Picnic (or any!) Season Placemats: How-to Sew

Picnic (or any!) Season Placemats: How-to Sew

Pack your picnic and make your table extra cheerful with colorful placemats made with True Fabrics Avante prints. An ideal project for featuring your favorite large scale prints, placemats are a quick sew to show off your love of sewing, color, and pattern every day!

how to sew home made placemat with napkin holder

For this tutorial, you'll need 4 fat quarters for the front and back of the placemat, plus a 12" x 17" scrap of batting or foam interfacing. For the example shown here, I used Soft and Stable foam from By Annie. I love that it adds a nice amount of cushion to the placemats but has more body and form to it than batting. Using the Soft and Stable also makes the quilting step really smooth!

Let's get sewing!


  • 12" x 17" batting or foam interfacing mentioned above
  • 4 (or up to five) fat quarters (18" x 21"), or equivalent, of desired fabric: these can be all the same or different. The sample shown used different fabrics for each component to make more graphic, whimsical placemats.
  • Coordinating thread for quilting and top-stitching as well as neutral thread for piecing


fabric 1, main panel of top (large sunflower print): (1) 14" square

fabric 2, pocket (leafy print): (2) 6" x 10" rectangles

fabric 3 (orange hexagon print): (1) 14" x 6" rectangle

fabric 4, backing: (1) 19" x 14" rectangle


1. Place the foam interfacing on sewing surface and position the 14" square fabric 1, right side facing up, so that it covers the left half of the interfacing and overhangs the edges by 3/4"-1" on three sides. Use safety pins to secure the fabric to the foam for quilting.

how to sew picnic placemat with Love Sew fabrics

2. Quilt the fabric and foam layers together in your desired pattern. For this sample, I used a fabric marking pen to draw straight lines 1 1/2" apart and sewed on the lines from edge to edge.

how to make your own placemats

3. Align the two pocket rectangles 6" x 10", right sides facing. Use 1/4" seam to sew one short side. Turn, right sides facing out and press to sharpen the sewn edge. Top stitch 1/8" from the sewn edge with coordinating thread.

4. Place the quilted unit on the sewing surface with main fabric face up. Position the two-layer pocket rectangle from step 3 so that it aligns with the main fabric on the right hand and bottom edges. Make sure the TOP of the pocket unit is facing DOWN, against the main fabric. See photo below.

Position the 6" x 14" fabric rectangle right sides facing, so that it aligns with the right hand edge of the main fabric, sandwiching the two-layer pocket piece in between.

how to sew placemat with Love Sew fabric

4. Sew all the layers together with 1/4" seam. Open the pocket fabrics and press seam. Top stitch 1/8" on pocket side of the seam with coordinating thread.

how to sew a placemat with Love Sew fabrics

5. Position the backing fabric right sides facing the top of the placemat. All four fabric edges should align. Use 1/2" seam, start sewing 4" from a corner on one of the LONG sides of the rectangle. Sew toward closest corner, pivot and continue to sew three more sides. After pivoting to the fourth side, sew 4" from the corner and secure thread. This leaves an opening in the layers for turning right side out.

how to sew homemade quilted placemats with Love-sew.com fabrics

6. Gently pull all the layers through the opening so that right sides of fabric are facing out and the foam is inside. Reach through opening to push the corners out and shape the placemat. Turn the edges of the opening inside (right sides facing each other, shown above). Use an iron to press entire placemat to sharpen the edges and smooth the fabric.

7. Top stitch all four sides of the rectangle 1/4" from the edge to close the opening and finish the edges. Press again as needed.

how to make placemats with napkin holder

Finished! Now, repeat these steps to make one for every member of your crew and set the prettiest table in town. Using a fat quarter bundle of the Avante fabrics will give you 20 different prints to mix and match for an extra unique set of mats.

how to make homemade custom placemats with napkin holder

Tuck your napkin and utensils into the pocket (no more blowing napkins when you eat al fresco this summer!), add pretty dishes and colorful summery fruits and enjoy.

Find the Avante fabrics <<here>>. They are sold in pre-cut squares, strips, fat quarters and half yards in the full 20 print collection, and select prints by the yard. For the placemats you see here, I used the Solstice color selection featuring feisty shades of orange, magenta, and violet. 

Avante is also available in the Equinox color selection featuring deep jewel shades of aqua, emerald, and royal blue. Find them <<here>>

how to make homemade placemats with napkin holder

We would love to see how YOU use the Avante fabrics! Show us your table all decked out in these picnic-ready placemats. You can share on the Love Sew Facebook group, leave a review on the website, or send us a message directly at support@love-sew.com. 

We love getting inspired by all your beautiful makes and hope tutorials like this inspire you to sew along with Love Sew and True Fabrics!

Happy Stitches,


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Love this idea, could I purchase the pattern.

Cynthia Dedman

Cynthia Dedman

I would love to make the cutlery placemats, can I purchase written instructions. Also do you sell the foam interfacing.
Many thanks

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