Thursday 3 September 2015

Place Mats

I finished a project!!!!!!

I didn't measure properly, but they are around the size that Jean recommended, 18 inches by 12 inches (sort of nearly 45cm by 30 cm).  I used an old curtain for the back, two very worn and rather well used cotton sheets for the two layers in the middle and some new, striped blue fabric for the front.  I didn't pre-shrink it.  I really should have done.

I hand sewed them all and my fingers are a little sore, but it was a nice job to have in my hands while watching tv.  I sewed a diamond shape in the middle through all the layers, just to keep it together.  This is not quilting.  Quilting involves measuring not just ripping a piece of fabric into eight along the grain lines.  This is sort of sewing.  I marked the centre by folding the fabric into quarters and drawing around a square piece of card.

I marked the edges by measuring @ 3cms or around an inch and a quarter in and drawing a line.  All the layers were pinned together.

I hand sewed along all the lines using back stitch.  Then I cut out the corners and clipped the fabric up to - but not through - the stitching.

It's not a very good photo but you get the idea.  I then washed them and realised I hadn't pre-shrunk the new fabric.  The new fabric didn't shrink.  Instead it shed lots and lots and lots of threads.  When I got the place mats out of the dryer and shook just the worst of the fluff off them I had to sweep the floor.  There were handfuls of the threads and I put the washer onto an extra empty wash just to get the worst of the fluff out.

Then I put the place mats in the dryer.  After a short while I began to smell something funny, so I checked on the dryer.  The fluff trap was the fullest it had ever been and just from the place mats as I empty it after every load.  The mats weren't really fully dry, but still had this much fluff.

That's just from eight place mats, even after all that came off the washing machine and was scattered all over the kitchen floor, and I think I will have to go over them all with a lint roller.  However they hadn't shrunk, though they weren't fully dry, and they looked like this.

I am really pleased with them.  However I should point out that layers of old cotton are extremely flammable and while I am planning a raggy blanket, I am not planning a raggy blanket for a bed!  It is going to be a snuggly throw for the sofa, and not for when someone is asleep.  I also have a lot of lint rolling and vacuuming and sweeping to do to get up the rest of the fluff, which I suspect will keep coming.  I am so pleased with these!