I was contacted on Friday with a request to make a custom set of 6 placemats as a wedding gift. As is typical, the couple had registered for some dishware, and I was able to use the colors of the dishes as a jumping off point for fabric selection. The dishware are orange and jade, with rich cocoa and light cream accents:
I am really making a lot of placemats these days, huh? Well, I have learned a few things as I have made quite a few recently. One is that charging for the raw materials and labor like I do for baby and custom requested quilts makes the pricing of placemats unreasonably high. So I try to use up as much fabric out of my stash as possible when making placemats. I also charge a very low hourly rate ($5/hr) and a minimal fabric restocking fee ($10-$15) if I can use fabric entirely from my stash. Is this the best thing to do? I don’t know, but charging upwards of $200 for a set of 6 placemats also seems unruly.
Well, I sat down in front of my computer screen with my Kona color card and matched to the colors of the dishware as best I could. I thought that any orange fabrics needed be in the Carrot or Tangerine colors, the brown as Mohogany or similar, and the Jade green as Jade or Candy Green. I went to my stash and low and behold I had plenty of fabrics that worked!
Side note: photographing orange is hard.
I ended up down-selecting to only 3 of the greens, as that worked best for the pattern I selected for the placemat top.
The fabric I used for the lattice and binding of the placemats is a fabric I had purchased back in 2010 to use as the backing for a friend’s baby quilt. However, when I got the fabric home I realized that all the fancy “swirls” really spelled out Coffee. I did not think that was very appropriate for a baby quilt, so I purchased something else to use for the backing and this Coffee print has been sitting languishing in my stash. I fussy cut the heck out of it, and I don’t think the word Coffee is visible in the placemats. I am so proud to have successfully used that fabric and removed it from my stash – it is all gone! Yeah! Have you ever had a fabric mistake like that?
I quilted an all over meandering loop pattern for the placemats. I used a variegated orange thread in the bobbin and a teal thread for the top.
I did so much fussy cutting of the binding fabric that I ended up a bit short, so you might notice that 3 of the set have an additional orange accent as part of the binding.
Each placemat finished out at 13″ tall by 19″ wide (prewash).
The backing for each placemat is a solid orange batik that is also used in the piecing for the top of the placemats.
Overall, I really love how these turned out. I think they are a rather stunning color combination that I would have never really put together on my own without the dishware inspiration. I like it so much I keep thinking about the remaining fabric and wondering if there is enough for a set of 2 placemats for my husband and I.