Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall Fabric Leaves

It's a Win-Win project: use up some of those fabric scraps that you've got squirreled away and gain some autumn decor in the bargain. Oh, and you don't have to rake these leaves!
I have to admit that Kaycee, Jaycee and I first saw these fabric leaves as a wreath at a craft show and muttered to each other, "looks pretty easy, doesn't it?" For such a simple project it turned out to be quite a challenge to reproduce the right leaf shape. Eventually we came up with this:
To use this as a pattern, click on the image, select "save image as" (file name: should be "leaf"), then use your printer to print it as a five by seven image. It's actually eight inches long and about six and a half wide so you'll need to add about a half inch all the way around.

I love using various colors and interesting textures for my leaf fabrics.  Choose a variety from your scraps.
Unless you don't have any fabric that will work and need an excuse to visit your local fabric or quilt store.  A quarter yard of each fabric that catches your fancy will be plenty.  Lay two pieces right sides together and let's get started.

Trace around your pattern on the wrong side of your fabric--this will be your sewing line.
Or maybe I should say it's your sewing suggestion.
Obviously I don't feel like I have to sew exactly on the line.  Leaves aren't perfect.

Trim your seam closely
Before versus after.
This leaf isn't going to be worn, handled a lot or laundered frequently, so the stitching isn't going to pull loose or unravel.

Not trimming it closely will result in a lumpy bumpy shape when you turn it right sides out.
See the difference?

Now you'll need a little bit of fiberfil just along the leaf's center rib to add some dimension.
This doesn't look like a lot, but it's actually too much (unless you think leaves should be puffy like the poor soul below on the left).

See...I took about half of the polyfil away.
Just right. Now tuck it inside along the midline of the leaf.

Fold the open bottom seam inwards and sew. I took the opportunity on my last leaf of the day (naturally) to pin the midpoint, then fold in the ends a lot so I didn't have a straight bottom.  Any future leaves I sew will definitely look like this!  I did mark the change on my leaf pattern above.
You can use green, brown, tan or gold thread depending on what looks best to you.

Next sew the veins on the leaves, the center rib first.
Then the lower veins. Then the upper. I like to curve mine a bit.

Trim all those loose threads.
Admire and enjoy.  They make a colorful base for your Thanksgiving table centerpieces.

Now I have leaves under our table decorations and enough left over for the cornucopia on our entry table.
I hope you enjoy the leaves you make from this tutorial.  Let me know if you have any questions and I'll get back to you pronto!

Linking up with some parties new and old:  Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home, SNS @ Funky Junk Interiors, Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper, Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter, Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch, Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog, Sew-Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch, We Did It Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado



  1. You amaze me. Those look so incredible!

  2. Those are some great looking leaves! I just pulled out my unfinished ones that we started together forever ago last week and finished them. They make me happy. :)

  3. How pretty. They make such a lovely fall display. I made some leaves years ago similar but I used quilt batting in between the fabric instead of stuffing. I like your pumpkin too!

  4. What a beautiful and creative project. I'd love to have you join my weekly meme, Seasonal Sundays!

    - The Tablescaper

  5. I love it! Thanks for the great tutorial:@)

  6. Thank you. These are adorable. Wouldn't they be cute coasters!

  7. Thank you for sharing your seasonal spirit with Seasonal Sundays!

    - The Tablescaper

  8. What a cute idea! I wish I had the patience for sewing and I applaud people like you who do.

  9. This is just beautiful! And thanks so much for the visual tutorial. I have lots of fabric stashed away, waiting its turn to be used.

  10. Oh, this is very cute! Great tutorial!

  11. Pogonip, Your leaves are so pretty! I really love them. Love your profile photo with Kharma, too. She is adorable!