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When quilting, illuminate your work surface with the SURElight

by Paul Leger

Good morning, afternoon or evening! Yesterday, I added triangles to a rectangular piece of fabric. Are you ready to make another dream home placemat?

TIP Make sure your scissors and seam rippers are at the ready; they’re essential tools that I use often.

A pair of SoftKUT Embroidery Scissors – 4½″ and a UNIQUE large seam ripper are always within arm’s reach when I’m sewing.

Good lighting is something else to add to your sewing area. For days when the overhead and the sewing machine lights are just not enough, you should get yourself a good desk lamp.

The SURElight M4T LED Desk Lamp is the one you need. The SURElight has 4 color temperatures, with 5 brightness levels, in other words 20 possible settings!

SURElight M4T LED Desk Lamp

Now that we’re all set up, let’s get sewing! Today’s placemat design is not one, but 2 houses.

I’m constructing a side-by-side duplex. Once you see the novelty fabric I chose for the doors, you’ll see the folks who live here just love playing soccer.

Today’s placemat is a side by side duplex – Click to download PDF

As I’ve done previously, the first thing to do is to arrange the fabrics in such a way that I can find each piece easily.

Place all placemat pieces next to your sewing station for easier identifying.

Today, I’ll make 4 half square triangles (HSTs) using only 2 pieces of fabric. This is a fun and easy technique.

Let’s begin.

Refer back to the labelled diagram and select the C and D fabric pieces.

On the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces, draw a vertical line down the center as shown below. Then, draw a diagonal line from the upper corner across to meet the bottom of the vertical line. When you’ve drawn the first line, pivot your ruler and draw another diagonal line across from the bottom of the vertical line to the other upper corner. It will look like a V when you’ve finished drawing.

Draw line in center of fabric then draw two diagonal lines.

Now, place your C and D fabrics right sides together and pin. I use the Klassé Crystal Head Pins 100pcs – 1⅞”.

There are 2 reasons I use these pins:

  1. They’re long and thin, therefore reducing the bulk when in use.
  2. The pins’ heads are made of crystal; this guarantees they won’t melt if your iron passes over them.

Klassé’ Crystal Head Pins 100pcs – 1⅞” (47mm)

On both sides of each of the diagonal lines, sew a ¼” seam. After sewing, cut along the three drawn lines.

Sew ¼” on both sides of the diagonal lines and cut along the three drawn lines.

Now press the 4 HSTs open.

Refer to the duplex diagram as a guide and lay the fabric pieces out on your work surface.

With the roof piece sewn, place all placemat pieces in their designated space.

Sew the various pieces that make up the duplex houses together in the following groupings and order:

  1. CD to DC (twice)
  2. On each side of I, sew an F (FIF)
  3. E on top of FIF
  4. On each side of I, sew an H (HIH)
  5. G on top of HIH

You now have the 4 parts for your 2 duplexes.

The four sections which will make the duplex houses

The first of the final 5 steps in constructing this placemat is to sew the roof pieces onto the houses.

The second is to sew both houses together.

The third step is to sew the B pieces on to each side of the joined duplexes.

The fourth step is to sew the sky piece A along the top edge of the placemat and the final step is to sew the grass piece J along the bottom of the placemat underneath the houses.

TIP Remember to press each seam to the dark side as you sew.

Voila! You’re done!

The completed side by side duplex placemat

Tomorrow, I’m movin’ on up. I’m building a 2-story house with a garage! Here’s a sneak preview.

Tomorrow’s two story house with garage – Click to download PDF

Tonight’s homework is: cut your fabric pieces so that you’re all ready to go with tomorrow’s post.

Note: Cut one (1) unless otherwise stated.

Fabric 1 – sky

  • A 2½” x 16”
  • B 2¾” x 8½” – cut 2
  • C 4⅞” x 4⅞”– cut 2
Fabric 2 – roof
  • D 4⅞” x 4⅞”
Fabric 3 or 4 – house
  • E 1½” x 3½”– cut 2
  • F 1½” x 4½”– cut 3
  • G 2”x 2”
  • H 1½” x 2”– cut 2
  • I 2½”x 4½”
  • J 2” x 3½”
Fabric 5 – windows
  • L 3½” x 2½”
  • M 2” x 2½”
Fabric 6 – door
  • K 2” x 3”
Fabric 6 – garage door
  • N 3” x 3½”
Fabric 7 – grass
  • O 2½” x 16”

Oh! One last thing…at the start of this post, I introduced you to the SURElight M4T LED desktop lamp. I’ve had mine for over 3 years and it still works as if I got it yesterday. SURElight also has another desktop and a floor model lamp, check them out.

I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow for the construction of the last placemat.

This is part 4 of 6 in this series

Go back to part 3: SoftKUT embroidery scissors for your quilting needs too

Go to part 5: Sew Easy rulers for all your quilting projects


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