Tutorial

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I'm participating in the Mini Charm Challenge, organized by Kylie (@sewkylie on Instagram). Welcome to my tutorial for the Zig Zag Placemat.

Materials (for one placemat)

  • 18 - 2 1/2" squares from a mini charm pack (or cut your own!)
  • 3" x 8" contrasting fabric (white shown)
  • fat quarter of coordinating front fabric (grey/white round stitch shown)
  • fat quarter of backing fabric
  • 14" x 20" piece of batting
  • 62" finished binding (be sure to make a little extra)

For this project I used Fancy by Lily Ashbury for Moda. All of my seams are stitched with a shorter stitch length and 1/4" seam allowance. Seams are pressed open.

Cutting Instructions

Step 1: Cut your contrasting fabric into three 1" x 8" strips.

Step 2: Cut your front coordinating fabric into two pieces, 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" and 9 1/2" x 12 1/2".

Step 3: Cut backing fabric and batting 14" x 20".

 

Sewing Instructions

Step 1: Choose a layout for your charm squares. Each placemat will use a 3 by 6 array of squares. Here are my layouts for the two placemats I made. The beauty of using a mini charm pack is that everything coordinates perfectly!

Step 2: Stitch the charm squares into "6-packs" so you have three units per placemat, three squares wide by two squares tall. These units should measure 6 1/2" wide by 4 1/2" tall, unfinished.

TIP: To get those seams lined up as perfectly as possible, I press my seams open, and then use a straight pin right through the seams in both layers. Here, you can see what that looks like from the top and bottom. (Note: These pictures were taken from a later step in the process, but the idea is the same to build the 6-packs.)

Step 3: Slice the 6-packs in half, corner to corner. You'll need one to go the opposite direction of the other two. I have two going "downhill" and one going "uphill." I started by marking the center of my block by folding a crease into the middle of the center squares. Then I lined up my straight edge from corner to corner (a bit hard with the pinked edges on the charms) and through that center point made by my crease and the seam.

Step 4: Stitch the 1" strips of zig zag fabric into your 6-packs. The 8" long pieces should be just a smidge longer than your diagonal cut edge of your 6-pack. When lining up edges for sewing, the strip should hang past the edge of the 6-pack equally on each end, roughly 1/8" to 3/16". Piece with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. This will allow this strip to simply replace the seam allowance and the finished unit should remain 6 1/2" x 4 1/2". Viewing the back of your seam you should see the edges of the strip touching each other.

Step 5: Trim each 6-pack down to 6 1/2" x 4 1/2". This should mostly be trimming of the edges of the strip you've just sewn in.

TIP: Since the edges may be hard to line up accurately, use your ruler to line up the corner square's seams at the 2 1/4" mark in both directions.

Step 6: Piece together your three 6-pack units to create the zig zag. Here are my zig zags for two placemats. These units measure 6 1/2" x 12 1/2". Refer back to my tip in step 2 for lining up seams.

Step 7: Attach the 3 1/2" wide piece to the left of the above unit and the 9 1/2" wide piece to the right. This gives you the full placemat, with an unfinished measurement of 18 1/2" x 12 1/2".

Step 8: Quilt and bind as desired.

 

Please visit other bloggers in the Mini Charm Challenge:

Sept. 14 - Jennie at Clover and Violet: Curvy Top Pencil Pouch
Sept. 15 - Lisa at Banana Cherie: NaKoa Mini Quilt
Sept. 16 - Me. Thanks for visiting!
Sept. 17 - April at The {Studio} Blog: Mini Charm Baby Bib
Sept. 18 - Nina at Nina with Freckles: Cute as a Button Mini Quilt
Sept. 19 - Konda at Moose on the Porch Quilts: Happy Hexi Flowers Small Quilt
Sept. 20 - Mary at See Mary Quilt: Rainbow Byte Mini Quilt
Sept. 21 - Kylie at Sew Kylie: Patchwork "Sew" Wall Decor

 

2 Comments

fire trucks with laddersThese may be the second most detailed cookies I've made (second to Rapunzel). I'm mostly happy with them. I think my biggest problem was in not flooding full enough so they caved in a little as they dried. Oh, and that dent from my finger (oops!) on the cab of the bottom truck. Oh, AND how I forgot that I had made regular truck cookies and had it all in my head that I'd baked fire trucks. So yeah, you can totally make a fire truck from your REGULAR truck cutter as well. ;-)

All my icing is flood consistency, 18-20 second icing. I didn't pipe around the borders, but you could. Here's how I did it.

Make white windows on the cab of the truck.
Make white windows on the cab of the truck.
Make black tires.
Make black tires.
Fill the tires with white. (Since it's wet-on-wet you can fill enough to connect to the black.)
Fill the tires with white. (Since it's wet-on-wet you can fill enough to connect to the black.)
Make grey along the bottom edge... I wasn't thrilled with how this came out, I came a little too close to the wheels in some cases -- I think I'd pipe a border for this part before flooding next time.)
Make grey along the bottom edge... I wasn't thrilled with how this came out, I came a little too close to the wheels in some cases -- I think I'd pipe a border for this part before flooding next time.)
Floor red for the body of the truck, getting nice and close to fill in up against the windows (that have hardened up a bit by now).
Flood red for the body of the truck, getting nice and close to fill in up against the windows (that have hardened up a bit by now).
Make ladders on parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to dry overnight.
Make ladders on parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to dry overnight.
Peel a ladder carefully off of the wax/parchment paper.
Peel a ladder carefully off of the wax/parchment paper.
Attach ladders to trucks with a few tiny dots of icing.
Attach ladders to trucks with a few tiny dots of icing.

Note, I highly suggest that you don't transport these with the ladders attached. I broke a ladder putting them in the box.

1 Comment

IMG_5279I'm addicted to wet-on-wet decorating of cookies. It's fast. It's flashy. I don't have to wait for anything to dry between steps. It can easily be done with ANY color scheme.

One of my favorite wet-on-wet looks is marbling. Back in my last life as a teacher, when I was single no kids and had a TON of free time I once took a paper marbling class. The methods are the same for cookies, just a different medium. Here's how I decorated a couple of the M's for my nephew's birthday earlier this month. I'm using all flood icing here of the same consistency, about 18- to 20-second icing.

Start with a cookie. ;-)
Start with a cookie. ;-)
Flood the cookie with your choice of background color.
Flood the cookie with your choice of background color.

One of the keys to this method is to work fast. I wouldn't advise doing more than one cookie at a time, especially if you're doing larger cookies.

Without letting the background icing dry, use your first accent color to make stripes.
Without letting the background icing dry, use your first accent color to make wet-on-wet stripes.
Repeat with any additional accent colors.
Repeat with any additional accent colors.
While the icing is still wet, use a toothpick or boo boo stick to drag lines perpendicular to the stripes you created. Wipe off the toothpick after each pass.
While the icing is still wet, use a toothpick or boo boo stick to drag evenly spaced lines, perpendicular to the stripes you created (mine go down). Wipe off the toothpick after each pass.

The above would be a perfectly lovely marbled cookie and you can stop there for one look. You can vary it's appearance by making the lines with the toothpick closer together if you like. Or...

Using the same method, go in between the lines you just made in the opposite direction (I went up on this step).
Using the same method, go in between the lines you just made using your toothpick in the opposite direction (I went up this time).

This method can be used in so many different ways and on so many different shaped cookies. You can achieve a different look by changing the order in which you make your strips and varying the tip size that you use to make your strips for different thicknesses of lines.