Saturday, July 22, 2023

Chef's Kiss Placemats

I'm on a mission to shrink my UFO stack.  I know making it disappear altogether is not realistic, but I committed to not committing to new things for a month or two, so I can just play with what's in the stack and see which projects turn into finished objects.

First up, Chef's Kiss!

These were pieced back in March, so it's not a very old UFO, but I needed a finish to spur me on and placemats are quick to quilt.  They're a little slower to bind, because there's a lot of cumulative perimeter on 4 placemats and a runner, but still overall it's was a good way to kick off my UFO busting efforts.

Here's how the project started in March.  Does anyone else stack all the parts after cutting just to see the pretty stacks?

A fair bit of chain sewing...

...and trimming corners...

...and I had finished blocks.

Just a little more work led to finished tops.

These sat until last week, when I embarked on my UFO-busting mission.  I had to make a detour to the quilt shop for thread to match and basting spray.  I usually pin baste larger projects, but I prefer spray for small projects like placemats and runners.

As usual I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt these, so I started with some stitch-in the-ditch with a walking foot, hoping inspiration would strike.  In the end, I kept it simple.  Anything fancy on the placemats would either get lost in the print or be covered by the plate anyway.

I do like the double straight lines in the top and bottom print strips.  They're simple and easy yet dress things up a little.

Next up was the binding decision.  I waffled a little about using a stripe.  I figured out how to match the stripes when making the binding, but I knew I wouldn't have much control over that when I joined binding ends on each placemat.  I considered making a straight join instead of a bias join so the stripes wouldn't be offset where they joined, but this with this particular stripe I might have ended up with a particularly wide stretch of light stripes, which I thought would be more glaring than an offset in the finished binding.

Stripes pretty well matched!

In the end, the stripes lined up almost perfectly on three of the four placemats.  Not so much on the last placemat or the runner, but I don't think the offset in the binding really catches the eye unless you're looking for it. If you are looking for it, you'll find one below.

After I finished these earlier this week, I was at the grocery store and they had a really good deal on roses.  These had just a hint of peachy orange in them, and I thought they'd look just right with the orange in the placemats so they came home for a photo shoot.  

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make them look like a ball of blooms in this short vase, but there were gaps between the roses, so I popped outside and snipped some mint sprigs to fill the gaps.

Yesterday I though the mint looked taller, but I thought maybe the stalk was just floating up.  Nope.  I think it's actually growing!

Anyway, Chef's Kiss is all done. 

I've decided to write a pattern for this set.  Look for a pattern release in late August or early September.  If you don't want to miss the announcement, you can sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

I'm off to get reacquainted with the projects in my UFO stack to see which one calls the loudest.  How friendly is your UFO stack these days?  I'd love to know what you're working on!

Happy quilting,

UPDATE:  The pattern for Chef's Kiss is now available here as a PDF download, or ask for a print version at your favourite quilt shop.

PS:  The fabric is from the Fruit Cocktail collection by Fig Tree and Co. for Moda.  If you're looking for some I can share that Quilting Connection, where I bought mine, still had some when I was there yesterday, and they accept phone and online orders.


  1. A very fun, fresh pattern. Perfect for summer--or maybe even Christmas time.
    My UFO list is suffocating me! In the last 10 months I have only had two new starts--a doll quilt swap and a donation quilt. But I haven't done enough sewing on UFOs to have made a considerable difference.

  2. Lovely Joanne & must feel good to have a UFO out of the stack & finished. I've a few old UFOs, but my tub of shame is being looked at for getting done soon. This tub holds all of my "to be quilted & bound" items & oh, just remembered, there is one of your pattern quilts waiting in there too. The roses & "growing mint" are cute. Look forward to seeing more of your finishes.

  3. that's a lovely project.........goodluck writing the pattern and goodluck with the stash......


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