Decorative Fabric Placemats

Created By:

Carol Cruise of Carol's Zoo

Skill Level: Beginner

"Every year, hundreds of thousands of yards of discontinued decorative fabric are thrown away. I belong to a group called FabMo. We collect the fabric from the decorators, sort it and have selection days where people can come get the fabric and repurpose it by keeping it out of the landfill. Often, the fabric comes bound in a book and is assembled by coordinating colors. The fabrics I collected are perfect for the placemats." - Carol Cruise

Janome Supplies Required
  • Any Janome sewing machine with built-in Decorative Stitches. (I used the Memory Craft 12000.)
  • Satin Stitch F Foot
  • Janome Embroidery Thread
  • Janome Bobbin Thread
  • 5  Blue Tip Needle 75/11

*Size of each placemat is 12"x18" (Click here to see the image.)


Fabric and Notions Required

Click here to see the image. 

  • Coordinated decorator fabrics. I selected from 10 pieces that measured 7"x10" and I had enough fabric for two placemats. Choose fabrics that are medium to light weight, but with some body to them. Test wash a piece because many of these fabrics will hand wash well.
  • 3/4 yards of fabric for backing and binding. This should back and bind two placemats.
  • 1/2 yard of Sulky® Fuse'n Stitch stabilizer
  • Sharp pair of pinking shears

Click here to see the first image.

Click here to see the second image. 

  1. Cut a piece of plain 12"x18" paper. Use this as a guide to place your pieces. Start in one corner and lay out some interesting shapes. Cut the fabric with pinking shears to lessen raveling.
  2. Start stitching pieces together in a random pattern and press each seam open. Try not to have more than two seams intersect so as to lessen bulk. Keep adding random pieces as in a crazy quilt pattern until you fill the 12"x18" space. Carefully steam press the entire piece. 
  3. Cut the stabilizer 12"x18" and carefully fuse to the back of the piece, following manufacturer's instructions. 
  4. Cut the entire piece of 12"x18" with pinking shears. 

Click here to see the image.

  1. Choose the decorative stitches you'd like to use. I used Decorative stitches 50, 51, 55 and 90 and Quilt stitches 50, 51 and 66.
  2. Choose your Janome embroidery thread colors, keeping in mind that you want to select colors that show but don't shout! Attach Satin Stitch F Foot and test stitches on some scrap pieces before stitching. 
  3. Stitch your decorative stitches on the seams. Be sure to lock the stitch; however it won't lock if the design has not finished its cycle. In that case, tie off the threads on the backside.
  4. Press the placemat again.
  5. Cut the back lining 12"x18" and baste to back.

Click here to see the image.

  1. Cut the binding in 4" wide strips. Since this is a beginner project, you won't "mitre" the corners, they will be squared off. Attach the A Foot for regular stitching. With the right sides together, stitch one side of the binding to the front of the placemat. Repeat for the opposite side and press seams away from the placemat. Press down the seam allowance on the binding, fold in half towards the back and press in place. Grade and trim seam allowances to lessen thickness and carefully hand stitch the binding.
  2. Cut the binding for remaining two sides about 1" longer at each end and pin the binding in place. At each end, fold the extra binding to the inside and pin, making sure the edges line up on the right side. Stitch and press seams away from the placemat. Press down the seam allowance on binding, fold in half towards the back and press in place. Grade and trim seam allowances to lessen thickness. Finish hand stiching these two bindings
  3. Carefully press the placemat.

Click here to see the image.

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