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My "Provence" Place Mats

Inspired by the first week of the Sew, Mama, Sew! Quilting Month Sew Along, I put together these place mats. I know I've talked about it before, but I finally finished them today!  Also, I got so inspired by the idea of French textiles and quilts, that I took a book about them out of the library.  Quilts of Provence:  The Art and Craft of French Quiltmaking.  I've only had time to glance through it, but it has some beautiful projects.  It really seems to be all about the quilting and needle working more than any sort of patchwork, but it might inspire me to be more interested in that piece of what I consider "quilting".

The front of the place mats are made from half triangle blocks, but you can see how I decided to piece the back of the mats below.  I doodle a bit until I found something that I liked the idea of, but like most of my projects when I really started putting it together it became something slightly different.  I'm always amazed at how much of a difference the fabrics make to the same pattern.  The placement of lights and darks and different hues can make the same block look unrecognizable.

I pieced some of the prints into the binding as well, which was a new thing for me.  I'm not convinced I like it since it makes picking thread for doing the binding tough.  I'm not really proficient at sewing straight lines, so I like my binding stitches to mostly remain camouflaged.  For the place mats I machine sewed the binding.  This resulted in a lot of anguish and ripped stitches for the first one until I rediscovered what I've known all along - in quilting, your best friend is your iron.  Everything is easier if you can keep the fabric cooperatively in place.


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