Thursday, January 14, 2021

January Island Batik Challenge

I have to start this blog by saying how proud I am to be an island Batik Ambassador again for this coming year.  This will be my 8th year as an Ambassador.  I've been involved in the program since it started and it's been an amazing and challenging opportunity.  I'm excited to begin sharing the activities that will be happening this year with  you.

Today I want to share with you the Island Batik Challenge for this January - The Placemat Challenge.

With the Ambassador program I receive fabrics and supplies from Island Batik and their sponsors twice a year.  The first boxes arrived a few days after Christmas.  It is always exciting and amazing what products we receive and what we will be using to make projects for the year.  I made a video of what came and it will be on my blog on Jan 21- you will want to see everything I received!

For this Place Mat challenge I selected the 2 1/2" strip  package of Vincent's Garden.  This collection is by Kathy Engle for Karen Overton of the Quilt Rambler.  This is a Fall release collection that will be shipping to stores in February.  The strip packs are available now.

Aren't these beautiful colors!  It's fun to use bright, sunny fabrics during the gray days of winter!
The 2 1/2" strip packs are my favorite precut.  I also received a light and dark coordinating fabric in yardage to work with.  I used the light green for the backing of the placemats.

I love my Island Batik fabrics and I hate to waste any fabric if at all possible.  This pattern ended up using all but the tiniest bit of scraps.  The strip packs come with two bundles of strips.  I pulled out one of the fabric strip bundles and selected 16 strips and kept them in the same order as they were in the package.  Many people aren't confident in color selections, so using the fabrics as they are presented in their packaging is an easy and worry free solution to great color combinations. 

Here is one of the place mats.  I love how bright and cheerful it is.

I started with a center 2 1/2" square block.  The other strips were cut half to make 1 1/4" strips ( a great way to have less waste!).  I decided to have one side with the orange and yellows in the order of the packaging and the other side in the blues and greens as in the packaging.  When each side reached the bright yellow strip, then I started sewing the strips on  in the reverse order.  The strips are sewn together like a Courthouse Step block- but with added strips to either side to make it rectangle instead of a square.

I trimmed the top and bottom and cut off the ends on either side.

The place mat tops were finished.  I made a hot pad from the triangle ends, so the only wasted fabric were the little ends that were trimmed from the top and bottom- that's pretty amazing!  The place mats didn't use the whole length of each strip, so I wouldn't call them wasted.  They are put back in the package for another project.

Here's the hot pad.

Island Batik and sponsors Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Cotton Batting, and Schmetz Chrome Microtex Needles were provided thru the Ambassador program and used for this project.  You'll be hearing more about these great products in future posts.

I made two place mats and a hot  pad from sixteen 2 1/2" strips.  You could  make two more matching place mats and hot pad from the other half of the package of strips.  You could also make other color combinations with any strip package.

Or- just think of all the 2 1/2" leftover strips you might have in your fabric collections!  You might be surprised and delighted to find a great way to use them in these placemats!

The place mats are 18" x 12".

I hope these inspire you to be creative with color and try out some new place mats for the new year!



  1. Those are happy place mats, Connie!! So cheerful and sunny!! Just beautiful!!

  2. The placemats are so bright and cheery, perfect for these dreary winter days. Happy stitching!

  3. So pretty! I love that rainbow goodness--the colors are so cheerful. This is a fun design and I like the split in colors on opposite sides.

  4. So pretty and bright. Great design for strips and love that there's little waste.

  5. Such fun placemats and a good use of the "waste" triangles.

  6. Love it! Great technique and the hot pad you made with the waste fabric is super cute.

  7. These placemats just glow! Color combination is perfect for our 'lack of sunshine' season. You made your own sunshine!

  8. Here I am late to the table, but I love the placemats, and have a question. How are they assembled? I don't see any binding, so I am wondering how you did it? I would love to make some for the cottage.