Debbie von Grabler-Crozier from Pretty Things is a writer with an extensive background in sewing. In addition to her craft blog she also has a general site with info on her writing and travels. Find more on Facebook, Twitter and in Debbie’s introduction. Debbie’s Summer Flowers Mat is an easy, quilted design to spread a little cheer in your home this season.

This Summer Flowers Mat features pretty ice cream colors and flowers all topped off with a jumbo ric-rac border. Happy days! I love round mats. They are easy to make and they can transform a room in the blink of an eye. What’s not to love about that?!

Gather Supplies:

  • Large scraps of about 5 different floral cotton fabrics (fat eighths would be ideal)
  • Fat quarter pink floral fabric for the center
  • Scraps of white-on-white fabric for the flowers
  • Scraps of yellow for the flower centers
  • 135cm (53”) giant pink ric-rac for the perimeter trim
  • Fat quarter fabric for backing
  • Fat quarter thin wadding/batting
  • Water soluble marker
  • White or ecru thread for free motion embroidery (FME)
  • Glue stick
  • Sizzix Big Shot and Sizzix die for flower layers and leaves, or use alternative template method

Begin Your Mat:
From your florals, cut 17 random wedges using the template and the water soluble marker. By far the easiest way is to cut a template from thin card or plastic and then trace around it onto the fabric. Sew the wedges together to form a circle. Save this template and you can use it again and a again.

Tip: When you are cutting your wedges, it is usual to repeat the colors and patterns. Repeating most of them about three to four times works well (you can choose your favorites). Place them on the circle so that they are opposite each other. This will give balance to the finished mat. Be sure to break up and patterns that you find– like pink, blue, pink, blue. Introduce another fabric if you have to keep the scrappy look.

This mat has an element of quilt-as-you-go; iron the wedge circle and pin it to the untrimmed wadding/batting so it is super flat with no bulges, puckers or creases. Pin well. Topstitch ½ cm (1/4”) each side of every seam.

You won’t need a walking foot for this but you can use one.

From the pink floral fabric cut a circle 22cm (8 ½”) diameter and pin to the center of the mat with the edge slightly overlapping the wedge border.

The wadding/batting is still untrimmed.

Set your machine up for free motion embroidery; each one is a little different so I will not give specifics here. Consult your operating manual or contact the manufacturer.

A word about free motion embroidery: All the rage at the moment is a raggy edged applique and contrasting thread over the top– a sort of doodling. Most machines can do this; you need a darning foot and either to drop the feed dogs on your machine or set the stitch length to zero. Slowly move the fabric around to achieve an outline in your chosen color. We are using it for free motion quilting too. This is the same set up and technique.

When you get to the applique bit, this looks best if you go over it twice here and there and don’t be too neat. Use the white or ecru thread.

But let’s quilt first! Quilt the center circle using a meandering pattern. It is helpful to draw it on first with the water soluble marker so that you have something to follow.

Even the most experienced quilter can benefit from having a line to travel along!

Tip: Use the image as a guide rather than transferring it exactly. It is more to show you how to achieve the design. Take your water soluble marker and allow it to meander freely, filling up the space as you see in the line drawing. Quilt along the line and then remove the stray threads on the back and the front.

Applique: Using the die cutter, cut 19 small white flowers from the white-on-white fabric. Glue these to the perimeter of the center circle overlapping onto the wedges. Using the same die, cut yellow centers for the flowers and glue them on. If you do not have a die cutting outfit, there are some line drawings for the relevant flowers and centers to help you along.

With your machine still set up for FME, embroider around the flowers and centers.

Remove any water soluble marker lines (left over from the quilting too) and loose threads. Trim the mat (and the wadding/batting now) to a neat circle.

Attach the ric-rac by sewing it to the perimeter as shown.

Tip: I have used a label with a stamped image to hide the join. You can find a blog post showing you how to make labels here.

Place the mat face down onto the untrimmed backing fabric and sew all around the edge leaving a gap for turning out. Clip the curves and turn out through the gap and slip stitch it closed.

Topstitch around the perimeter of the mat about ½ cm (1/4”) in from the edge to keep the backing neat.

Tip: When printing the line drawings, they may change sizes slightly depending on your computer and printer. Here is what they should be. When you print the wedge template, it should be 10.5cm (4”) long. The flowers are 3.5cm (1 ½” )wide.

Tip: You do not need to print the FMQ template off. As I mentioned earlier, it is more to show you how the design works and then it can be easily free-handed. Of course, if you are not keen to do this, print and transfer.

The center circle measures 22cm (8 ½”).

© Debbie von Grabler-Crozier 2015