Tutorial - Maple Leaf Block

>> Tuesday, May 10, 2016

maple leaf block button

This tutorial will make a 12 1/2" unfinished maple leaf block. Inspired to help those displaced by the Fort McMurray fire of May 2016, this tutorial is my response. It has helped me feel like I can do something - make a difference. 

Others are collecting blocks and/or quilts for the community of Fort McMurray. You can find groups through Facebook and Instagram. I will be sending my blocks before the June 30 deadline to Mad About Patchwork, a Canadian quilt store in Ontario. **My tutorial uses white as a background as requested by the group organizing the blocks - low volume is also okay {think off-white, light grey}. Colours requested for the leaf blocks are blue, yellow, red, and green. *They actually request two colours be used for the leaf in one block*

Link to Request for Blocks for Fort McMurray
 You will find links to more maple leaf block tutorials at this link - we all have a little different approach. Use the one that makes the task easiest for you;)

maple leaf pieces sizes

To make ONE maple leaf block you will need:

background fabric 
1 - 5 1/2" square - cut in half on the diagonal
2 - 5" squares
1 - 4 1/2" square

leaf fabric
2 - 5" squares
3 - 4 1/2" squares
1 - 2 x 7" rectangle

draw hst lines

1. Start by making the Half Square Triangles (hsts): you will use two sets of  one background and one leaf 5" square. On the wrong side of each of the background squares draw one diagonal line; this is your eventual cutting line.

sewing away from cut line on hsts

2. Match up the pairs right sides together and sew 1/4" away from each side of your drawn line.

cut and press hsts

3. Cut ON the line and press the seams to the leaf fabric.

trim hst units to size

4. Trim each unit to 4 1/2" square.

first step stem unit

5. To make the stem unit start by sewing the cut triangle units to each long edge of the leaf rectangle piece. The ends of the triangle will actually extend almost 1/4" beyond the rectangle on both ends - this is what you want!

adding second triangle to stem

6. Press both seams to the leaf rectangle.

Now I have directions for two different options for trimming your stem unit. One will give you a more liberated stem {read - it won't line up in the middle of the block!} and one will give you a stem that is centered in the unit. Both look good!  Check them both out before you choose then be sure to look at the photos to see where my ruler lined up.

red leaf stem first trim

7a. Liberated stem - line up the 5 1/2 inch marks on the ruler with the left edge and the bottom edge of the unit. Trim.

Turn unit so trimmed edges are now on the left and bottom. Trim unit to 4 1/2" square.

7b. Centered Stem

centered stem first trim

Line up the 45 degree line on the ruler on the middle of the stem piece and the left and bottom edges at 5 1/2". You can see here that the 1 1/2" grid lines rest almost exactly on the sides of the stem fabric. Trim.

centered stem second step

Turn unit so trimmed edges are now on the left and bottom. Trim unit to 4 1/2" square.

8. Layout your block units as in the photos below.

maple leaf one colour layout

Here is the layout for a one color maple leaf block. This one has a liberated stem.

two colour maple leaf layout

There was a request to make the donation blocks in two colours - here's a yellow and blue one. This block has a centered stem.

The assembly method for both is the same, but all my photos will be of the red leaf ;)

pressing row seams

9. Sew the units together in rows; press the seams in directions indicated by arrows in the photo above. Sometimes it's quicker to press the seams all at once instead of each time you sew one!

maple leaf block done

10. Sew the rows together; press the seams to the middle row.

two colour maple leaf done

I hope you found this tutorial useful! I plan on making more blocks to donate, but also some to add to my collection of fall blocks from my Harvest Joy sampler. I still really want to make a Fall row quilt;) 

Of course, Canada Day is coming and you still have time to stitch up a red and white maple leaf quilt or table runner!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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The Joyful Quilter June 15, 2016 at 8:19 PM  

Thanks for the tutorial. My quilt group just sent 22 blocks. I didn't end up participating, but maybe I'll have time to make a few before the deadline.

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