I imagine many new home owners go through this, but I'm a bit concerned about money lately. There's so much new responsibility now, and I'm looking for ways to cut back a bit. Fabric purchases are one place I can scale back (especially if I am going to stick to my stash diet). Paper towels are another.
It's not as random as it sounds. Every mealtime, I place paper towels down so that my herd of cats don't mess up the floor. That adds up after a while. Instead of doing that, I decided that I should sew placemats for them. They are reusable, environmentally friendly and much prettier than paper towels!
To make these, I used two layers of fabric from my stash. The back is upholstery fabric and the front is quilting cotton, also stash supplied. (The blue and cream floral fabric was originally purchased for this project, and the purple was a fat quarter from Joann's that I can't even remember why I purchased.)
I cut 13" x 11" rectangles, a breeze now with my new cutting board! These were sewed right sides together with 0.5" seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn them right side out. Then, I stitched around the perimeter and quilted the front.
This was the best shot of the backing upholstery fabric and my quilting stitches. This isn't my favorite one, or the best example, but at least it gives you an idea of how these were made. I've never really done this before and it was fun to try out different designs. My only minor regret is that the stitches aren't always that visible. Next batch I'll have to use a contrasting thread.
My final placemats measure 12" x 10" and are perfect for keeping the little monsters' messes under control.
Placemat in action, graciously modeled by Kiko.
I ended up with six for now, but plan to make a lot more. I'd like to have a large supply and be able to swap them out easily whenever they get dirty, but not have to rush to clean them before the next meal. I'd even like to sew some larger, fancier ones for the house's human inhabitants.