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Fold-N-Go Pocket Placemats {a tutorial}

2017 July 27

Picnics spark all kinds of good summer memories. And what better to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than with a whole look book of picnic ideas – including a brand new Fold-N-Go Placemat tutorial I wrote for the project!

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided the materials for this look book project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. Michael Miller Fabrics also provided the Cotton Couture solids. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. Thanks for reading! (P.S. Working with Janome is a dream-come-true for me, it never gets old! Plus, they are amazing and fun to work with, and I love their machines, which doesn’t hurt either!)

Earlier this year, Janome asked their artisans to contribute picnic-related projects for their latest look book – Cross Country Picnic – and the result is chock-full of great ideas, tutorials, and patterns. (You can read the previous look book full of projects too!)

These Fold-N-Go Placemats combine my love of impromptu picnics with the desire for a cute (and clean!) space to have them on – plus a little Maple Leaf Canadian pride.

Our set is going to live in our car so we can grab it and picnic whenever we want! This quilted project includes a matching napkin and divided utensil section. Plus it folds and buttons to keep everything tidy. I used vintage leather buttons and added a customizable leather (or vinyl) label to give it a more professional look.

Materials: (makes 1 placemat with included napkin)

  • Placemat: 2 pieces pre-washed 12″ x 18″ Essex Linen in Flax (Found at my sponsor Fabric Spark)
  • Napkin: 1 piece pre-washed 16″ x 16″ piece of linen or linen blend
  • Binding/Applique/Pocket: 1/2 yard/metre pre-washed Michael Miller Cotton Couture (I used Violet, Raspberry, Cornflower and Lime)
  • Quilt Batting: 1 piece 12″x18″
  • Fusible Web: 1 piece 8 1/2″ x 11″ (I love Steam-A-Seam 2!)
  • Matching Thread
  • One Button
  • Scrap of Vinyl or Leather for the Optional Label
  • Basting Spray or Pins
  • Removable Fabric Marker
  • Janome Skyline S9 sewing machine with these included machine feet/accessories: ZigZag Foot A, Satin Stitch Foot F, Quilting Guide Bar, AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (quilting), Automatic Buttonhole Foot R and Stabilizer plate, Knee Lifter

DOWNLOAD the FREE Fold-N-Go PATTERN PIECES ~ CLICK HERE.

Before you begin:

  • Print out the free pattern pieces (link in the materials list above) on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size.
  • Once you have printed the first page, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut the pattern pieces on the outer gray lines and tape them together if needed, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.

Cutting the Binding/Applique/Pocket:

Important: These pieces are carefully placed to fit in 1/2 yard/meter of fabric. Please follow the cutting layout carefully! 

  • Applique: Use the Applique pattern piece to cut 1 Maple Leaf in the solid accent colour. Be sure to place it as indicated in the layout above. Also cut 1 Maple Leaf from the Fusible Web.
  • Pocket: Cut 2 Pocket pieces, mirrored and placed as indicated in the layout above.
  • Binding: Cut 3 full 2 1/2″ strips along the width of the fabric and one 1/2 strip as indicated in the layout above.

Prepare:

1) Thread your machine. The Janome Skyline S9 includes Large and Small Spool holders to fit the size of your thread spool.

2) Binding: Sew the 2 1/2″ strips together to create a 147″ length (approx.) of binding using your preferred method. This will be used for the napkin and placemat.

3) Pocket:

  1. Place Pocket pieces right-sides-together matching diagonal raw edge. Pin and stitch the diagonal edge with a 1/4″ seam. 
  2. Press seam allowance open. Fold pocket wrong-sides-together along the seam, matching remaining raw edges. Press.
  3. Match and baste all raw edges with a scant 1/4″ seam. I used the Auto Basting setting on my Skyline S9.  Top-stitch the finished edge.
  4. Press the pocket in half width-wise, matching the two side edges.
  5. To create utensil pocket divisions: With the short diagonal pocket facing up (See Pic), mark the binding area with a 3/8″ seam allowance along the left and bottom raw edges. Mark another line 1 5/8″ from the left binding mark (not the raw edge), and another from the right fold. The center section will be about 1 3/4″ wide. Pin and stitch along each marked dividing line (but not the binding markings) to finish the pocket.

Let’s Sew!

1) Match the maple leaf shape to the right side of the placemat, 3/4″ up from the bottom edge. Fuse according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2) Switch to the Satin Stitch foot F and choose an Applique stitch. I used stitch #6 with a width and length of 3. Stitch carefully around your applique to secure the edges.

 

3) Sandwich the front and back of your placemat wrong sides together with the batting between them and baste using basting spray or pins.

4) Switch to your AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (or walking foot) and choose a straight stitch to prepare to quilt the placemat. I used the automatic Quilt Setting Straight Stitch option. (Note: If you do not have a machine with automatic or computerized tension, test your stitches on a scrap quilt “sandwich” before quilting.)

5) Stitch around the applique 1/4″ from the edge. Use the clear inside edge of the Dual Feed foot as a guide.

6) Mark your remaining quilt lines with a removable marker. I stitched 2 rows of 1″ wide and 4 rows of 2″ wide straight lines, following the leaf outline. Alternatively, use the Quilting Guide Bar to evenly stitch the around your applique.

7) Quilt along each marked line. Attach the Knee Lifter to easily lift and replace the presser foot. (Side note: It was so nice not to use my hands to pivot at each corner!) My favorite Thread Cutter button made trimming the threads at each edge quick and easy.

8) Place the pocket in the bottom left-hand corner of the placemat matching the raw edges. Pin and baste with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

9) Bind the placemat. I like to use Cluck Cluck Sew’s machine binding tutorial and the AcuFeed Dual Feed system. ** Don’t forget to insert your leather label! See the Janome Cross Canada Picnic look book for instructions. Place it along the back edge of the binding about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom as you sew.

10) Choose and set up your machine to make a buttonhole that will fit your button. The Skyline S9 has an automatic buttonhole system with lots of options. The buttonhole should be centered on the back edge of the placemat (sSee pics for reference). Mark a 2″ center point 1/2″ away from the binding, make a test buttonhole and mark its beginning and end points on the placemat.

11) Attach the Automatic Buttonhole foot R and included Stabilizer Plate. Sandwich your project between the Buttonhole foot and Stabilizer Plate to secure it and hold it in place. Stitch and finish your buttonhole.

12) Fold the placemat in thirds; left side first, then the appliqued side with the buttonhole. Mark your button placemat using the buttonhole as a guide. Stitch your button on securely at the marked point.

Matching Napkin:

  • Machine bind the 4 raw edges of the napkin as you did for the placemat. I used a decorative applique stitch to further secure the longer edge of the binding. Fold the napkin in quarters and then in half again to fit it into the pocket.

Insert your utensils and napkin and Fold-N-Go. Enjoy your picnic!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please email or message me anytime with questions or leave a comment below.

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I’d love to see your project! You can share your placemats on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Be sure to tag me @sherrisylvester so I can see it! Thank you!

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    July 27, 2017

    Wow! These are totally awesome! You did a wonderful job!

  2. July 31, 2017

    What a cute pattern. thanks so much for sharing.

  3. July 31, 2017

    These are adorable! Thanks so much for the tutorial… I can’t wait to make some myself for our new camper.

  4. September 22, 2017

    Wow, love, love, LOVE this! I tell you, I don’t often make projects unless I have an absolute use for them, but this one might change my mind. Thanks for the tutorial.

    • September 25, 2017

      Thanks so much Rochelle! I’m so glad :) Send a photo if you make them! Sherri

  5. November 11, 2017

    I was looking for inspiration to make some placemats and have fallen in love with your design for fold n-go with the Canadian maple leaf. As I love Canada I definitely want to make these for my own use, as well as gifts for friends. Great design, excellent tutorial.

    This definitely goes into my list of favorite tutorials.

    Thank you.

    QuiltShopGal
    http://www.quiltshopgal.com

    • November 14, 2017

      Hooray Darlene! I’m so glad you love it! Thanks so much :)

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Janome Canada Artisan: Sherri Sylvester’s delightful Picnic placemat and napkin set | Janome Life
  2. Tutorial: Fold-n-go pocket placemats – Sewing

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