Studio Snapshots | Placemats for a New FMQ Class

I’m designing a class to teach at the Redlands Sewing Center that meets once a month from Sept – May, and I want to have several small projects folks could use to make something while working on their Free Motion Quilting skills. One idea I had was a set of placemats that lets quilters practice 3 types of quilting: wide open spaces, medium sized spaces and narrow spaces. That sounds like placemats where a narrow border separates the main piece for the plate with a narrower part on one side for utensils. I’ll also use these as a way to teach how to bind totally by machine. So I chose four colors from my kitchen blues palette so that each of four placemats would have a different arrangement of the same four colors and got to work:

Because the whole point of these is to try out different quilting patterns, I want the quilting to show, and I really didn’t want to change threads a lot so I put together a practice sandwich with big chunks of all four colors and tried 3 different variegated threads:

It’s actually pretty hard to see the three different threads in these pix, but a teal to green to yellow variegated thread showed up the best while still harmonizing with the fabrics the best. 

Then I had to come up with combinations of patterns that went together, but served the three different sizes:

I’m quite happy with the combinations I came up with! And the backs look pretty cool too!