This week I’m teaching our first sewing class.  We just had our very first meeting to decide what kind of things people want to learn/make.  We have a wide range of students.  Two know their way around the sewing machine, two haven’t ever sewn, two have sewed very little and one lady used to have four sewing machines, gave them all away and years later bought a new machine. She’s never had it out of the box! So you see, I have a bit of challenge ahead of me!

I decided the Flip and Stitch or Quilt As You Go methods would be the easiest. At our first get-together, it was unanimous that they wanted to make placemats so I went with the Flip and Stitch method.

Here’s the finished sample placemats.



The colors aren’t exciting but I just took the first fabrics I could come across as time has been at a real premium for me lately and the coming two weeks are going to be just as hectic.   I’m using up some of the Cotton & Steel fabric which I will admit to you all is not my favorite.  When it came out in the Spring, there was a big uproar about it so I opted to buy a bundle, sight unseen.  I won’t be doing that again!  Live and learn.

Here’s how I taught this group to make the Flip and Stitch Placemat.  We are going to make two placemats so amounts given are for TWO placemats.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric A (center):  1/4 yd.  cut into two 7″x10″ centers

Fabric B:  1/8 yd., cut into 1 1/2″ strips for Border #1

Fabric C:  1/2 yd., cut into two 16″x18″ rectangles for backing

Fabric D:  1/4 yd.  cut into 2″ strips for outer border #2

Polyester fleece for batting, 1/2 yd. cut to measure 16″x18″ rectangle

Thread to match backing fabric C , or contrasting thread color


I have planned for extra fabric around the entire placemat.  This allows some “wiggle room” if the new sewist is making these without a 1/4″ foot or if she/he is unable to maintain the 1/4″.

Construction Steps:

1.  Fold the 16″x18″ rectangle of Fabric C into quarters.   While folded, crease the two fold edges, only at the outer edges. Do not press with iron.   Lay this rectangle right side down on the table.




2.  Fold the fleece batting into quarters.  Lay the folded fleece along the fold lines that delineate the center of the rectangle.  Unfold the fleece; adjust as necessary to assure the fleece is centered on the backing fabric C.  Fold it back over in half again and spray with basting spray lightly.  Lay it back down and fold over the other half.  Spray and lay down.  Smooth with fingers.


3.  Center the A rectangle the same way, by folding it in quarters and placing it along the folds in the center of the fleece.




3.  Lay the Fabric B 1 1/2″ strips across the top of the center rectangle A.  Trim the strip to the length of A.   Pin in place and stitch with 1/4″ seam.  Do the same along the bottom of center rectangle A.  FLIP the fabric strip up and press open.



4.  Lay the Fabric B 1 1/2″ strips along the edges, both left and right.  Pin in place and stitch with 1/4″ seam.   FLIP the fabric strip up and press open.


5.  Lay Fabric D 2″ strips along the top edge.  Trim the length and pin in place.  Do the same along the bottom edge.   Stitch these strips in place.  FLIP the fabric strip open and press.


6.  Lay Fabric D 2″ strips along the left and right edges.  Trim the lengths and pin in place. Stitch these strips in place.  Press open.  FLIP the fabric strips open and press.


To complete the placemats, you will now create the binding from the excess backing fabric around the edges.


7.  Measure on each edge 1″ and trim away the excess.  Do this all the way around the placemat.


8.  Fold the edge over 1/2″ which will make the edge meet up with the edge of the previous seam.  Do this along all sides.  Press.


9.  Fold the edge over again along the long sides.  Press and pin in place.

IMG_2304Square fold corners

10.  At the corner of each short edge, fold the fabric on a 45 degree angle.  Press.  Fold it again and you will have a mitered corner.   Press in place and pin.

Option:  You can decide to leave it with just square corners by simply folding the entire left and right edges right out to the end of the placemat.

11.  Stitch along the folded edge of the fabric as close to the edge as you can get.


You have completed your Flip and Stitch placemat.  Repeat all these steps again for Placemat #2.

For the new sewist, I say “Congratulations!  You have just completed your first QUILT project!

Here’s the color collection for the second set.

IMG_2302I think I could call these two sets, “Lights and Brights”.  The Brights will be put together in front of the students so they can see it go together.


I hope you enjoy this tutorial.