sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial

This post is written by Laurel of Sing All You Want.

* * *

I’m so happy to be here sharing a fun project to spruce up your dining table and have you dreaming of warm weather eating. Think meals hot off the grill, cool crisp salads, or a bowl of ice cream. I love the look of circular placemats and how they accent a basic table setting without overwhelming the table. These feature a simple and bright patchwork design with quilting.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

This is a great project to play with scraps or go for something new and fresh with a small bundle of your favorite new fabric collection. For my placemats, I chose to feature fabrics from the Up, Up & Away collection, by Skinny Laminx for Cloud9 Fabrics. This collection is printed on organic cotton, is so soft, and has the loveliest sheen. But mostly I love how these pieces play together and make my table a bright and inviting place. Are you ready to make a set of your own? Let’s get started!

Notes:

  • Tutorial is for a set of 4 placemats. Placemats finish at ~15” round.
  • All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted.
  • If you happen to be intimidated by the idea of binding a curve, have no fear! I will walk you through it step-by-step with some helpful tips.

Supplies:

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

  • Placemat Template
  • 36 – 5.5” squares (9 per placemat)
  • 4 – 17” squares backing fabric
  • 4 – 17” squares cotton batting
  • 6 yards 2.5” bias strip*
  • Clover Wonder Clips (optional, but so helpful and useful for all sorts of sewing applications)
  • coordinating thread
  • basting spray or pins
  • walking foot recommended

*I prefer to make my continuous bias strip for binding using this method. ½ yard of fabric should yield at least 6 yards of 2.5” bias strip. Once finished, simply press your bias strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) to prep your binding.

Steps:

1) Layout 9 – 5.5″ squares in a 3 x 3 arrangement as shown below for each placemat.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

2) Assemble the placemat tops by first sewing the squares together into rows, and then sewing the rows together. Your finished patchwork block should measure approximately 15.5″ square.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

3) Baste your placemat layers together to prepare for quilting.  For small projects like this, I like to use 505 spray adhesive, first spraying a small amount on the backing fabric and smoothing the batting on top in sections, and then spraying the batting and repeating with the patchwork top.  Alternatively, you could use basting pins to secure the patchwork top, batting and backing.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

Note: I recommend using a walking foot for the remainder of the steps.

4) Quilt each placemat as desired. I chose to quilt straight lines at 3/8″ spacing. I like to use a stitch length of 3 – 3.5. I began in the middle of the placemat stitching a straight line very close to one seam. When I reached the end, I simply turned my placemat 90 degrees, took 4 stitches, turned another 90 degrees and continued with the next line. I used the edge of my walking foot to align each subsequent line.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

5) Next, use the circular template (available here) to mark and cut out each placemat. Print and cut out the tempate pieces; tape together to form a quarter circle. Then, use the assembled template to cut out 3 additional quarter circles. Tape all 4 pieces together to form a circle. The circle should measure approximately 15″. Center the template on your quilted piece, trace and cut out each placemat.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

6a) Now, let’s attach the binding that you have made to the top of the quilted placemat. Begin pinning the binding along the top edge of the placemat, aligning raw edges. Place a few pins for the first 6-7″ (do not sew here).

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

6b) Begin sewing the binding to the placemat (leaving the 6-7″ tail at the beginning) with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance – be sure to backstitch. Go slowly and be careful not to pull or stretch the binding; gently ease the binding along the curve. You should notice some slack on the opposite edge of the binding as you sew. Stop approximately 6-7″ before you reach the opposite end, backstitch and remove the placemat from your machine.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

7a) Pin the remainder of the binding to the edge of the placemat. Trim so that you have approximately 1″ overlap. Press both ends where they meet in opposite directions, as shown below. Unpin and place the binding ends right sides together. Stitch along the pressed line to connect the binding. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press open.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

7b) Finish attaching the binding to the placemat top by pinning and sewing with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Press your binding away from the top of the placemat and make sure that your placemats lay flat and your binding looks smooth (if not, it’s possible that your binding was attached too tightly).

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

8)  Wrap the binding to the back of the placemat and clip or pin in place. Try to evenly align your binding edge so that it is just past the visible seam (that you just stitched) on the back of the placemat. The Clover Wonder Clips work wonderfully here, because they hold the binding firmly in place as it is sewn from the top.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

8b) Now, stitch in the ditch or stitch adjacent to the binding edge on the top, making sure that you catch the edge of the binding on the back. I like to use a stitch length of 3-3.5 here. Again, go slowly and stop frequently to check the back. Remove clips as you go. Stitch all the way around the top of each placemat. If you have any areas where the binding is not secured on the back, you can go over them again or stitch them down by hand using a ladder stitch.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

Your binding should look nice and neat on both the front and back of your placemat. Choose a side or mix and match!

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

And, that’s all folks! Repeat for all four and you’ve got yourself a fun new set of placemats. Now, make it complete with your favorite meal and linger at your table with family or friends.

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

Fabrics Used: Up, Up & Away by Skinny Laminx for Cloud9 Fabrics (top), Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen in steel by Robert Kauffman (back), Hand Drawn Stripes in Fern from Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (binding)

sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

Laurel Krynock

I am a wife and Mom to three who I’m blessed to be with every day. As a new Mom, I taught myself to sew and quilt, and found an unexpected creative passion which I now cannot live without. I love taking a stack of bright modern fabrics, cutting them up into pieces and turning them into something beautiful and functional. Some of my favorite things are chai tea, campfires, hiking with my family, and shopping for fabric!
sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial || imagine gnats

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31 Responses to sewing: circular quilted placemats tutorial

  1. Teresa February 21, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    Ooh…I love these! Circle placemats are the best, and quilted ones are just icing!

  2. Monica February 21, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    How adorable! Love those little clips, too…

  3. Natalie February 21, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Rachel, I am freaking out a bit here. I have been making quilts for about 1.5 years and I just couldn’t find a tutorial where I would understand how to finish off the binding tails. I would just somehow fold and then stick one in the other and sew over that. And then I would always hate hate hate my bindings and we kind of embarrassed about them. BUT NOW I GET IT!!!! Thank you for such perfectly clear images and the proper wording to accompany them. You rock!!!

    Natalie
    XX

    • Rachael Gander February 21, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      oh, that’s awesome!!! isn’t it great when things just “click”?

  4. Carla February 21, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    So cute! Lovely tutorial : )

  5. Angela J. February 21, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Wonderful tutorial….I can’t Thank you enough!!! These would make a fun housewarming gift, with coasters to match.

  6. abby @ thingsforboys February 22, 2014 at 4:17 am #

    great tutorial! This is so pretty. I’ve never really thought of round placemats, but I love the look

  7. kukafera February 22, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Really beatiful!!! thanks for sharing it!!

  8. June K February 22, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    OMG, absolutely LOVE these placemats.

  9. Michelle February 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    I can’t believe I have never thought of this before! GENIOUS!
    I love the shape so much.
    I know what my new project next week will be!
    Thanks for sharing this.
    ~Michelle

  10. Michele in IL. February 23, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Carie Campbell February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Love how easy you make the instructions also love the look of the placemats.

  12. Miss Nancy February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    What a great idea for a placemat! Love it! Thank you for this great tutorial.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day!

  13. Khris February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Love it…nice and simple but looks great. I have shared your link on Freebies For Crafters.
    Khris

  14. Bek @ Just For Daisy February 26, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    These are so fabulous! Thanks for sharing – I will definitely give this a go! And those clips! Wow!! They look like an amazingly handy tool for holding binding in place! And would be great when sewing with oilcloth so you don’t have to pierce it! Thanks x

  15. Glenna February 26, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    I have out squares to make six placemats done in various coffee fabrics to match my kitchen. Can’t wait to get to sewing and then quilting and have them done! I love love love this pattern!

  16. Kathy February 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I tried quilting once a million years ago and hated it. That pattern was just too difficult with all its triangles and squares. Now, I think I will have to give it another try! The placements are beautiful and look like something a novice could handle. Thank you for such a wonderful and exceptional tutorial. I am so glad I “liked” you on Facebook!!!!

  17. Kathy February 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    These are absolutely perfect for a smaller table or any table for that matter. I can’t believe I have never thought of them…so perfect and so easy. Thanks so much for sharing. I will definitely be visiting your site again.

  18. Glenna March 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Made these and ready to bind. SOOOOOO cute! Used various coffee fabrics to match my kitchen.
    I will definitely be making more of these.

  19. Alyssa March 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    These are beautiful placemats! And the tutorial is so simple. Just wanted to let you know that I am linking to this post from my website today if you don’t mind.

  20. Emilie Denmeade May 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    I made these placemats for myself and I love them.
    I teach sewing classes at a quilt shop and would like to teach my ladies how to make these placemats.
    Could I have permission to have a class for this?
    Sincerely, Emilie Denmeade

    • Rachael Gander May 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      absolutely! we’d love for you to do that (and to see pictures!!)

  21. Fiona September 28, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    thanks for this tutorial… I made some of these and they worked out beautifully…. I love them….
    Hugz

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