Thursday, September 17, 2015

Crafty Thursdays: Agatha Christie Placemats

In honor of Agatha Christie week, this week's craft is Agatha Christy Placemats. To pull this off we needed the help of a designer extraordinaire, so Jill Herbertson at ArtGarage helped us out by creating a fabulous original fabric that salutes Poirot, Miss Marple and Tommy & Tuppence. 

Not only do you get six placemats - two each of Poirot, Miss Marple and Tommy & Tuppence - but you also get a fabulous strip of fabric for future crafts (but we'll get to that in a future post.)

If you look carefully at each mat, you just might find a hidden body. 

Here's what you need to make six fabulous Agatha Christie placemats:
  • 1 yard of Linen Cotton Canvas or Eco Canvas Toile de Christie placemats from ArtGarage on NOTE - Your placemats won't fit on the fabric unless you order Linen Cotton Canvas or Eco Canvas Toile.
  • Black thread
  • 1 yard of black fabric 54 inch width (this is for the back of the placemat); if you can't find 54 inch width, then you'll need a little more yardage
  • 3 yards of machine washable interfacing. We used fusible craft interfacing.
  • Sharp Scissors, pinking shears, or rotary cutter (we wound up using all three - there were three of us sewing and we all like different cutting methods. )
  • A sewing machine
  • An Iron
  • One chopstick
  • A piece of cardboard 

Here's a big scan of the design so you can see what you get in your yard:

Step One:
Wash your fabric in the washing machine. I washed the black separately from the Christie placemat fabric.

Step Two:
Cut out your Christie fabric. There are feint blue lines in-between to help you out. Put your character strip from the middle aside for now. We will use this for a craft at a later date. Use the cut out fabric to make a cardboard template to help you cut out our black fabric. 

Step Three:
Cut out your black fabric to match the size of the Christie Fabric. You'll need six when you're all done.

Step Four:
Cut your interfacing so it's an eighth of an inch smaller than your Christie fabric and your black fabric. You'll need six of these as well. 

Step Five:
Iron your Christie fabric and your black fabric.

Step Six:
Carefully iron your fusible interfacing to the back of the Christie fabric - carefully positioning it in the center. You can tell which is the sticky side because it's a little iridescent. I was worried about making a mistake on this part but it didn't happen. If you get a bubble, pull the fusing off and start again from the middle of the placemat. 

Step Seven:
Put your freshly ironed Christie fabric facedown against one of the black backing fabric pieces. Pin it in place on all sides and corners. Do this for all six placemats. 

Step Eight:
Now you are ready to sew. Get your machine ready for black thread, bobbin and all. Sew a seam around the placemat using the edge of the interfacing as your guide. Leave a five inch gap one one side. You need to use this hole to turn the placemats right side out. One this is completed cut the corners off carefully. This will help your corner come out in the next step. 

Step Nine:
Turn your placemats right side out. Take the chopstick and use it to make sure your corners are square by putting it inside the placemat and pushing gently on the corner from the inside. This takes a little finessing.

Can you find the body?

Step Ten:
Fold over the opening so it looks like it's closed and pin it like the photo above. Iron it do it stays. Iron the edges and corners.

Step Eleven:
Back to the sewing machine. Starting at a corner of the mat, stitch a border around the placemat using your pressure foot as a guide to keep the line straight and uniform. 

Now you are done! The placemats can be cleaned in a washing machine.

Big thanks to Janet Kuchler and Pat Hernas for helping me figure out how to do these and getting them together.

A Big BIG thank you to Jill Herbertson at ArtGarage for designing these beautiful placemats for us. She is a such a talented designer, you might want to check out her other designs on Spoonflower.

We're not giving away this week's craft because we're donating it to the silent auction at the world's markets Mystery convention - Bouchercon. We'll be there October 8-10. Come on back for more craftiness next week. 


  1. I love these. I'm so glad I'm going to Bouchercon, I will definitely look for these at the silent auction!

  2. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing the idea and how to do them.

  3. This really makes me wish that I could sew. I do have my mother's sewing machine from the 70s, and my great aunt's sewing machine from the 40s, but sewing machines just terrify me. Still, I am going to buy this fabric just in case I ever get up my nerve. This is fabulous!