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Place Mats
To make 8 place mats you will need 1-meter ready-quilted fabric and 12 meters bias binding in a contrasting color. To make the place mats - draw a template on a piece of paper 40 cm x 30 cm. Fold the template into half and then into half again so that the outer edges are together. Use a saucer to curve the edges and cut out the paper template. To cut the fabric – pin the pattern piece for the place mat on to the fabric and cut out. Each mat is cut individually and is a single layer of quilted fabric. Repeat this procedure to cut out the rest of the place mats.

To make the place mats – pin binding around the entire mat –pulling the binding slightly around the curves in order to get neat curves; cut off leftover binding. Note that when attaching binding, always pin the binding first and then cut off the amount required; this will prevent you cutting off too little and wasting binding. Join the cut edges of the already pinned binding with the wrong sides together and stitch. Machine stitch the binding around the edge of the mat. Open this seam. Trim the raw edge to approximately 4 mm. Turn the binding over the edge and pin to the other side of the mat. Slipstitch this side by hand. Repeat process to make the other place mats.

Making your hanging herb basket
Herbs are best grown outdoors in a sunny, well-drained location. They need a minimum of four hours direct sunlight to flourish. However, when space is limited or you’d prefer a decorative and convenient place for a herb garden, a hanging basket with the most regularly used herbs provides the ideal arrangement – conveniently located in a sunny spot outside the kitchen door.

You will need: One large hanging basket; organic fertilizer; potting soil; buy bouquet garni or herb seedlings from your local nurseryman. Start off by selecting those herbs that you’re likely to use frequently in the kitchen (such as parsley, fennel, dill, thyme and mint).

Whilst herbs can survive in poor soil, they will reward you if given a rich spoil with extra nutrients. Only a few are happy in semi-shade and two of these are mint and parsley – although they will do better with more sun. Add some compost to the potting soil. Herbs love the organic matter and they’ll also benefit if fed regularly with an organic fertilizer. For the best results, don’t over-water, feed regularly and pick often to encourage further growth. Water whenever the soil is dry to the touch and fertilize every six to eight weeks during the growing season with a complete and balanced fertilizer. All herbs should be watered from the top. Good drainage is essential, as roots should never become soggy. Watch for insects and diseases and treat as needed, but most herbs are fairly disease and pest resistant.