Placemats are perfect for a quick gift or to brighten up your own table. Here are a few ideas for any occassion:
From A Quilting Life, a Jelly Roll Placemat Tutorial.
I really like this Traveling Placemat from SimplyModernMom.
And, by popular request, here is a NO SEW option using ribbon (or fabric strips) and contact paper. It is even a video tutorial.