Present Perfect: Falling Leaves Placemats

10-presentSometimes, coming up with hand-made gift ideas for the special people in your life can be a difficult task. Take the mystery out of what you can sew for graduations, weddings, Father’sMother’s Day, baby showers, and more with Betz White’s latest title, Present Perfect. This collection of sewing projects include something for everyone: cuddly toys for the little ones, beautiful and functional home decor, stylish accessories (think aprons, hats, and scarves), and her fabulously designed bags and pouches for both women and men. No matter what your skill level, beginner to expert, you’ll easily find a project inside to create.

As I gear up for autumn, I had the fantastic opportunity to sew up one of my favorite projects from the book: Falling Leaves Appliques Placemats.


I loved this project on so many levels. First off, it gave the opportunity to work with a wide variety of beautiful fabrics. It also allowed me to do something I don’t often have an excuse for – quilting. While I am generally a garmentbag sewer, I have been know to whip up a quilt or two. These placemats allowed me to do some fun stitching on a much smaller scale – not to mention the fact that my finished placemats brights up my table this fall.

10-leafThe sewing on this one is actually quite easy – I definitely think a beginner with some experience could stitch this one up without difficulty….. you don’t even have to know how to free motion quilt to do it. In fact, I didn’t even free motion quilt it! Yes, you heard me right, I ‘cheated’ and used a decorative stitch on my machine (a ‘faux hand stitching’ design) when I appliqued my designs. Then I went over my original stitching, creating a wavy, meandering line to give it that ‘free motion’ look. Other options would be to use a ‘blanket stitch’ or even a straight stitch to tack down you leaves. Easy!

10-coastersOf course, I couldn’t stop at creating just the placemats, I used the same design elements to make matching coasters, too! In fact, I liked this idea so much, I’m thinking that these would make great teacher gifts (paired with a mug, cidercocoatea, stirring spoons, etc.) this Christmas or even teacher appreciation week.

Want to know more about the projects inside Present Perfect? Be sure to watch the video below and check out all the blog links for more projects, excerpts (don’t forget to grab your free apron pattern from Sew Mama Sew yesterday), and giveaways! Or you can buy your copy now directly from Interweave – now on sale for $19.88!

Happy Home
10/6: Sew Mama Sew – Make & Bake Apron
10/7: Stacy Sews – Falling Leaves Appliquéd Placemats
10/8: House on Hill Road – Hot Mitt House & Tea Towel Set
10/9: A Happy Stitch – Sweet Life Pillow

Memorable Moments
10/10: Sew Sweetness – Wool Courier Bag
10/13: Raspberry Sunshine – Gentlemen’s Travel Case
10/14: Pink Chalk Fabrics – Pasha Pleated Clutch
10/15: The Long Thread – Eye Candy Glasses Case
10/16: Made with Moxie – Cargo Tablet Sleeve
10/17: Bijou Lovely – Coffee Cash Coin Pouch

New + Little
10/20: Flax and Twine – Forest Friends Finger Puppets
10/21: Imagine Gnats – Bib, Rattle & Burp Baby Set

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