Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Santa's Post-Christmas Sewing Sweat Shop: Day Two

To quilt is human, to finish divine.
~ Unknown

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!  ;)


  1. Boy, I sure could use a trash thingie for my car. I'm sure those will get a lot of use. Placemats are always a good thing to have, too.

    1. I could use a trash bag for my car too - this happens to me every year at Christmas time - by the time I'm done making 9 gifts for my friends, I never feel like making an extra one for me... ;)

  2. Never thought of going middle out on placemats. I too have had them shift even with a walking foot.

    1. Well, it seems to help me - but I imagine that an experienced quilter would know a lot of excellent tips and techniques - this is just me going by the seat of my pants! ;)