Maple Leaf Quilt Block
Pattern Tutorial

An easy nine patch block, the maple leaf quilt block (aka autumn leaf) is easy to make. See how and get a cutting chart for 6, 9 and 12 inch blocks!

maple leaf quilt blockmaple leaf quilt block

This block is known by a couple of other names as well – Poplar Leaf, Fall Leaf.

For color inspiration, I searched the Internet for "pictures of maple leaves".

What came back was leaves in various shades of green, which would be perfect to depict spring or summer time scenes.

Also returned were pictures showing leaves in shades of orange, red and yellow. Some were multi- or bi-colored.

The one that caught my eye was yellow and red-orange. It's my color inspiration for this quilt block. It's stem was reddish-brown.

So you see you have lots of options for color choices. I'm sure that you can find suitable fabrics from your stash. :-)

You can use scraps and make each block a different color. This might represent real maple leaves in the fall as they change colors.

Or, make the blocks in different shades of green to depict springtime bloom.

Block Fabric Requirements

Traditionally, this block is made with two contrasting fabrics.

The greater the contrast the more the block design stands out.

In this tutorial I have used 4 fabrics and designated the fabrics as follows:

Fabric A = focus (2 interchangeable mottled orange and yellow print fabrics)

Fabric B = background (cream solid fabric)

Fabric C = stem (mottled brown)

Block Measurements

Here are the unit cutting measurements to make a 6 inch, 9 inch and 12 inch maple leaf block. Simply choose your block size and follow the instructions below to make the block.

maple leaf quilt block measurement chartmaple leaf block measurement chart

(Note: To increase photo size, on your keyboard hold 'Ctrl' and hit the + key.)

Block Layout

This is a 9 patch block and is laid out on a 3 x 3 grid - 3 rows and 3 columns .

Finished block sizes that are evenly divisible by three - 6, 9, 12, 15 inch finished block sizes - will be the easiest quilt block to make.

maple leaf quilt block gridmaple leaf block 9 patch grid

The 9 units that make up the block are

  • 4 half square triangles (aka HSTs)
  • 4 simple squares
  • 1 stem

Maple Leaf Quilt Block Pattern Instructions

Step 1 Make HSTs

According to measurement chart above...

Cut 2 squares from print (fabric A) and 2 squares background (fabric B) fabric.

Make 4 half square triangles (not pictured here, but see photo above -  click the link for how to instructions).

Press the seams toward the darker fabric, or open.

Step 2 Cut Squares and Strip

According to measurement chart above...

Cut 2 squares from background fabric B and cut 3 squares from primary fabric A.

Cut 1 strip from fabric C.

Step 3a Make Stem

Refer the the photo below...

Top row, from left to right: Cut larger background square in half diagonally from corner to corner.

Bottom row, from left to right: Insert the strip for the stem between the two triangles. With right sides together, pin the longest (bias edge) of the top triangle to the closest long edge of the strip. Sew a 1/4 inch seam.

maple leaf quilt block step 3acut patches for and begin making stem

Step 3b Refer the the photo below. From left to right...

Finger press the top triangle away from the stem.

Pin the second triangle and sew a 1/4 inch seam as done above.

maple leaf quilt block step 3bsew 2nd triangle to stem strip

Step 3c Refer the the photo below. From left to right...

Finger press the second triangle away from the stem.

On the backside of the patch unit press both seams open.

maple leaf quilt block step 3cpress seams

Step 3d Trim the stem patch unit: Place the diagonal 45° angle line of a ruler down the middle of the stem and trim to size (here, I'm going to trim the patch unit to 3 1/2 inches).

maple leaf quilt block step 3dtrim stem patch

Step 4 Layout Block

Near your sewing machine layout the block in the grid format as pictured below.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 4grid layout of maple leaf quilt block pattern

Step 5a Sew Block Units Row by Row

Without changing the orientation of the patch units sew the patches of each row together.

Row 1: With right sides together, place the half square triangle from row 1 column 2 on top of the half square triangle from row 1 column 1. Sew the units together using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side of the block units. Flip the 2nd HST open, right side up. Finger press the seam towards the HST in column 2.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 5aRow 1: sew together units 1 and 2

Step 5b

With right sides together, sew the plain square unit from row 1, column 3 to the HST in row 1, column 2, using a 1/4 inch seam.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 5bRow 1: sew together units 3 and 2

Flip the plain square open, right side up. Finger press the seam towards the HST.

Row 1 units of the maple leaf quilt block are now sewn together.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 5b row 1row 1 sewn together

Step 5c

Row 2: Repeat Steps 5a and 5b to sew the units of row 2 together. Finger press the seams outward, towards the edges of the block.

Step 5d

Row 3: Repeat Steps 5a and 5b to sew the units of row 3 together. Finger press the seams towards the simple square.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 5c, dall rows sewn together

Step 6 Press the Seams

Here's a look at the back of the block, showing the patches sewn together and the pressing direction of each seam.

Take the sewn rows to the ironing board and press the seams (not pictured).

Use a starch alternative pressing solution if desired.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 6pressing direction of each row

Step 7a Sew Row 1 to Row 2

Now sew the rows of the maple leaf quilt block pattern together.

Place row 1 face down over row 2 with right sides together. The bottom of row 1 should be sewn to the top of row 2.

Nest the seams and pin on both sides of each seam as well as at each end of the row.

With rows 1 and 2 sewn together, finger press the seam open.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 7aSew together rows 1 and 2

Step 7b Sew Row 3 to Row 2

Now sew row 3 to row 2 in the same manner. The the top of row 3 should be sewn to bottom of row 2 . Finger press the seam open.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 7bsew row 3 to row 2

Step 8 Block Completed

Beautiful! Once the maple leaf quilt block is sewn together, take it to the ironing board and give it a final press.

maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 8rows 3 and 2 sewn together, block finished

Here's the backside of the shoo fly quilt block pattern. You can see how the seams are pressed.

backside of maple leaf quilt block pattern Step 8backside of block pattern

This completes the maple leaf quilt block pattern tutorial. Now, make this table runner maple leaf quilt pattern.

Make it your own. For added interest, use print fabrics in a variety of colors. Batiks work well too!


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