Modern-Look Quilted Placemats

Oriental-Inspired Quilted Placemats by Beautiful Entropy Wow, has it been seven months? Yikes. I’ve been busy in the meantime, and have several projects to photograph and post about. We’ll start with the placemats I just finished. The backstory is that about a year ago, I was in a quilting shop looking for thread, and I found a pack of Moda 5″ squares. The specific pack I got (Zen Chic Juggling Summer) is getting hard to find, though I think it’s still available here. Just look at those placemats: isn’t the fabric yummy? I couldn’t resist. I had NO idea what I was going to do with the squares (there are 42 in a pack, so not enough for a quilt or anything), but I knew I had to have it! I think I may have a new addiction: not only was the fabric lovely to work with, but the Moda packs come in so many awesome designs! They even partner with designers (and scrapbook companies, like BasicGrey). Check out some of the packs I’m currently drooling over: Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.13.01 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.13.12 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.13.22 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.13.32 AM Aren’t they delicious? At $10/pack, they’re easy enough on the wallet to be…a little dangerous! Anyway, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my pack: the colors did a great job of unifying my living room (dark red, green, and browns) with my kitchen (turquoises and dark reds). Since my eating area sits right between the two (it’s one big unified space containing all three areas), I thought I’d make placemats. I started by sorting the squares so that I had six for each placemat top in roughly unified color schemes. There were a bunch of very simple squares that had a repeating pattern of little ovals on them; I figured they’d work perfectly for a border, and would become a unifying element. Once I’d assembled the placemat tops (1/4″ seams”), I cut the squares for the borders into thirds and stitched them together to make my border. I decided to stick with a modern-inspired theme for the quilting. Each square has a different pattern on it, all in straight lines. I did some chevrons, some spirals, some “broken glass” (meandering straight line that crosses over itself to make random triangles and quadrangles), and so on. I used different colored quilting thread on each placemat, but stuck with the same color for the six squares of an individual mat. I also varied the patterns used between placemats; if I repeated a quilting line pattern (sunburst, for instance), I never used it twice on the same placemat, and it was never in the same place (top right, for instance) on two different placemats). Here’s a complete top, and a few close-ups of individual squares (from different tops): IMG_2685 IMG_2734 IMG_2728 IMG_2751 IMG_2743   IMG_2746 The border quilting was ultra-simple to keep attention on the squares; I went with three parallel lines that intersected near each corner. Again, very modern, Oriental-inspired, and clean: IMG_2737 For binding, I used a modern/Oriental-inspired black and white batik I had sitting around. I went with a 1″ binding (a 1″ strip folded in quarters, see here for one of my favorite binding tutorials…which reminds me, are you following me on Pinterest? I’ve been REALY active there lately, and my Quilting, Sewing and Fabric Tutorial board is particularly robust). The 1/4″ binding was really fiddly to work with, but I like the way it came out – I wanted something very small and subtle. I went with a simple coordinating batik that I had lying around for the back: IMG_2739 A quick steam iron (with pressing cloth) to flatten out any weird ripples from the quilting process, and…here’s the finished product:

IMG_2683

The bottom right square on the black and red placemat actually has some neat detail printed on it (it’s similar to the green one, top center, in the green and purple placemat). It just doesn’t show up in the photo.

All in all, I’m completely in love with them (so much so that it’s hard to actually let my family use them to eat!

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