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Sage – heart leaf top & travel mat

I made a quilted heart top according to the top in the illustration of Sage the treehugger, which can also be used as travel mat.

quilted sage heartleaf on beautiful hardwood
green quilted heart on trunk in forest

A top worn by my inner archetype Sage

illustration of sage, the treehugger

Sage, the treehugger is one of my Inner archetypes. She is the one recharging herself, while wandering the woods.

So I was searching for a heart shaped leaf as reference in the woods and found a perfect leaf of lilac sage (Salvia verticillata).

Illustration of treehugger sage with white owl sitting on her hand
quilted sage heartleaf on huge goldenrod
Backside with leaf stalk
green quilted heart on bench
Cute travel mat

Heart shaped leaf of lilac sage

Lilac sage is the wild form of sage, which is growing in the outskirts of the woods surrounding Vienna.

lilac sage outdoors
Lilac sage
one leaf of lilac sage on straw underground
The chosen one

Material needed

  • Cloth for front side (lightgreen), back side (sage), leaf stalk (grey) and border (lightblue)
  • Pure cotton batting, washable
  • Lightgreen cotton yarn for quilting & sewing needle
  • Lightblue sewing silk & sewing machine

Material sources

I wanted a light green surface and a sage backside for my heart. The only light green cloth I found was one of my sheets, still in use. Stubborn as I can be sometimes, I I cut the heart leaf out of it nonetheless. But don´t worry: I will insert a pink heart into the sheet and it will be prettier than ever.

The process of making

At first I made a scribble of the leaf for the pattern: 8 cm x 5 = 40 cm / 9 cm x 5 cm = 45 cm and a paper pattern in original size.

one lilac sage leave on a scribble with leaf pattern and light green and sage fabrics

Preparing and cutting the hearts

Before I cut the sage heart I had to find a workaround for the vertical seam in the pant leg, I wanted to use.

To avoid to have this seam in the center of the heart I created a leaf stalk in grey linen, which turned out quite nice.

sage leaf stalk in trousers
Pant leg with leaf stalk for the heart to be

Then I cut the sage and the light green heart.

sage and green hearts cut

Quilting the leaf heart


Between the top and the backing lies the batting,

First step:
Bast the three layers (backing, batting and top) together.


The quilted veins

sage leaf backside with veins

This is the back side of my reference sage leaf with its beautiful veins.

scribble with sage veins

The next step: I transfer the veins pattern with tailor´s chalk onto the hearts and quilt the veins and the stalk with running stitches through all 3 levels.

sage quilted leaf heart without border
green quilted leaf heart without border

Handmade and perfection

I am often falling into the perfectionist-trap while making something with my hands.

Isn´t one important attribute of handmade, that it does not look like a “perfect“ industrial made piece? Why then I am trying to imitate this kind of machine-made perfection? Because I assume that this is, what “the people“ want? Because I want to achieve the best I can? I don´t know yet, but I want to change this stringent habit.

Quilting borders

Searching for the right color combination

green quilted heart with yellow border

Yellow was my first try for the border, but finally I went for a more subtle color combination in light blue.

This subtle combination came closer to the initial image in my mind.

green quilted leaf heart with light blue border and bands

The binding

Though the heart-shape is quite rounded, I did not use bias binding for the border as I had learned in fashion school, because it is a very wasteful way of cutting cloth. Using straight band cut from the edges of my fabric did the job well enough.

I sewed the binding first on one side with the sewing machine and then I attached it with a running stitch in light green yarn by hand.

sage quilted leaf heart detail border and band
Tying band fixed in border

The bands (for tying the top on the left and the right side) are attached additionally, when sewing on the border with the sewing machine.

sage quilted leaf heart detail border on edges
border of green quilted heart in detail


green quilted leaf heart with light blue border and bands
quilted leaf heart rolled and tied

If I am using the heart leaf as a travel mat I roll it and tie it.

So it does not take much space in my backpack. It is already part of my standard equipment, if I am going for a walk.

And if I want to feel like a fairy in between I wear it as a top🧚‍♀️

sage quilted leaf heart with light blue border and bands
green quilted heart on grass with a view
Sage travel mat on one of my preferred spots in my surroundings

I feel better each time while and after visiting this place above. Even happy becomes happier. I feel blessed to live close to such beauty. I love the Wienerwald so much.


Of course you could google leafs as reference or just draw any heart shape on your cloth, but then you would have missed out on the most precious experience of wandering and searching the woods. And this would be a pity.


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