Well it’s March, spring is coming (or so we are told, but I know that’s hard to believe in some parts of the country), and Easter is just around the corner. You all seemed to enjoy my Easter placemats with the fabric yo-yos so much, that I thought you might like a different idea to use this Easter.
Easter often means family, and plenty of young children. And what do young children mean? Messes!
Here are some placemats that the kids will love to use, and that will help you contain the mess. The silverware pocket will be a fun added element for the small ones, who can help to set their own place at the table. You may even continue to use these throughout the spring!
Materials (will yield set of four placemats):
- 2/3 yds – center fabric (bunny print)
- 1 fat quarter – accent fabric one (green polka dot)
- 1 fat quarter – accent fabric two (yellow stripe)
- 1/8 yd – muslin (to make bunny faces)
- 1/8 yd – green fabric (carrot stems)
- ¼ yd – orange fabric (carrots)
- 1 yd – fusible web
- 1 yd – fabric backing
- 1 yd – batting
- Optional: Scrap pink fabric (inside ears), Scrap black fabric (eyes and nose)
As usual with any project where you are uncertain of the fabric contents, wash and dry all of your fabrics before you get started – this will help prevent shrinkage later on.
For each of the four placemats you will need, 11”x 13” piece of center fabric (bunny print), 4½” x 13” piece of each of the two accent fabrics (green polka dot and yellow stripe).
These three pieces are sewn together using a ¼” seam allowance, the accent fabrics are on either side of the center fabric. Note: If you want, you could use a single accent fabric – and sew it on either side of the center fabric.
Draw the carrot top and bunny faces onto the paper backing of your fusible webbing, then attach to the appropriate fabric (muslin for bunnies and green for carrot top), before cutting the fabric to size.
For carrots, draw the shape directly onto your orange fabric, and stack two pieces of fabric with right sides together. You will sew the two carrot pieces together all the way around the shape, then cut a slit in the center of one carrot, trim the excess fabric away (leaving 1/8” all the way around), and turn the piece right side out. This will finish the edges of the carrot and make it very slightly 3-D in appearance.
Fuse bunny faces and carrot tops to the placemats, using the instructions for your fusible webbing. Then stitch around each element with black embroidery thread in a decorative blanket stitch. Stitch the carrots onto the placemat backing in the same manner – except for the TOP of the carrot. Leave the top of the carrot open to make this into a pocket for silverware. Note: to complete the look of this, I blanket-stitched that area too, but did not sew through to the back of the placemat – just through the carrot.
You might be tempted to skip the blanket stitch and just sew down the appliqué pieces with your sewing machine – but looking at this picture, you can see how much the blanket stitch really finishes this project off.
Complete the accents for the bunnies with fabric (pink for inside ears and a small bit of black fabric for eyes and nose) or you can embroider these elements on. I used a small bit of fabric paint to add blush to the bunnies’ cheeks. You could use buttons for the eyes and nose if you wanted (and don’t mind a slightly lumpy placemat). Another fun idea would be to add a bow-tie to one bunny, and a bow on the ear of the other (Mr. & Mrs. Bunny). After finishing this project, it occurred to me that a green napkin would make a great carrot top! What other personal touches come to your mind?
After you have finished all your appliqué and embellishments, it’s time to finish off the project – with batting, backing and binding. I used the same fabric as the center of my placemat as the binding, but if you wanted to use a coordinating purchased binding that would be fine as well.
Have fun with this, and if you make one, send me a picture – I love showing different ideas for the same project!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing