A placemat with the word joy on it.
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Make your holidays merry with this fun free motion quilted placemat. I had an idea to do some quilted words and couldn’t decide exactly what to say. So I did this little experiment with the letters to spell Joy. Just in time for the holidays. For the Aurifil Artisan challenge for December, we could do any recent make. I used Aurifil 50 wt thread in a natural color for this project — but imagine how fun it would have looked in a contrasting color like red?!

This s a quick and easy project to practice your free motion quilting. Even if you are not feeling very confident in your free motion quilting skills, this project is made using stippling which is basically a scribble without quilting over any lines. Think of it as a maze where you can’t cross the lines. If you don’t want to do a stippling pattern, then by all means, do what makes you happy. A swirl or pebbles will look nice in this too. Just make sure that you keep your pattern tight and close together. A densely quilted background is what will make your letters pop.

If you are using a domestic sewing machine to free motion quilt your placemat, lower your feed dogs before you begin quilting. Lowering the feed dogs will allow you to freely move your fabric under the needle in any direction you wish. Remember to switch out your sewing machine foot to a darning or open toe quilting foot. Check to see which quilting foot is recommended for your machine to get the best results.

Practice Makes Perfect: It is helpful to practice your quilting design on a piece of paper – this helps your brain map it out. If you can do it on paper, you can quilt it on the machine. It’s all about muscle memory. Then, I recommend making a small quilt sandwich and practicing a little bit before you move onto your final project.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try tracing other words or letters onto your fabric to quilt around. You can trace shapes, your kid’s feet or hands, anything you can think of to make it fun.

Now you’re read to get started. So without further ado, enjoy this free tutorial. Download your free pattern HERE.

Happy Quilting


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