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How to Make a Maple Leaf Quilt Block | Free Pattern

Updated on September 25, 2014
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been quilting for 25 years and writing about quilting for almost 5 years. She has won a number of awards for her work.

Quilt Leaf Block Pattern
Quilt Leaf Block Pattern | Source

Leaf quilts make a lovely addition to any bed or wall, and are always stunning. Depending on the season, a leaf quilt can set the tone for an entire room.

Leaf patterns in quilting range from simple to complex, and can be pieced or appliqued. Leaf motifs have been used in quilting for hundreds of years and are often found in historical quilts.

The directions provided below are for a simple and traditional pattern that makes one 10 1/2” leaf block.

Supplies needed

  • Fabric – 100% cotton, pre-washed and pressed
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat

Important: Always use a 1/4" seam when piecing this quilt block together.

Step 1 - Cut Fabric

Squares of fabric for leaf block
Squares of fabric for leaf block | Source

Various brown fabrics

Various brown fabrics ready to cut.
Various brown fabrics ready to cut. | Source

Cut the following pieces of fabric:

From the light fabric cut:

  • One 3 1/2” square
  • One 5" square
  • Three 4" squares

From the dark fabric cut:

  • One 3 1/2” square
  • Three 4" squares
  • One 1" by 6 1/2" strip

Hint: Use a different fabric for each square to add some charm and sparkle to the block.

Step 2 - Make the half square triangles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1. Place one light 4" square right sides together with one dark 4" square.  Draw a line diagonally across the light square as a sewing guide.2. Using a 1/4" seam, sew down each side of the drawn line.3. Cut in half on drawn line.4. Press to the dark fabric.5. Trim to 3 1/2".
1. Place one light 4" square right sides together with one dark 4" square.  Draw a line diagonally across the light square as a sewing guide.
1. Place one light 4" square right sides together with one dark 4" square. Draw a line diagonally across the light square as a sewing guide. | Source
2. Using a 1/4" seam, sew down each side of the drawn line.
2. Using a 1/4" seam, sew down each side of the drawn line. | Source
3. Cut in half on drawn line.
3. Cut in half on drawn line. | Source
4. Press to the dark fabric.
4. Press to the dark fabric. | Source
5. Trim to 3 1/2".
5. Trim to 3 1/2". | Source
  1. Place one dark 4” square and one 4” light square, right sides together. Draw a line from corner to corner, diagonally across the square.
  2. Sew a 1/4” seam down each side of the drawn line.
  3. Cut on the drawn line.
  4. Press the seam open, pressing to the dark fabric.
  5. Square up each half square triangle to 3 1/2”, using a quilting ruler. If sewn correctly, you will not need to trim up very much at all.

Step 4 - Make the stem square

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1. Cut the 5" inch square of light fabric in half, diagonally and lay the dark strip in between.2. Center the strip to the diagonal cut and sew together, using a 1/4" seam.  Sew the other triangle to the other side of the strip.3. Trim down the square to 3 1/2".4. Finished stem square.
1. Cut the 5" inch square of light fabric in half, diagonally and lay the dark strip in between.
1. Cut the 5" inch square of light fabric in half, diagonally and lay the dark strip in between. | Source
2. Center the strip to the diagonal cut and sew together, using a 1/4" seam.  Sew the other triangle to the other side of the strip.
2. Center the strip to the diagonal cut and sew together, using a 1/4" seam. Sew the other triangle to the other side of the strip. | Source
3. Trim down the square to 3 1/2".
3. Trim down the square to 3 1/2". | Source
4. Finished stem square.
4. Finished stem square. | Source
  1. Cut the 5" square of light fabric in half, diagonally. Place the strip of dark fabric in the center.
  2. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the dark strip to the light triangle. Do the same thing with the other triangle. The strip is a little bit longer than the triangle. Just center the triangle in the strip for sewing. Press open.
  3. Trim the square back to 3 1/2". You will find that there is a significant amount of fabric to cut, but you want to have extra so that any cutting mistakes don't ruin the entire square.
  4. The stem square is finished and ready to sew into the leaf block.

Block laid out for sewing.
Block laid out for sewing. | Source
Sew square a to square b in all 3 rows.
Sew square a to square b in all 3 rows. | Source
Sew square c to sewn squares a and b in all 3 rows.
Sew square c to sewn squares a and b in all 3 rows. | Source
Sew row 1 to row 2.
Sew row 1 to row 2. | Source
Sew row 3 to sewn rows 1 and 2.  Block is complete.
Sew row 3 to sewn rows 1 and 2. Block is complete. | Source

Step 5 - Assemble the quilt leaf block

Photo 1

Lay the 3 1/2” squares out in the desired pattern.

Keep the pieces in order so they don't get mixed up or get sewn together facing the wrong way.



Photo 2

Sew square a to square b in all 3 rows. Press.






Photo 3

Sew square c to the sewn a and b squares in all 3 rows. Press.







Photo 4

Sew row 1 to row 2. Press.






Photo 5

Sew row 3 to the sewn rows 1 and 2 and press.

Your block is done. It should measure 10 1/2”.




Leaf block patterns in quilting

This block is a great stash buster. Use browns and beiges for a great fall quilt, or brighten up the pattern with vibrant green tones for a cool summer wall hanging.

Whatever colors you use, this classic leaf pattern makes a beautiful quilt, modern or traditional.

Happy Quilting!

© 2013 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Passing this on to Bev, who swears that one day she will make a quilt. Excellent step-by-step instructions.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Bill! This is an easy block that packs a punch.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      beautiful craft. I used to see my mother in law making quilts blanket for her grandchildren but she never teach me how to do it. Now i know. Thanks for sharing. Voted useful

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi peachpurple - I hope you get started on a quilt soon. They are fun to make. Thanks for commenting.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      Years ago I took a quilting class and I have to say I loved it. You have sparked my interest once again.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I'm so glad to hear that breakfastpop! You could make a political statement with an art quilt. That would be fun! Or how about one inspired by breakfast! Have a great day. Thanks for commenting.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      I'll have to really brush up on my long lost skill.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      You make that look so easy! It would take me forever - ! Gorgeous work - I love it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the nice comments RealHousewife! Once you get the process, it really goes quickly.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Another creative write. As Kelly said, you make it look so easy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Michelle! I am glad you enjoyed the hub. These leaves are fun to make, especially in different colors.

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