Yesterday the boys and I had planned to do yard work all day but as it happened, not only did Mother Nature have other plans (it was cold and rainy out), but Lo was feeling somewhat under-the-weather. So we all decided to stay ensconced in the warmth of our house. Of course that meant coming up with something to keep the Boy occupied. Now, I usually have some kind of crafty back-up plan up my sleeve for such an occasion. Yesterday, Plan B involved making one-of-a-kind placemats.
Now the Boy loves to craft. It's in his blood. But Lo. When I asked him if he wanted to make a placemat I wasn't actually expecting him to say "Sure." But he did! AMAZING. CRAZY. ( I thought it must be the virus talking or something...) But he actually sat down with us for probably about 2 hours helping the Boy, creating his own design, cutting the pieces. And the Boy! He had so much fun, he made two different placemats! It really was a great family rainy day activity!
Here's what we did...
Tutorial: Kid and Grown-up Placemat Fun
You will need:
- Fabric scraps
- Fabric pieces (roughly 12"x 18"), 2 per placemat (1 for front, 1 for back)
- Batting pieces ((roughly 12"x 18"), 1 per placemat
- Fabric binding
- Fusible web
- Pair of scissors
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine with darning foot
- Needle and thread
Note: Nothing was bought specifically for this project. I found everything in my stash! Bo-nus!
1. Take one of the 12" x 18" fabric pieces. This is your base fabric.
2. Using the fabric scraps and a pair of scissors, create a design by placing various scraps on your base fabric. You can reshape the scraps or leave them "as is" and just place as you like on your base fabric. The point: Be creative, do what YOU like, this is YOUR placemat.
3. Note: The kid friendly part of this activity is over. The rest should be done by you. Following the directions on your fusible web, use it to adhere the fabric scraps to your base fabric. If you're still not sure about using fusible web, here is a good fusible web tutorial link.
Here's what our placemats looked like once they were fused. Notice that some of the larger pieces were pinned in place. That was just my preference, feel free to fuse all pieces.
4. Now you will make a quilt sandwich. Place a piece of batting between your designed top piece and your back piece. Pin the sandwich together. Do this for all your placemats.
5. Free-motion quilt all your placemats. I'm still learning how to do this so my work is FAR from perfect. But I can tell you that if you have a regular old sewing machine like I do, you will need a darning foot to do this step. You also need to put your feed-dogs down (those are the little toothed pieces under your sewing-machine needle that feed the fabric along as you sew).
Note: The finished design has raw edges. The edges will likely soften and lose threads over time with washing. Once they completely fall apart, we will make more.
Here are a few details of the free-motion quilting...
Here's the Boy's first design...
Here's the Boy's second design. I love this one too. I like the way Saturn is about to collide into our house. So great. The stars are very cute too.
And here's my design!
We had a great time doing this together as a family. Perhaps you will too...
Have a wonderful day!