f

Monday, December 29

Free Puppy Patterns # 3 - Vintage 1940's Embroidery Designs

It has been quite awhile since I posted a free vintage embroidery pattern.  This is the third in a series of six.

I really love vintage sewing patterns, especially those for children.   I think this third Playful Pup motif would look adorable if the pups holding their umbrella were embroidered on the collar of this little girl's coat.   (It would look better to leave off the faucet, which I suppose was meant to be used on a towel.) 


Simplicity 6949


Don't you just love the little girl's hat?  It reminds me of Canterbury Bell flowers or Lily of the Valley.

Below is the embroidery pattern.  Just click to enlarge and then copy and paste.

Paulette (The Way I Sew It) just asked me a good question about how to turn this into an embroidery transfer.  This was something I wondered about too.  You could use a light box or window and trace it onto your fabric. In my very first embroidery post I talked about a product I had found called Transfer-eze.  It's for making a transfer sheet using your printer:  
Free Puppy Patterns # 1

While I'm at it, here is the link to 
Free Puppy Patterns # 2



Superior Transfers - Playful Puppy Motifs

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!
Lara

Monday, December 22

Thursday, December 11

Snowflake Snowalong Table Runner

Snowalong Table Runner with Fairy Frost Fabric Snowflakes
It was so much fun to make these paper pieced snowflake blocks! This is the perfect time of year to give them a try too!  

I was a little late joining in for Joanne's (Canuck Quilter) Snowalong Sew-along, but that didn't matter, because she has her wonderful patterns in her Craftsy shop.  How great that we can find them and not miss out on the sew-along, no matter how much later we join!  The coolest thing is that with each pattern, you can make at least three different snowflakes.

This table runner is a surprise thank you gift for my sister-in-law Cindy, who acted as my in-house editor for my upcoming book.  (My husband Jim was the outhouse editor. Hee hee)  Cindy went over everything I wrote (twice!) with a fine eye for being grammatically correct and clear.   She has told me she will try not to peek at BuzzinBumble, until I give her the all clear, but when she does look again I want to say:  
THANK YOU CINDY! 

Snowalong table runner fabrics:
Background is Winter frost by Jan Schade Beach for Henry Glass
Snowflakes are Glimmer Fairy Fr
ost by Michael Miller
The first time I saw the snowflakes was while visiting my friend Sandra's blog: Musings of a Menopausal Melon.  She has actually made Quite a Few Snowalong Blocks and they are so beautiful that I just had to click on the links to find out more about them.  That is how I found Joanne.  

You can tell that Joanne put a lot of thought into what she would like to see in a PP pattern and then worked to make her patterns perfect.  Truly, she is a paper piecing genius!  Her directions are very thorough and consistent.  Her patterns have clipped corners that make lining up the sections so easy.  I didn't even flub it up once, which is something I usually have trouble with.   And the pre cutting instructions were great.  Very little fabric waste.  She even included a coloring page with each pattern, so you can test out your own color schemes. 

Joanne, you did an AMAZING job creating these patterns!  

An especially Frosty rocking chair.

How many of you have little helpers when you sew?  I bet many of you have had a child, grandchild, or pet cuddling up in the folds of a quilt before you even have it completed.  I have two such helpers.  You can see here that our dog Pip and I have a "binding contract" to that effect.  She has to sit in my lap and keep peeking over the edge while I hand sew the binding.  Heh, Heh - We go through a lot of lint rollers.  Please excuse the Fuzzy Focus, I snapped the photo with my phone and just missed the way she sits there with her little tongue sticking out.  She makes me laugh every day.


Pip "helping" me sew.




Thanks for visiting and come back soon!
Lara

Thursday, December 4

Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding - by Lara B.

Talk about a blast from the past, Arr Arr.  This is a quilt I made two years ago, from a Lynda Hall pattern.  Since I am currently eyeball deep in Things That Can't Be Shown Yet (because the giftees might see it too soon if I post it here) I thought it would be fun to share this instead. 

There probably isn't a quilting style I don't like or love.  It is so fun to see what people are creating on their blogs and I must have a bucket list a mile long now.  I do have a predilection though for warm, autumny colors, especially reds.  

This particular quilt is one of my favorites because of both the colors and the pattern.  It is done in 1800's reproduction fabrics and might be considered a primitive scrappy / country style piece.  Like a lot of Lynda's patterns though, if you change the fabrics up , you could easily have a more modern style quilt.  

I was insecure about getting the pieces to line up right, so I converted the pattern into a paper piecing pattern and also tweaked it so that the starburst points went further, into the outer border.  This quilt was a lot of fun to make, so much so that I hope to remake it someday!  Usually I just want to move on and try something new.  Are you like that?  Or do you prefer to make a few versions of each quilt you make?  

Click on this link: Lynda Hall's Quilt Patterns, if you would like to have a few chuckles.  The way she names her quilt patterns and the little stories she comes up with to go with the patterns sure tickle my funny bone!  "One Ringy Dingy", "Jeepers Creepers", and "Holy Matchimony Thing" are just a few that crack me up.  I would love to meet Lynda in person; she must have a great sense of humor.  

Although I am braver now, at the time, I was too lily-livered to try quilting the top after I got it pieced, so I gladly turned it over to my friend Julie DeGrave to quilt.  She did a fabulous job, as always.

Here are two pictures, so you can see how even the most straightforward quilting really brings a quilt to life:


Shotgun Wedding: the flimsy, before quilting.
Shotgun Wedding: sunlit so you can see Julie's quilting.



Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Lara


      

Sunday, November 30

Vintage Holiday Wreath Fabric Winners!

Sledding Foxes - Such a fun vintage picture!  
Click on it to see more great vintage Christmas images from The Graphics Fairy

Well, Spoonflower really pulled a fast one on me... and I mean that in a Very Good Way!  I had ordered another yard of my Vintage Holiday Wreath Fabric, but never thought it would get here in time for this giveaway.  They must be working mega overtime, because it is due to arrive here tomorrow.  Thank you hard working people at Spoonflower!  (Hug, hug, hug, hug, hug!)

This means that I can add four more winners to the giveaway, for a total of SIX lucky commenters, instead of two, as I had originally planned! 


Vintage Christmas Wreath Table Topper

Here is a list of all the terrific people who entered the drawing for my Vintage Holiday Wreath Fabric Fabric Giveaway.  I've assigned everyone a number based on the order of their comments.  I also added links to their blogs if applicable.  It's definitely worth taking a peek at what these creative people have been doing!  Thank you everyone for your comments; it was a lot of fun for me to read them and visit your websites!  

1 -  Carolyn at sew.darn.quilt
2 -  Missy at Missy’s Homemaking Adventures
3 -  Kaja at Sew Slowly
4 -  Maryse at Maryse Makes Things
5 -  Natalie
6 -  Barbara at A Simply Great
7 -  Janie
8 -  Mary Alice at Love of Stitching (Coming soon? Hopefully!)
9 -  Lyn at What a Hoot!
10 - Malini at Malini's Quilting Adventure
11 - Ilana Joffe - Ilana, you are a no-reply commenter :(
12 - Sarah
13 - Kathy at Sparkles, Sprinkles and Everyday Crap
14 - Connie at Freemotion by the River
15 - Pam
16 - Ramona at Doodlebugs and Rosebuds Quilts
17 - Marcy at Made By Me in Red
18 - France at France Nadeau - Inspiration Imagination Creation
19 - Linda - Linda, you are a no-reply commenter :(
20 - Dawnie at sewyouquilt2
21 - Paulette at The Way I Sew It
22 - Laura at Sewing Out of My Comfort Zone
23 - LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color
24 - Alla at White Mountains
25 - Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts
26 - Melissa at Missouri Mel
27 - Vicki
28 - Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon
29 - Frédérique at Quilting, Patchwork, & Appliqué
30 - Pippi at Pippi Stitches 
31 - Lee at The Butler Did It!  (Coming soon? Hopefully!)
32 - Jiienna 

Once again, I used the handy Random Integer Generator at Random.org to create the list of giveaway winners and here it is:



Off I go, to let Sandra, Laura, Maryse, France, Kaja, and Paulette know they were the lucky fabric giveaway winners.  

I hope all of you have a great and creative week!  BuzzinBumble will be going back to it's regularly scheduled program.... which means I am going to try and get some sewing done and posted before Christmas.  


We Now Return You to Our Regularly Scheduled Program
Thanks for visiting and come back soon!  Lara



 

Sunday, November 23

Vintage Holiday Wreath Quilted Topper & Fabric Giveaway


































Christmas is just around the corner.  I love this time of year!  After spending time in Blogland last week, I am even more in the spirit.  So many of you have been happily working away, making beautiful quilts, gifts, and decorations.  It's awesome!

This Vintage Holiday Wreath fabric is another fabric that I created on Spoonflower.com.  If you saw last week's giveaway:  Celebrating with a "Cookie" Giveaway, then you know that I'm a Spoonflower fan through and through!

Do you like vintage graphics?  How about vintage table linens?
Then you will probably love this fabric!  I recreated the graphics from a vintage Christmas tablecloth that has to be around 60 years old.  I resized them so they would fit neatly around a plate.  My goal was to make round placemats, with no binding, to put under each place setting at Christmas.  I used the "birthing" technique, sewing the layers a lot like I did with my cookies and then turning the whole thing right side out.  

After I got the wreath all right side out and ironed nice and flat, I drew a circle in the center with a cereal bowl, quilted it, and then filled it in with a simple grid.  Then I did a little bit of quilting to outline the ornaments and greenery. The whole thing took me about two hours, and that's counting the time I spent ripping out my "free" motion quilting.  I am more of a "plodding" motion quilter. This is going to be one of my New Year's resolutions:  To learn to free motion quilt; at least well enough to handle small projects.  

With that in mind, I've enrolled in Christina Cameli's Craftsy class: The Secrets of Free-motion Quilting.  
I love this girl and am very excited to be taking her class!  You all might know Christina because of her blog: A Few Scraps, or perhaps you have her first book: First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting.   Her second book is coming out soon too! Step by Step Free-Motion Quilting  
Yup - I am Jazzed and Ready!  

Here is a picture with just the wreath topper.  It was so flat after all that ironing that I dampened it a bit and chucked it in the dryer to make it quiltier.  
I cropped the photo and was amazed when I saw that the topper was still a pretty neat circle:




The Christmas Wreath looks great as a placemat, don't you think?  The greenery and ornaments surrounding each plate look so festive!  


We are having pizza tonight, so I can't show you a picture with a beautiful dinner.  Just the place setting.  On the floor, because I needed an ariel view.  And our three dogs were just there inspecting it for goodies.  Fancy, ain't I?  
I promise, if you win, your fabric will not have been on the floor.   

So.  Would you like to win a fat quarter of this wreath fabric?  I have enough for two lucky winners this week!  Each wreath is about 17 1/2 inches in diameter and fills a whole fat quarter. 

To enter this giveaway, just push my buttons and leave a comment.  I love to hear from you!  You don't have to be a BuzzinBumble follower, although of course that would be great if you decide you'd like to be.  I will happily ship to Canada or even overseas.  But please: make sure that I can reach you.  Sometimes people are "no-reply commenters" and I have no way of contacting them.  This will mean they cannot be in the drawing for the giveaway.  I'll answer your comment here on the blog if this is the case and let you know if you are.  Hopefully we can fix the problem before the random name drawing, which will be at 7PM EST next Sunday, November 30th. 

Good Luck Everybody!  
In case I don't "see" you this week - Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Lara





Hi!  The wreath fabric giveaway ended on November 30th, but you can still buy the fabric anytime on Spoonflower: 

Saturday, November 22

Cookie Fabric Giveaway Winners!


Today is the Day!  

Thank you everyone who left such wonderful comments and shared great ideas for creating your own fabrics!  With almost five months of blogging, and still a little wet behind the ears, this was my very first giveaway.  It was fun and I plan to do another one, starting tomorrow!  

It turns out that I had enough Fresh Out of the Oven fabric that we can have FIVE winners instead of four!

Here is a list of the wonderful people who entered the drawing for my Cookie Fabric Giveaway:  I've assigned everyone a number based on the order of their comments.  I also added links to their blogs if applicable.  If you want to have a lot of fun and find a lot of inspiration... Just Go Visiting!  

1 – Carolyn at sew.darn.quilt
2 – Jess at Everything is Coming Up Rosie
4 – Maryse at Maryse Makes Things
5 – Christine at triangles & squares
6 – Joanne at Canuck Quilter
8 – Jan at Sew Peace to Peace
9 – Kaja at Sew Slowly
10 – Susie at Susie’s Sunroom
11 – Ann at Big Paws
12 – Amanda at The Cozy Pumpkin
13 – Martha at Weekend Doings
14 – Steffi at Just Quilts
15 – Zenia at A Quilted Passion
16 -  Leanne at Devoted Quilter
17 – Paulette at The Way I Sew It
19 – Anna at Woolie Mammoth
20 – LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color
21 – JanineMarie at Quilts from the Little House
22 – Vicki at A Quilter’s Mission
23 – Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts
24 – Bea at Beaquilter
25 – Connie at Freemotion by the River
26 – Linda at Linda’s Life 
27 – Ilana Joffe  

I used the handy Random Integer Generator at Random.org to create the list of giveaway winners and here it is:

So I am off to notify Bea, Carolyn, Lorna, Jan, and Christine to let them know they were the lucky winners!   

Be sure to come back soon, because there will be another opportunity to win more of my Spoonflower fabric Tomorrow!  I will posting another giveaway for this festive Vintage Christmas Wreath Fabric in which two lucky winners will each receive a fat quarter sized wreath!  






Thanks for visiting!  Lara


Friday, November 14

Celebrating with a "Cookie" Giveaway!



These yummy looking chocolate chip cookies have zero carbs.  Yep - It's true!  And don't they look mmm-mmm good?
  
Good enough to fool people into thinking they are real, which has happened repeatedly.  They are really Cookie Coasters made with fabric that I created on Spoonflower!  

The funniest reaction I had was when our son Sam came home for the weekend.  We had just walked into the kitchen.  I had this plate full of cookies on the kitchen table,  sitting by the sewing machine, so I could add to it whenever I made another cookie. Sam made a beeline for the table.  Jim and I heard a sharp intake of breath, followed by a strangled "What?! Huh?! Argh!"  And then he bellowed something rather indelicate.  We all died laughing.  It wasn't intentional, there was no glass of milk photo prop sitting there, but I got him good.  Hee hee.  Even though I owe him for a thousand pranks, I made him a batch of real cookies later, because I am a nice mommy.

I have a lot to be happy and excited about!  I made my book submission deadline for the American Quilter's Society! Woohoo!!!  There is still more work coming up, but creating the projects and writing the chapters was the biggest part of the hurdle for me.  It was a huge challenge and I am completely tuckered out, but also very happy that I took the leap!    

To spread around some of that happiness, I am giving away cookie coaster kits to four lucky winners, whose names will be drawn at random.  You do not have to be one of my followers or a regular here to enter, although of course that would be great! Each winner will receive a roughly 18" square of cookie fabric, which has 16 whole cookies. They will also receive one fat quarter of Kona cotton in Gold, for the backing of the coasters. 

"Gold" was the closest match to the cookie fabric.  You can see it in the photo below, which shows a flipped over cookie.  I made the cookie coasters using the same technique I used for making the Maple Leaf Mug Rugs.  The exception is that after turning the cookie right side out, I ironed and then glued the opening shut so that no stitching would show.  They make really fun and useful coasters.  The fabric would also make a cute apron, or tote, or a pillow front too. 

You can see the fabric here: Fresh Out of the Oven - Chocolate Chip Cookies   

It is really fun to design your own fabric on Spoonflower and if you have not tried it before I encourage you to give it a shot!  I am not being paid to say this: Spoonflower is so much fun!  It is a gathering place for indie fabric designers too, some of whom have gone on to design for major fabric companies.  It's also a great place for people like me who just want to play around with a few of their own designs.

For these cookies, I had Spoonflower print out the fabric using their Basic Cotton Ultra process - for very sharp color.  They offer that if you join their Basic Cotton Ultra Test Squad.  I wrote and asked if people could still join and they said this option would be available until they competed the testing.  You can get a behind the scenes peek of what the company is all about with Julie Schneider's Spoonflower tour.




To enter the contest, just leave me a comment telling me what type of fabric you might make if you created your very own design.  I think it would be fun for everyone to read about each others ideas!  Also - please make sure you are not a "no reply" commenter.  If you win and I am unable to contact you, I will have to re-award the prize to someone else.  

We will randomly select and announce the names of the four winners on November 22nd.  










I really do follow a lot of links from every linky party I join - it is such fun to see what everyone has been up to!  
Thanks for visiting!
Lara


Hi!  The cookie fabric giveaway ended on November 22nd, but you can still buy the fabric anytime on Spoonflower: 
Fresh Out of the Oven - Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, November 9

Cats on Quilts - by Alina B.


Little Willow napping on the Lil' Twister Pinwheel Quilt.
All that play time must have tuckered her out!

video



Thursday, October 30

A Quilt for a Hero

Sometimes, if you focus on one thing for too long you start to go a little bonkers.  Lately, I sort of feel like this guy:



So today I am taking a break from book writing to write about something very special:  Homes for Our Troops and the Quilt Angels.

One day, while rambling around on The Quilting Board, I spied a post entitled “So, I Opened My Big Mouth…”  Of course, I had to see what that was about.  There, I had the privilege of meeting Donna M.  
Donna is a quilter who lives deep in the heart of Texas.  She is very active with the Homes for Our Troops organization.  Homes for Our Troops is somewhat similar to Habitat for Humanity, except that its volunteers build specially adapted homes for wounded veterans.  She won't want me to say too much about her, because (and I quote) "What these soldiers have done and who they are, is what it's all about!"  Donna has a beautiful spirit and a huge heart for our country’s troops.  She offered to make quilts for the HFOT homes being built in her area.  But, because the need was so great, she soon found herself pulled into taking on more than one person could handle.  So she wrote a post on the QB and put out the call for other people to swap for red, white, and blue fabrics.   The response she got was nothing short of soul stirring.  Before you could turn around she had people willing to send not only fabric, but quilt blocks and quilt tops.  Donna even received quilt blocks from a Canadian quilter.  Interest kept building until Donna named the whole group who joined her “Quilt Angels”.  She labels all the quilts like this before they are gifted:
Made especially for ……………
Thank you for your service to America
Date
Made with grateful hearts and caring hands by
The Quilt Angels at www.quiltingboard.com

This continues to be an ongoing effort: to give the gift of love and gratitude, in the form a quilt, to each Homes for Our Troops soldier.  I know many, many of you have made quilts for the Quilts of Valor program.  I thought you might like to know about this opportunity too.  If you have any interest in taking part, you can contact Donna via her post on the Quilting Board: http://www.quiltingboard.com/requests-f25/so-i-opened-my-big-mouth-t69186.html
Or you can contact Homes for Our Troops directly: 

Our country’s men and women in service mean the world to me too, and I surely felt the pull to make something.  At that point, I had never done a large quilt, but wanted to try and make a whole quilt top.  Before long, I learned more about the admirable young man my quilt would be going to.  HFOT specifically asked for a red, white, and blue quilt because he is a very patriotic and gung ho US Marine.  He is also a young man of astonishing courage and spirit, with an adorably quirky smile. Often, while I sewed, I prayed for him. 

The plan was that I would send the quilt top on to Donna and she would take care of the rest.   That plan changed one weekend, when my husband and I made a light hearted bet over something so silly I can't even remember what it was.  He said that if I was right, that he would hire a long arm quilter to quilt the quilt for our young man.  I suspect he wanted to lose the bet.  Although I won, we both won in doing something that made us happy.   

Thus, Julie DeGrave of Pines & Needles Quilting entered the picture.  She is a very talented long-arm quilter in our area.  She feels the same way I do about our service people and gladly took the quilt on!  That was another blessing that came from taking part in being Quilt Angels:  New friendships were born!
    
So now, our quilt had a piecer (me) and a quilter (Julie) and could be sent whole and finished to Donna in time for our young soldier’s key ceremony for his new home.  I have some wonderful photos of our young man during his presentation ceremonies.  In the interest of his privacy, I am not putting them here.  If you visit the Homes for Our Troops website, you can find many such stories and hundreds of wonderful pictures that show what a community that cares can do.   The HFOT organization is incredible and gives regular people like us a chance to do something more than simply saying “Thank You!”


Back in August, when people asked to see more of the Littlest Lone Star blocks I had made, I mentioned that I would post this quilt in time for Veteran’s Day.  This is the quilt that Julie and I made for our soldier.  The quilt took shape around a beautiful eagle panel from Marcus Fabrics’ American Valor collection, by Faye Burgos.  The panel has printed Lone Stars (or Prairie Stars) along its sides.  I wanted to repeat those Lone Stars in a slightly larger version at the corners of the eagle centerpiece and that is what prompted me to learn how to make Little Lone Stars.  So when you look at the photo of the quilt, the twelve smaller Lone Stars around the edges are part of the printed design.  (Julie quilted them so that they look pieced.)  The four larger Lone Stars at the corners are the ones that I made.  Everything else from that area out is pieced.  To bring the Eagle centerpiece to life, Julie did some amazing thread painting, which I will show close up.   All together it made an 80" square quilt.  

This was a thrilling project for us both to work on.   

Quilt for a Hero - through Homes For Our Troops


Pieced Lone Star on the Left
Julie's thread painting on the eagle
Detailed quilting around the flag and bell and stars
These last two photos really show what a talented quilter can do with a printed fabric panel!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Veteran's Day will soon be here.  It is good to have a day set aside, but may we always honor and remember the men and women who served or are serving our country.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
Thank you for visiting!  Lara



Saturday, October 4

My Daughter's First Quilt

It hardly seems possible that this last month flew by so quickly.  I have been working more than full time on my book and somehow managing to stay on schedule, despite unexpected surprises.  It has wiped out my free time and I miss visiting everyone else's blogs.  There are only 5 1/2 more weeks to go before my deadline, so wish me luck!  

I had to steal a little time today to crow though, because my daughter Kaitie made her very first quilt!  I am so proud of her!  

It is quilt for her friend and co-worker Mary Ann, who found out that her cancer has returned.  Kaitie came up with the idea of having everyone at work draw on a square of fabric in themes that Mary Ann loves - like the beach and pizza, etc.   
Before we started, we got wonderful advice from Val of Val's Quilting Studio, who wrote a tutorial on How to Make a Quilt with Kids.  Val did a lot of helping us via emails as well.   Thank you Val :) !  

Kaitie sewed the squares all together on her Featherweight and then came over last weekend to sandwich, quilt, and bind the quilt.  (One of my sewing machines has an even feed system that we thought would help)  Kaitie chose Minky for the backing fabric and satin binding.  She was aiming to make this quilt super cozy, like a hug.  Kaitie used fleece for the batting, because the quilting was going to be very minimal and she wanted the quilt to hold up well in the wash.  Wow was that satin binding a pain in the patooty to put on.  It kept slipping as Kaitie sewed.  She wanted to try fusible seam tape and I don't know why we didn't switch to that after we found out the clips weren't holding very well.  It might have helped.  

How do you all cope with satin binding?  I would love to hear any tips you have on that because my next big quilt for my son Sam is going to have homemade satin binding.  

Kaitie's first quilt:

Some of the neat blocks people drew



Mary Ann's finished quilt

My blogging is going to be spotty for the next month, but I do have something fun planned to celebrate after I meet my deadline.  My only hint is that it is non-fattening!   



A little update to add here:  Mary Ann was very surprised and over-the-moon-happy about her quilt and has it on her bed now.  It was just in time for her birthday, so they had a pizza party for her.  

Monday, September 1

Maple Leaf Mug Rugs or Coasters - Tutorial & Pattern

Autumn not really here yet, but I love this time of year so much that I start our Fall decorating right after Labor Day. 

Maple Leaf Mug Rug and Coasters

Since I cannot show anything I’m presently working on, I thought it would be fun to post this tutorial for making Maple Leaf Coasters and Mug Rugs.  I wrote it a couple of years ago for The Quilting Board and even though it is beginner level, people seem to really like it.  The basic idea can be used for any number of things.  I'll be making cookie coasters next.

Half the fun of making these little maple leaves is digging through your scraps, picking out fabrics you like and then seeing how they turn out as a leaf. These are a really simple and quick project and they look great as table decor when not in use.  We especially like the coaster size, but they are neat done up larger as mug rugs and even larger as hot pads too.

1. Start by printing out a simple pattern for a maple leaf.  I use cheap quality printer paper.  Size it a little larger than you want your finished leaf.  I was really silly and searched the internet for a pattern I would like, before it dawned on me to step away from the computer and go outside, pick a leaf and make my own pattern.  Do you get stuck in a rut like that sometimes?  


Print out the Maple Leaf Sewing Pattern


2. Make a layered sandwich in this order: Bottom - Quilt batting / Middle - fabric square, face up / Top - fabric square, face down.  I've been sewing since Hector was a Pup and I can't tell you the number of times I have gotten layers like this in the wrong order.  Pin your pattern onto the fabric sandwich.  

Layer your materials

3. Set your sewing machine for a very small straight stitch. Sew around the outside edge of the leaf pattern, starting and stopping at the arrows on the pattern. Reinforce the first and last corners with backstitching along the way.

Sew around the outside of the leaf

4. Remove the leaf from your sewing machine and flip it over.  Trim the batting away, following very close to the outside of the stitching, including into the v-shaped indent at the base of the leaf pattern.

Trim the Batting around the edges

5. Flip the leaf over. Pull off the paper around the Outside of the leaf. Leave on the paper within the leaf pattern. Keeping it in place will help you to see the stitching line as you trim the fabric, especially if your thread matches your fabric.

The paper left inside the sewing line

6. Cut away the excess fabric, leaving an 1/8 inch seam allowance, EXCEPT along the V shaped opening at the base of the leaf, where it is better to leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim the corners and clip the curves all around the outside edge of the leaf, being very careful not to cut into your stitching. (This is where leaving on the paper really helps!)


Trim the corners and clip the curves

7. Now remove the paper leaf pattern carefully, keeping it whole for later use.
Turn your fabric leaf right side out. 

Somewhere, back in Kansas, a rooster is missing his toupee 


8. Very carefully work out the tips of the leaves to points and fill out the curves. I used a dull pencil to help me. Turn under the seam allowances at the opening and tuck them into the leaf, covering the batting. Now iron the leaf flat. Stitch or glue along the opening to close it.

Ah, now you see my points!

9. Now, sew the veins of the leaf.  If you are confident, then do it free hand, or you can replace the paper pattern you set aside and use it as a guide.  It is really pretty to use variegated thread for this.

Using the paper pattern to sew the veins on the leaf

10.  If you use the paper pattern, be sure to use a very tiny stitch, that way it is pretty simple to pull off the paper when you are finished.  Use tweezers to remove any little bits of paper that get stuck under the stitches.

Remove the Paper Pattern


Your leaf is finished… Now go brew a cuppa and enjoy!

Maple Leaf Coasters Finished!