And we went with a red for the back: While this is technically a print of a poinsetta, the red and gold fabric can be used year round, and Maria's mother LOVES red. She can just flip the placemats over when winter is gone and use the red side. Maria did a great job and I believe her mother will love them.
Maria's mother is Italian. Really Italian. She is a fascinating woman. She was arrested at the age of 16 on the steps of her church, accused of assisting the French Resistance during WWII. She was guilty of exactly what she was accused of: she translated for the French Resistance since she spoke Italian, French, and German. She convinced the arresting authorities that she really didn't know German, so instead of being summarily shot, she was sent to a concentration labor camp in Germany for three years. She was liberated on Easter Sunday, 1945. She's well into her eighties now, and whenever Maria brings her mother to Mass, the Italian nuns from the nearby convent crowd her wheelchair like she is a rock star, all speaking rapid Italian, all joyful to see her.