Placemats – Piecing, round 2

The second batch of placemats were sewn last night. I just want to finish things right now or at least bring them to a point from which I can’t do more in that moment! Before I’ll philosophise about what this project has taught me, I’ll show you proof:

Placemat 4

Placemat 4

Placemat 5

Placemat 5 – A repetition of placemat 2

Placemat 6

Placemat 6 – A repetition of placemat 1

Someone had a brain fart when cutting the smaller rectangle of Wallpaper for the fourth placemat, so a creative solution was chosen to fix the gap. Out of an aesthetic point of view I should have unpicked some seams and made the white piece on top of the same column taller but I had ripped out two long seams by then so I went with the easiest solution.

These placemats are a milestone of a kind on my sewing journey and they will be the perfect practice project for learning how to quilt straight lines, because that is what I’ve decided to do; straight lines on each side of a column seam and the same in horizontal direction around each horizontal seam.

I’ve consulted my stash of bias tape and there is quite a lot of black of appropriate length – or that’s what it looks like to me. If I run out, I’ll purchase more. There is also dark brown but I think black will be more of a dot on the i.

Since I won’t be quilting now, but the placemats will rest for a bit, I won’t square them up at this point. So far, this project has taught me much more than expected and I’m very happy about making these placemats.

Things I’ve learned:

  • I like to see for myself; here I fearlessly combined quilt-weight fabrics with thick canvas-type fabrics and today I think it was insane due to some bad stretching etc., but I’m pleased to have the experience. If I ever face a moment where I have to do it again for some reason, I’ll work out some way of making it possible rather than say “No, it’s not doable”.
  • I’m beginning to understand the sounds of my sewing machine; the thread jumped out of the needle a couple of times and while I didn’t notice immediately, I heard a change of sound and was able to re-sew after only a few inches of no-thread sewing.
  • I know where to place the first pin so that it is of use; if placed too close to the starting point of a seam, it becomes obsolete (it hits the guide of the quarter-inch foot) before sewing has begun.
  • My sewing machine likes to make a tangle at the beginning of a seam, so I’m now using a leader suggested by some Craftsy user (thanks a bunch!) after which the real seam is chain pieced.
  • It’s not the end of the world when sewing for oneself, if a hickup happens such as the too narrowly cut piece caused by a brain fart.
  • I should expect to use the seam ripper or it will be a frustrating experience when it needs to come out. If I don’t have to use it, the sewing has been an unexpected success.
  • I need to make a pressing board because I keep burning my fingers on the ironing board when pressing seams open. Steam is hot and the energy goes into the metal grid inside the board, where it stays for quite some time. I love the height of the adjustable ironing board, so a fairly good place for a pressing board would be on the kitchen countertop.
  • It’s much more interesting to not always use one’s go-to palette; brown and beige isn’t a significant part of my normal repertoir apart from the daily cups of coffee, but violet, purple, pink, yellow, red and other bright colours don’t fit so well in my kitchen, so either I accept the “size and shape” of my kitchen or I squeeze it into a pair of way-too-tight jeans that reveal the colour of its undies.

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