Introduction: Autumn Leaves Placemat and Napkins

About: Everything I make is done with love and imperfection.

These beautiful placemats and matching napkins represent my favourite season of the year: autumn - which is soon approaching here in Yukon.

This pattern was inspired by Sheena Norquay's placemats in the UK Popular Patchwork magazine.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • Sewing Machine
  • Serger (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter
  • Iron
  • Pins


  • Iron on adhesive (fusible web)
  • 0.2 meter each of 6-8 fabrics for the leaves
  • 0.7 meter of background fabric
  • 0.2 meter of border fabric
  • .5m binding fabric
  • 0.7 meter of backing fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • 0.5 meter of 60" wide batting
  • Fray check

Step 2: Auditioning Your Fabrics

I have a stash of fabric that I was able to choose from for the leaves. I laid out all of the coordinating colours so that I had lots of variation in texture and pattern. I chose fabrics that all said "autumn" to me as I wanted each placemat to have some leaves similar but not all the same.

My background fabric is a neutral colour to showcase the autumn leaves. I chose to use a complimentary fabric for the binding and the stem.

I chose a backing fabric that was a reminder of the autumn season so that I could reverse the placemats if I wanted to.

Step 3: Cutting

Using rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat cut out 4 - 36cm squares from the background fabric and 4 - 10cm x 36cm rectangles from the border fabric.

You'll also need to cut out 6 strips of binding - 6cm wide by the width of the fabric. Sew this into 4 strips that are each 166cm long, one for each placemat. Fold each strip in half with right sides together and iron.

Using a sewing machine sew a 4 x 36cm border piece onto one edge of each background fabric. Iron seam towards the darker fabric.

Freehand draw 2 different leaf shapes onto the fusible web. I used an approximate 12cm x 2.25cm and a 15cm x 3cm leaf shape. You will need 4 of the larger leaf shapes and 5 of the smaller leaf shapes for each placemat. Cut out the leaves 1/8" away from your traced line.

Draw 4 curved stem shapes onto the fusible web - approximately 20 cm long and 1 cm thick. Cut out the stem shapes.

Place the fusible web leaf shapes on your chosen 'leaf' fabrics - varying the direction of each to highlight pattern and design.

Turn off the steam setting and set the iron to the wool setting, then press the fusible leaf shapes onto your fabric.

Once they are bound to your fabric, cut out each leaf and stem shape with sharp scissors along the line.

Step 4: Sewing

Place the leaf and stems into a pleasing pattern on your background fabric and press them down with the iron.

Using a zig zag or blanket stitch, sew along the edges of the stem and around each leaf with coordinating thread.

Sandwich the batting between the front and back of the placemat and pin them together.

Sew the raw edge of your folded binding around the edge of the front of your placemat through all three layers. Turn the binding over the seam and hand-stitch it to the back. Press.

Step 5: Napkins

Cut out 46 cm square pieces of fabric for your napkins. I chose to use two different fabrics that coordinated with the placemats.

Using a serger (if you have one - otherwise use a traditional sewn hem), narrow hem the edges of all four napkins. I use a dab of Fray Check on the tail end of the thread at the edge of the napkin before clipping it off so that it doesn't come apart.

Step 6: Finish

You've completed your beautiful autumn placemats!

I chose to add a bit of embellishment to the front of the placemat by sewing a specialty stitch along the edge of the border with my sewing machine.

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