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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Take Four Placemats

A quilt friend, Jan, sent our group pictures of four placemats she made.  They were really cute and I determined from the picture how they were made.  Now, John and I don't eat at the kitchen table.  We make our plates and eat in the family room watching shows we've taped the night before.  However, I had to make a set of these.  I bought an antique set of china three or four years ago that have little pink flowers around the edge.  Although the placemat design is probably too contemporary for the china, the colors will look very good together.  I host four friends for lunch a few times a year and will use them then.  When the placemats are finished, I'll take a picture of a place setting and show you how pretty the china is.  Are you watching, Deb?  You'll love them, but they're not white.

I'm used to making quilts using at least 100 different fabrics.  So much easier than picking FOUR.  I already know what's wrong.  The dark pink is too dark and bright, and the light pink doesn't have enough pattern to it.  And, they're too contemporary for the china.  Other than that, they're perfect!

All four tops are done, and the backs are cut.  They're made using the slice and dice method. I got some thin batting today and will finish and ditch quilt them tomorrow.  I'm birthing them, so no binding.  The pattern is Take Four Placemats, designed by Cary Flanagan.  Available from

I don't have Simba, yet.


  1. Those look great Barb. I think the colors are perfect.


  2. I think they're pretty! Uh, what does "birthing" mean in this context?

  3. Very pretty, Barb! I think the colors are perfect.

  4. Sorry, Kim. Birthing is putting the two fabrics right sides together on top of the batting, sewing around the outer edges, leaving a 6" or so gap unsewn, and turning the quilt inside out through the 6" gap. Poke the corners nice and pointy from the inside, press the seam allowance flat, then sew the gap closed. Then you can quilt it. The method is easy to use with small projects. For anything larger than a wallhanging, the piece is quilted first, then a binding is sewn on. I didn't want a thick binding around the edge that would cause a glass to tip over and spill. Birthing is flatter. It was called birthing when I first got into quilting almost 30 years ago, and it's still called that. I guess because the quilt comes out of this little gap like it's being birthed.