How to make Bargello Place Mats from Leftover Scraps

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I always have fun trying to figure out quilt projects that I can make using the leftovers from a previous project, especially my batik scraps.

These cute little bargello placemats are made from the same group of Island Batik fabrics that I used for a table runner last year.

Teal Bargello placemats tutorial
Bargello Placemats

If you are new here or just missed the table runner I made, you can take a look at the Not Your Mother’s Bargello table runner.

I really had fun making that table runner and “said” I would be making placemats to match. Okay, it took me almost a year to get them made….actually I forgot about them until I was sorting things out for our move.

Several of you have asked for an update on when we are moving, well right now the weather has been so cold that we have no desire to even move for a month or two. Come on spring!

Island Batik Magnificent Minis
Island Batik

I am so happy to continue as an Island Batik Ambassador this year!

The challenge for February is to make a mini quilt project that is under 24″ x 24″. We received some of the cute little 5″ scrap bundles and one of the fabrics that I am using in my placemats was in them. My plans are to complete another Magnificent Mini before the month is over!

How to make Bargello Place Mats from Leftover Scraps 5 inch strips in bundles
Island Batik fabrics

Bargello Place Mats from Leftover Scraps

12″ x 17½”

Bargello place mats made from batik scraps
Batik fabric strips

When I made the table runner, I used two different neutral batiks for the background strips and when I trimmed the table runner I had lots of leftover strips. I also had plenty of the teal group of the Southern Blooms batiks that I had cut into 2″ strips.

I received a fat eighth bundle of the whole collection. Do you know what a fat eighth of fabric is? That is a piece 11″x 18″. There is a lot you can do with pieces of fabric this size!

Color Strata Bargello table runner ready to trim
piecing a table runner

Work with what you have

  • I ended up piecing some of the neutral strips together to get them long enough to go down one side of the teal piece grouping.
  • Remember, I am working with leftovers and I determine my sizes by…..the pieces and fabric that I have.
Bargello place mats made from batik scraps adding neutral strips
Add sashing to strips

Cutting and sewing directions:

If you are using fabrics from your stash, I would suggest just cutting one piece of fabric for the neutral strip. Always use a ¼” seam allowance.

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  • Neutral Batik – cut 4 – 2½” x 8½” strips
  • Teal Batiks in coordinating colors – cut 4 – 2″ strips from 5 different colors
  • You will also need at least ½ to 1 yard of fabric for the border and binding

Follow the directions that I give in the table runner tutorial to piece the teal strips.

  • Cut the teal batik strips into 4 – 8½” x 10½” pieces
  • Add the neutral batik strip to one side (make sure the colors are arranged in the same order for each placemat)

I am embarrassed to say that I forgot to take photos of the rest of the steps! I think it was because I was running out of the teal background piece and wasn’t sure what I could do. At least I wrote it down as I was making them!

Border fabric:

  • Cut 8 – 3¼” x 8½” pieces of the teal batik and sew to both sides of the center section
  • Cut 8 – 2½” x 17½” pieces of the teal batik and sew to the top and bottom of your piece

Are you wondering why I cut such odd sizes? I wanted to get my placemats as close to 12″ x 18″ as I could with the fabrics I had. I could easily have made the placemats a little narrower and used 2½” borders on the sides also.

How to make Bargello Place Mats from Leftover Scraps finished place mats
Finished bargello placemats

I knew I wasn’t going to have enough of the teal batik to bind all four of the placemats but luckily I had enough of one of the neutral batiks and I was able to cut enough 2½” strips for binding on two of the placemats. I’m not sure what I like better…..teal or the neutral binding….what do you think?

I always love to sew my bindings on by machine and have a tutorial for machine binding showing how I do it.

Now don’t laugh at how big the placemats are! Normally it is just Builder Bob and I so two placemats work perfectly.

Also, I didn’t wash the batiks before making the placemats and they will shrink. We use placemats all the time and they get dirty. When they do I just throw them in the wash with the rest of the kitchen towels and yes….they get dried and shrink. I’ll always throw all four in the wash at the same time so they will all stay the same size.

How to make Bargello Place Mats from Leftover Scraps shown on kitchen table
Bargello placemats on kitchen table

Get a PDF of this tutorial:

Other posts you’ll want to check out!

Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. I just joined your posts. Your batiks are great and I’m looking forward to making some myself.
    Praying for you and your neighbors concerning the flooding. Keep us posted on how you’re doing.

  2. Those look so nice and I really like the two colored bing

  3. Lovely Island Batik placemats you have created from scraps. We always use placemats here too and I always wash all the matching mts and napkins together so they stay the same colors even if they fade. Of course I prefer the teal binding but then I am all about blue everything! Lovely Dear…

  4. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Connie, Your Placemats have turned out fabulously! Using the teal as the main fabric and adding in the strips of other batiks was a great combination, they just “shine”. Seriously, that is the word that popped into my brain. Like you, using scraps from other projects is always a fun challenge and especially when you find that great combination like you do. Thank you so much for sharing and have a fabulous day!

  5. I love these.. I have come to really enjoy using my handmade items for day to day use.