Monday, September 21, 2020

The Leaves Are Beginning to Turn

Recently the Canadian Quilters Association launched their new website and a gorgeous new logo that incorporates a beautiful maple leaf quilt block, traditional and contemporary at the same time - iconically Canadian. I've seen the block over the years but never really felt the need to make it. Until now. As the leaves begin to turn and it got me in the mood to give it a try.

There are lots of different leaf blocks out there but it took a while to find a seven-pointed layout where the tip was pieced rather than foundation pieced (for whatever reason I didn't want to go there). At the end of the day, I decided to draft my own pattern.

I have batiks that I use for journal covers; their rich colours seemed perfect for this project. If you give this block a try, feel free to experiment. I've seen some lovely monochromatic leaves and terrific scrappy ones too.

7.5" Maple Leaf Block Tutorial

For the leaf cut:
(6) 3.5" x 2" rectangles
(1) 2" x 2" squares
(1) leaf tip cut from template

For the stem cut:
(1) 1.25" x 5.5" strip, cut on the bias

For the background cut:
(2) 3.5" x 2" rectangles
(6) 2" x 2" squares
(1) 3.5" x 3.5" square
(1) triangle cut with template
(1) triangle cut with the template reversed

Make the leaf tip and triangle templates:
Draw two 3.5" squares on paper and mark the quarter inch seam allowance on all four sides. Mark the center point of two sides and draw a line from each point to the opposite corner. You will have two identical squares.

Cut the templates as illustrated, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance. 

This is what the templates look like without the cutaways. The template on the left is for the leaf tip and the triangular template on the right will be used for the leaf tip background. When cutting the background triangles, cut one then flip the pattern piece to cut the reverse.

Make the leaf tip block:
Sew the two background triangles to the leaf tip. Trim to 3.5" square.

Make the stem:
Fold the bias stem strip wrong sides together and sew a narrow seam allowance, about 1/8", the length of the strip. Press, centering the seam down the back of the stem.

Machine or hand appliqué the stem to a 3.5" background square as shown, leaving the left edge of the stem a quarter of an inch from the left edge of the block. Trim. (I forgot to take a photo at this stage but here's an idea of the stem placement.)

Make the leaf:

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the six 2" background squares.

Place one square on each of the six rectangles, right sides together, and stitch along the diagonal line. If you are using three colours for your leaf like I did, create pairs of opposites; if your leaf is scrappy sew the squares randomly.

Trim the seam allowances to 1/4" and press.

Lay out all of the elements of your block. 

Assemble in three sections...

and then sew the sections together. Voila! An autumn maple leaf.

I am really happy with how it turned out - love those rich colours. It's going to become a potholder so that I can enjoy the changing leaves year round in my kitchen but I think that I need to make a second block so that I can have a pair. There is talk of a virtual Holly Bazaar craft table this year so maybe a pair or two will find their way there as well....M


Kyle said...

Beautiful choice of fabrics and colors. I always think of leaf patterns in the fall, but have never made one. Thanks for the tutorial. We'll see if this the year I try.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Marie! Beautiful pattern, and those fabrics just pop! I think I may need to try this one!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

What an absolutely gorgeous maple leaf, Marie. Those fabrics totally suit an autumn leaf. Meanwhile, are you joining the row by row QAL at the association?

marina said...

very pretty maple leaf! the batiks look beautiful.

bettyb said...

Beautiful interpretation of this classic design.

JanineMarie said...

Batiks and maple leaves! It doesn’t get better than that. This is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

Rebecca Grace said...

Your fabric picks are PERFECT for the maple leaf! You have captured the full, glorious range of color that the maple leaves display, from reds and purples to oranges and yellows. Fall foliage colors are a long way off in real life for those of us in the Southern United States, but your block has given me a little preview taste!

gladiquilts said...

Your post on how to make the maple leaf block inspired me to immediately try making it and now I'm hooked! I'm currently working on my 10th block and loving choosing the colors for each block from my stash. Thank you so much!!!! If you want to see what I'm doing check out my blog, getting there from my website

Quilting Babcia said...

I love this little quilt block, and with lots of batik scraps this may just be my Fall 2021 project! Thank you for the tutorial!

Lisa said...

Beautiful! Question: is 7.5" the finished size or does that include the outer block's seam allowance (making it a 7" finished block)? Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi, how can I print out this tutorial?