Quick & Easy Strip Placemat Tutorial Using Jelly roll Strips

We love ‘quick and easy’ sewing projects and this one certainly fits the bill. This placemat goes together with just a few strips of fabric (you can use jelly roll strips) and some backing fabric. This is a great one to use for special holidays like Halloween or Christmas by simply changing up the fabric.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

***Watch the video tutorial for this project at the end of this post***

What You Will Need

  • 6 strips fabric – 2 ½” x width of fabric (we used Moda Jelly Roll strips, but you could cut your own strips.
  • 2 strips for the sashing – 1 ½” x 12 ½”
  • 1 piece for backing – 19″ x 14 ½”
  • 1 piece of batting – 19″ x 14 ½”
  • 2 strips for binding – 2 ¼” x width of fabric

  • Take your 6 strips and sew them together using a 1/4″ seam.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Trim off the selvedges at one end.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Cut at 17″.
  • You will have enough in this sewn strip to create two placements so you can cut another 17″ section from your strip.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • From that 17″ piece, cut 4 ½” from one end and then another 4 ½” further from that cut.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Take the middle piece and flip it.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Now it’s time to add your sashing pieces. Simply sew each piece onto the rectangular pieces with a quarter inch seam.
  • Then sew all three pieces together.

  • Create your quilt sandwich, pin the quilt and quilt. Place your backing fabric face down, add your batting and then your quilt top face up.

  • We quilted the placemat using straight 1″ lines and we drew the sewing lines with a Frixion pen which disappears after ironing.

simple placemat tutorial quilted

  • Once you have finished quilting, trim the edges and attach the binding.
  • You are done!


How to Create an Art Quilt Training Course Available.

Creating an Art quilt is such a lot of fun to do. You can let your imagination and creativity run free.  But sometimes it’s hard to know just where to start. So, we created a training course to help you get started.

In this training course we take you right through the process, from start to finish. We show you how to choose your fabrics, how to cut and sew your background and how to quilt your background (and no, you don’t need to know how to free-motion quilt for this art quilt). Plus, you will also learn how to prepare, cut and sew your applique and how to finish your quilt with binding and pockets on the back so you can hang your piece of art on the wall.

So if this is something you are interested in creating, you can check out the full details of  of the  training course at http://premium.alandacraft.com/product/create-your-first-art-quilt/

Brother ScanNCut Tutorial: Creating a Halloween Pumpkin in ScanNCut Canvas

halloween, scanncut, scanncut canvas, tutorial

Halloween will soon be here so it’s time to start creating! We have a ScanNCut video tutorial for you today that will show you how to design your own pumpkin cutting file. It’s pretty simple and you can change it up to suit the look you are after.

If you have never used ScanNCut Canvas before, it is a a free piece of online software that you can use to design your own cutting files for your Scan n Cut machine. You can access ScanNCut Canvas here.

Watch the complete video tutorial below.

How to Machine Couch Without a Couching Foot

how to couch without a couching foot

Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the video tutorial.

What is Couching?

Couching is a technique where you lay yarn, thread, ribbon etc on top of you fabric and stitch them in place with a zigzag or fancy stitch, either in a similar thread or a contrasting thread.

Couching adds interest and texture to your projects. I love playing around with different wools, threads, embroidery thread, lace, wool roving, and assorted cords to make my projects pop.


Do You Need a Special Couching Foot?

A specialized cording foot is great machine accessory if you love embellishing your fabric projects. But what if you don’t have a couching foot for your machine? Well that’s okay, you don’t need to have as special foot to do this.

What Can I Couch On?

  • You can couch on just about any type of fabric, always do a test first to make sure your machine can handle it.
  • If you are using quilting or lightweight fabric you will need to add a piece of batting or some sort of stabilizer to the back, otherwise the fabric will pucker and ruin the look of your piece.  If you are using denim, canvas or a heavyweight fabric you may not need to add stabilizer. But do make sure that you do a test piece to start with as you don’t want to ruin your project.

  • You can also add the backing if you are making a quilt or bag. The couching stitches will help to keep the quilt backing into place. If you don’t want to have the couching stitches show through on the backing piece, then leave it off until you have finished couching.
  • Some project’s won’t require a backing fabric but finer fabrics will always need stabilizer.

So What Do You Need?

  • An assortment of wool, cord, wool roving, ribbon, lace and even thin strips of fabric will work. In fact you can use just about anything that your machine will handle.  Make sure the wool is not too thick. Up to about an 8 ply works well. You need to be able to zigzag over the wool etc.
  • Check your machine’s manual to make sure you have the right foot attached. It needs to be the foot that you use for zigzag stitches.

What to do Next

  • Select the zigzag stitch on your machine.

  • Place the cord, wool etc on top of the fabric, have it extend about 2″ past the edge of the fabric.
  • Line the cord up with the centre of the foot.
  • Manually test the the zigzag stitch is going to go right over the cord and that the needle isn’t going to come down in the middle of the cord and split it. You can do this by turning the hand wheel on your machine. This will also ensure that your needle doesn’t hit the foot.
  • Adjust the length of the stitch to what appeals to you. Bear in mind that you don’t want it to be too narrow as it will totally flatten the cord, and we want it to be puffed up so that it sits nicely above the fabric.
  • Once you are happy with the stitch placement, sew down the length of the cord.

  • You can just sew straight lines or do some gentle curves.
  • Geometric lines look great as well.
  • You can even draw or trace a line drawing onto the fabric and couch around it.

couching, quilting, sewing,

So as you can see there are so many options to how you can add couching to make your projects look great.

Janine Hilling Talks about Fabric & Men, Kitting & Yarns.

This afternoon I came across a couple of Podcasts by Janine Hilling on ABC Radio National, and I thought it was something I would like to share with you.

The Moth: Podcast Janine Hilling  talks about her experience in a ‘fabric wonderland’ store in Melbourne that was guarded by mafia-like stooges. I found her tale to be most amusing.

The second podcast is about men and knitting.  I found it interesting because I had an uncle who knitted back in the 1940′-1950’s. He was very adept with the needles and knitted himself vests, jumpers, cardigans and socks.  So I have never thought of knitting being a female only craft.

In this podcast Janine talks to Philip Perez a journalist who knits.

Men,Knitting & Yarns Podcast

I hope you enjoy listening to these Life Matters Podcasts.