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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!

32 comments:

  1. Those look great! I love your fabric choices.

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  2. These leaf coasters are gorgeous! I am going to try this for the fall. Maple leaves always remind me of my home where I grew up, and we had to rake maple leaves into huge piles every fall! Thanks for the tutorial!!
    Susie

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  3. Oh, I do like these! Guess I'm going to have to make some this week :D
    Thank you for the tute!

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  4. I love the idea of decorating for the change of seasons. I have a sort of indoor tree I hang things on (I have eggs for Easter, lights for Christmas...) and I'm thinking maybe some of your leaves - or more likely something a bit like them but well done - would look good for this time of year.

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  5. Those leaves are gorgeous! It was a very good idea to post this tutorial because I have not seen it before. I read through it and I have never tried this technique. I may make a few leaves soon...
    Do you have to tear or cut the paper when you remove it partially or does it tears itself because of the stitching?

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  6. Well-written tutorial for a cute pattern. They are adorable - coaster or decoration.

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  7. I absolutely love fall also! These are great, thanks for sharing :)

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  8. Great tutorial Laura! I'm looking forward to the start of fall and the decorations. I think I will be adding some maple leaves to my table. Yours are so cute.

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  9. THis is wonderful. I need to do an Autumn based mug rug in swap and you've just handed it to me. Thank you

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  10. Lara,
    These are totally cute, cute, cute! But I'm still not making any!
    Pugs and kisses,
    Nancy

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  11. How very sweet! thank you for sharing.

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  12. These are beautiful! I love these colors. Thank you for tut as well.

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  13. Those are beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  14. The leaves are so cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  15. Thanks for the autumnal inspiration!

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  16. Those are super cute! Thanks for the tutorial too!

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  17. They are so pretty! I should make some for my MIL whose family room is done in green, brown and orange. Mentally adding them to my to-do list.

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    1. Love this! Such a pretty decoration with so many possibilities! Great tutorial, Lara. Thank you so much for sharing!

      PS. Sorry for the deleted comment. Sometimes I have too many tabs open at once!

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  19. What a fun project! and they are so cute. Thank you...pinned!

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  20. these are fantastic coasters. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Oh, I like this project! Simple, indeed! And looks great. Love it!

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  22. How stinking cute is this, Lara?! :)

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  23. What a fantastic tutorial :D I had to pin it

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  24. Beautiful #FallGoodness. Thanks for sharing in the weekly #CreativeGoodness Linky Party.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  25. I can do this. Yours are quite with the fabric you chose. Great gifts too. Thanks for sharing a neat and most useful tut.

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  26. These are so nice to use up scraps. I found you via a blog from a blog. Glad I did

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  27. What a lovely idea. I think I'll try this leaf mug rug for the Thanksgiving table.

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    1. Thanks Diana! We decorate our Thanksgiving table that way too.

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  28. Thank you so much for this idea and pattern! My table runner for Thanksgiving is pieced maple leaves so this will add an extra sparkle. A helpful hint (from one who has been sewing as long as you have - since Hector was a pup) - instead of using a small stitch length and backstitching, you can stitch all the way around and use a "slightly smaller" stitch length with your machine's stretch stitch. It reduces the bulk and prevents having to go back over any stitching. I've been using it since I discovered it for use instead of similar stitching around armholes and necks on garments. It has never let me down. For anyone trying to identify the stitch on your machine, it looks like 3 rows of stitching side by side. I know the stitch has been on every machine for almost 30 years and possibly before so it should be available to use.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Mary! Your table decor sounds beautiful!

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