Monday, February 20, 2017

When all else fails, make placemats

In the late 70s I was an active member of the League of Women Voters, and one of the things I did for the organization was to make a little wall quilt for our office.  I used some nifty red-on-white patriotic print fabric that was produced during the Bicentennial, plus assorted RWB solids and prints.  It hung in the office for many years, until a big remodel/redecoration.  I found the quilt stashed in a closet afterwards, and brought it home with me, where it has been stashed in MY closet ever since.

Recently, in a flurry of cleanup frustration, I came upon the quilt and noted that it was big enough to make four placemats.

I've always joked that no quilt experiment is too weird, because you can always turn it into placemats.  Indeed, I've done that with many projects, including one that was supposed to be a show quilt but just wouldn't get quilted right.  I kept quilting (you know, all those bulgy places will quilt out....) (but they didn't quilt out...) and finally gave up at about 98 percent finished.  That one made a whole lot of placemats!

But my little red, white and blue quilt certainly had no future as a quilt.  Notice particularly the pale gray panel above the bottom LWV -- that was once a rich navy blue.  And the faded panel to the left of the middle LWV also used to be navy.  I thought the reds had held up pretty well until I cut the quilt apart and noticed that the solid red was about four shades darker inside.  I think there have been improvements in dye technology since the 70s, but isn't it funny that some of the fabrics faded like crazy and others stayed pristine?

Here are the placemats.  I will use them on patriotic occasions.


  1. They are great! A good idea! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I make pillows or travel bags with my lost souls. Something about making a practical thing out of a non-practical practice makes sense to me. Waste not want not.

  3. Great idea. This is a good solution for UFOs and quilts I've "outgrown".

  4. I like your new placemats. I'd never heard the comment about turning experiments into placemats, but I think I'll keep it in mind. The 1 bit of gray looks sort of out of place in the quilt, but just right in the placemats for some reason. Maybe it's because there's bits of gray in 2 placemats the somehow tie it all together?