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Make a Woven Place Mat

11 December 2014 08:17

I found inspiration for this place mat in a very old Guide leaders' magazine.  I read it, put it in a safe place - and now can't find it!  So I'm trying to do this from memory / working it out as I go and I can't even give proper credit.  

I used more strips of Sarah Summers's designs from our problem printings back in September.  You could use Christmas fabric to make a mat for your Christmas table.  Or make a set as a present.  The dimensions I give here make a mat approximately 35 x 24 cms.  You could make it bigger or smaller by changing the width of your strips or by using a different number of strips.  If you're making a set, make all the tops, then trim them together, so that they are the same size.


8 strips of fabric 31 x 5 cms  (mine are brown)
12 strips of fabric 21 x 5 cms (mine are blue)
iron-on hemming web
iron-on interfacing (I like the woven sort for this type of project)
fabric for backing (approx.36 x 26 cms) and binding (approx. 112 x 6 cms)

sewing notions


1. Cut out all your strips.  If you're using fabric with a definite one-way pattern, as I did, cut the longer strips across


and the shorter strips down the fabric, so that the design on the finished mat runs across the mat.  If you use a regular or random pattern, or plain fabric then you can cut your strips any way, to make best use of the fabric.

2. Press the long edges of each strip into the middle.


3. Cut lengths of hemming web the same length as your strips and cut each one in half lengthways.  Place down the centre of each strip and press the edges into the middle, over the hemming web.

4. Pin the longer lengths onto a board.  I used my ironing board with a piece of thick fabric on it.  The strips should lie neatly side by side, with no gaps and no overlap.

5. Weave with the shorter lengths.  You can use a simple under one, over one weave, or use something a little more adventurous.  I did under one, over two, moving one place to the right on each succesive row.

6. This is the slightly tricky bit. Cut a piece of iron-on interfacing the same size as your weaving and iron it onto the back.  This involves turning the weaving over withouut it coming apart!  (Make sure there are no gaps in your weaving before you press it.  You can gently nudge the strips into place if necessary.)

7. Cut a piece of backing fabric and a piece of wadding slightly larger than your weaving.  Put the backing face down, then the wadding, finally the weaving face up and pin them together.

8. Quilt all the layers together.  You can do this by hand or by machine, using whatever pattern you like.  I machined lines diagonally across the squares.

9. Bind the edges of the mat.  You can find instructions for an inclusive backing and binding on our blog post Mug Rug.  There are instructions for one way of binding  on Old Red Barn Co's site.  There's a video showing this technique by Quilt in a Day on my Pinterest board Crafty Sewing Ideas, where you can find other help with quilt-making.

Enjoy using your mat - and don't forget to send us a photo!