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Topic: Portable pincic placemat for eco-friendly lunches!  (Read 7924 times)
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antarcticraft
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« on: June 01, 2008 02:11:14 PM »

A friend of mine and I like to meet for lunch on campus, especially to eat outside when the weather is nice. This often involves getting meals from the many ethnic food carts or takeout restaurants near campus (or bringing lunch from home) and carrying it to a nearby picnic table. As we both strive for ways of making our lives more eco-friendly, we've often lamented at the use of paper napkins and disposable utensils. With that in mind, I made her this for her birthday:



It's a portable placemat that unrolls to reveal a sturdy knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, and cotton napkin! You then flip it over and can enjoy a nice eco-friendly lunch on dirty picnic tables, grassy spots on the green, cement benches, or even your lap!



This was my first time making something without a pattern, and I had a lot of fun (I free-hand quilted the back, though it's hard to see, and there is a layer of batting in between the front and back main panels). It was also an experiment, so I'm eager to make another to test out better ways of making the pattern. My plan is to make a tutorial, if people are interested. Comments and critiques welcome!
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JLMS
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008 02:14:10 PM »

This is a great gift. I hope you made one for yourself, too. I think I will make a couple for keeping in the car for travel. Thanks for the great idea.
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antarcticraft
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008 02:15:45 PM »

This is a great gift. I hope you made one for yourself, too. I think I will make a couple for keeping in the car for travel. Thanks for the great idea.

I'm definitely going to make one for myself next, to keep in my office at school. I think I'll make the tutorial from that one (if it goes well!). Smiley I'm glad you like it!
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008 02:20:13 PM »

Great idea!

I love it!
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2008 02:24:25 PM »

love it and would love a tute
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008 03:38:05 PM »

I like your style better than the one I found online - and planned to make this week -
http://ccswch.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/picnic-placemat-tutorial/
So now I have to rethink my placemat - I love the idea of the pocket for the cloth napkins as well.... decisions decisions now!

Great gift idea!  I can see making these for others as well - my kids teachers at school has the kids eat outside fairly often... I could make one for each kid in the class so they don't have to put their lunches on the ground...

okay. now you have made more work for me! I better get started before school starts up again!  Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2008 03:51:25 PM »

That's a fantastic idea.  And you used such cute fabrics together.  Wonderful all over!
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threegirlsandaboy
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008 06:15:06 PM »

That's a great idea!  Those are great fabrics too!  I'm sure you friend will love it!!
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YukinaKipling
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008 07:08:16 PM »

that's a realllyyyy good idea
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2008 10:14:28 PM »

How cool is that? Nice job.
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antarcticraft
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008 05:10:29 AM »

Thanks for all the comments!

Craftydeb - I hadn't seen that other pattern, thanks for the link! I toyed with the idea of making the pockets removeable (velcro?), since the utensils run the length of the placemat, but decided against it. I also thought about a ribbon to tie the roll up, but wasn't able to find one I liked in time for the gift! I think the next on might feature a closure of some kind.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008 05:45:52 AM »

I do like things from both placemats - you could in theory make almost like a double pocket  or even a flap- one facing up and one facing down to fully enclose the silverware and napkin have them meet in the middle - this way the placemat could be *flat* on the bottom ya know?  The plate wouldn't wobble due to the uneven material thanks to the pocket - but then who would have a plate?  But if you did run a second pocket across the top as well it would also keep your silverware from falling out if it were upside down.  I am not sure if that makes any sense at all.

I do love the tie on the link I had found  but am not too keen on the tiny sewn on pocket.  I like the way you did that running across the length of the placemat.
I have some books from the 70's that had roll up placemats in them as well.  If I can find the floor in my craft room I might be able to find my books... okay, that is not going to happen any time in the near future is it?
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antarcticraft
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2008 06:57:53 AM »

Oh! I love the idea of a flap on the running pocket to keep the silverware inside! One thing I want to do for the next one is make the pockets narrower so that the silverware stays snugly inside, so perhaps that would help save middle space by bringing them closer to the sides? Thanks for the ideas - I can't wait to experiment on the next one!
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2008 08:02:14 AM »

I love this! What a great idea. I am also worry about throwing away my forks, spoons, etc. I actually use one set of plastic utensils at work and just wash them over and over each.

This is really clever.

Oh something else that might be good for this is that special materal that make for outdoors. You know what I mean? It is like it almost has a plastic coat on it. Then, if you spill something on it, it is easy to clean up and won't stain! Smiley
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antarcticraft
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008 08:11:46 AM »

Oh something else that might be good for this is that special materal that make for outdoors. You know what I mean? It is like it almost has a plastic coat on it. Then, if you spill something on it, it is easy to clean up and won't stain! Smiley

I thought about using a cute oilcloth for the back, but decided I liked the fabrics I'd picked out too much not to use them. I did make it so it was washable, though (it has a cotton batting inside)! An oilcloth version would be nifty, though!
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008 10:05:19 AM »

And yet another thing to add to my unending list of things I need to try to make!

Fantastic idea, great job!

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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008 12:41:38 PM »

I love this! I've been thinking of making something similar for camping, but meeting friends for campus picnics is also nice! Thanks for the inspiraiton.
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008 12:58:12 PM »

I love this! I've been thinking of making something similar for camping, but meeting friends for campus picnics is also nice! Thanks for the inspiraiton.

Ooh! There's talk of a camping swap, so that would be a great idea...maybe you could use a spork, and somehow include a plate or bowl or something to make it more camping-friendly?
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008 01:59:46 PM »

I can not wait until you post a tutorial.  This is a brilliant idea.
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008 02:01:28 PM »

what a great idea!  i love this!
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2008 05:04:37 PM »

So cute!!!  I love this idea.  i have those same fat quarters too!!!
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2008 06:14:05 AM »

Neat idea! It doesn't look that hard to make either.
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2008 08:50:59 PM »

So cute!!!  I love this idea.  i have those same fat quarters too!!!

I used three out of four pieces in the quarters pack, and I didn't even have to cut them! Smiley I did it all with folding. It was very handy!
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2009 06:29:24 AM »

This would be such a good idea for my dad and step-mom!  They ride motorcycles and stop by picnic tables to eat their lunch.  These would fit right into a saddlebag!  Thanks!  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2009 09:00:49 AM »

You are awesome. That is one of the coolest things I've seen on here. This rocks. Cheesy I would like to see a tutorial, too. Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2009 11:45:53 AM »

With the renewed interest in this, and with picnic season coming around again here in the Northern Hemisphere, I've been inspired to go back to this and do a second try with a tutorial! I'll post a comment here with the newest version as soon as it's ready. I definitely want to make the utensil pockets smaller and come up with a better closure system (probably a tie-off). Thanks, guys! Smiley

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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2009 05:27:07 PM »

I forget where I saw something like this: it was similar: there were several of them in a set and it was for sale ... somewhere. It had something to do with going out picnicking. But this is way better.
Very well done
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2009 09:59:24 AM »

I bet she loved it! I think I would like to do something similar- but lined with vinyl cuz I am a messy girl!
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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2009 07:10:38 AM »

Oooh, a vinyl (or the name of the material that they make tablecloths out of that is escaping me pre-morning-tea) with canvas would be a good idea.
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2009 07:41:32 AM »

Would love a tutorial for this placemat. 
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2009 09:45:15 AM »

This is a great idea, it would be perfect for lunches at work.. and what a great use for leftover fabric.  I just might have to make some of these. Smiley
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