2/22/12

Ramadan Placemats

Ramadan Placemats 
I made these placemats to use for Iftar (breaking fast) during Ramadan and Eid. I used a pattern called "Bethlehem Placemat" from the pattern book "Art to Heart, Star of Wonder" by Nancy Halverson, which was a gift from my mom.
Set of 4 Placemats 
For the placemat, I followed her pattern with the exception of replacing the large star with a crescent moon and star that I designed myself.  I think the original star on its own would have worked as well, and I considered doing that, but ultimately decided to make them a little more distinctly Ramadan, as there are so few good designs for us to use for holiday decorating, while Christmas items are in abundance.
Right side close-up with crescent moon and star. 

This was my first time doing a major applique project. Before this project I'd only done simple applique designs on children's clothes. This pattern was easy to follow, but I made some slight adjustments on size, as I wanted my placemats to be a bit larger than those in the book, but it was easy to adapt laying out the pattern pieces to the new size.

Left side close-up of buildings. 
I didn't quilt the placemats, I only turned and top stitched them. I plan to make an additional set of four, which will give me eight place settings, and this time I'm going to do some free-motion quilting around the background sky, as well as go back and quilt the first set. That is what planned to do originally, but changed my mind at the last minute.

Materials:
Bethlehem Placemat Pattern from Star of Wonder pattern book.
Background and backing fabric.
Small pieces of decorative fabric for applique.
Thread to match background fabric.
Thread for applique in coordinating or contrasting color.
Heat N Bond Iron-On Fusible Interfacing
Quilt Batting

Basic Instructions: Full instructions are included with the pattern. Here is a summary of the steps required to complete this project.

  • Trace the pattern pieces onto Heat N Bond or other iron-on fusible interfacing.
  • Iron on to the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Peel off backing and lay out pattern pieces on the right side of the background fabric.
  • Iron on the pieces, overlapping and layering as indicated on the pattern.
  • After ironing on the appliques, pin the background fabric, right side up, onto the quilt filling.
  • Machine quilt around all of the applique pieces. I used a blanket stitch around most of the pieces, and a straight stitch around the small pieces such as windows and doors. Use coordinating or contrasting thread.
  • Remove pins, and place the right side of the backing fabric to the right side of the now appliqued piece of fabric with batting.
  • Sew around the four placemat edges with indicated seam allowance and matching thread, leaving a small seam opening to turn inside-out.
  • Clip corners and turn inside out. Top stitch with matching thread, closing up the opening. 
  • Blind stitch the opening by hand if it is not caught in the topstitching.
  • Maching or hand quilt the background around the appliqued portions.

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