Simple housetop placemats

If you’re new to quilting, placemats are a great way to test out designs and practice your skills on a small  scale. Tricky techniques like joining the two ends of the binding are hard to perfect if you only get to try it when you finish a full-size quilt.

I played around with some more complicated pattern ideas, but ended up with this simple housetop pattern in solid colors–which, creative ambition aside, is the type of pattern that appeals to me. I also applied some tips I picked up from Quilters’ Academy–a dreary looking but incredibly informative book that I checked out from my local library. Many recently published books on quilting focus on the fun side of the craft–making clean, modern designs–but breeze over some of the really nerdy aspects. Starch is not mentioned. However, a hardcore quilting tome like Quilters’ Academy, volume 1 (!), goes into minute detail about how to plan, measure, cut, and stitch. Whether you like intricate or super simple patterns, getting these steps right can make even a small project like a placemat turn out just like you envisioned. I made the backs in a simple stripe pattern.

4 thoughts on “Simple housetop placemats

  1. Love the red, pale blue, pink & gray. Perfect palette. Would you consider doing a tutorial–maybe just for me? Also, what are those yummy treats on your table? Dried cherries & nuts?

  2. I use Denyse Schmidt’s book a lot to remind me of the basic steps. I find her instructions very easy to follow–and not nearly as intimidating as Quilters Academy. You follow all the steps you would for a quilt on a mini-scale. I also like the book Dare to Be Square, which has a really nice pattern for quilted placemats. (This is another easy to follow quilting book, so contradicting my advice above, but these books are an excellent starting place, because they aren’t scary or starchy.)
    Those are toppings for yogurt–berries, granola, walnuts. For some reason I was home during the week for breakfast and decided to make it a little fancy!

  3. Love the placemats! I’m still in the process of learning to quilt and the binding is what I am trying to figure out. I put a picture on my blog of my second quilt I made, but did not get a real close up picture because of the binding.

    • Thanks! Denyse Schmidt Quilts is an excellent resource for binding how-to. I use her instructions everytime I bind a quilt. I fnd joining the ends to be the hardest part, but if you follow her instructions exactly it really does work. Placemats are a great way to practice binding.

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