a "one-up" placemat

March 2012

Whilst working the Oh My Stars! quilt along, I had some leftover, small 4-patches. They were very cute, in the way that small things are, and I decided *right then* to make something with them. Mainly because I was tired of making the Courthouse Step centers of the last Oh My Stars! blocks. (Procrastination can be creative!) :-)

I had 8 blocks. I bordered four in red and 4 in green, then using an on-point layout, I alternated the bordered 4-patches with plain black squares and red and green setting triangles. The bias binding was made from fabric leftover from a Victorian dress made long ago for my youngest daughter. The backing is a plain red twill.

The entire project ended up measuring 11" x 18" ... more or less a placemat size, although I had not intended it to *be* a placemat. At this point in time, I have no intention of making any more of them. I don't have enough of the specific plain red or green fabrics left to do so, although using slightly different shades probably wouldn't make that much of a difference. I'm not even sure if I have any more of the fabric used in the 4-patches, but again, I'm sure I could scare something comparable up, if I was so inclined. Which I am not.

I free-motion quilted it on my home machine, a Janome 6500, using a shiny red machine embroidery thread. I chalked in the spine of the feathers then free-motioned the feathers.

Free-motion quilting with the home sewing machine is VERY different from longarm quilting! With your home machine, you are drawing by moving the paper under the pencil, whereas with longarm quilting, you are drawing by moving the pencil. Guess which one is more intuitive? :-)

I have a lot of respect for quilters who use their home sewing machines!

I'm so pleased that I finally learned the secret to doing inside curves with feathers! (mark a diagonal to bisect the inside curve then use that line as the limit line for the outer edge of the feathers). The setting triangles got three loops and the 4-patches got a four loop design.

Personally, I think it came out rather nicely. Not perfect, but more than acceptable. :-)

For the ::ahem:: photo shoot, I used my mother-in-law's china, Rangil's "Normandie" pattern, as a place setting.

This is such pretty china ... the gold border around the circumference is a lovely embossed gold pattern.