Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Recently Cathy M. was scheduled to give a tutorial before the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters; however, she had to cancel due to a previous commitment.  So, Cathy asked me to do the demo, which I gladly did and thought, why not share it with you.  Cathy calls the above "tea leaves" and she previously did a demonstration for our Happy Scrappers group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  You may recall, Cathy had these tea leaves down the side of her place mats.  Above is the one I made at that time.  I decided to sew my squares together and made a little mug rug.
To make each square (I made four squares for my project) you will need a background square and two other squares in complimenting fabrics.  You may choose the size block you wish to make.  Cathy's were 2 1/2" for her place mat.  I'm using 3 1/2" for my mug rug.  At the meeting the other night I noticed some were using 5" charm squares for their project. 
Place your background square on the table.  Fold each complimenting square in half to make a triangle and place it on the square.
Pin the triangles in place and sew all layers together completely around the block as shown above.  Once that is done, you sew your squares together.  For instance, if you are making a mug rug, make two rows each of two squares sewn together then sew those together to make a square. If you are sewing four in a single row for a place mat, sew them together before you go to the next step.

Once you have your blocks sewn the way you want them, you then make your tea leaves.  I call this the cathedral window effect.  As shown above on the yellow fabric, you pull the fabric back and sew it down.  I have pinned the red fabric back and am ready to sew it close to the edge. 
This is a close up of how I sewed the yellow fabric.  Of course, you repeat making your tea leaves on each block.  Once I have several made I will choose a thin batting and backing and bind each mug rug.  I believe it will be easier to do all that binding at one time!  I think they will make nice Thank You gifts, don't you?  Hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.  If you have any questions, let me know.

Also, if you are interested in Modern Quilts you can join the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters monthly meeting.  The meetings are in the evening at Kuiper College. Watch for meeting details on the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters blog on the sidebar or go here.

  • UFO Night, Friday, May 8
  • Happy Scrappers, Saturday, May 9.
  • Glam Shell Bag, Monday, May 11.
  • Threads of Friendship Quilt Show, May 8 & 9, Muskegon, MI
♥ Caroll,
Caring , Sharing and Creating Smiles


paulette said...

Brilliant! Thank You for the tutorial!

GRLady said...

Thanks for filling in for me! I'm anxious to see ouctures from the demo.

Annie said...

A great tutorial Caroll. And your suggestion of a mug rug and placemats is inspiring me for a new pillow cover. Add that to my list!

Calicojoan said...

Question for you. If your making a bigger project, could you layer your backing and batting under your top before you stitch down your leaves??? I am thinking that a quilt as you go method might be a fun little option. What's your opinion?

Allie said...

That's darling - and great tutorial!!

Lynn said...

When I tried this I "opened the window" before sewing them into a four patch. I don't recommend it. Your way works much better.

West Michigan Quilter said...

I just checked with Cathy about your question. We have not tried that and don't see why it wouldn't work. We say, go for it. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. Maybe even give us some tips. I think this block will make a beautiful quilt. Good luck!


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