For years I had been stashing away 4 fat quarters of Ella Blue Melba Magpies fabric along with the remnants from a skirt I had also made with the blue print. I had been waiting for the perfect project to use it on as I really liked the print. Last year after our overnight guest I knew what I finally wanted to use the fabric for… Placemats to use on our balcony.

It was really hard to decide the design of the placemats. The fabric print repeat was more oval shape and it is hard to find a quilt design of ovals that wasn’t applique. I wanted to use every scrap of the fabric that I could. In the end I decided to just keep it simple and do basic squares for the fronts. After first cutting a block from each colour for my QAYG hexie quilt. I cut my squares so that I could have each placemat 4 blocks wide and 3 blocks high. I randomly divided up the squares into 4 bundles. Some bundles had more of each colour but I tried to keep it even as much as possible.

On the back I got creative. I had some leftover blocks, scraps from the fat quarters and my skirt remnants. I cut large rectangles of other scrap fabric I had in my stash and foundation pieces my melba scraps on to it. This was an interesting exercise as I have never foundation pieced scraps. I had to really think of where I would place the next piece so that I didn’t leave raw edges exposed. In some areas that I didn’t think out properly I had to then add pieces over the top of to cover raw edges. I may have gone a little bit over the top as in the end I had to cut back some of my backing pieces and some got over in the binding. In my stash I found some ribbon so I used that for the binding. To be honest I don’t know how long this ribbon will last so it may need to be replaced at some point. The ribbon didn’t say it couldn’t be washed but it also didn’t mention that it could be used as a binding.

Making these I came to realise something. I am never going to be a quilter who does amazing pin point accurate quilts. My sewing lines are always going to be off. No matter how much I try my cutting lines are always going to be off even if I do use a rotary cutter and a quilting ruler. Even with my glasses on my eyes deceive me, I think everything straight when its not. I’m ok with that though. It is just who I am and how I make things. I don’t sell the items that I make so if there are small imperfections that’s ok. I try to be as neat and as accurate as I can be but if my seams aren’t perfect big deal. Accuracy and attention to detail are high priorities in some areas of my life but in my sewing life I am not going to get all OCD about it. On the odd occasion it might bug me to the point that I get out my unpicker and redo it but for the most part I’m not worried. As long as things are functional that is all I care about.

These are getting used a lot since I made them last year. It was good to finally use the fabric that I had been hoarding on to. Aside from the pieces that are to go in my QAYG quilt I still have one more project to use the blue print in. I cut out the outer fabrics for a project bag in some of the leftover fabric before I started using the scraps.


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