What more perfect block for the autumn season than a leaf block. This was my second block of the month way back in September 1999. I’ve added a quilt suggestion, and some addition sizes at the bottom of the page. After all, not all leaves are the same size in nature, why should they be on our quilts?
For a 6 1/2 inch (6 inch finished) Autumn Leaf block you will need three colors, an autumn color (orange), a background (white) and a little bit of something for the stem (brown).
From a stem color, cut a piece cut 1 inch by 6 inches
From your autumn color, cut two 2 7/8 inch squares and three 2 1/2 inch square
From your background, cut two 2 7/8 inch squares and two 2 1/2 inch squares
Step one: We're going to make a few triangle squares for our leaves. (You can find directions for making triangle squares (a.k.a. diagonal half squares and half square triangles) with diagrams by following this link.) Place a 2 7/8 autumn color block and a 2 7/8 background block right sides together. Carefully draw a line down the center, corner to corner, diagonally across the block. (This will be a cutting line when you are finished.)
Step two: If you have a true 1/4 inch foot on your machine, you can sew on either side of this drawn line. If not, you will have to draw a second line on either side, exactly 1/4 inch from the first line. This will be your sewing line.
Step three: After you have sewn on your sewing line, 1/4 inch on either side of your corner to corner to line, you will cut this square in half on your cutting line. You will now have two triangle squares, which should measure exactly 2 1/2 inches. Repeat so that you have four triangle squares.
For your stem:
Cut one 2 1/2 inch square in half diagonally. Line up one half of that cut square with your one inch strip autumn color, with the extra strip hanging from each end evenly. Sew together carefully, you are sewing on the bias and it will be stretchy. Press towards the stem. Sew the other half of your cut square to the other side. Press toward the stem. Trim this block back to be a 2 1/2 inch square again, with your stem in the middle.
Want to make a variety of leaf sizes?
Cutting your squares 1 1/2 inches (1 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 3 inches.
Cutting your squares 2 inches (2 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 4 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 2 1/2 inches (2 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 6 inches.
Cutting your squares 3 inches (3 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 7 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 3 1/2 inches (3 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 9 inches.
Cutting your squares 4 inches (4 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 10 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 4 1/2 inches (4 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 12 inches.
Cutting your squares 5 1/2 inches (5 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 15 inches.
Cutting your squares 6 1/2 inches (6 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 18 inches.
These are finished sizes, after the block is sewn into a quilt.
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Updated June 18, 2020
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