beginner charm pack placemats

Hi everybody! I'd like to share with you my new placemats! Or should I call them mini quilts?! Ohmigosh these are SO easy and quick to make. I suppose that's why quilt and fabric designer Sherri McConnell teamed up with Fat Quarter Shop to design "Beginner Charm Pack Placemats." To make FOUR placemats, all you need is one regular sized charm pack (the 5" charms) and enough fabric for a narrow border, plus minimal fabric for backing, binding, and some batting.

I used Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics, and a few pieces from her previous collection, Gooseberry (I had to have that print with the geese in it!)  I wanted a summery look for my placemats, so I used the warm prints and saved the navy and olive charms for a future project.

To get four placemats with the same prints, I actually bought two identical Little Miss Sunshine charm packs, although you wouldn't need to do this if you use all the prints in a collection. Or of course, cut up your stash! I'd love to make these again in Fourth of July red, white and blue. Or maybe with Halloween, Christmas, or even birthday party prints.

I quilted them on my Brother sewing machine with a 1" diagonal grid that I marked with a Frixion pen. I love these pens because the ink disappears with the heat of an iron. I probably wouldn't use them on an heirloom quality quilt, but they worked just fine for my placemats.

I also used a coordinating but contrasting fabric on the back (it's also from the Little Miss Sunshine collection). Now I can have two looks from one set of placemats!

My regular readers might notice a whole bunch of props in today's photos! I've been prop-challenged up until now, but the only way I'll get better at it is to keep trying, right?! I always see all those beautiful photos online and wonder how people do it. I hope that you like my props... now I'm going to need a prop closet LOL!

So, here's some specific info on how to make the placemats. I watched a tutorial video with Sherri McConnell and Kimberly from Fat Quarter Shop here. It was really easy to just write down the supplies, but here's what you'll need:

  • One charm pack
  • 1/4 yard contrast fabric for side borders
  • 1/2 yard binding
  • 3/4 yard backing (I bought a yard so that I'd have some left over)
  • I used two packages of fusible fleece batting

I followed Sherri's instructions for piecing the placemats, and then finished them with the following:

  • 2 - 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" side border strips for each placemat
  • 7- 2 1/2" x width of fabric strips for binding
  • 4 - 13 1/2" x 20" rectangles for placemat backings

I hope that you'll give these placemats a try. I really enjoyed working on them. Now I need to actually USE them on my table and not fear the vinaigrette splatters!