Friday, 31 October 2014

Autumn Leaves - Modern Maples

Hi everyone, Trudi here from Quilting Prolifically.   Now the clocks have gone back, it really does feel like autumn, with dark evenings and blustery days.  The trees are hanging on to the last of their leaves in defiance of the seasons.  This has inspired me, along with all the bloggers and IG quilters doing a Modern Maples quilt.

I got to thinking, as you do, I bet I can do most of the hard work with my Sizzix Big Shot.  So after a delve into my stash, I managed to pull a nice selection of autumnal feeling fabrics, and a white on cream to go nicely with them for the background.  This is a great project if you want to bust your scraps too!

Next up was to check for dies, for this project I used the following:

657609 4 1/2" Unfinished Square Bigz die
657613 4 1/2" finished Half Square Triangle Bigz die

For each block you need the following:

background fabrics  1 Square, 6 HSTs
Leaf Fabrics  3 Squares, 4 HSTs, 1 strip 1 1/2" x 7"

I cut 1 1/2" strips, but these could easily be cut with the Bigs XL 1 1/2" strip die (658327 ) and multiples cut from the width of fabric strips, or even scraps.

Once all the cutting was done, it didn't take long to sew all my stem blocks.  To ensure I had the half square triangles lined up centrally, I folded each in half along the long edge (be careful not to stretch as this is a bias edge), then finger pressed a small crease to indicate the center of the piece.  I repeated this with the stem pieces.  By matching the folds, the pieces can be joined and centered easily.

These stems are over sized, so rather than trimming each one with my rotary cutter and square ruler, I used the square die, centering the stem with the corners of the square on the die.  This saved loads of time, and also saved my wrists too!

The half square triangles are sewn together one background and one leaf fabric, with a 1/4" seam are perfectly sized with the other elements of the block.  I chain pieced mine, and the job was soon done and I was ready to assemble my blocks.  I pressed my seams to the darker fabric of the leaf fabrics so they wouldn't show through the lighter background fabric.

Piece the blocks as below into rows first

and then join the rows together to complete the block

If you are making multiple blocks I would work with one color at a time, unless you are going for the scrappy look.  These blocks are 12 1/2" unfinished.

When all your blocks are pieced, a good press and you are ready to plan your layout.  There are so many options, I have had fun playing around with mine, adding in some blanks as if they are blowing around on the wind.  I still have some playing to do with the final layout.

I am looking forward to quilting this one, with an organic swirl that will add more movement I hope. I'll let you know how I get on!  Hopefully very soon, as I would like this to be a tick off my Christmas present list!

This is such a versatile pattern, whilst I have chosen a pallet that speaks autumn colours to me, it lends itself to so much variety.  What colours would you use? Why not give the block a go and show us your results.  I'm considering giving them a try with 2 1/2" squares and half Square triangles for 6 1/2" unfinished blocks, what do you think?


  1. Very nice. I like the hint for making the stem. Real time management tool!

  2. Yum! This is so on my bucket list! Jxo

  3. Ohhh I need an autumn table runner and matching one for my coffee tables