Welcome back for week 4 of Denim Days!
1, 2 and 3.
I made placemats for us over three years ago and they've been looking rather stained and ugly for a while. I couldn't decide what I wanted to make to replace them, though, so we keep using the old ones. I've always thought denim placemats would look nice, so I finally decided to go for it.
I wanted to use both denim and regular quilting cotton, to reduce the number of bulky all-denim seams, so I chose these two prints, both from Connecting Threads (affiliate link). I love Connecting Threads fabrics (and prices!), so I'm a little disappointed with the current state of the Canadian dollar, which is making cross-border shopping more difficult.
Gather Your Supplies
*Strips of denim from old jeans in a variety of colours. I would recommend not using thick denim. I had one pair of men's jeans that was noticeably thicker than the rest and it made for bulkier seams. You can read about how I deconstruct my jeans in this post.
*Quilting cotton in two coordinating prints
*Batting - 14" x 20" for each placemat
*Backing fabric - 14" x 20" for each placemat
*Binding Fabric - 2 strips 2 1/4" x WOF for each placemat
**For each placemat**
Black print - 1 square 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
2 rectangles 3" x 8 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 13 1/2"
Yellow print - 2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
Denim - 2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 8 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 18 1/2"
Unfortunately, I completely forgot about taking pictures for this tutorial, so we'll just pretend these pictures were taken in progress, okay? Thankfully, log cabin blocks are easy to take step-by-step pictures of after the fact.
At first I tried pressing all the seams towards the quilting cotton, but I found that at the corners of each border there were a lot of layers of denim, which made for a large bump. Pressing the seams open made for a much flatter block.
Stitch one denim 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle to each side of the black 2 1/2" square. Then stitch one denim 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom. At this point, you could trim to make sure everything stays perfectly square. I forgot to trim, which means my lines are not quite perfect, but they're pretty close. Whether you trim or not is entirely up to you.
Stitch one denim 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to each side. Then stitch one denim 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom. Trim if you want.
Stitch one black 3" x 8 1/2" rectangle to each side. Then stitch one black 1 1/2" x 13 1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom. Trim if you want.
Stitch one denim 3" x 10 1/2" rectangle to each side. Then stitch one denim 1 1/2" x 18 1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom. Trim if you want.
Layer the placemat top, batting and backing. Baste, then quilt as desired. Free motion quilting on the denim worked quite well, even over the bulkier seams. I did find I had to go slower over those seams, but other than that there was no difference compared to quilting over regular cotton fabric. I used my regular needle and Connecting Threads 100% polyester thread (affiliate link).
Join the 2 1/4" binding strips, then use them to bind the placemats.
Repeat to make however many placemats you need :)
In the meantime, don't forget that my Just the Basics mystery quilt-a-long starts next Wednesday, March 2nd. The basics are anything but boring! To make sure you don't miss a post, you can follow by Bloglovin, feedly or by email. The links are all on my sidebar.
* This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click the link and then make a purchase I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.