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Happy Holidays with Ty Pennington Impressions: Ty Pennington Placemats

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This week we dive into the rich, bold colors and patterns of Ty Pennington. You likely recognize this charismatic home design guru from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where his creativity and coordination have helped transform the lives of thousands and inspired millions of DIYers around the world. His latest Fall 2012 Collection for Ty Pennington Impressions is drop dead gorgeous. The riveting jewel tones are spot-on for the holidays, yet the palettes are diverse enough, with a variety of both warm and cool tones, that you can easily imagine the fabric livening up your projects well into Spring and Summer. I'm picturing a spring market tote, a summer sundress or a trio of tiki pillows. We mixed and matched nine different fabrics within the collection to create a set of stunning holiday placemats. A thick floss running stitch across the border adds a subtle dash of handmade style.

We have four weeks of holiday happiness planned with Ty Pennington as well as three other wonderful designers. There's a full slate of fast and easy, "do-it-in-a-day" projects. Simple yet classic creations executed in gorgeous fabrics - perfect for holiday giving and decorating, with a beauty that will last year 'round. 

Each week we bring you a new collection from a different designer. Last week, you met Melissa White of Rowan Fabrics. This week our dance partner is Ty Pennington. Later this month, we'll explore Verna Mosquera's Pirouette and Amy Butler's Alchemy.

Ty's new collection will be available in-store and online in December 2012. The fabric swatches have not yet been added to the official Ty Pennington Impressions website, but we expect them to be loaded soon. We'll let everyone know when that happens, and will update all our links. 

In addition, for all of the projects in our series, we've put together a handy Where to Buy Retailer Locator, giving you a fast and easy way to source the fabrics we are featuring from both brick and mortar stores in your area (the page is broken out by state) as well as online options. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

The ingredients shown below are for ONE 20" wide x 14" high placemat. Because we were extra fussy about our fussy cutting, we opted to work with a larger piece of fabric than absolutely necessary. If you too are extra fussy, go with the greater yardage listed below. If you are less fussy, the smaller yardage will work fine. If you are new to fussy cutting, check out our handy step-by-step tutorial.

  • ½ - ¾ yard of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for the front top panel
  • ½ - ¾ yard of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for the back panel
  • ¼ - ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for front bottom panel
  • For our four mix-and-match placemats, we used the following fabric combinations from Ty Pennington's Fall 2012 Collection:
    For the back of all four placemats: Chute in the Sunse colorway
    Placemat 1: Top panel is Finch in the Sunse colorway; Bottom panel is Maya in the Sunse colorway
    Placemat 2: Top panel is Abbey in the Sunse colorway ; Bottom panel is Hive in the Sunse colorway
    Placemat 3: Top panel is Lima in the Event colorway; Bottom panel is Hive in the Event colorway
    Placemat 4: Top panel is Indo in the Event colorway; Bottom panel is Abbey in the Event colorway
  • ½ yard of 22"+ wide medium weight fusible interfacing; such as Pellon's Designer's Lite Medium Weight Fusible 
  • 2 yards of pearl cotton needlecraft floss to coordinate with your fabric for the horizontal hand stitching accents; we used Anchor Pearl Cotton in a size 8
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • Tapestry needle - with a large eye and a sharp point
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper

Getting Started

Ty's fabric is beautifully bold and dramatic; and the large, flat surface of a placemat provides a great opportunity to showcase the motifs. We carefully fussy cut all our fabric to take best advantage of each pattern. As mentioned above, if you are new to fussy cutting, check out our step-by-step tutorial

  1. From the fabric for each top front panel, cut ONE 21" wide x 11" high rectangle
  2. From the fabric for each bottom front panel, cut ONE 21" wide x 5" high rectangle
  3. From the fabric for each back cut ONE 21" x 15" rectangle.
  4. From the medium weight interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 20" x 10" rectangle
    ONE 20" x 4" rectangle 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse interfacing to the wrong side of each front fabric piece, centering the interfacing top to bottom and side to side on the fabric. 

    NOTE: The interfacing is cut 1" smaller all around to keep it out of the seam allowance. This allows the sharpest corners and seams. 
  2. Pin the TOP 21" edge of the bottom front panel piece, right sides together, with the BOTTOM 21" edge of the top front panel.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the panels together.
  4. Press the seam allowance towards the bottom panel.
  5. Find the tapestry needle and pearl cotton floss. 
  6. Cut a 50" length of pearl cotton; the hand stitching needs to be done with ONE continuous length. Double the floss and knot the end. You want a nice, chunky weight so the hand stitching is visible.
  7. Hand stitch, using a simple running stitch, across the placement within the bottom panel, staying approximately ⅛" from the seam. 
  8. The stitches themselves should be about ¼" with approximately ⅛" between each stitch.
  9. Find the back panel. Place it right sides together with the completed front panel.
  10. Pin in place around all four sides, leaving a 3 - 4" opening along the bottom edge. 
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four edges, leaving that 3 - 4" opening along the bottom edge. 
  12. Remember to pivot at each corner with your needle in the down position. It's also a good idea to back-tack at each corner to reinforce them and make sure they stay sharp when turned right side out.
  13. Reinforce your 3 - 4" opening with a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam. 
  14. Clip all four corners of the placemat on the diagonal, being careful to not cut into your seam.
  15. Using the 3 - 4" opening you left in the bottom of the placemat, turn the sewn placemat right side out.
  16. Push out each corner so it is sharp and square. Use a long tool with a dull point, like a knitting needle or chopstick.
  17. Fold in the raw edges of the opening ½" so they are flush with the sewn edge.
  18. Press the placemat flat around all four edges and all four corners of the placemat. It helps to gently roll the edge of the placemat to push the seam out so the placemat layers are as flat as possible.
  19. Re-thread your machine with a coordinating or contrasting thread (we used a coordinating gray thread on all our placemats). Increase your stitch length.
  20. Topstitch ¼" all around four edges of placemat. This topstitching seals the 3 - 4" opening used for turning. We used our Janome Quarter inch foot to keep the stitching even all the way around. 
    NOTE: When deciding where to start/stop your topstitching, look for the color within the design that most closely matches the color of your topstitching thread. Also, if possible, use a lock stitch function on your sewing machine rather than backstitching to secure the beginning and end of the seam. This helps keep the stitching line clean. If you do not have this function on your machine, you can leave the thread tails long and knot them by hand.


Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michele Mishler

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Comments (7)

MarciaFlorida said:
MarciaFlorida's picture

The colors, mixture of florals and graphics, and those hexagons are beautiful fabrics for placemats.

javadiva said:
javadiva's picture

These make some simple yet striking placemats! Love them. I've always wondered what made Ty interested in designing fabric.

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

The hand stitching ties it all together...pun intended.Gorgeous and somewhat exotic.

Ladette said:
Ladette's picture

You had me at Ty Pennington! lol, sersiously.. those are gorgeous!!  

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