I have been working on these for a while, and I finally finished some. I have only made four so far, but I plan to make more as time allows. (I have too many other projects to work on right now.) I made them because I have lots of scraps of fabric and I had some old jeans lying around, so, voila! Place mats! My sister told me I should do a little tutorial of some sort, so here I go:
I started with a #10 can (from my food storage), and I traced it several times on some old blue jeans. If you do this, remember to trace on the inside of the jeans, not the outside--unless you want black marks showing on your place mats. Then I whipped out all my scraps and started cutting lots of 4 1/2 inch squares. Once all your squares are cut, place one square (centered) on a circle, and sew an "X" from corner to corner on the square.
When you are done sewing lots of X's, decide on the pattern you want. I just put all of mine in random orders because I have lots of little random scraps. Once you have your pattern, sew the side of two squares together, leaving the raw edges of the circles out for later.
After all the squares are sewn together, I went through and ironed all the circular edges flat (for easy sewing).
Once you have everything ironed down, pick your favorite decorative stitch, and sew down all the scalloped edges. I used a zigzag stitch, because that was the quickest. . . The above picture is what it looks like when you are done sewing down the edges. I think these could be a reversible place mat, if you want, because the scalloped edges make a fun circle design on the back. You can also use this method for quilts, etc. So, if you get a hankering to try it, have fun sewing!