Placemats are a great way to add a pop of colour to your kitchen, especially when you use batik fabric to make them. These placemats don’t have quilting, so they are an extra-quick project.
These placemats are constructed using the modern pojagi seam, a reversible seam based on traditional Korean patchwork techniques. Because the seam is reversible, there is no right or wrong side to the finished piece. There are no raw edges.
It is different from western quilting, but still a fun patchwork project.
If you want a new challenge, this is a great one. The placemats are a quick project so it’s not a huge commitment.
It’s also a great way to experiment with new colour combinations. Even if you end up hating them, there are charities that would love hand made placemats, so feel free to donate them.
You can make these with any type of fabric, but if it is your first modern pojagi project, use something that is reversible, like a batik or a solid. If your fabric has a clear right and wrong side, you will have to be careful to get the fabrics the right way. It is possible with the reversible seam, just more complicated than normal piecing.
- Three – 2” WOF (width of fabric) strips colour 1
- Three – 3” WOF strips neutral colour
- Two – 3-1/2” WOF strips colour 2
Use any normal sewing thread. Traditionally in pojagi a contrasting colour is used and the stitching is part of the design. You can use a neutral or match one of the colours of fabric you have or a third colour.
No matter what colour thread you use, your stitches will be visible on the finished project. Don’t stress about this, just relax and enjoy the process.
Make strip sets
Join each colour one strip to a neutral strip using the simple pojagi seam method.
Take two of these sets and join them to either side of a colour two strip, with the neutral touching the colour.
Cut this strip set into 10” pieces.
If you are using older fabric that is less than 40” long, you have a choice. You can cut more strips and make another set, or you can just cut the strip set into quarters and have pieces close to 10”. It will still work, it will just mean narrower placemats.
Cut the remaining neutral/colour one strip set and colour two strip into quarters. They should be around 10-1/2” – 11″ long.
Join these onto either side of the large strip pieces. Have the colour one side out.
Trim so that all the edges are straight.
One side at a time, fold over 1/4” then fold over 1/4” again, pressing each fold well. Top stitch the fold.
It is much easier to hem one side at a time rather than attempt to do all sides at once.
Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.