Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest Post: Spider Web Placemat Tutorial

Here's a spider web place mat to make your table look spooktacular!  It's mostly paper piecing, but it goes pretty fast.  So, ya ready?

First, you'll need the paper templates called Wonky Web.  There are two pages of them.  Page 1 has triangle 1 and 3 on it.  Page 2 has triangle 2 on it.  You will need two of each, for a total of 6 triangles.

The seam allowance is already calculated into the triangle (the dotted line) so you can cut on the solid line.

You will also need:
1/3 yard colored material for background (cut into strips 3" strips)
1/3 yard black material for web and binding (cut into 2" strips)
15" x 15" piece of fabric for back
15' x 15" piece of batting

The next step is to start paper piecing.  You will alternate between a solid color (in my pictures, I used white) and black.  You will need strips of the solid color that range from 2 to 3 inches in width.  Black strips of 1.5 inches will work fine for the web.

Glue down your first piece of white on the opposite side of the paper than the lines are drawn on.  Make sure that the white covers the whole area and leaves enough for the seam allowance where the black will meet the white.
Next, place a piece of black, right sides together on top of the white, and sew. Make sure you leave at least 1/4 inch for the seam allowance.  And since you're sewing through paper, set your stitch length to 1.5 or 2.

Fold the paper back, like in the picture above, and cut a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

In the picture below, I was trying to show you the 1/4 inch seam, but look at the scary eyes that showed up on my ruler!  It was the reflection from the light. Weird, huh?

Here's a better picture of what I was trying to show you.  You will want to measure and cut this 1/4 inch because the black spider web is only a 1/4 inch.  So you don't want it getting too big and bulky.

Fold the black back down the right way, and press using an iron, or just finger press.  Whatever you're comfortable with.

Add your next white strip, and sew along the line.

See that picture above?  That will make you go crazy!  When I sewed the white strip on, it was long enough for where the seam was, but when I folded it down, it was too short on one side, because the triangle is getting wider.  If that happens, carefully remove the seam, but don't break the paper.

And next time, do like the picture below.  Place the white piece you're using down approximately where the seam will be.  Fold it over and make sure that you have enough fabric to completely cover the area.  It will save you seam ripping and sanity!

Go ahead and get all the triangles done.  Then press them, then trim them using the paper on the back as the guide.

Now, if you flip them over to the back where you see the lines from the template, your numbers should be 1, 2, 3.   The next step is to turn them back over.  And when they are right sides up, the number 3 will be all the way to the left, then 2, then 1 all the way on the right. If you get totally confused, just make sure the arrow is pointing to the center, then match up the lines of the web.

So far, so good.  Time to add the last pieces.  You will use  black to create the strands of the web that go from the center out.  So cut yourself a piece of 2 inch black and see the next step.

Line up the black with the edge of the paper, and sew along the long line.
Flip it over and press.  Then trim the triangle again, using the paper as a guide.
Once you've added the black to all of the triangles, time to tear the paper.  Be careful that you don't tear too hard and also, be careful on the edges of the fabric.  Make sure the thread is not coming loose.

Now it's time to sew the triangles together.  They will naturally lay down to the side, and I would recommend leaving them that way, because if you iron the seams open, it will do funky things in the center when you're ready to sew the two pieces together.

Sew the 3, 2, 1 together.  Then sew the other 3, 2, 1 together.  You will have two pieces.  Sew the long side together, like in the picture below.
Press your web.  Quilt is however you like.  I did lines echoing the web, in white thread.

When it comes to binding, I didn't want a very thick binding, so I took a piece of 2 inch black and sewed it directly onto the front of the web.  (I don't have pictures of this step.)  I did not fold the binding before I sewed it.  It was simply a piece of 2 inch fabric that I lined up along the edge.

At the corners, I folded them like you would do with any binding, and went around the whole piece.  When I was done, I turned the piece right side up, and ironed the binding down flat.

Then, take part of the binding that is not sewn down, and fold it in half.  Match it up with the edge of the piece.  In the picture below, you can see my binding that is already sewn on and ironed from the front.  Then it is folded and ironed to create a seamless edge.  Then you will take the binding and fold it over the quilt, like normal, and pin and sew. 
(I am holding the fold open, so you can see.)

And there you have it.  One spider web place mat! You can see that I made the white one where all the lines match up.  The orange one is the same lines, just not matched up.  So it will look fine either way you do it!

Thank you, Jenna for allowing me to share this!  I hope that if you make this, you will share your photos with me in my flickr group SoSarahSews.  And go ahead and follow my blog, because there's more where that came from!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

The Girl Creative WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Esther’s Blog


  1. What a great idea! That is too cute!

  2. Very cool! I always have a hard time paper piecing but this looks easy. Thanks for sharing :o)

  3. what a great tute! thank you for sharing!

  4. These are so cute! I love it... neat idea :)

  5. what fun miniquilts (b/c I wouldn't let my kids eat off them)!

    ok, so a question about your said they were a breeze to make-are they or was that sarcasm? i've always wanted to make them, and the look is so simple. wonder if i can squeeze in another project before the holidays.

  6. Love, love, love this idea! Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

  7. Thanks for the lesson it was very clear to follow. It's a great eyecatcher that spiders web. Cheers

  8. Thank you very much for linking to "Made by ME" linky party @ JAQS Studio.

    I am featuring you and your awesome project this week :)