Quilted Wave Placemats

These quilted placemats were inspired by this photo. Copied, really, but I drew all my templates freehand. I chose sea and sand colors to go with my mom’s new house on the lake. (They’re a gift for all her help when the baby comes-I finished in May, and scheduled the post for after they’ve been gifted.)

I’ve never pieced curves before, so I picked up a few tips before giving it a go. It was surprisingly easy, except for one piece that curved a little too much right at the end, where I couldn’t get a good grip to keep it in place.

This was my first time doing unmarked fmq. I tell you, there’s nothing like doing the same pattern 6 times in a row to really get it into your head and fingers. After the first couple, I didn’t even need to look at the previous ones to check that they were the same.


Quilted Tote Bag

The last couple weeks before the baby, I got on a bit of a bag kick. The first of these was a tote bag for carrying and/or storing portable projects, such as my English paper piecing hexies.

I used this tutorial as a starting point, changing the dimensions and the pattern to suit me. (I started with a flat piece 13.5″ x 26.5″, yielding a bag 10″ x 11.5″ x 3″.) I also increased the length of the handles to 22″, and used only a single layer of interfacing, 1″ wide, instead of the 4 layers you end up with following the tutorial.

I didn’t add any pockets to the tote, but I did make a little pouch with a snap closure to go inside, just big enough to hold scissors, thread, a seam ripper, and any other little tools I might need for a hand sewing project.

The fabric for both is Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz (which I love!).

I’m currently working on a slightly more ambitious beach tote with pockets and some fancy touches, but it’s slow going with a newborn in the house!

Easy Quilted Coasters

A long time ago, I made a few quilted coasters for my husband, but over the years they’ve mostly gotten lost or found permanent homes in places other than the kitchen/living room. Since our only other coasters are a set of heavy marble which must be kept far out of the toddler’s reach, I thought it was time to make a fresh set. And while I was at it, why not make some for my parents’ new house?

Our new coasters

Both sets are 2-sided, so you can flip them over for a different look. Most were quilted with a walking foot, but for the two on the ends of the photo, I was practicing my free motion quilting. I wish I had chosen less well-matching thread, since the quilting hardly shows up at all!

Where ours are solid, I played with the pattern a bit for my parents’.

My parents’ coasters

Each has one solid side and one striped.

My method evolved a bit as I went, since halfway through I discovered the existence of fusible fleece. For the first half, I needed an extra seam 1/4″ from the edge to secure the fleece to one side before sewing the back and front fabrics together (which seam I then traced after assembling the coaster to make both sides match). The fusible fleece eliminated that seam, which opened up more design possibilities for the quilting – not to mention making the coasters even faster to put together.

I made these 4.5″ square, so they’re the perfect little project for extra charm squares. I’m sure these aren’t the last coasters I’ll make!