Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chalk cloth Place mats

Do you know about chalk cloth? Its a thick material that you can write on and wipe off just like a chalkboard. Doesn't that just scream "KID PLACE MATS" to you?! 
Finding it at a good price can be tricky, but I have got a source for you. In fact, Allison of Tipsy Star Quilts has a whole kit based on these very place mats! 
Now that you've ordered your kit (you did order your kit didn't you?), let us get started!
Here is what you need
Chalk cloth (in your kit)
fabric for the back of the place mat and bias tape (in your kit)
Spray adhesive (optional but helpful)
rotary cutter or scissors
ruler
paper to make a template from (optional)

Cut your fabric and chalk cloth into a 17" x 20" rectangle. I initially didn't round my corners, but because you of the thickness of the chalk cloth you cannot bind like you do with quilts. Rounded corners make it so that you have no mitering of corners to monkey with  and the binding is much easier to get just right. 
How do you round corners? I placed a coffee mug in each corner of the rectangle and cut around the mug. Easy!
The picture below shows straight corners and fabric used as the bias tape. I like the use of the matching fabric, but wasn't pleased with the corners. Stick with me kid, I fixed it up!
You will want to "prime" your chalk cloth. Rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface. Erase and voila! Primed surface!
 Below you will see the I stripped my place mats of the bias tape I had made, rounded my corners, re-sprayed my adhesive, and applied store-bought binding (because after all of the fiddling, my fabric for the binding wasn't quite as pretty, I still prefer matched bias tape). 
See? Rounded corners are the way to go here!
Certainly there are better tutorials out there, but take solace in the fact that I worked out all the bugs for you along the way! Allison has four fabric options in her kits and they are specially priced for viewers of the very blog!

Send me a picture of YOUR finished project (not needing place mats? make a table runner!).