Summer is here and it’s almost the 4th of July. Time for family gatherings, picnics, and fireworks! Enjoy this fun Independence Day sewing project – a red, white, and blue placemat to dress your table for holiday dinners. It’s made with an easy quilt-as-you-go technique and a wrap-around binding method to finish it off. Keep reading to the end to see the Summertime Sale details – everything is on sale!
Supplies (for one placemat) Finished Size: 16” x 12”
- 4 strips with red background: 2 ½” x 12”
- 5 strips with white background: 2 ½” x 12”
- Batting or foam stabilizer, 16” x 12”
- Backing/Binding Rectangle, 19” x 15” – look for a navy 4th of July themed print fabric
- Patchwork Foot – I used Patchwork Foot #97 for piecing
- Open Embroidery Foot for edgestitching the binding
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The video below shows an overview of how I made these placemats.
I am not a big fan of pre-washing fabric. I love to sew on crisp, new fabric. But there are situations where I always prewash. If I am making a garment, I prewash to make sure I take care of any shrinkage so the garment will fit. I also prewash fabric for items that will need to be laundered on a regular basis. Placemats fall into this category. Before cutting and stitching, prewash the fabrics for this project.
In place of batting, I used a foam stabilizer (Sew-Fab-Foam from RNK Distributing.com). Batting may be used but I like the body and structure that the foam stabilizer gives to the placemat. This foam stabilizer is sandwiched between two pieces of natural color tricot fabric. One side is fusible so you can fuse the backing fabric to it. It can be machine washed and dried, so it is perfect for these placemats. RNK Distributing is a wholesale distributor of sewing and quilting notions, tools, and supplies. To find a retail store that sells the Sew-Fab-Foam, CLICK HERE.
Stitching the Strips
I made the placemats with a simple quilt-as-you-go technique that pieces and quilts in one operation. Starting at the left edge of the fabric side of the foam stabilizer, place a white strip of fabric right side up. Position a red strip right side down on top of the first strip. Stitch the two together using a ¼” seam allowance. Flip the second fabric strip to the right side and press.
Continue stitching and flipping the strips, alternating red and white, until the foam stabilizer is completely covered.
After stitching the red and white strips to the fabric side of the foam, Trim the placemat to 16” x 12”. The backing is 19” x 15” to extend 1 ½” on all sides of the placemat. Fuse the pieced fabric to the Sew-Fab-Foam by placing the backing fabric wrong side up, then positioning the placemat fusible side down in the center of the backing fabric. Fuse from the fabric side, setting the iron on a medium setting (Wool) with no steam. Hold the iron in place on the fabric for at least 5 seconds to bond the fabric to the foam.
Wrap Around Binding
Fold one edge of the backing fabric so the raw edge meets the edge of the placemat and press. Then, fold the backing fabric up onto the placemat and clip in place. Repeat this for the remaining three edges.
Attach the Open Embroidery Foot to the machine. Place the inner edge of the binding next to the inside of the left toe and adjust the needle to stitch on the binding. Edgestitch along all four sides.
Cloth napkins are easy and quick to make. Just cut a square of fabric – I used the same fabric as the backing/binding. You can make any size you want but typically cloth napkins are 16″-18″ square. Hem all four edges. I did a simple turned hem by folding the raw edge up 1/4″ twice to the wrong side. Press the folded hem and then straight stitch it to secure it. Using a serger rolled hem is also a great choice for finishing the edges. Both the napkins and the placemats are quick to make so you still have time to make these placemats for your Independence Day dinner!
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