I made these placemats for mum as part of her Christmas gift. They were inspired by some that I saw at the shops, only mine didn’t cost $12 each! If you’re interested in making some, I’ve included a tutorial below.
Apart from a little blanket stitch and a bit of practice, this is the first time I’ve done any embroidery, so this is very much a beginner project. It used satin stitch, and if you can ply a needle, you can do satin stitch.
I created the embroidery design using GIMP, but you can download any embroidery design off the net, create one by hand or copy one out of a book.
You can download the leaf design here.
(instructions for 6 mats)
- approximately 1 1/2 metres (1.6 yards) cotton fabric – prewashed and ironed (I used a linen blend meant for suits because I thought it was nice material)
- approximately 1 metre interfacing (1.1 yards) (I used a fairly stiff interfacing, it wasn’t iron on)
- a roll of ribbon (or 2m / 80’’)
- embroidery floss to match the ribbon
- matching sewing threads
- Cut 12 pieces of the cotton fabric 30 x 35cm (12’’ x 14’’)
- Cut 6 pieces of interfacing 30 x 35 cm (12’’ x 14’’)
- Cut 6 pieces of ribbon 33 cm (13’’) long
1. Pin the ribbon approximately 6.5 cm (2 1/2’’) from the right edge. Using the zipper foot attachment on the sewing machine and matching thread, stitch the ribbon along each edge.
2. Using a light box, trace the embroidery design onto each of the six pieces of fabric with the ribbon. I ended up drawing a line down the middle of each leaf for the ‘vein’. Use a fabric pen if you have one, I just used an ordinary lead pencil to trace the design – it gets covered up anyway.
3. This is the part I enjoy the most – hand embroidering them. I used satin stitch for the leaves and the base of the stem and just plain backstitch for the finer part of the stem. This part takes the longest, I usually do a little at a time during my favourite TV shows.
5. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around all four sides, leaving a gap at the bottom to turn out. Trim the corners.
7. Give the mat a good press, and hand stitch the opening closed.
8. Top stitch around the mat 1/2 inch from the edge. Press.
I hope you liked the tutorial and the placemats. If there are any instructions that don’t make sense, please drop me a line.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.