Introduction: The Tree Hugger Baby Play Mat

This quilted play mat includes lots of interesting textures and fun crinkly leaves. It's also crazy cute, and would look adorable in any baby's room!  

Finished size is about 42 inches across, depending on fabric shrinkage. 

Step 1: Materials and Equipment


Main fabric (The aqua on mine): 1/2 yard of each of 3 different quilting fabrics.
Scalloped border fabric (orange on mine): 1/4 yard of each of 3 different quilting fabrics.
Backing Fabric: 1 1/2 yards. Any light to medium weight woven cotton fabric will work.
Leaves: 1/8 yard each of 4 different fabrics. Scraps work great for this! I used satin, corduroy, and plush minky. Look for interesting textures.
Tree Trunk: 20" by 12" piece. I used dot minky.
Quilt batting: 45" by 45". I used Warm and Natural "Baby/ Crib" size.
a small amount of poly fill
a crinkly snack/ chip bag

It is best if you do not prewash or preshrink your main and scalloped boarder fabrics. They will quilt up better if they are quilted before washing. 


a sewing machine
scissors, and a rotary cutter and mat, if you have one.
chalk or disappearing fabric pen
lots of pins!
a chopstick
paper and pencil for drafting your templates

Step 2: Create Your Templates.

Main template:

A triangle 18" long and 9 7/16" wide. Add 1/4" seam allowance all around. Trim corners.

Scalloped edge template:

A half circle 9 7/16" wide. Add 1/4" seam allowance all around. Trim corners.

Tree trunk template:

Sketch out a tree trunk about 19 1/2" tall, 11" across the branches and 4" to 5" across the trunk. Do not add seam allowance.

Leaf template:

Sketch out a leaf 6 1/4" long and 3 1/2" high. Do not add seam allowance.

Step 3: Trace and Cut Out Pieces.

12 triangles (4 of each fabric)
12 1/2 circles (4 of each fabric)
1 tree trunk
17 leaves (a few from each fabric)

Step 4: Prepare Crinkly Leaves.

Open up a chip bag.
Wash and dry it.
Use your leaf template to cut out the desired number of crinkly leaves.
Use a washable glue stick to attach a fabric leaf to the crinkly leaf. Press firmly to smooth out.
Trim any edges of the chip bag that may be sticking out.

Step 5: Sew Panels.

Right sides facing, pin a half circle to a triangle.

Sew the pieces together, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press seam open.

Repeat with the remaining 11 half circles and triangles. 

You should now have 12 panels.

Step 6: Sew Panels Together.

Right sides facing, pin two panels together along the edge of the triangle.

Sew a 1/4" seam from the top edge, to the point of the triangle.

Repeat with next panel.

Press seams open.

You should now have 3 panels sewn together.

Step 7: Trace and Cut Backing Pieces.

Lay the sewn panels on top of your backing fabric.

Trace. Making sure to trace all the way down to the top of the triangles.

Cut out.

You will need to cut out 4 of these pieces.

Step 8: Continue Sewing Panels.

Continue sewing panels as in step 6.

Press all seams open.

There may be excess fabric where the points come together. Trim this.

Step 9: Sew Backing Pieces Together.

Right sides facing, sew two of the backing pieces together, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press the seams open.

Repeat for the remaining two pieces.

You will now have 2 halves of the backing.

Sew the two halves, with right sides together. Use a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave an 8" gap near the center. This will be your turning opening.

Press seams open.

Step 10: Add Batting.

Lay the play mat top on top of the batting. Pin.

Trim the batting around the play mat top. Make sure to cut all the way down to the top of the triangles.

Sew along the seams that run between the triangles and half circles.  Remove pins. 

The last picture illustrates the stitching line.

Step 11: Sew Backing to Play Mat Top.

Lay the play mat top on top of the backing, right sides together. Pin.

Sew all the way around, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn right side out. Press edges.

Sew up turning opening.

Step 12: Quilt.

Pin layers together to hold in place.

Quilt all over in the pattern of your choice.

Wash on cold, Dry on hot. This will define the stitches, and create more texture.

Step 13: Tree Trunk Applique.

Position tree trunk piece on play mat.


Sew the tree trunk to the play mat using a straight stitch. Sew about 1/8" from the edge.

Remove all pins.

Sew around the tree trunk again, using a small zig zag or satin stitch.

Step 14: Leaf Appliques.

Position leaf shapes (including crinkly leaves) on play mat. Pin.

Stitch around leaves, leaving a 1/2" opening.

Using the chopstick, stuff a small amount of polyfill in each leaf.

Zig zag stitch around each leaf, making sure to stitch over each stuffing opening.


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