17 August 2011

The saga of the blue place mats

Many, many months ago a friend contacted me about making some placemats for her to give as a host(ess) gift to her brother and his partner. She did not specify a "need-by" date, which unfortunately for me means that it ends up getting pushed from the forefront of my project list more often than not. What she DID give me is a link to photographs of their kitchen and home, which had been published in a major design publication! (I probably shouldn't divulge until the set is actually finished, out of my hands and hopefully in the home of the intended recipients). Trying to work from these photos had slightly contradictory results for me: 1.) There was the added impetus to get going and whip up something fabulous to compliment this already beautiful space,
2.) But with that added pressure (totally self-inflicted, mind you) I would start going in one direction, then deem it unworthy and start over again. This happened at least 4 times.

Too dark, not to mention a bit too conservative and "strict".

A design I was very interested in, but had trouble feeling that it was coming together cohesively, so I abandoned it (for the time being).

After beginning to work with more solids, I started pulling these various blues to compliment the photos of the kitchen I saw... My next attempt was WAY beyond my skill level... a 1-patch herringbone design to mimic the brickwork in their kitchen, but my Y-seams were AWFUL! I couldn't even finish 2 mats, much less all 8!

But, I now have 8 pieced tops for placemats (and 2-3 possibilities for backings) that I am happy with, and would be almost proud to submit for this project.

Next step is to figure out how I am going to quilt these puppies! I am hoping the folks in the Flickr group How Should I Quilt This?come up with some better suggestions than I've had run through my mind!

Right now I'm leaning toward either a loose cross-hatching (more random than measured) or just going with vertical lines at various increments. Regardless of what I choose, I am imposing a deadline... Erica is due to visit Portland at the beginning of September, and I plan to have them finished enough to show her (binding may or may not be complete) in person before sending them off. She's been too lenient on me!


  1. I'm not much of a placemat person, but your placemats have converted me! If these were in my home they would be on the table everyday (just don't know if I would be able to set food on something so beautiful!).

  2. I love them! As always - worth the wait!