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St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Placemats

by Sarah

Need a simple and fun project for the St. Patrick Day festivities? This little tutorial is great for anyone just learning to serge. It’s very simple, so you can really focus on serger basics and techniques.

For over a century, the Irish have celebrated the life of St. Patrick, who is accredited with introducing Christianity to Ireland. On March 17th, believed to be the date of St. Patrick’s death, the Irish would take a day off from Lent and celebrate with ale and a great feast. It is rumored St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, leading to the association of Shamrocks with St. Patrick’s Day. So, to celebrate this year, why not make some placemats with a shamrock appliqué for your St. Patrick’s Day feast? Even if that feast comes in a 6 pack.


A shamrock template is provided so you can start creating right away! Enjoy!


1 yard of green print fabric (makes 5-6 placemats)

3/4 yard of dark green fabric (for shamrock)

Orange, Green, and White Thread

Basting spray or pins

Old placemat

Serger needle

Batting (or interfacing if you don’t want a thick placemat)

Marking pen or chalk


Step 1

Fold printed green fabric in half and trace rectangle (either from a placemat you already have or another rectangle shape). Cut two pieces for each placemat.

Cut same rectangle shape from batting.

Fold dark green fabric is half and place the shamrock template on the fold. Trace and cut one for each placemat.

step template

Step 2

Sandwich the batting between the two green rectangles. I used basting spray to hold the layers together, but pins work well. Just remember to remove the pins as you get closer to the serger blade. Serge the raw edges using a 3 Thread overlock stitch and some decorative thread. If you don’t have a serger, no problem! Try using a Overcast foot  for a similar look.

Serger setting of 3 thread overlock:


Left Needle Right Needle Upper Looper Lower Looper
5 5 4

Differential Feed: Normal

Stitch Length: 2.5 (shorten length for a bolder hem)

Stitch Width: As wide or narrow as you like.

When you reach a corner, serge a few inches past, lift needle and foot, turn and serge as normal, catching the thread tail in the stitches.

step 1

When you are finished serging, you can either go back and thread the tail through the stitches, or you can do a quick zig zag stitch with your conventional sewing machine.

Step 3

Pin or baste spray shamrock on placemat.

step 2

Using a narrow satin stitch, sew along the raw edges. I suggest starting at an inconspicuous area, such as the inside corner where the stem and leaf meet.

step 3

If you’re new to machine applique, I suggest trying an Edge Stitching foot. It’s incredibly accurate and a breeze to use.

Clip off any loose threads and you’re finished. Super fast and easy! If you have any questions or tips or just want to say “Hi!”, please leave us a message in the comment section below. We love hearing from everyone!

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RME March 5, 2016 - 12:53 am

Hi Susan, I would like to know if there is an alternative to using a serger. Is there some way to do this with a regular sewing machine? Additionally, I couldn’t find contact information for you. I run the blog Itchin’ for some Stitchin’ and would like permission to link to your pattern and use your placemat picture in an up coming roundup post. Would this be okay with you?

Sarah G. March 21, 2016 - 9:33 am

Hi! We’d love you to share our project! You can create a similar look with an overcast foot and overcast stitch. Super easy!

Linda Catron March 11, 2013 - 6:54 pm

First Id like to thank you for this website. I absolutly love your sewing tutorials. My question is, when you use a satin stitch do you also use a satin thread? I am not too familiar with different types of threads and their weights.
I truly thank you for the time that you take to read my email and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Linda Catron

[email protected]

Sarah March 11, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Hi Linda,
Thank you for reading our tutorials!
You can use any thread you want with the satin stitch foot: Embroidery, metallic, nylon, polyester, silk – anything you want. The real trick is just making sure you’re using the right needle. Feel free to email us as much as you want with any question you can think of. We truly enjoy receiving messages.

Susan March 6, 2014 - 7:01 am

What is the right needle?

Sarah March 10, 2014 - 12:04 pm

Hi Susan! – Top Stitching needle is your best bet! I used a size 80/12, just because my cotton was a little on the thin side, but if you have a medium weight, a 90/14 Top Stitching Needle will work wonderfully.


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