Machine embroidery placemats.

For more than a year I have been dreaming about embroidering with the machine, but somehow it did not happen. Then I got this sturdy old machine, with this darning feet, which I think is good for machine embroidery. Then I thought that maybe a set of placemats will be a good addition for my eat-on-the-go family. Here they are, almost finished, though now I feel they are too pretty to get all dirty with food stains. Machine embroidery is like drawing moving the paper instead moving the pencil, there is something strange and addictive about it.

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La mesa está servida.

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I painted the butterfly with fabric paint, and then I washed it before I did a very good job settling the paint with the iron, and most of the color came off, which it improve a lot the results, giving it a more watercolor kind of look. All of the placemats are reversible, so the butterfly, on the other side, is just the thread drawing, as it shows in the picture of the table.

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Lulu did this drawing, on pencil, and I embroidered it on top. She did it directly on the fabric, but i’m not that confident, so I did a sketch in paper and then I transferred it to the fabric.

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The of-white fabric is a drill, pure cotton I think. It is  quite charming, has a lot of texture and shrinks like crazy. My mother in law got it in Beersheva, at Denisse maybe, mistaken it for canvas. For the binding I used Robert Kaufman Kona cotton  and the technique I learn with while quilting. I ussed this tutorial , by Jenny Doan from Missoury Star Quilt Company. She is fun and charming, I recommend her tutorials. Basically the difference with regular binding is that the binding is folded by the center, instead of folding at both sides, like in a bias tape. I cut it 2 inches and a quarter, and I think that next time I’ll go up to the 2 inch and half, it was too tight. One of them, the one with the butterfly, I finished it in the machine and the end result was a little messy. I finished the rest by hand, the results were neater but  time consuming and boring, and sort of difficult because the drill is stiff and it is not easy to get the needle trough.

Note: The placemats are more or less, 50 X 40 cm, that makes a total perimeter of 1.8 meters. That means that 2, 2 meters of binding will bind one place mat. So, a strip of 10 inches will bind a place mat. (Kona comes at 1.1 meter width) One yard will bind 4 placemats.

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