Table linens are a great way to get started into the world of heirloom stitching, and a placemat (or two or four or more) is a nice, smallish format with which to practice. We'll show you two options today: hemstitching (if you are brand new to heirloom techniques) and fagoting (if you are more advanced). Both placemat designs feature beautiful borders with mitered corners and an optional monogram.
Originally developed to prevent down mattress and pillow feathers from poking through or blowing away, ticking dates back as early as the eleventh century when the fabric was made with a linen warp and a cotton weft. Today, the clean and simple look of striped ticking comes in a variety of colors and is a favorite when creating a "homespun" look to sewing and craft projects. We dipped into the lovely variety of ticking available from Fabric.com to use it as the border accent for an easy and casually elegant set of placemats with matching, all-ticking napkins.
Paper napkins are... well... paper! Cloth napkins are more beautiful, more absorbent, and more green. These pretty napkins use a technique for building patchwork strips called a 'strata.' Today you get to practice the technique to make a set of coordinating napkins. The finished set is so colorful, it will make breakfast, lunch or dinner feel like a party.
One of the fastest holiday makeovers is a tablecloth. There are really only three steps: 1) cut, 2) hem, 3) set the table. We put our Clover Hot Hemmer to use, which made things even faster. So much so, we decided to make tablecloth sets for both a long dining table and a small card table for serving. Each set features two elegant home décor fabrics from Fabric Depot: a thick and rich drapery or upholstery weight for the underlay and a gorgeous sheer for the overlay.
In browsing for a great fabric for our seasonal table runner, we kept returning to the home décor category because of the bold designs and striking colors. These traditionally heavier fabrics are where most people turn for larger projects, such as curtain panels or upholstered items, so the motifs tend to be bigger and the tones more dramatic. Not only is it beautiful fabric, it's also often thicker, tougher and more durable. Batting is usually necessary with runners made of standard cottons in order to protect the tabletop from hot or wet dishes. But with this fabric, two simple layers provided plenty of protection... unless, of course, you plan on serving sizzling fajitas at the table for your holiday dinner!
When we're brainstorming on projects for our popular ScrapBusters series, we like to give you ideas for various sizes and shapes. That's the beauty of scraps: some are tall and narrow, some are short and squat, some are simply chunks and hunks of great color and design. They're all so pretty, and we saved them for a reason, right? Because we want to use them again! Dig down for the tall and narrow pieces in your scrap stash, fussy cut them to center the prettiest possible vertical motifs, then stitch them together into this striking table runner with a subtle ruffled edge.
My brother made me laugh out loud when he said a "mug rug" sounded like a bad toupee for an ugly guy. Although a great guess, a mug rug is really a mini placemat designed to hold your coffee mug or tea cup and maybe an extra little treat, or... when placed by your sewing machine, a handy place to jab a few pins and needles as you sew. Originally, they came onto the scene as a fun excuse to use up some scraps by making an itty-bitty quilt. We took the mug rug concept a step further by turning it into a hand-sewn greeting card with the addition of our Salutation Strip through the center. Cards are a nice thought, but most eventually end up in the garbage can. Instead, create a Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Thank You or I Love You message with a purpose; an every day reminder to the recipient that they have a friend in you!
Outdoor dining takes a little creativity in order to keep everything from blowin' in the wind. Our darling, durable placemats have built-in pockets to hold flatware and/or napkins. Dining in? Hooray for the reversible! Simply flip over the placemats for whole new look – the back is pocket-free. These clever placemats are so quick and easy, you can easily whip up enough for your own table or the entire family reunion in a single weekend. You want a substantial fabric for this project: a canvas, heavy cotton duck or an outdoor fabric. We went the outdoor fabric route, which worked well and looked great. We love the bright, bold designs common in the outdoor category – perfect for casual summer meals.
The serenity of a neutral palette is so cool and calming. But sometimes, you gotta shake things up with a burst... no, an explosion of color. This set of four mix-and-match placemats uses nine different fabrics (eight for the two-part fronts and one for all the backs) in the bold colors and patterns of Ty Pennington Impressions. The riveting jewel tones are drop dead gorgeous, but the design itself is just begging for your own infusion of style. A thick floss running stitch across the border adds a subtle dash of handmade flair.
Dinner - good. Dinner with friends - better. Dinner with friends outside around a beautifully set table - best. Nothing spices up your outdoor living space more quickly than a new tablecloth. Ours is fast and easy, but also unique with a center contrasting panel that acts like a built-in runner and secret pockets behind each corner. Use these corner pockets to slip in weights that can help hold the tablecloth in place when gentle summer breezes start to blow. The bold Waverly Sun N Shade fabrics we used will keep the tablecloth looking great all season long.