Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thread Sketching On Place Mats

The quilt guild that I belong to, Calico Cutters, does a lot of 
community outreach projects.  It is one of the reasons that many of the women join our guild.  Our projects range from collecting and donating school supplies for Head Start to sewing and donating hats and scarves to the needy.  Sometimes we collect items, like canned goods and sometimes we sew items.  This month, we were asked to donate place mats for the Meals On Wheels program.

As much as I enjoy supporting our charitable projects, I just couldn't envision sewing place mats from scratch.  It would just be too time consuming.  I headed to the dollar store and picked up 2 different place mats.  One was hot pink with white polka dots.  
I planned to make these place mats special with a little of my own embellishing. My friend June is on vacation in Paris, and it made me think that the Eiffel Tower would be a fun theme.  I wanted to do this in a fast and fun way.  Threadsketching came to mind as a technique.  First I made a quick pencil sketch.
I used this sketch to make an outline.  With water soluble and easily tearable  staibilizer, I transfered the design to the place mat.
After free motion stitching aound this outline, I removed the stabilizer just by teaing it.  Then I filled in the rest of the structure.  And then I added the words.
I was thrilled.  For 20 minutes of my time, I was able to create a very cute and catchy place mat.  Actually, I made 3 of them.  

The next group of place mats were blue and I thought I would ty to make something that  was a little more manly.  Starting with the woven blue mats,
patriotism was my chosen theme.  After sewing a strip of fabric on the left side, I stitched the words, "Let feedom ring".  
These certainly turned out patriotic - but not as cute as the pink ones.  But I still think they will enliven the meals delivered by the Meals On Wheels clients.

While creating these placemats, it reminded me of when I bought my first Bernina and started quilting, almost 20 years ago.  Watching the demo of free motion writing on fabric bowled me over.  I thought it was so cool and I never thought I would be able to do it.  Well look what a little bit of practice can do for you!

****** And for those of you that have been sending good thoughts for my friend Kelly, who had  tree fall on the roof of her car - SHE IS HOME!!!!!  She is not paralyzed.  She will not need surgery.  She has a removeable collar, that she can take off to shower.  She is feeling house bound and is ready for some short road trips.  You go Kelly!!!


  1. This is a very cool technique. Thank you for sharing!

  2. My mom and sister are going to be so jealous of your parisienne place mats!

  3. You can make your own Eiffel Tower place mats. You just have to learn how to drop your feed dogs and practice writing.


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