Zakka Patchwork Placemats

Once upon a time, long long ago (February 4th, to be exact!) I posted a blurry and dim photo of some patchwork placemats I made for my sister‘s housewarming party.

I’d forgotten to take any pics, so she kindly sent me oodles of gorgeous photos to choose from… and I forgot to blog about them! Gomen ne, Anne! (Sorry!) 

Backstory: My sister and brother-in-law Dan (That’s Dan B, not my other BIL Dan McB!) moved from their dingy student apartment into a sweet little house. Over Christmas, Anne and I looked at fabrics online for a set of placemats. It was fun to look – but although we love many of the same things, we’ve got very different tastes! She’s got an appreciation for neutrals and delicate prints that just isn’t quite me. (Case in point: Her childhood bedroom was painted cornflower blue with white trim. Mine is ochre yellow and dark red!) 

Here are some of the prints she liked: 



I love the blue and white theme, but I don’t have much in my stash that fits that look. Well, that’s what I thought… but with a bit of searching, I came across a set of three co-ordinating blue gingham linen-blend fat quarters that I bought in Japan for just $3! (Man, I miss that store!) Add in some bright lime green prints, and huzzah, a colour scheme was born! 

Patchwork Placemats

The large and small gingham, and the heathered solid blue are from the fat quarter set, and the green polka dots and blue star/snowflakes are left from a quilt I made last year.  But my favourite fabric of all is the aqua and lime floral linen, which comes from a ragged old tea towel that always went on family canoe trips! 

Patchwork Placemats

Anne recognised it right away, which made me happy! 

Each one of the four mats has a different design.. I sketched them out quickly on paper, and estimated some measurements before cutting fabric out. It was lots of fun to sew together! 

Patchwork Placemats

*BONUS: Can you see the cute kitty fabric?)

Of course, what you can’t see here is the disaster that lays underneath! I used an old blue bedsheet for the backing (with heatproof batting inside)… and then realized that the gingham fat quarters had never been pre-washed! Of course, the patchwork top shrank at least an inch… and the well-washed backing did not! It’s a terrible bubbling mess back there. Oh well! I’m happy to report that they are getting use and being enjoyed. Thanks for putting up with my poorly planned process, Anne! 

What I enjoyed most about this project was channeling the Japanese zakka style. It was a challenge to keep things restrained and sweetly classic… and it turns out I loved it! 

Finally, another bonus: Here’s a pillow I made with an identical fat quarter set in grey. Can you guess what kind of doggies she has? 

Doggie pillow

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