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!
Use scraps or strips and make each block a different color. Or, for a more modern maple leaf quilt make all the blocks in different shades of green to depict springtime bloom. Geometric prints will add to the modern look and feel.
The tutorial uses two contrasting fabrics. The greater the contrast the more the leaf design stands out. The fabrics used are designated as follows:
Fabric A = leaf (2 mottled orange and yellow print fabrics)
Fabric B = background (cream solid fabric)
Fabric C = stem (mottled brown)
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.
(Note: To increase photo size, on your keyboard hold 'Ctrl' and hit the + key.)
WOF= Width Of Fabric
Unless otherwise noted seams are 1/4 inch.
Refer to the Block Size Cutting Chart above for desired block size.
Step 1 Make HSTs. Cut 2 squares each from Fabrics A and B.
Make 4 oversized half square triangles and cut to size (step by step instructions on how to make half square triangles).
Press the seams toward the darker fabric, or open.
Step 2 Cut Squares and Strip. From Fabric A cut 3 squares and from background Fabric B cut 2 squares. From Fabric C cut 1 strip.
Step 3a Make Stem. Top row, from left to right: Start with a large square. Cut the 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 right-hand edge of the strip. Pin and stitch together.
Step 3b Finger press the top triangle away from the stem.
Pin the second triangle to the stem strip, aligning its ends across from those of the first triangle. Pin and stitch together.
Step 3c Finger press the second triangle away from the stem. Press both seams open.
Step 3d Trim Stem Unit: Place the diagonal line of a quilting ruler down the middle of the stem strip and center it. Trim unit to size (here, I'm trimming the patch unit to 3 1/2 inches).
Step 4 Layout Block. Near your sewing machine, layout the block in the grid format as pictured below. You can see the maple leaf take shape.
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. Stitch the units together using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side of
Step 5b Flip the 2nd HST open, right side up. Finger press the seam towards the HST in Column 2.
With right sides together, sew the plain square unit from Row 1, Column 3 to the HST in Row 1, Column 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.
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 plain square.
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 rows to the ironing board (not pictured) and press the seams. Use a starch alternative pressing solution if desired to help seams lie flat. (Even from the back the maple leaf quilt block pattern looks good.)
Step 7a Sew Row 1 to Row 2. With right sides together, place Row 1 over Row 2 . 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 and each end. Finger press the seam open.
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.
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.
Here's the backside of the maple leaf quilt block pattern. You can see how the seams are pressed.
This somewhat modern Maple leaf quilt pattern idea is made with 12 inch blocks to finish at an approximate size of 80 x 90 inches. A variety of fabrics in fall colors and green are used to make the Maple leaf quilt blocks.
Each block and row is separated by 2 inch sashing strips. The borders are 6 inches wide and the binding is made from the darkest shade of green fabric used in three of the leaves.
What makes this a modern quilt?
The use of a single color print (see photos below) for each leaf, no cornerstones or obvious borders and seldom seen golden yellow background fabric versus the often seen white/off white background fabric.
I hope you enjoy this maple leaf quilt block pattern tutorial. Here's a table runner maple leaf quilt pattern as well.