The Placemats Are Done

My son bought a dinner table this spring, and he bought a house this fall. In the meantime he spent three months in Kuwait, and he’s now in Oklahoma for some training. Despite his frequent forays away from home, he is a domestic kind of guy. As soon as he acquired the table, he asked for placemats.

I shouldn’t be surprised. He grew up with placemats at the kitchen table. When he was little, we used plastic ones for him. We have several. Two of them have US maps and one has a world map. One shows the solar system and another has the presidents through Bill Clinton. There are a couple of others, as well. Here are two favorites.


When he was older I began quilting. An early project was placemats using maple leaf blocks in the centers. Jim and I still use them on our kitchen table. This photo shows a pair I made for my sister, using the same design and most of the same fabrics.


I’ve made other placemats, some for daughters and some for Meals on Wheels and some for us. I don’t much like making them. It seems like a lot of effort for something that is mostly covered when being used. But Son asked, and what’s a mom to do?

As mentioned, he’s recently moved. The house is a project, to put it mildly. (He’s also asked if we can help him paint when we visit next time.) He has red accents in the kitchen, and the couch is brown. His couch throw is a quilt I made, with blues and greens. The tabletop is stained very dark, almost black. He didn’t have a notion of what colors I should use, so I used all of them.


How much are they worth? Earlier this year I wrote about making placemats and how to value them. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t do this for just anyone. But these are a Christmas present for him, one which I’m confident will be used. That makes it worthwhile for me.

14 thoughts on “The Placemats Are Done

  1. snarkyquilter

    I learned my state capitols from one of those placemats. Glad you got the ones for your son done. I like the encouragement it should give him to eat sitting at a table. My experience with such projects is they often take longer than a quilt, what with the extra binding, and something always goes wrong with my measurements. I’ve taken to using insulbright as batting to protect the table from heat and to using an envelope finish and topstitching the edges closed.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I haven’t used the envelope or pillowcase finish, but honestly it’s the binding that is the big pain in the butt. LOTS of binding per square inch of quilt! So I should look at other methods, I guess. And yes, good point on encouraging eating at the table. My guess is a lot of meals are eaten standing up, or on the couch, even though he enjoys cooking.


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