Here's a very simple tutorial taking advantage of some great printed burlap fabric I found recently at Joann's.
To make 4 placemats, you'll need 3/4 yard burlap and just over 7 yards of 1/2 inch, double fold bias tape (note there is nowhere near 7 yards shown in the above photo). This is a great excuse to make your own bias tape using Roselee's tutorial posted here.
Cut each placemat to be 13 x 19 inches.
At about the center of one of the short sides, sandwhich the burlap in the bias tape, and sew down until you reach the corner.
Fold back the bias tape and shown, and make a nice little mitered corner. Pin, then begin sewing where you left off. Do the same for all 4 corners.
When you get back to where you started, cut the bias tape so that it overlaps with by just about an inch. Fold over the end, press and sew in place, hiding the unfinished end where you started.
They make my dining room look so much nicer than it actually is. In reality, this table never looks this way. It's usually the spot where all the kids papers and toys get shoved. Where all my in progress projects get stashed...
A beautiful spot, even if for just one day.