Modern Improv Quilted Pet Food Placemat - Perfect Last Minute DIY Holiday Gift Idea for Your Pet

Pips' new food placemat and the top lessons I learned from washing his original mat weekly - sharing my findings up on the blog | Shannon Fraser Designs #petplacemat

In need of a last-minute holiday gift idea for a furry friend?

Consider a quilted pet food placemat!

If your pet is anything like Pips (a ragdoll cat and my adorable sewing companion), then after their nightly feast you’re probably left with quite the mess.

Crumbs scattered and food chunks on the floor surrounding his food bowl!

Yup, he’s one messy little eater that one.

Which is why, years ago (2017 to be exact!), I made him a placemat for his food. It meant easy clean-up for me (I just toss it in the laundry with the weekly wash) and it adds a cute handmade touch to our kitchen.

Since the quilted pet food mat gets cleaned regularly, it’s taken a bit of a beating over the years.

What’s been fun is seeing how a quilt (even if a mini version) withstands the effects of daily use and regular washing.

The fabrics have faded over time, but these were also digitally printed. So, I’d be curious to see how naturally dyed fabrics handle repetitive washings and how quickly they would fade.

The main thing that’s worn out is the binding. Thank goodness for double fold binding, which helped extend the life of this original quilted pet food mat.


Pips's old food placemat and the new one I made him as a handmade Christmas gift | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltedpetfoodplacemat

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What’s great about these quilted placemats is that you can totally adlib and have fun with the design. I’ve gone with improv here, featuring some trimmings from the original Flight Plan quilt I made for my sister-in-law. 

You can easily make this your own by featuring:

Orphan blocks
Simple patchwork of two blocks
Whole cloth with some fun stitch work
Try improv featuring some of your scraps

The quilty options are endless!

Pips's new quilted pet food placemat featuring fabric scraps from the original Flight Plan quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #petfoodplacemat


I had some fun letting loose with the machine quilting using my walking foot.

I echoed some of the designs I liked from the improv piecing using 50wt Aurifil Thread in #2000 so that they would pop.

The goal was to have the quilting enhance the outline of the shapes without being the focus.

That’s what I love about this combo of colour #2000 in 50wt, it blends in and allows you to feature your piecing!

And it just goes to show you the quilty fun you can have with a neutral-coloured thread.

Cone of Aurifil Thread in colour 2000 next to the modern improv quilted pet food placemat I made for Pips this holiday season | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltingthread

You know how much I love colour (and sneak it in on the regular), but this cone was part of my 2019 Aurifil Artisan Collection and I’m pretty sure I shared back then that 2000 was on my radar because both traditional and modern quilters alike have raved about it’s versatility to stitch with.

Who knows whether I would have picked up a cone eventually, but having it on hand has given me a chance to play with it. And, can you believe, it’s become a new staple in my thread stash?! I still love my #2021, but this cone has been what I’ve been stitching with regularly since…hmm, I’d have to check my records, but I want to say since my Cloud Surfing quilt

Machine quilting details on Pips' new quilted pet food placemat featuring 50wt thread in colour 2000 from Aurifil Thread. Perfect last minute Christmas gift idea for your pet! Shannon Fraser Designs


I actually went with machine binding again (same technique I used for the original). If you caught my Quilt Binding Tutorial series then you know I’m not a big fan of machine binding. Mainly because I don’t love the exposed stitch work. That’s just my personal preference.

But I gave it a go again and here were some things I noted:

  • I would opt for a smaller double fold binding width for machine binding. This is especially important if planning on stitching in the ditch from the front (which is what I did here). 2 ½” wide double fold binding leaves too much overhang on the back between the stitches and the end of the binding, creating this little fold up that I don’t love. Good thing it’s on the back 😉
  • It’s definitely way quicker than hand stitching her down. I can see the appeal of the quick finish!

 Front and back view of Pips' new quilted pet food placemat featuring fabric scraps leftover from the Flight Plan quilt and machine quilted with Aurifil Thread in 50wt.


You really don’t need much to whip one of these up for your own furry friend. Here’s a rundown of everything I used in this quilty project.

Meow collection fabric scraps (leftover from my original Flight Plan quilt
50wt Aurifil thread in colour 2000 for piecing and quilting
Batting scrap
Sewing machine
Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Ironing board
Marking pen


Really, it's just your usual essential quilty notions. You can shop a full list of my essentials here.


I’ve learned that what goes is the binding, which reinforced my love for double fold binding. Learn how to make your own here.

Close up of the double fold binding worn down after 3 years of regular machine washing | Pips' Quilted Pet Food Placemat | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltedpetfoodplacemat


Fabrics do fade. In all fairness, these were digitally printed, so they may have faded at a quicker rate than traditionally dyed fabrics. I’ll keep you posted over the next few years as I test drive Pips’ latest quilted food mat.

Pips' original quilted pet food placemat showing the stains and faded fabrics from regular use and machine washing | Shannon Fraser Designs #petfoodplacematHere's Pips' new quilted pet food placemat I made him for Christmas this year - perfect for keeping his crumbs off the floor! #petfoodplacemat

Don’t get caught without a gift under the tree for your constant furry companion, make them a quilted pet food placemat today!

Happy quilting!




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