I found this set of eight linen placemats tucked into the back of my linen cupboard. These were entirely hand constructed and embroidered by me... I hadn't forgotten them precisely, but they were one of those things that I kept thinking; I must dig those out and take photographs of those things one of these days... which has now finally been done!
I made these yonks ago; not even sure exactly when now. But it was when we had all three kids, and they were very little. I was heavily into cross-stitch for a coupla years. Note: was. It's a good thing I have these, yes? even just to show that I once did have the patience, if nothing else ;)
I bought natural linen, and measured off the placemats and finished the pulled thread-work and hand-hemming on all eight mats before I allowed myself to do any of the fun stuff; the actual embroidery.
For the pulled thread-work: I pulled two threads from along just inside each edge, which were then each woven invisibly into the border. I then hand-stitched along each edge, pulling the loose threads into pairs to form a long skinny "ladder" inside each border. I'm calling it pulled thread-work, but I'm not absolutely certain that this proper name for this kind of embroidery?
The hems were then folded under twice and hand-stitched, and each of the four corners on each placemat is mitred at the back.
Then I did the cross-stitch embroidery. The designs are from a Prairie Schooler pamphlet that I bought from Aherns.
I've always been taught that the back of the embroidery MUST always look at least as neat as the front...
They all got used, but there were favourites; so there was often swapping and switching before the dinner came out so that a particular veggie was set in front of the appropriate person!