Past halfway through cutting for placemats

With all the proper tools at hand I was finally able to do some inch cutting yesterday. I want placemats on the kitchen table more than I want to focus on the quilts right now, the second part of the sew-along is coming up next Monday (which feels like soon to me) and yet another good reason to start with preparations for the placemats is my lack of experience in cutting fabrics. The scraps of Marimekko fabrics that I have chosen for them are another challenge due to their heavy weight, so maybe the quilt-weight fabrics will feel like a breeze to cut through once I feel more confident using a quilting ruler with rotary cutter on rather heavy fabric?

So what did I produce then? This:

Patches placed nicely on wrinkly tablecloth on top of drying rack


As you can see (sorry about the unironed tablecloth!), there are six piles forming, while the directions are for four placemats only or multiples of that number. My everyday china is the white 24h by Heikki Orvola for Arabia (iittala group) and there are six sets of it, so six placemats it is. To keep track of what to cut next, I made a system of Elizabeth’s own system, which looks like this on placemat 1 (the “colour codes” of the pattern are then rotated aka moved one down for each mat and the one which spills over, falls down, is moved back to the top):

  • Dark grey corresponds to my white stripes on black, Paasi
  • Middle grey corresponds to my black, brown and beige stripes on white, Riihi
  • Light grey corresponds to my white stripes on black, Vaakaviiva VII
  • Reddish orange corresponds to ? (haven’t decided anything other than I will have to use a fourth fabric rather than more of the ones above)

What I mean by system is that Elizabeth rotates the fabrics through the pattern and ends up having four unique placemats. I ended up fussy cutting all pieces produced so far, because the scrap of Paasi was a tall one of about 1,5 m while the width was approximately 25 cm at its widest; a remnant from sewing clothing.

Vaakaviiva VII, on the other hand, had to be cut on its width rather than length, because vaakaviiva means horizontal stripe and I wanted the stripes to be longitudinal. This in turn lead to the few white, thicker stripes to get into the middle of the cutting zone, but at least I got a practice session on fussy cutting out of it.

Last so far, Riihi, meant even more fussying, because I wanted for the dark and light sections of the patches to have visual weight to them, both in relation to the surrounding patches and the black border of bias tape; not too much black next to Paasi and not too light close to bias tape/dark inwards. Riihi was a real challenge in that sense, but incredibly inspirational to figure out.

Back to the system. Placemats 5 and 6 are the same as 1 and 2, but unique thanks to Riihi. Now I need to figure out the “red” fabric of placemat 1 and I have a feeling it won’t be easy. The project is still super exciting and I’m pleased beyond words to see how well the fabric colours go together. There is a special power to scraps that I’m only scratching the surface of!


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