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Maple Leaf Quilt Block Tutorial

Updated on August 23, 2017

Quilt Inspiration From A Photo

The season of fall is a Quilters Paradise. It is our playground for all the bold and vibrant colors it provides. There are the many shades of green, the yellow to gold shades , many shades of orange, red, and brown.If you look at a photo of fall, you can see that reds and oranges blend together beautifully. That goes against anything we were told years ago, when we were told never to mix oranges and reds together. My way of thinking is, if it exists in nature, it's oodd enough by me.I sorted through my fabric stash to see if I had any fall colors, and to my surprise, I had more than I thought. I always have green on hand, as it is one of my favorite colors to design with, especially with shades of purple. I found fabric that I forgot I purchased.I then decided I would make a table runner for that upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, which is a fall tradition. The next decision was which pattern to make. The "Maple Leaf" pattern came to mind. This pattern is made by using a nine patch layout. As you know from my other lenses, I love the Nine Patch Quilt Block, and, no, I will not make this nine patch disappear like I did the other ones.Photos taken by me unless otherwise specified.

Current Fall Fabrics

fabrics for fall quilts
fabrics for fall quilts

In this photo, I am showing some of the fabrics I have to choose from. Everything depends on whether I have lots of a particular fabric to make something more than just one quilt block. The "Maple Leaf Quilt Block" is usually made with 2 colors, but, there is nothing in the quilter's rule book that says a person can't use more than 2 colors. I am just going to use 2.I thought these fabrics would be perfect for a fall table runner, until my husband saw the first one I made.

Quilting Fabric For Fall

maple leaf quilt block
maple leaf quilt block

The Rejected Maple Leaf

When my husband saw this pattern. he liked the pattern, but if I was making a table runner for fall, he did not like the green I chose. He said if I was going to use green, it had to be a fabric with different shades of green in it.I told him that my green fabric was limited. and that the rest of my fall colors were also limited. His answer was " What, the fabric store ran out of fabric".Hey, don't have to tell me twice to make a trip to the fabric store.Once I looked more closely at this block, I am glad it was rejected, because it looks like I will lose the points when finished, and the stem is not made the way I want it to look.

New Fall Fabrics

new fall fabrics
new fall fabrics

Here are the results of my trip to the fabric store, or maybe I should say a trip to two different stores. I really wish this particular fabric chain would have a sale at both stores, and not just one. I went to the one on the East side of town, and there was no way I was paying $14.00 per meter, so I went to the store on the West side, and they had a sale on the same fabric for $6.00 per meter.My husband liked the new choice of fabrics, and chose the one he liked best, along with some fabrics from the first stash I showed him.As you can see, I came home with more fabric than I needed, but what quilter doesn't do that?

Cutting Fabric For A Maple Leaf Block - Step 1

fabric for a quilt block
fabric for a quilt block

The Maple Leaf Quilt Block is a Nine Patch. For the first part of the block you will need to make 4 identical half- square triangle units with 2 colors. Make these units by first cutting 2 Gold and 2 Green squares, each one being 5.25 inches square. Make your units by placing one of each color right sides together, then draw a diagonal line down the center, then sew a quarter inch on each side of the diagonal. Cut on the drawn line. This is shown in the top image of this photo.Next step is to square each unit to 4-1/2 inches, as I have done by using a 4-1/2 inch square ruler bottom middle HST Unit.Also , since you have your 4-1/2 inch square ruler handy, cut 3 squares of Green, and 1 square of Gold.If you do not own a 4-1/2 inch square ruler, you can use any other method to square it up very accurately, as that is very important when making this block.

stem unit for maple leaf
stem unit for maple leaf

Making The Stem Unit

Step 2

You now have to make the stem unit. To do this, cut a 5 inch square of the Gold fabric, and cut it in half diagonally. Cut a piece of the Green fabric, 2 inches by 6-1/2 inches.These measurements may appear a little much for this unit, but you need to make this square as accurately as possible. Once you make the first one, you will get a better idea what measurements to use. Everything depends on how wide you make the stem of your Maple Leaf. This stem will finish at 1-1/2 inches, so, yes, the triangles are too large, but, if you decide to make a narrower stem, then they are the right size.Sew a triangle to each side of the rectangular strip. Press

Quilt Block Stem Unit

Step 2 Continued

After you have sewn your stem unit together, draw a chalk line down middle of the Green rectangle. Make sure it exactly in the middle.Then place your 4-1/2 inch square with the diagonally line on the chalk line. Now cut out your 4-1/2 inch square.

maple leaf blocks arranged
maple leaf blocks arranged

Arranging The Units

Step 3

Arrange your 9 squares as shown.Sew your top 3 squares together, then the middle 3 squares, and then the bottom 3 squares.You are going to sew these squares together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Yes, you heard right, 1/2 inch. Why, you ask? I did not go through all the trouble of making those squares accurately, and then lose the points when I am finished. I have been there, done that, and I am not doing it again. I am planning on adding a thicker batting then usual, and I want room for that process. Trust me on this.You are also going to skip the step of pressing each row after you sew the squares.Just go to your machine, and sew the squares together, then sew the 3 rows together. I found out the hard way that pressing can warp your fabric. If all the squares were made accurately, then you do not have to press.Press after the whole unit is sewn together. You should not have to square these units, unless they are really off of being square. If you have to square it, be careful on the corner with the stem; if you trim 1 side of the stem, you have to trim the other side an equal amount, or else it will not be centered.

Photo Gallery Of My New Blocks - I made 8 Maple Leaf Blocks

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Table Runner - Step 4

fall table runner
fall table runner

Here are the 2 rows of the 8 block sewn together, 4 blocks in each row.Your next step is to sew these 2 rows together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.Again, do not press anything yet, as you can press and square it up after it is sewn together.

Finished Maple Leaf Table Runner

Here is my finished project. I now have to decide on a backing and batting. I only have to square it up slightly.LESSONS and MISTAKES sewing this project are:1. The 1/2 inch seam allowance worked perfectly. Just look at my Points. they are the best I have so far.2. I only have one mistake to correct. It is on the bottom right unit, the 4-1/2 inch square to the left of the sold gold square. I am going to try to correct it by taking in or taking out a seam allowance, as that is the benefit of doing a 1-1/2 inch seam allowance, which will give me room to correct the point not matching up correctly.3. As you can see, I matched up the 4 stem units in the middle. That is why you have to make the Stem units accurately.4. This unit after the backing is sewn will measure 40 inches by 20 inches.5. I now have an appreciation for different shades of brown, but it still has to be the right shade of brown.6. Okay, so you are a traditional quilter, and you just can't bring yourself to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Fine, when you are finished your block, just grab a pair of scissors and trim the seam allowances to 1/4 inch, and no one will know the difference.7. I should have planned out the project better, as it is too big our table. I could have cut 4 inch squares instead of 4-1/2 inch ones

The Maple Leaf Quilt Block

As a quilter, have you made the Maple Leaf Block?

See results

Quilted Living Room Mat

quilted floor mat
quilted floor mat

Once my Maple Leaf Quilt Project was finished, It turned out to be too big for a table runner for our table. especially if I wanted to use place mats as well, so I decided to add a border on the long end of the quilt, and a narrower border to the width of the quilt. I needed it to be large enough to fit as a mat in front of our couch.. It now measures 23 inches by 56 inches. I used fabric for the borders that was used for the Maple Leafs. I used 2 different fabrics, as I wanted to save enough of each fabric to make a smaller one for in front of the recliner.Our Dining room and Living Room are together, so people can still see the mat from the dining room. I still have some of the same fabric left, so I can still make something to match for the table.

The Square Ruler Question

As a new quilter, my first square rulers I purchased were a 4-1/2 Inch and a 12-1/2 Inch. I only use the large one for squaring off larger blocks, so it did not matter that the markings were not very visible. The 4-1/2 Inch I purchased did not have very clear markings either , and I hated it. I went to another store to replace it, and they only sold the 5 Inch Square, so I purchased it, and I love it, but it had better marking on it. So maybe that extra 1/2 Inch does not matter, as long as the markings are clear. I have a 6-1/2 Square as well, and I enjoy using it.

Do you prefer a 4-1/2 square or a 4-inch square ruler


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    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 4 years ago

      Maple leaves are my favorite tree leaf. I've just finished a waterfall project in a small area out side the patio of my apartment. I'm beginning to landscape it, and found two gorgeous Japanese dwarfs, a 'Fireglow' Maple, and a 'Snow Fountain' a weeping flowering cherry. I recently recently wrote a lens about them called Wildwood Farm. The Maple is particularly beautiful, it stays red year round. Thank you for a lovely lens. I'd love to buy a small Maple runner of your making, but it's probably priceless!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Such an innovative idea! Interesting lens. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      I don't sew really (more of a staple-my-hem in a rush type mom). But I love quilts . . these are gorgeous.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      This is a skill I would enjoy having but my attempts have failed so far. Congrats on LOTD and an outstanding piece of work.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      That was fun, to be walked through your quilting project step-by-step!

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      @ColettaTeske: Thanks for visiting. I enjoy picking out fabric just as much as making something out of the fabric.

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 4 years ago

      Gorgeous pattern. My mom is the quilter in our family. I have several of her quilts and table runners. I don't quilt, but I pick out fabrics for mom. It's not an easy job. I spent 2 hours trying to find the right mix of fabrics for her latest bedspread. But it is going to be beautiful!

    • Fufurinha47 profile image

      Beatriz 4 years ago from Portugal

      Great lens and amazing work :)

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      Nice lens, have been quilting for years and more addicted now than before.

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 4 years ago from New Zealand

      A very nice lens. I've never done quilting but I do admire it and the people who produce such lovely quilted items as you have done.

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      Nice lens ,great designs ,thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Hornswaggled 4 years ago

      LOVE this piece! I just started quilting and am in the middle of one for my grandson when my sewing machine quit. I'm trying to make some money to replace it. Great article....keeps me wanting to finish my project!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      This is a new area for me as I am just learning about it. The design is lovely. Congratulation on LotD.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I'm impressed!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      These are beautiful works of art. Congratulations.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 4 years ago

      great lens. Congratulation on LOTD!

    • myowncupoftea profile image

      myowncupoftea 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens! I was pleasantly surprised to see tabs and drop-downs too. Amazing work!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Great project and information in making a quilt...thanks for sharing.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Tips are hard. I remember that from the various quilts I made some years ago. I will check out your tips tips!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      I am not a quilter. But my mom is. In fact her first quilt was made for my litter sister who is now in her 30's. It may be done soon. Shh don't tell mom I said that. I liked the lay out of your lens and the details of the pictures was helpful to help understand what you were talking about. Congrats on the LOTD.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      very nice lens, I like the patterns and designs, great selection of photos too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful fabrics and table runner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very detailed lense... Nice and clean and helpful. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very detailed lense... Nice and clean and helpful. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens! Do men do quilting too, or is it only for girls?

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you. Yes, men do quilt. I did see a tube video where a man was teaching a class on quilting. Also saw an article about a stay-at-home-dad who quilted, and I believe he also had a blog about it and showed off his quilts.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD and Purple Star! The Maple Leaf Block is really pretty. It is much easier than I expected it to be. I'll probably be giving this one a try sometime soon. I love fall, too. We don't get a good fall in the southern US. I miss that.

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      anonymous 4 years ago


    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Beautiful! Congratulations on LotD!

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 4 years ago

      Like I mentioned in my comments, I am new to quilting so anything that will teach me the right way, the first time is really good in my books. This is very detailed and lovely. Thanks for your efforts, I'll let you know how it goes.........

    • kjolley1962 profile image

      kjolley1962 4 years ago

      Beautiful and creative lens! I'm glad to see that the art of quilt making is still kept alive by folks like yourself! Congrats on the Purple Star and LOTD!!

    • profile image

      JennAshton 4 years ago

      I love quilting posts so much and this one especially with the fall fabrics - beautiful!

    • pshinde2109 lm profile image

      pshinde2109 lm 4 years ago

      congrats for LOTD...very detailed lense!!!

    • profile image

      gamingprotips 4 years ago

      These are really nice. My Grandmother decided that she'd give each of us a quilt when we got married. My wife and I still keep it on the bed.

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 4 years ago

      I am still working up the courage to make a small quilt. Your project was really neat and perfect for fall! Congrats on LotD!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      Congratulations on LOTD. I am not a quilter but I like to sew, but have not done so in many in years. You were talking about certain colors not going together made me come to mind about my friend. She was going to make an artificial flower arrangement (was a job she did) and showed me purple and orange flowers she was going to use. I was a wondering if she knew what she was doing, but I said nothing. She showed me the finished product, I must say I was very impressed with the arrangement. Sometimes we just don't see what we really think we see.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I don't quilt myself, but I truly admire the work of others. Your maple leaf quilts are beautiful.

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      abdelbassit-abdessamad 4 years ago

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Terrific lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

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      Mobley5 4 years ago

      Lovely lens: a well-deserved LOTD!

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      Quilting is such a "one-of-a-kind" art form. Congrats.

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 4 years ago from Tennessee

      Great block pattern and finished product. It's about time I try a maple leaf, and it's the perfect season.

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 4 years ago

      Great design and I love the colors you have chosen. The directions are very clear and precise.

    • profile image

      rakesarm 4 years ago

      Very beautiful designs. Congratulation on lens of the day.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Beautiful! I love quilts and the colors of autumn, so what's not to love? You have a pretty amazing husband. Encouragement to go shopping? Wow. The perfect man in my book. :-) Congrats on your honor and feature as Lens of the Day. Enjoy the afterglow.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, Squid Team for Lens Of The Day. It is really exciting. It really gives a person a boost, and a desire to keep making more lenses.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Back to this beautiful lens to say Congratulations on your Lens of the Day honors!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      You have got a very well trained husband! Well done on LOTD.

    • profile image

      webscribbler 4 years ago

      Oh my goodness, a husband who invites his resident quilter to go and buy more fabric. I didn't know those existed. lol. Nice tute. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      wwwPuzzleGamespk 4 years ago

      All the designs are full of wonders. i really love them. I am sure you'll keep on posting ravishing sites like this

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      This looks amazing.

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Your quilts look great!

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 4 years ago

      My mother made quilts .

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've always wanted to learn how to quilt. Your work is beautiful. Congrats on your lens being chosen for LOTD!

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      Your quilts shows ur hardwork. beautiful quilt.

    • profile image

      longlakelifestyle 4 years ago

      Now I want to learn how to quilt.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      beautiful quilt..

    • profile image

      RANADEEP 4 years ago

      I am agree with Erin completely,because saving time is which is need most in this era,and I think you have\done a great job,thx maam!!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      Beautiful, and great idea to share your mistakes and learns, that's the bit that can really save people lots of time ad fabric, if you can avoid mistakes other people have made.

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      laurenrich 4 years ago

      This is beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I want one!!

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you. I really enjoyed making this lens, as I am better at making them now.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      How absolutely beautiful! Great step-by-step pictures, too.