Sewing + Quilting

Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats: A Fun, Fast Beginner Quilting Project

Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats spring vignette mirror, metal rooster

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Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to get some new decor into my dining room!  One quick and easy way to dress up any table is new quilt-as-you-go placemats.

As much as I love all things winter, it’s hard to deny the beauty of Springtime fabrics.  They are just what I need to brighten up an otherwise plain dining room table. 



Supplies for Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats

As always, I like to start with my fabric.  These placemats are so simple and can be made using scraps, Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarters or yardage.  I will be making mine with Antoinette from French General for Moda.  You can order this gorgeous line from Fat Quarter Shop!  I’ll be using Fat Quarters and maybe some yardage for my placemats.

You will also need batting of your choice.  I’m going to use up some pieces of cotton quilt batting that I have on hand.



You’ll also want to gather up the following supplies:


An easy way to be prepared for any project is to keep all your quilting tools in one place using my handy Portable Sewing Room tutorial.


Be sure to watch my tutorial on YouTube to see how easy these quilt-as-you-go placemats really are!



And remember to SUBSCRIBE and turn on the notifications so you know when ALL my new projects go up!

For full written instructions, keep on reading.


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats: Step-by-Step Instructions


When making your quilt-as-you-go placemats, you’ll want to start by deciding how big you would like your placemats to be.  The “standard” size of a placemat is anywhere from 11″ x 17″ to 16″ x 20″. Determine how big you would like your placemats to be when finished.  You might want a larger size if you have a sizable table to cover, or you might choose to make them smaller for a little kitchen nook.  It’s nice, too, to have smaller placemats for kids.  

For this tutorial, I’m making my placemats 11″ x 17″ because I want to use fat quarters for the backing.  I can get two backings out of one fat quarter at that measurement.

Next, we will be cutting our fabric.  Start by cutting your backing to your desired size.  As I said, mine will be a fat quarter piece cut in half.  Your batting will be cut at the same size as the backing fabric.  You can set those pieces aside while you cut your strips.

Decide how wide you would like your strips to be.  I’ve chosen to cut mine in 2 ½” strips from fat quarters.  I cut them along the 18″ width, so that I can get more out of the fabric.  Once you’ve trimmed the selvage and the edges, you can expect to get 8 or 9 strips, depending on the starting length of your fat quarter.  You would certainly get more if you cut narrower strips.  Because this is a quilt-as-you-go project, working with narrower strips isn’t so bad!

Once you’ve finished cutting, you can start to assemble your placemats.

Start by placing your batting on your work surface.  Layer your backing fabric on the batting with right side facing up.  I would suggest using a spray adhesive to keep your fabric and batting nice and neat.


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats fabric, batting, adhesive spray
Using an adhesive spray will help keep your batting and backing smooth without dealing with pins.


To do this, fold back half of the batting, spray the fabric with adhesive and then smooth the batting back into place.  Repeat this process for the other half.  You can then iron the fabric side to really set the adhesive.  Don’t worry – it washes out!

You’re now ready to start stitching your fabrics to the top!  Choose the layout or order of your fabric strips, and choose the direction you want the strips to go.  You can arrange them vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  I will be making a combination of these options. 


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats fabric strips, batting
Align your first two strips along the bottom edge of the batting. Stitch a ¼” seam on the long edge that is NOT along the outside.


You will start both the vertical and horizontal layouts in the same method.  Take your first two strips and put right sides together.  Lay them on the batting and align one edge, as you can see in the image below.  Using a ¼” stitch, sew the strips to the batting along the edge closest to the middle.  Don’t sew along the outside edge, because when you open up the strips, one strip will not be over top of the batting!


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats batting fabric strips
You will follow the same method for vertical stripes; simply start on the left edge instead of the bottom.


Once you have finished your stitching line, finger press the top strip open.  Take the next strip, place it right sides together with the strip you just opened, and stitch.  Repeat until the full placemat is covered.


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats batting fabric strips
Continue to add strips until you have fully covered the batting.


If you choose a diagonal layout, you will follow a similar method, except that you can mark your batting for your starting point.  If you want true 45-degree angles, use your quilting ruler to make a line on your batting with a fabric pen or folding tool.  Place your starting strips along that line and stitch.  After that, it’s the same method.


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats batting fabric strips
Even the diagonal stripes follow the same method.


After you’ve sewn all your strips in place and you’re ready to finish, trim your placemat edges.  Make sure it’s nice and square before attaching your binding.



And that’s it!  You’ve just made some really cute, super simple quilt-as-you-go placemats for a fresh look for Spring!


Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats finished binding
Adding a binding gives your placemats a lovely finish.


Be sure to check out more of my popular projects here:



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Quilt-as-You-Go Placemats spring vignette mirror, metal rooster


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