Hi Sizzix friends, Nicole here! Today I am sharing how to make a braided fabric mat using solids or any leftover fabrics you have in your stash!
This mat project is pretty versatile - you can make coasters, hot pads, placemats, or even a rug if you want to keep going! The braided fabric is so easy to make using your Sizzix Bigz XL 25" Die, Strips 1" wide. All you need to know for this project is how to braid, and how to operate your sewing machine using a zig zag stitch.
Tip: When choosing your fabrics for this project - patterns will not be noticeable, only the colors. Printed fabrics usually have a much lighter backing so keep that in mind as that will show in your braided mat. Solids, which are usually the same on the front and back are nice because you know exactly what you will get once braided. I used a coordinating top thread for each color used to make the thread blend nicely. Most of us have fabrics that we no longer need or do not care for the prints anymore - these are perfect for a scrappier mat because all you will see once cut and braided are some bits of color! I also found that using a heavy duty needle made for a much easier time sewing the project.
To cut your fabrics you will need to use your Sizzix fabi machine and make a Sizzix sandwich - Bigz XL cutting pad / Sizzix Bigz XL 25" Die, Strips 1" wide die facing up / up to 8 layers of fabric / Bigz XL cutting pad and roll through your fabi machine.
Once you have all of your fabrics cut - separate them into color groups if you have more than one color.
Choose the fabric you would like to start with - your center fabric - and take three 1" strips. Stack the three strips up at one end and sew along the end leaving just about 1/4" seam allowance.
Use this as your starting point for braiding and braid the three strips, securing the loose end with a clip.
Take the starting point and start the middle of your mat by wrapping the braid around the middle point until you have about an inch size circle. At your machine choose a zig zag stitch and cross over the circle a couple of times just enough to secure it in place.
Once you have the piece started you will continue to wrap the braid around, but this time you will zig zag stitch as you go. Take it slowly and zig zag stitch in the middle of the two pieces you are joining. Keep your braid flat as you work around your mat.
As you come to the end of that fabric braid it will be time to add three more 1" wide pieces of fabric. The easiest and fastest way I have found to make this work is to take your new 1" wide piece and zig zag stitch it right to the end of your last piece. Do this to all three pieces, and continue to braid. Keep going around your braided mat until you run out of fabric or until you reach the size mat desired.
Once you are at the desired mat size, take your end pieces, trim and tuck under your mat and stitch into the mat. It will not be visible on the underside and using a zig zag stitch will make it blend nicely into the project.
For my project my finished braided mat measures 14" across and was made using Kona cotton solids in Wasabi and White. This will go on my dining table as a fun little plant mat that adds a little pop of color, and can also transition to a hot pad at dinner time.
I hope you enjoyed today's project and find more ways of using this very versatile die. Share your work on Instagram with me at @modernhandcraft or leave a comment here with a link to your finished mats!
Robert Kaufman Kona cotton solids in Wasabi and White
Sewing machine with Heavy Duty needle