Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fat Quarter Place Mat Tutorial

With Valentine's Day upon us I thought I would dress up my table with a new table runner and place mats.  I had these six coordinating fat quarters.

  I was able to make six place mats and this runner.  (All I added was yardage for backing and binding.)

I thought I would share my instructions, because sometimes I am happy to just follow along after someone else has done the figuring out for me.  These go together really quickly and would make a great gift.

From each of the fat quarters cut a 12 1/2" x 20" rectangle.  (Save the remaining strip for the table runner.)

Arrange them in a pleasing order with good contrast between the colors.

And stack them together all with the right side up. (If you have directional prints, make sure they are facing the same way.  I forgot to double check mine!)

Make your first cut through all layers on the diagonal.

Make the second cut parallel to your first, 5 1/4" down to the lower right corner.

The long diagonal should measure approximately 23 3/4".  Mark the center point of the upper left piece at 11 7/8".  Make your third cut from the corner to your mark.

Cut parallel to your last cut, 4 1/2" on each side.

To rearrange your fabric so all the place mats contain one piece of each fabric take one piece of fabric from the pile labelled "1" and move it to the bottom of the stack.

Move 2 pieces to the bottom of pile two, 3 pieces to the bottom of pile three etc.

Because seam allowances have not been included, your place mats are going to be a little wonky when first put together, but they will be trimmed up in the end.  (Here you can really see that the fabric with the white background was upside down when I stacked my fabrics.)

Pin pieces in pairs, being sure to have to 1/4" tail sticking out as shown in the yellow circles.  This will allow the right hand side and the long diagonal to have straight edges.  You are working with bias edges, so be careful not to stretch them out of shape as you sew and press.

Finally join the long diagonal seam.  Have the 1/4" extend at the top right hand corner.  The bottom left hand corner will not match up at this point.

Trim place mat to 11" x 17 1/2".

Trim the leftover fat quarter strips to 5" if you have a larger table or varying widths to fit your table.  I used from left to right:

5",  2 1/4",  5", 3 1/4",  5", 2 1/4"  5"

Sew your strips together.

 Trim to a size that fits nicely on your table, for me that is about 15" x 25".

Quilt and bind with your favorite methods.  I decided to take this opportunity to test out some different quilting designs and decided to quilt each one differently.  I was a great exercise to see what I would like to do on a larger piece.

I was very pleased with what I got out of my very small fat quarter collection!

Here is a link to a pdf copy of the above tutorial: PDF Download


  1. Those fabrics look familiar..Northcott fabrics perhaps! Great tutorial, I might just see what collections I have left and give it a try.

  2. How cute! I love the tutorial and I like making my own placemats, thanks for sharing!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Great tutorial, Lori. Now I know what I'm going to do with that Christmas fat quarter collection I ordered but haven't found a use for. Thanks!

  5. Great idea. Can you tell me if your quilting is free motion or do you have a sewing machine that does embroidery patterns?

  6. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. The detail in your pictures is great, and your quilting is beautiful. I can't wait to try this with some of my fat quarters.

  7. I was looking for an easy place mat pattern for a quick project and I think I have found it. If my first set turns out I think I will use the fat quarters I won at last year's Christmas luncheon for a holiday set.

  8. I've started making a set of placemats based on this tutorial. Thank you! Wondered if sometime you could expand on the tutorial and add more "beginner" tips?

  9. Hello! I was wondering what the final dimensions of these placemats are? I'm really keen to do this tutorial but don't know whether to adjust the dimensions or not for the size I want :)

  10. Love this! Would this pattern still work if I enlarged the starting size? I'd like the finished size to be larger.

  11. This is a great tutorial! What is the length of the yardage you purchased for the backing and binding?