February 1, 2018

Place mats for... winter?

My wife requested place mats to go with our Christmas dishes; I had hoped to have them ready by this past Christmas, but I did not quite make it.

I was really attracted to Minick and Simpson's Snowfall fabric, and their Lake Effect quilt pattern, with its holly and mistletoe, reminded me of our dishes.  I decided to come up with my own design for place mats and a table runner, using their applique and the dishes as inspiration.

I used a couple of charm packs of the Snowfall wovens for the place mats.  I trimmed the charm squares to 4.5" since the original cuts were not quite square.

I used a charm pack of the Snowfall prints for the applique shapes, and yardage for the table runner.

For the applique, I tried Lara Buccella's Crafted Applique technique for the first time.  This allowed me to cut small pieces, such as the berries, without concern for fraying.

I used Soft and Stable for the batting, hoping the place mats would hold their shape through washing better than cotton.  We've not washed them yet, but I like the feel of the place mats.  On the other hand, the table runner doesn't want to lie flat.  I believe that is because I used an inconsistent quilting density.  Here's a photo before the quilting was complete; you can see how the quilting density affects the shape:

After quilting the white background and trimming the edges, it is better, but still not entirely flat.  Would blocking work with Soft and Stable?  It seems unlikely to me.  Any other suggestions?

I also used some of the wovens to make a set of napkins, using this tutorial.

One of my favorite prints from this line is the pale blue and white stripe with scattered berries, but I couldn't find a place for this print in these designs.  So I used it for backing, as you can see in the top of this photo:

The wavy quilting played some funny tricks with the smaller plaids.  Here's a straight-on view of one of the squares:

And here's the same square as viewed from an angle:

Here's another view of the applique on the table runner.  The leaf shapes were all cut free-hand, while the berries were marked with a circle template.

And here is the complete set of place mats:

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.


  1. Those turned out beautifully!! I'm pretty sure that your wife will consider them well worth the wait. Just tell her you're really EARLY for Christmas 2018!!!

  2. Just love these! Your quilting is beautiful and the fabrics are such fun. You did such a nice job explaining how you did everything. Well done!

  3. What a lovely collection for your table, so pretty!

  4. These are beautiful. I love that light blue and that the set is not too floral. Those woven napkins polish it off just right. The dense quilting is stunning. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing links to all the great resources you used.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous, Ben. The colors in that collection are scrumptious! Well done on all the items. Love the napkins.