Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Use Whatcha Got Week-Children's Placemats

We have a problem in our household when it comes to sitting down at the table. Spilled Milk. And yes, there is usually crying involved afterward.  My lil man is drinking out of regular cups, and has been doing great....but here lately he has had the dropsies or the knock-it-overs. While sitting at dinner the other night, I had a light bulb go off...amazing, I know... His cups are always sitting at the edge of the table just asking to be knocked in the floor. He needs a target spot for his cup, fork, spoon and plate. Place mats go on tables, so I must make place mats. And of course lil miss needs one too. A while back mother gave me about 50 orange place mats and I think she paid a buck for all of them because the store was goin' outta biz-nass. They have been sitting in my pantry fo-EVUH. Now, I have a perfect project to use them in(only 48 left:o)). Anyway, here's a tutorial on how to make your own place mats:o)
-Vinyl place mat (base)
-Fabric of your choosing(2 coordinating colors/patterns)
-Iron-on Stabilizer
-Rotary cutter
-Patterns for plate, cup, spoon, and fork.(I will post these when I can figure out how to;o))
-Clear plastic Vinyl(top)
-Double wide bias tape
How to assemble:
Lay your base fabric on the place mat. With your rotary cutter, carefully cut around the place mat. 

Make sure that all the edges are even. Next you will need to pin your base fabric to the stabilizer. Cut it out and iron in place. 
Grab your patterns(I actually made the circles on Word, and looked on clip art for a fork and spoon that I thought would work). Lay the patterns out on your secondary fabric for a dry run, just to see how much fabric you will need. Cut the fabric to size, cut stabilizer to fit that size and iron. Pin the patterns to the fabric and cut. It's easier to do it this way, especially when it comes to cutting out the fork. 

Now it's time to applique. When I applique, I always use a tight stitch because I don't like to see any gaps. However, in this particular case, I went with a looser zig-zag to keep everything flat. Pin the cut out patterns into place. Make sure that everything is even. Start stitching. I  kept the place mat rolled up so that it would be easier to maneuver while stitching.

Here's what you have after it's all sewn in place.... Something seemed to be missing, so I added "Let's Eat" at the top left with my embroidery machine.

Sew the base fabric to the vinyl place mat. There is usually a textured side and a smooth side. Make sure that the textured side is facing down. Line up all edges and start sewing.

After making it all the way around, it's time to apply the clear vinyl. When purchasing vinyl, it is usually rolled up in tissue paper with printing. Use this while sewing on top of the vinyl so that it will actually make it thru the machine. Cut the vinyl just a little bit larger than the actual place mat just in case there is any slipping. It's really no use in trying to pin this stuff together because it's thick and it will buckle up. The vinyl goes on top of the base fabric, but I turned it upside down, so that I could see exactly where the place mat was...kinda hard to see thru the tissue paper:o)   Once that is done, rip the tissue paper off and trim the edges.
Last but not least, add the bias tape around the edges. This gives it a finished look. 

Now my babies have a target spot for everything when eating, and the clear vinyl on top makes clean-up a breeze:o)