Sunday, January 26, 2014

Placemats for the Furry Monsters

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.


  1. I am so with you on paper towels! Why are they so expensive?!? Even the "pick a size" ones, I tear in half, LOL! This is a great idea, especially since it uses up scraps of fabric!

    1. I know! I think I've gotten pretty OCD on the topic, but I've been experimenting for months on which brand lasts the longest. It's crazy, especially since for me most of the roll goes to cat-related uses anyway. Oh well, hopefully now this frees me up to obsess over something new :)

  2. I'm with you on the money concerns of home ownership! I just wish I liked sewing for the home more than I do (I'd much rather make myself a pretty new outfit!). I may have to use your tutorial for kid placemats - the plastic ones they got from grandma are starting to look a bit gross!

    1. I'd definitely much rather make clothes for me than home-related sewing too! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have a list of home sewing projects that will hopefully help me organize, keep things clean, and/or save money, so I'm going to try to push through them.