of the ironing board. When you’re ready to use the iron again you simply touch the handle and the legs retract! I’m sure you’ll soon love this iron just as much as I do! You may also be happy to know you can also get the Oliso in gray, orchid, yellow or pink.
After sewing the sets together, press each seam to the darker fabric side of the seam line.
Using the house diagram above as a guide, lay the fabric pieces out on your work surface to prepare to sew them all together. After they’re all laid out, they should look like the picture below.
Sew the pieces together in the following order:
- CF to FD
- E to DC
- H to K
- G on each side of HK
- J on each side of L
- I on each side of JLJ
As you sew the sections together, press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric side and replace them on your work surface as you go.
Your house should now be in 4 larger sections as shown below:
Next, sew the roof on top of the house making sure the vertical lines in both sections are well-aligned.
Now your house is built, sew the B pieces of fabric on both sides of the house, then the A piece on the top!
Next, add the grass by sewing the M piece along the bottom edge. Your first placemat is completed.
Before I finish today’s post, I want to show you tomorrow’s construction project.
Yes, there appears to be more HSTs, but I’ll show you another method to construct them.
To prepare to work on tomorrow’s construction project, cut out the fabrics as shown below.
Note: Cut one (1) unless otherwise stated.
Fabric 1 – sky
- A 2½” x 16”
- B 2¾” x 8½” – cut 2
- C 3” x 3” – cut 2
- D 3” x 3”
- E 3” x 5½”
- F 5½” x 3”
- G 2” x 6” – cut 2
- H 2½” x 2″ – cut 2
- I 2” x 6” – cut 2
- J 2” x 3½”
- K 2½” x 3”
- L 3½” x 4½”
- M 2½” x 16”
Day 2 is already done! It was a quick day.
I hope you enjoyed learning about and using the tools I introduced. I know you’re really going to enjoy the Oliso TG1050 Smart Iron.
Come back tomorrow and I’ll introduce even more tools and tips!