Placemats and Pillows

When I started working on my quilted placements, I reminded myself to take progress photos.

Ah. Well. I had good intentions. Here is the one “progress” shot I remembered to take.


Then I got to the end before I remembered my camera again.

placemats3.jpgThese four placements took longer than I anticipated. The main reason was that I struggled to sew straight seams around the edges, even with the magnetic seam guide. I ripped out the edge seams at least once before I got them to be decent. And ripping in sewing takes more effort than ripping in knitting! Fortunately the quilting lines came out straight on the first try (probably because I drew in the lines), but I had some problems with bunching at the bottom. Perhaps a walking foot for my machine (as recommended in Sewing 101) would have helped?


The quilting lines are secured with very small stitches at the beginning and end. I tried ripping out these stitches to re-do the lines, but they are so tiny that I couldn’t get them out! In spite of the imperfections, I think the placements are still usable.


Then I started working on two log cabin pillows using the tutorial found on Dacia’s blog. The first one is the “traditional” log cabin pillow and the second is the “log cabin-ish” version. The fabrics are mostly from an Amy Butler Charm fat quarter bundle.



I feel like I’ve stalled with this project. I’m not sure whether I even like the way I’ve arranged the fabrics. In addition, I am intimidated by the next step — pinning on the batting and making the quilting lines! Can I sew straight enough to make decent quilting lines? We’ll see how I feel after a short break from this project.

I was a little bit bummed that the Apron and Recipe Swap filled up before I could join. Anyone interested in swapping with me? Have a great weekend!


31 Comments on “Placemats and Pillows”

  1. yahaira says:

    so umm when should I be expecting some placemats in the mail?

  2. Agnes says:

    Lovely placemats!

  3. trek says:

    I think that they look lovely.
    If you want to do a swap, check out my blog and we can swap sock bags and placemats!

  4. Jennifer says:

    The placemats are very pretty! I like the log cabin ones. If I could be assured of time to sew, I’d swap, but I don’t think I will. 😦

  5. blossom says:

    i was just in the fabric store today getting some linen to make table runners and napkins… what kind of interfacing/batting did you use? looks so lovely!!

  6. joyce says:

    great job! i like the placemats! i was thinking about the apron swap too but w/ a baby soon on the way i decided not to participate – next time…

  7. Jessica says:

    Those are some great looking placemats! They compliment your table well.

  8. Lolly says:

    Caitlyn, the placemats are so pretty! I love the fabrics, and I think your seams look great – mine would be all over the place! I really need to practice 😉

    Have a good weekend!

  9. Elli says:

    I think the placemats look great! Not sure what to do about the bunching–I’ve had similar problems. I would recommend masking tape to use as a straight line guide on fabric…it’s nice because you can move it around easily and reuse it a few times.

  10. elisa says:

    Okay – your placemats are wayyyyy better than just “usable”. They’re terrific!

  11. stacey says:

    Love the placemats! (I have the same glasses!) A walking foot is a godsend – I love mine! (your seams look great by the way!)

  12. Carolyn says:

    I think a walking foot might help with the quilting. I’ve never used one, but I’ve heard good things from other quilters. I’ve also heard that a sewing machine with an integrated dual feed works well, but from what I’ve seen, these machines are expensive! Good luck, and don’t be too hard on yourself about little imperfections!

  13. wow! they look great. i always forget to do my progress pics too 😉

  14. stinkerbell says:

    now… I want the place mat fabric for my flat… NOW 🙂

  15. gleek says:

    the placemats are darling. really, that circle fabric is so cute and modern. i adore it! straight lines are so tough! i know that the magnetic seam guide helps to some extent but it really comes down to practice practice practice. you’re doing really great, though!

  16. quenna says:

    I think the placemats turned out great! I still get that little bulge at the end too. Do you have a seam ripper? It makes it a little easier. I’m interested in swapping!

  17. Stephanie says:

    I love the placemats – you did a great job! I’ve been using my mom’s machine (which is a lot nicer than mine) and she doesn’t have a walking foot. I notice a big difference between my machine and hers in that regard. So, I think I’m going to have to get one for her machine if I’m going to keep using it. I really like your log cabin squares. The colors are great and I don’t think you can go wrong with Amy Butler. I didn’t even know about that swap, but it sounds like a lot of fun. I’d love to swap! And I need a cute new apron.

  18. ruth says:

    oooh, love your placemats and your pillow! your seams look so straight!! i was practicing last night and mine are wandering all over the place. i’m thinking of getting one of those magnetic seam guides, maybe that will help a bit. =P

  19. lyn says:

    Your placemats are beautiful. Really beautiful.
    : )

  20. Shannon says:

    Everything looks great. I think I need some new placemats now!

  21. Dacia Ray says:

    Your placemats turned out great! Mine were super wonky around the edges, but I decided to embrace it. The seamripper is not my friend. 😉 I’m so glad you posted pics of your log cabin pillow! This is the first I’ve seen using the tutorial. I hope it was helpful for you!!

  22. Kelly says:

    Wow, Caitlyn! Those placemats are awesome. I’m definitely gonna have to steal your idea. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Charmaine says:

    Log cabins are hard. especially when you’re using colorful fabric. But I really love the placemats. I also have a tough time with getting my lines straight. I find that sometimes a walking foot really helps, especially if I’m sewing multiple layers of fabric.

  24. Gracie says:

    I think they look fabulous! I love the fabric.

    I like the quilt blocks, but I would suggest taking a couple of days away from it and get some distance from it. It may look better to you with new eyes.

  25. Julia says:

    I *love* them!`great job and beautiful col,ors!

  26. Rebekah says:

    What great placemats, your sewing is just beautiful. I’ve always wished I would have had the talent for sewing, oh well at least there’s knitting.

  27. Jill says:

    Love your placemats. I also just got a new sewing machine (and the Sewing for Dummies book) and my first sewing project was a tablecloth and napkins. And now I really want to make attractive placements like yours!

  28. Meg says:

    Love the material you have used here again, you have superb taste. Inspires me to look beyond my usual boring choices. And yes, a walking foot helps, though they are quite expensive if you are not planning on doing a lot of quilting. I use mine all the time and I love it.

  29. Jan says:

    Your placemats are wonderful! What a great choice of fabric. Was that something new or *from the stash*?

  30. Those placemats look great! The fabric is perfect and very stylish. Even you won’t notice any wonky spots soon. Look at some store-bought ones and you’ll probably find some of the same things.

  31. Jes says:

    The placemats look great. I really, really love those log cabin arrangements. I think the colors look great together.

    Maybe make another one with scraps that you don’t like and practice sewing lines on that one? That way you don’t “ruin” the actual one, or at least don’t have to rip out painfully small stitches.