My friend is getting married and what is better to give a newly married couple than kitchen items? The idea was to make non traditional place mats that are his/hers reversible. After a bit of information gathering I found that her favorite color is purple and that he prefers marvel to DC. So first I do the planning! (Also, this is my 50th post! Big step.)
1. His: I got quite a few designs, but none of them looked good enough, I just couldn’t figure out what to do. Hopefully you can see Thor’s hammer, a pow symbol, a shield and some others. Instead, I started on what I knew I wanted to do for her, which was butterflies. I went with the easiest design in the center bottom.
There are three colors for both sides. His: marvel, purple, yellow. Hers: white flowers, sparkly purple and gold dragonflies.
2. First you get the fabric and you cut it, you cut it! 2-1/2 inch squares make 2-inch squares when you have a 1/4 inch seam.
3. I made all of the triangle blocks first. Since there were 3 colors there would be 6 different ways to organize the colors into butterflies. I outlined them below and it follows: body, wings, background. There are 10 spaces that need triangle blocks on each placemat, so that’s 20 of each dual-color combination.
- Yellow, Purple, White
- Yellow, White, Purple
- Purple, Yellow, White
- Purple, White, Yellow
- White, Purple, Yellow
- White, Yellow, Purple
4. Sew! There are better ways to make triangle blocks, ways that save a lot of fabric. But I’m lazy so I aligned the squares face together, then folded the squares corner to corner to create a triangle. I then ironed to make a sewing guide line. Finally I laid a seam just to one side of the line, it doesn’t matter which side as long as later you cut off the excess fabric on that same side beyond the seam.
5. Cut and iron. Cut on the same side of the fold as your seam about 1/4 inch from the seam and then iron flat.
6. To make the 1/2 triangle blocks. I needed 4 of each dual-color combination. I also needed 2 each of 1/2-1/2 blocks
7. Lay it out: All the blocks are cut, ironed and ready to go. It is time to lay out the butterflies. The first one I laid out is actually incorrect, the yellow center should be down by one block. Luckily I noticed this before sewing. I did all my layouts at once separating each block with tissue paper.
8. Sew the blocks together. I sew all the columns first and then I sew those together. You can do rows first, it shouldn’t matter.
9. Time to decide what to do on the reverse. The butterflies ended up being approx. 12 by 17. So instead of doing a fancy design I decided to keep it simple so you can see as much of the themed fabric as possibly. Below is the plan, and remember to add 1/4 inch on each side for seams.
10. Cut the fabric! I decided to do 3 with purple on top and yellow on the sides and three the opposite way.
11. Sew them together! Here is an example of each style.
12. Then I laid pairs of butterfly and marvel together with a layer of batting. Sew together leaving a 2-3 inch gap from end of seam to beginning of seam to be able to reverse the place mat to right-side out.
13. Reverse and Iron each place mat.
14. Pin the place mats together and quilt the pieces. I decided to go with a seam around the outside edge, a seam one block in (on the butterfly side) and a third seam the next block in (on butterfly side). After consulting with my boyfriend I decided to use the thread of the minor color (i.e. the color of the body) to do these seams, it offered a great contrast. I used purple thread on the marvel side throughout. The finished results are below.
15. The table runner. I am not going to break this down as it is the same process as above but with a different design. I went with diagonal lines on the ‘her’ side and solid panels on the ‘his’ side.
16. I then added a border to each to ensure that the sides would match up. I did a bit of a miscalculation on the width so the diagonal lines were wider than the panels meaning I needed a wider border on the marvel side.
17. Pin right sides together with a layer of batting and sew. Leave a gap so you can invert! Then invert and iron flat.
18. Pin it.
19. Quit it. In the image below you can see the different colors on the outside seam. It is approx. 1/4 inch from the edge.
20. I did diagonal lines along the ‘hers’ side which gave a good effect on the reverse. The finished products are below.
21. All the finished products together:
22. Finally With some left over squares (from the diagonal lines on the table runner) I made a few hot pads. they aren’t very big but they will work under pots, pans, and hot plates
Lessons and Mistakes: Making two different designs that should match up, is HARD to match up. I ended up cutting corners or stretching fabric so that everything would work. In addition, when quilting the fabric a seam on one side might look fine, but it would be crooked on the other side due to the mis-match. I really wish I could have make a more intricate design on the marvel side, but by the time I was done the butterflies, I didn’t want to do much more. I’m really happy with the end result, but maybe next time I will avoid dual design items.