Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tropical Bargello Placemats and Table Runner


January is the Placemat Challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors!

The weather has been so gloomy here lately, cloudy and rainy for weeks. I decided to use what was left of my Island Batik Tropicana Twist fabric line designed by Kathy Engle to create something bright and fun.  Tropicana Twist arrived in quilt shops in December, so you should still be able to get your hands on some.

I started out with 12 prints and put them in color order.  I cut 1.75 inch strips from each print.

Then I sewed the strips together.
As I was sewing them together, I swapped the wavy light blue around. It seemed to fit better this way.

Once the all the strips were together I sewed the first and last strip together to create a tube, then I cut strips at different widths.  As I was laying out the strips, I realized this was going to be a little taller than I wanted for a placement and I also realized I didn't have enough of the oranges to make a fourth placemat.  I had enough of a strip tube left to cut a few more strips, but not enough for a fourth placement.  I decided I would use what was left of the last strip tube and turn this one into a table runner.

Then I got busy picking out more fabrics and cutting more strips.  This time I measured all the lengths of each cut I would need and added them all up.  This let me know I would need three strip tubes to make four placemats.  This time I used 9 fabrics and cut the strips at 2 inches so I needed to make sure I had six inches of each fabric to make three tubes.  When the tube was sewn together I cut my different sized rows.

I was laying the rows out four at a time on top of each other.

When I got everything in the right order it was time to finish cutting open the tubes at the right spot.  
Once I got started, I just followed the flow of the row before it, it was super easy.

I put all four on the long arm at the same time.  

I quilted them using a bright yellow Aurifil thread #2120.

I used a strip of left over Hobbs Heirloom Premium Batting.
The Hobbs website is full of batting information.  Check out their page on their Heirloom batting and read which one is best for your project.  The Heirloom batting made my placemats flat in the close quilting and fluffy in the feathers where there was more space.  I love how it turned out.

And of course I love my Schmetz Needles,  I have been sewing with them for years.  Their Sharp Microtex needles helped me quilt through these layers in no time.

I used the half yard Island Batik Foundations fabric I received in my boxes for the back of the placements.  A half yard cut was the perfect size for two placemats.
I used Pistachio and Large Netting - Lemongrass

Everything together.

I had fun quilting the feathers on these.  I realized I am better at going up with feathers than going down.  My brain has to think harder to get them right when I got the opposite direction.  

The table runner measures approximately 16 x 60 inches.

The placemats measure approximately 14 x 19 inches.

I designed my rows for the placements and the table runner in EQ8.
If you want to make some placemats of your own like these, you can see my measurements in the PDF below.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting.



  1. These are so pretty! I love the colors, and the feathers look so good with the bargello!

  2. What a fun project! The colors play so well with the pattern you've chosen, and it makes such a festive table. I'm adding this to my extensive To Do List! And thanks for sharing the pattern.

  3. I love how warm and sunny these look! It's a beautiful set with the table runner, too. Have a great day!

  4. Lovely! Elegant quilting, and bright and sunny table decor. Perfect!

  5. These are gorgeous! I am working on a bargello with a friend but have never made one...these placemats are calling my name!

  6. Those are absolutely beautiful. Nicely done!

  7. I love your fabric choices, the batiks are stunning. Your feathers really finish things off - they were actually what attracted me to click to find more from Instagram. Thanks for sharing, you have inspired me to give them a try.