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Originally created and posted by me on Sewing.com in 2001.





By following along with this project, you will learn how to create strip quilted, reversible placemats. Using the same type strip piecing method, with or without batting, you can create quilts, fabric for vests or skirt borders, or myriad other applications. This is one of the simplest forms of fabric recycling there is. For these 12-1/2 by 17 inch placemats, we used black and white fabrics for the strip pieced side and on the reversible side, we used a friendly Halloween fabric. Use your imagination - use a different type of binding, ribbons or laces for the strips, a theme of fabrics, leftover ties, or just dip into your scrap bag and go nuts. The object is to enjoy yourself and enjoy the end product - something you can be proud of to keep, give away, or sell.

For this project, we used very little in the way of supplies - two types of marking pen/pencil, sharpener for the pencil, scissors (or rotary cutter), ruler, and thread.

The first step is to choose your fabric. For the stripped side, we chose black and white fabrics in several varieties. These strips are 2 inches wide. Some people prefer 1-1/2 inches in width. It's your choice. You can use a rotary cutter or scissors to cut the strips.

For the seasonal side, we chose a cheery Halloween fabric. This is not cut into strips.

See? The Halloween goulies are smiling!

You also need to have a piece of what I call "fluff" - batting, flannel, or another not-so-lofty fluffy piece of center material. We used a bound batting, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Some people do this type of project without batting. The seasonal (back) fabric is placed right side down, the fluff is placed on the wrong side of the back, and then the strip piecing begins.

Place your first black and white strip right side up on the filling fabric. Your layers now are from the bottom to the top - back/right side down, filling, strip of black and white/right side up.

Add a black and white strip to the layers of fabric, right side down on top of the right side up strip you put down in the step above. Your layers are now from the bottom to the top - back/right side down, filling, strip of black and white/right side up, strip of black and white/right side down. Pin the right side down black and white fabric to the right side up black and white fabric through all layers and to the back. Stitch from one end of the strip to the other in a 1/4 inch (or so) seam.

Turn the top strip (the one that was right side down) over and finger press the seam open; you now have two black and white strips right side up.

Place a third black and white strip of fabric right side down on top of the second strip of black and white fabric that is now right side up. Pin and stitch from one end to the other.

Turn this strip over, finger press, and continue in this manner until you reach the other end of the placemat.

When the top piecing is done (the black and white strips), turn the placemat over so that the "back" is facing up. Stitch in a scant 1/4 inch seam around the whole placemat to hold strips in place and prepare the placemat for binding. Trim around the edges of all layers of the placemat.

Using 2 inch strips of bias fabric (for our purposes, we made bias out of black), make a length of bias tape that will encase all placemats made. We made six placemats and needed a very long length of bias tape. Use any method you like to make bias tape or purchase it ready-made.

Open the bias tape and pin on one side of the placemat.

Machine stitch the bias tape in place at about the 1/4 inch mark (be sure to catch the basting stitches from earlier in the seam allowance for the bias tape!).

Turn the remainder of the bias tape to the reverse side, fold the raw edge approximately 1/4 inch, and hand stitch the bias tape to the placemat.

When you're all done, spread them out and take a look! Beautiful strip quilted placemats to match any decor....

....with a seasonal or contrasting or coordinating back! And the best part? It wasn't hard or time consuming at all!

And here's a set of Halloween placemats that I made in 2010:



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