It's as simple as choosing a feature fabric that speaks for itself and then adding a border fabric and practising a new machine quilting technique. Here's a quick sketch of my quilting pattern. I started on one side and stitched short, medium and long stripes and then matched up with opposite stripes on the other side. You just have to be sure you are sewing straight and use the same number of stitches for the short ends of the stripes. (I used 6 stitches every time to make it even.)
It's the wobbliest little binding I've ever done - I mostly bind by hand which, of course, is always perfect. (wink) But, it worked out quite well and if you look closely it's half the size of the usual hand stitched binding so it's as cute as a button. It looks like a machine sewn miniature binding.
Last year I was in my Thursday evening writing group and a friend that I'd known for a few weeks heard me say for the first time that I'm a quilter. He jumped on the chance to ask me to give the quilting guild a message. He said the best part of his Christmas holiday is receiving his new placemat every year. And he really appreciates our generosity. I am so grateful, just so, so grateful for my wonderful family and friends.