July 16, 2014

Free Tutorial - Summer Placemats and Flatware Pouches

At my house, we're all decked out for summertime!

Wouldn't it be fun to jazz up your own table
with fresh new place settings?
Today I'm sharing a free tutorial,
for placemats and matching flatware pouches!

For these samples, I used a few summery coordinates
I got things started with a favorite print:
with red and blue cabanas on a creamy background.

Next I chose a solid fabric,
The taupe tones reminded me of rich sandy beaches.

And now for a little zing...

To make a set of 6 placemats and 6 flatware pouches,
I used about one yard each of the Beach Huts and Linen,
plus 1/2 yard of the striped fabric.
You can cut pieces for 3 placemats,
cutting across the 54" width of home dec or curtain weight fabrics.

Let's get started making the reversible placemats.
I created pieced sections for the front sides.

For each placemat:
cut a section of the beach huts fabric,
measuring 6" high x 17 1/2" wide,
to be used as the center strip.

Add the bottom strip in linen,
cut to 3 1/2" high x 17 1/2" wide.
Add the top strip, also in linen,
cut to 5 1/2" high x 17 1/2" wide.

Here's the placemat front, all stitched and pressed.
Trim the finished front to 13 1/2" high x 17 1/2" wide.

{Keep in mind, you can use a single piece of fabric
or make a patchwork in any pattern. Design opportunities are endless.}

For each placemat cut a backing piece,
measuring 13 1/2" x 17 1/2" wide.

Pin the front and back pieces with right sides together.
Starting on the upper edge, about 2" from a corner,
stitch around all 4 sides with a generous 1/4" seam,
leaving about 2 -3 " open for turning.

Here's a tip I always use
whenever I leave an opening for turning.
I backstitch a tiny (1/4") seam
that goes from the opening to the edge of the fabric, 
as shown in the photo below.
This strengthens the opening
and also makes it easy to turn under the edge
during the pressing step.

Turn the placemat right sides out through the opening.
Use a turning tool to smooth out the side seams
and gently push out the corners.
Give it a good press,
then topstitch near all the edges.
Repeat to create a set of four...or six...
or however many you need.

Admire your gorgeous finished placemats!

And they're reversible!

Now let's make those fun flatware pouches.
For each pouch:
cut (1) outer fabric 6" x 15"
and (1) lining fabric 6" x 15".

Pin outer fabric and lining right sides together,
and stitch with a generous 1/4" seam,
just as you did for the placemats,
leaving a 2" opening on one long edge for turning.

Turn the pouch right sides out through the opening.
Use a turning tool to smooth the seams
and gently push out the corners.
Press well.

Place the pouch with the lining side up,
and fold the bottom edge up to make a 5" pocket.
Press well.

Begin stitching at the bottom fold,
and topstitch along one long edge,
across the top,
and along the other long edge.
Reinforce the stitching along the top edges
of the pocket,
since these are stress points.

These are super quick to make,
and you'll have your set finished in no time.
Look how sweet the flatware pouches look,
filled with silverware and a napkin.

They really dress up those pretty placemats,
don't you think?
These would make wonderful gifts
for Mother's Day, birthdays, wedding showers...

I made some more, to match my Cherry Kitchen decor!
They're just as much fun to use indoors.

{Also, I have a fabulous red gingham picnic tablecloth for my outdoor table.}

I feel more of these coming on...
perhaps with some ric rac trim,
or button-down flaps.

For now, I'm going to have fun using this set all summer long!

This set looks really sharp with the Beach Huts pillows
I had created last summer!

If you create your own placemats or flatware pouches,
I hope you'll let us know how yours turn out!
Feel free to leave a link in the comments,
or add them to my Flickr group here.

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  1. I really want to go to the beach now! These are so very, very cute. Love the matching pillows.

  2. Great idea and so good for many different occasions.

  3. Amy love the beach houses.... and the cherry flatware holder for kitchen is great.....I made some jean pocket holders for plastic spoons, forks and knives for the 4th of July..just added a belt loop to side and put in a bent nail,,,have a wood picnic table...and they worked great...I am going to make a holder for paper plates and napkins for next year, just make them look like a jean pocket from leg material...Great tutorial........

  4. They're all so crisp and summery and pretty! Clever silverware and napkin keepers!

  5. These placemats are gorgeous and that Summer touch! The tutorial is great, thank you so much!

  6. Hi Amy,
    Love the cool colours!!! They're super indeed. Reading
    your post has made me feel all summery!!! We're in winter
    right now!! lol
    Cheers, Anita.

  7. These are just wonderful! Great tutorial.

  8. These are AWESOME, Amy! What a great idea!! You pool area looks gorgeous too. Too bad we were closer....I would love to hang out with you there with some sun tea! :)

  9. These are gorgeous, you are very clever with your projects and tutorials!!


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