Thursday, June 15, 2017

Decorator Fabric

Recently at one of our PTA meetings, one of the members had lots of "unwanted" pieces of decorator fabric samples. I took some of the larger ones with not a clue on what to do with them. 
 They sat and sat in my studio when one day, the lightbulb went on...not a genius idea lightbulb..but a lightbulb just the same. All these beautiful samples would make great placemats...certainly sturdy enough and each one different....what fun to put on a table.
 Each person can sit at their favorite placemat and hopefully everyone will want a different one.
 I used a purchased placemat as a template, and traced around each fabric sample on the wrong side. I cut them out leaving around 1/2" beyond the marked line. I bought buckram at a local chain sewing store and cut out pieces a little smaller than the placemat.

 The buckram was stitched in place using a white thread on top and a monofilament in the bobbin so the clear thread would show on the right side. I sewed a line of stitching around 1/4" from the marked line (photo above)

One of the really fun parts was finding different backing fabrics for each decorator fabric. I used cotton fabric...some were batiks, some prints...somewere very dated but worked well. Each cotton backing was cut the same size as the decorator fabric. It was then placed right side to right side of decorator fabric and stitched around on marked line. The buckram was not caught in the stitched line.

 I switched to using neutral thread in both top and bottom for this stitching. I left an opening of around 6" on one side to right side it. This was not difficult but it was cumbersome as the buckram is stiff. The opening was stitched closed by hand. The original stitching to hold the buckram in place was left and not visible because it was a monofilament and guaranteed no shifting of the buckram (during washing etc.)
 I wound up with 18 placemats...didn't even realize how many as each fabric was so much fun and I just kept going. So here are some of the results...
 and the backing fabric used on the 3 above ...
 The Egret is my favorite one in this bunch..
 with the pretty blue tulip print on back...
 I loved the flowered ones and will probably hold up better ...
 and the backs...

I loved the dragon......
and the back.. A fun project.


  1. 18! Wow!! Talk about "waste not, want not"!!!! Very nice!

  2. These are so pretty and so much fun. What a good use of leftovers. Years ago one of my groups made placemats for Meals on Wheels and we also used fabric from decorating samples.

  3. These are fun, and a clever way to use up that furnishing fabric.

  4. What a BRILLIANT idea! They are all so gorgeous. You'd never get me away from the table :D.