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!