To quilt is human, to finish divine.
I am making progress and things are being finished! :)
First up, all four of the "Not-Ugly Car Trash Bags" are complete:
Next up was one set of 4 place mats. The pattern created 4 place mats, plus napkin and silverware holders, out of just 1 yard of fabric. I had purchased 1.5 yards, thinking that I'd make some matching napkins - but when I saw how small the place mats were going to be, I decided to use all 1.5 yards to make full size place mats and use a second fabric for the attached napkin & silverware holders.
The pattern also makes the place mats out of 2 layers of cotton fabric - that seemed pretty flimsy to me, so I decided to add a layer of craft batting inside.
I placed the 2 layers of fabric right-sides-together on top of the batting and sewed around all 4 sides, leaving a 4 inch opening to turn it right-side out.
before turning right-side out I trimmed the batting close to the line of stitching
here it is turned right-side out
The next step in the official instructions is to top stitch around the edges, but because I added the batting, I figured I should quilt it and I wanted to start from the middle and work my way out to the edges - so I started with a big "X" connecting the 4 corners:
I don't know if this is generally accepted wisdom or not, but based on my limited personal experience, if I start on the outside edge of a piece, the top layer of fabric is pushed and pushed and pushed until I get a large, ugly bubble on the other end. Working from the inside towards the outside seems to distribute the fabric more evenly, so that, at worst, I get multiple small bubbles, instead of one big one. I also used a walking foot to try to minimize any fabric "pile-up."
Next I added a diamond connecting the middles of each edge:
Finally I top-stitched around the edges and added the pockets to hold the napkins and silverware.
Kind of cute, huh? I definitely think the larger size is better. Fingers crossed that my friend is okay with the second fabric that I added for the silverware and napkin holder - I did that all on my own... Yikes! ;)