I did some calculations and decided there was just too much work to make the number of placemats I wanted in time for Christmas. I remembered a clever pattern for coasters I saw on someone's blog some time ago. I wish I could remember who so I could give them credit. Here's my version of the instructions :-)
Each coaster requires six squares of fabric cut to 4.5 inches and one square of batting 4.5 inches. Quilt two squares and the batting. One side of this quilted square is the bottom of the coaster, the other one isn't seen. I cheated and used a single layer of track suit fleece instead of quilting. Another cheat would be to quilt a larger piece and then cut it into 4.5 inch squares (which may also be more accurate).
One pile of backing fabrics:
One pile of front fabrics:
I think maybe I have enough LOL.
Place the backing fabric right side up. That is, the side you want to show on the bottom of the coaster is facing you. The side that will be hidden is facing the desk. With the fleecy, I want the fluffy side to not show, so it goes down. The knitted side will be the bottom of my coasters, so it is up. (Clear as mud?)
Fold one front fabric in half and pin to one edge of the bottom, matching raw edges.
Fold a 2nd front fabric in half, and pin on top of and 90° to the first. Again, match raw edges of the front fabric to the edge of the backing fabric.
Fold and pin a 3rd front fabric in the same manner.
Fold and pin a 4th front fabric to the last side of the backing fabric.
The end of the 4th fabric must be placed under the end of the 1st fabric. Each fabric should have one end over and one end under its neighbours. You should see a small square of each fabric.
Sew 1/4" from the edge all the way around.
To keep the front fabric flat and even as I find its easier to pin them in the corners and then use another pin to pull the fold tight and flat as you sew.
Snip the corners.
Turn right side out. Give the corners a poke to make them as square as possible. Depending on the fabrics you use, you may want to topstitch close to the seam. I've used upholstery samples, which are quite thick, so I've decided to leave the edges as are.
In the pockets that are formed I'll add some fancy teabags and/or coffee bags. Cheap, easy, personal. Maybe next year I'll get organised in July and make placemats.