decorating for st. patrick's day - placemat and table runner tutorial

Now that we've flipped the calendar into March are you starting to think about doing a wee bit of decorating for St. Patrick's Day?

Being fond of rainbows and ladybugs I love to include them in my holiday decorating.  I don't go crazy, just a few things displayed in our living room/dining room for us to enjoy.

A while back I picked up a metre of cotton shamrock fabric at the Thrift Store for $2.  After a quick visit to my Mom's fabric stash (thanks Mom!) for another metre of backing fabric, I was able to make these simple placemats to subtly suggest the shamrock theme.  
Here's what I did:
- Cut 8 rectangles of fabric 18"x14" (4 for the front, 4 for the back)
- With right sides together, sew a 1/4" seam around the edge leaving a 4" opening.

- Turn right side out and press with an iron so the corners are square. 

- Sew a stitch 1/8" from the edge of the placemat all the way around to close the seam.


- You may have noticed that I didn't use any batting inside my placemats.  You could easily add it to yours but we actually like that they are thinner than some of our store bought mats.

I was left with a small pile of scraps so because I also wanted a table runner for the dining room sidetable I decided to step outside of my creative comfort zone and try ... gulp ....
      q u i l t i n g !
(my Mom, the expert quilter, is smiling right now!)
So before I chickened out, I cut the scraps into 3" squares and sewed them together to make two long strips.  I then sewed the two strips to the edge of a long piece I had leftover from the placemat backing.  Once again I didn't use any batting so using the same technique for the placemats I sewed on the backing fabric and my table was ready to decorate!

Our dining room now holds several of our handmades - a rainbow votive candle holder, a bowl of rainbow needlefelted acorns, needlefelted pussy willow branches, pipe cleaner clovers red toadstools, a needlefelted ladybug, tiny painted wood ladybugs, a leprechaun (made from Wee Folk Art's pattern), beeswax candles and a glass "clover" design in the zen garden.   I hung the shamrock bunting on the outside of the hutch with a couple of toadstools and our thrifted rainbow wood stacker.

Happy St. Patrick's Day creating!
~ joey ~

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I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~