As is obvious, this set is quite worn but I just keep using them because I really like them. They make me feel Tuscan or Greek or something "other worldly."
I have looked and looked to replace them but can never find anything comparable. The fabric is rather like denim, various shades of denim. So after about 2 years of looking, I realized I was going to have to sew something.
Fabric.com! Whoda thought? At Fabric.com, I found this fabric.
It is definitely not the same but I liked it - more than any other I've seen. So I ordered it and also some light weight denim "shirting" for the back of the placemats. The print fabric said "Dry Cleaning Recommended," but is 100% cotton so I decided to take a chance. I mean, who would ever have dry clean only placemats. For eating on. When the fabrics arrived, I promptly laundered them to pre-shrink them. They were wrinkled after drying but pressed out nicely.
And I was pleased at how nice it matched some of my dishes. I realize it may be overkill at the table - to be determined at a later date. :^)
So I began the process of creating a pattern - not very difficult, especially using newspaper - two of the sides were already square. I basically measured one of my old placemats and added an inch to each side.
When I was cutting the pieces out of the fabric, I placed the pattern on the fold (which I had created by lining up the selvages and then pressing - something Mrs. Spilker stressed, back in 7th grade Home Ec.) That gave me double the length, so I cut them apart on the fold. I then had 6 pieces of both types of fabric.
I pinned them together, one piece of the print and one piece of the shirting, with right sides together. I stitched them all the way around, leaving about a four inch opening to pull the right sides through. I trimmed the seams and clipped the corners and then pulled them through the opening.
After pulling them through the opening, I pressed them well, pressing under the opening fabric so that it lined up with the sewn edge. I then top stitched twice with matching thread. The first, or outer top stitch seam was 1/8 inch from the edge and the second top stitch seam was ¼ inch from the first seam.
Once all the cutting and pinning was finished, the sewing goes very quickly. These are not what I was looking for but I think they will do very nicely. And I may just keep looking for the Tuscan fabric of my dreams. :^)
On a side note, I mentioned in a previous post that I had purchased a Traditional Ashford spinning wheel on eBay. It arrived yesterday from New Zealand. I have not yet assembled it so here's how it sits right now. I think I will put a finish on it tomorrow. It has only been stained. But let me say, if you are in the market for a spinning wheel, check out this web page: http://www.vjhandycraftsandspinningwheels.com/ or find the business on eBay at
http://www.ebay.com/sch/rotjoa/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from= They really know how to pack a spinning for long distance travel and the New Zealand Post was mighty prompt. And they have great prices - refurbished with care. :^)