Mini Sewing

EXHIBIT: One place mat.

General Instructions:

  1. Select a piece of loosely woven fabric (cotton is best) and matching thread.
  2. Straighten and pre-shrink your material.
  3. Cut it into a 12” x 18” rectangle.

Stitch the Mat:

  1. Stitch on the sewing machine all around the mat ½” in from the edge.
  1. Lay the fabric so that most of it is to the left of the needle. Lower the needle ½” from the edge of the fabric and begin stitching.
  2. When you come to a corner, stop stitching ½” from the corner with the needle down in the fabric. Raise the presser foot, turn the fabric, lower the presser foot, and continue sewing. Repeat this at every corner.
  3. Finally, you will come to the place where you started sewing. Just keep stitching until you have stitched on top of your first stitching for about 1 inch, then backstitch to where you first started stitching.
  4. Remove the mat from the sewing machine and trim the threads very close to the fabric.

 Make the Fringe:

  1. Make the fringe by pulling out all threads between the stitching and the edge. It is usually best to pull just one thread at a time.
  2. If you were not able to stitch exactly straight along the thread when you did the machine stitching, some of the threads will unravel.
  3. Stop when the thread of the fabric is caught with the machine stitching.
  4. With small pointed scissors, cut the thread that you are raveling out and pull it away from the mat.
  5. Press your mat and see how nice it looks.


  • Optional: You may add a personal touch to your placemat by decorating it with an appliqué, rick rack, colored thread, sponge paint, etc.
  • A loosely woven fabric is easier to unravel than a tightly woven fabric.
  • Be creative!