Saturday, August 17, 2013

Straight Stitched Placemat

Here is a little project you can try using the Straight Stitch tutorial from Friday. If placemats aren't your thing, you can easily adapt the same concept to a pillowcase, tote bag, tea towels, etc.

To start you will need:

A piece of fabric sized to your project.
A needle
Thread or Embroidery Floss in as many colors as you like

Decide how much of a straight stitch "pattern" you want on your fabric. I decided I Would like a placemat that had stitched stripes down just one side, but you can do what you think works best. I chose 3 colors of six strand embroidery floss and alternated them to create my pattern. I left about 4-5 inches of thread at the start and end of my stitched rows to tie off at the end instead of knotting each strand before sewing. Play around a little and see what works for you, if you are just starting out it may be easiest to tie knots at the end of your thread before you begin sewing.

After my stitches were all done, I tied 2 threads together as shown above so my stitches won't come out of my final project. I find this leave me with fewer and smaller knots that don't affect the appearance of my projects as much, but again different people like different things.

As you can see, my stitches vary in length and the rows aren't perfectly spaced, I happen to like this more organic look and think it's charming in a hand made detail. The more rows of stitches you add, the more textural your project will be. It's always great to have things around that are not only pretty to look at, but that you also want to touch and use.

At the last minute I decided I want to try to find an orange patterned fabric for the backing of this, so it is sadly sitting unfinished on my table, but to finish this you would stitch your 2 pieces (same size) together with right sides touching (pretty sides together) with a sewing machine on 3 sides, then turn it right side out before stitching the 4th side shut. I generally top stitch the outside edge of my placemats as well to help them keep their shape and lay flat.

Enjoy your stitching practice!

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