A Picnic for Two

These are perfect durable placemats that work great for outdoor dining plus the fabric napkins to finish off your table decor.

1 Charm Pack + 1/2 yard of two coordinating fabrics

A squiggly blade for your rotary cutter.

Lots of “junk” to decorate your placemats.

You’ll also need four 12 x 18 pieces of 12 gauge plastic. It’s available at your local craft store. (If you can’t find 12 gauge, don’t worry. 8 gauge will work as well.)

Let’s start with the napkins. With the wrong side of the two coordinating fabrics together, cut two sets 18 inches square. (In the interest of full disclosure, I made mine 13 inches and they were way too small to fold!)

Stitch one inch in from the edges around all four sides. Stitch a giant X from corner to corner to hold the fabrics together nicely. Use the squiggly blade to trim around all four edges of your fabric napkins.

Have your husband fold your napkins using some fancy folding technique. (Seriously! Those aren’t my hands!)

Now on to the placemats. We’re going to have this project finished by the time Rachael Ray finishes her 30 Minute Meal!

Take your charm pack, and cutting several pieces at a time, trim around all four sides with your squiggly blade. Don’t be fussy!

Now subcut the pieces into odd shapes.

Now you get to cut off all the petals of that pretty silk flower.

Lay out one piece of the plastic on your cutting table. Arrange all the “junk” on the piece of plastic. Play with the layout until you’re pleased with the way it looks. Place the second piece of plastic over the top of your first piece. Press out the air bubbles. Static electricity should hold the whole thing in place.

Carefully carry the placemat to your sewing machine and stitch around the edges. Then begin randomly stitching across the placemat to hold the pieces in place. (Watch out for the gems or buttons you may have added.) When you’ve completed your stitching, use your squiggly rotary cutter to trim your edges.

You now have an adorable placemat that wipes off easily and is great for outdoor dining.

These would be easy to personalize. Letters could be cut from fabric or you could purchase foam letters. Even paper would work well. Or how about take home gifts for a birthday party? The possibilities are endless.

Two placemats with coordinating fabric napkins.

Bon Appetit!

Maria at passingdowncrazy.

Funky Quilted Binder Cover

1/2 yard of a large scale print
2 fat quarters for pockets
1 fat quarter for binding
1 charm pack
1/2 yard backing fabric
1 leftover piece of lightweight batting
1 1/2 yard ric rac

(I used Arcadia by Sanae for Moda)

Photo pages, scrapbook pages or journal paper for binder

From your large scale print, batting, and backing, cut a piece 3 inches taller and wider than your binder. It will shrink up a bit when quilted. (My binder measures 11 1/2 x 24. Yours may vary!)

From the charm pack, cut strips 1 1/2 inch wide x 5 inches. (I used about 46 pieces for mine.) You can leave the pinked ends on them. They will be trimmed later.

Sew your first two 1 1/2 x 5 inch pieces together as shown in the photo.

Continue to add 1 1/2 strips until your braid piece is longer than the width of your large scale print piece.

Trim the uneven edges as shown.

Cut both ends of your braid piece straight, leaving them a little longer than needed.

Sew the ric rac on the long sides, 1/4 inch from the edge.

Press, turning raw edges under.

Pin the bottom edge of the braid piece 2 inches from the bottom edge of the large scale print.

Topstitch both long edges to the large print piece.

Layer your backing, batting, and top and quilt as desired. I just did a quick meander, and left the braid section unquilted.

Carefully measure your binder and cut your quilted piece 1 inch taller and 1 inch wider than the binder.

You now have a cute little mini quilt!

Cut your pockets the height of your quilted piece by 16 inches. Fold in half so the piece is 8 inches wide and press. Pin the pockets to the back of your quilted piece as shown.

The fold should be to the center.

Stitch the pockets down a scant 1/4 inch on three sides, leaving one side open for the binder.

Slide the binder into the pockets. At this point, you can adjust the size if the quilted piece is too loose. The binding will tighten it up just a bit, so don’t make it too tight. (Ask me how I know this!!!)

Cut your binding 2 1/4 wide and press. Sew binding to the quilt cover. Hand stitch your binding to the back side.

Slide your binder into your cover. Sit back and marvel at how cool it is!!!

I purchased photo pocket pages for mine and I’m using it for a wedding shower gift.

There are a million ways to jazz up those binders. All you need is a quilt the size of your binder. It could be pieced, appliqued, embroidered, monogrammed. Just use your imagination! If you send me photos, I’d love to feature them on my blog!

One very funky binder cover.

I dare you to make just one!
Maria at passingdowncrazy