Easy Maple Leaf Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 05

    Meet the Quilt Pattern

    Maple Leaf quilt pattern
    Janet Wickell / The Spruce

    The Autumn Leaves quilt pattern is designed with 14" square blocks with a small maple leaf unit at each corner. Leaves are separated by sashing, and a square sits at the block's center. Snowball quilt blocks rest between the maple leaf blocks, where they link to create a diagonal movement across the surface of the quilt.

    This quilt pattern is perfect for a fall theme, but would be a nice match for other colors, or even sewn as a scrap quilt.

    Finished block size: 14" x 14"

    Quilt size: 82" x 110"

    All blocks are quick pieced.

    Quilting Fabric and Other Materials

    Always start any quilt pattern by cutting only enough fabric to make a sample block or two.

    Neutral print for Maple background and Snowball centers: 5 yards

    Medium-light green print for sashing bars: 1 yard

    Red print for leaves: 3/4 yard

    Green print for leaves: 3/4 yard

    Gold print for leaves: 3/4 yard

    (Lighter) green-brown-gold for leaves: 3/4 yard

    Deep red/burnt-orange print for Snowball corners, Maple block centers, outer border: 3 yards (trim a 16" wide lengthwise grain panel from the yardage and reserve for borders before cutting another patchwork.

    Light dotted fabric for inner border: 7/8 yards (crosswise strip borders)

    Backing: 10-1/2 yards using vertical panels (Quilt backing instructions—you will have leftovers)—or, about 8-1/8 yards for horizontal panels

    Batting: approximately 95" x 125"

    Binding: approximately 410 running inches

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Make Stems for the Maple Leaf Quilt

    Maple Leaf quilt pattern
    Janet Wickell / The Spruce

    You have a couple of choices to assemble the stem units that are sewn in each corner of a Maple Leaf unit.

    Method one is illustrated and involves sewing a background square to opposite corners of a leaf-colored square using the easy Snowball corners technique.

    The second method is accomplished with foundation piecing.

    Snowball Corners Stem Assembly

    Do not cut all of your fabric at once. Cut only enough to make a sample block. That's good advice for any pattern you follow, mine and others.

    From each leaf fabric, cut:

    • (18) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares (from 2-1/2" wide selvage to selvage strips)

    From the neutral background fabric, cut:

    • (72) 2-1/8" x 2-1/8" squares (from 2-1/8" wide selvage to selvage strips)​​​


    1. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other on the reverse side of each neutral square.
    2. Place a neutral square face down onto a leaf square, line arranged as shown. Sew a seam on the line.
    3. Trim away the corner through both layers, leaving about 1/4" seam allowance past the line.
    4. Flip the neutral corner upright and press in place.
    5. Repeat on the opposite corner.
    6. Make a stem for the three remaining leaf colors in your quilt block. After you've assembled a complete test block, make the remaining stem units (a total of 18 of each color).
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Sew Maple Leaf Quilt Blocks

    Maple Leaf quilt pattern
    Janet Wickell / The Spruce

    The instructions assume you will use the easy sandwich method to make half-square triangle units (HSTs) to sew the maple leaf units. Alter cutting instructions to use another technique; units must be finished at 2" x 2", so they will measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" after assembly.

    All required patches are listed but cut only enough fabric to make a sample block. Read through the instructions before beginning.

    From each red leaf fabric, cut:

    • (54) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares
    • (36) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares (unless you wish to assemble the units oversized and then cut back for accuracy; instructions included in the easy sandwich technique)

    From the neutral background fabric, cut:

    • (18) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares
    • (36) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares (or to match leaf squares if you plan to make oversize)

    From the light green "sash" fabric, cut: (36) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" bars

    Assemble the Maple Leaves

    1. Using the easy sandwich method, pair a 2-7/8" neutral square with a leaf square of the same size. The result will be two HSTs that each measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2".
    2. Repeat to make two more identical HSTs.
    3. Arrange the HSTs, one 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" neutral square, three 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" leaf fabric squares and a leaf stem unit into three rows as shown. Sew components of each row together. Press seam allowances away from pieced units.
    4. Sew the rows together, butting seam intersections for a perfect match. Press. The unit should measure 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".
    5. Make the second unit from the neutral fabric and green leaf fabric.
    6. Sew a 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" green bar between the maple leaf units, orienting the units as shown. Press seam allowances towards the green bar.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Finish Sewing the Maple Leaf Quilt Blocks

    Maple Leaf quilt pattern
    Janet Wickell / The Spruce

    The vertical sash/center square can be either strip pieced or sewn together with individually cut patchwork. Primary instructions are for strip pieced units; cutting directions for individually sewn patches are at the bottom of the page.

    1. Make a unit with a gold leaf and another unit with a greenish/brown/gold leaf. Sew a bar between the units as shown (illustration, lower left).

    Make the Strip Pieced Horizontal Sash Units

    1. Cut (2) 6-1/2" wide selvage to selvage strips of green sash fabric; cut another strip that measures 6-1/2" x 17".
    2. Cut (2) 2-1/2" wide selvage to selvage strips of the deep red/burnt orange fabric; cut another strip that measures 2-1/2" x 17" (cut strips along lengthwise grain since removing border panels have narrowed yardage)
    3. Sew a green strip lengthwise to each side of a matching-length red strip. Press seam allowances towards the green strips.
    4. Square up one end of the strip set and then cut as many 2-1/2" wide segments from it as possible.
    5. Assemble two more strip sets from like-length strips. Cut more 2-1/2" segments for a total of (18).
    6. Sew a horizontal sash/square unit between block halves, orienting maple leaves as shown. Press. The quilt block should measure 14-1/2" x 14-1/2".
    7. Make a total of 18 Maple Leaf quilt blocks.

    For Individually Pieced Units

    1. Cut (36) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" light green bars
    2. Cut (18) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" deep red/burnt-orange squares
    3. Sew bars to opposite sides of a square. Press seam allowances towards the bars. Make a total of (18) units.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Make the Snowball Quilt Blocks for the Autumn Leaves Quilt

    Quilt patterns final directions
    Janet Wickell / The Spruce

    Assemble Snowball quilt blocks with the same easy-corner technique used to make the stem units.

    Because we're dealing with large blocks and fairly large corners, eliminate waste by using a tip submitted by one of our quilting community members. Sew the diagonal seam to join squares to corners as you normally would, and then sew another diagonal line parallel to and about 1/2" from the first. Cut halfway between the seams—the corner comes off like a ready-made half-square triangle unit that can be sized for a future project (or sewn together to make easy throw pillow covers to match the quilt.

    Cutting Instructions

    From neutral fabric, cut (18) 14-1/2" x 14-1/2" squares

    From deep red/burnt orange fabric, cut (72) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares

    1. Align and sew a 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" square to each corner of a large neutral square (Illustration).

    Assemble the Quilt

    1. Two different types of rows are used in the Autumn Leaves quilt. The top row illustrated is sewn from three Maple Leaf blocks and two Snowballs. The second row is made from three Snowballs and two Maple Leafs.
    2. Make four rows that match the top illustration. Press seam allowances towards the Snowball blocks.
    3. Make three rows that match the bottom illustration. Press seam allowances towards the Snowball blocks.
    4. Sew all rows together. Odd-numbered rows (1, 3, 5, 7) are like the top illustration. Remaining rows go into even-numbered slots. Press the quilt.
    5. Add the inner border from joined 3" wide crosswise grain strips of the dotted fabric. Apply side borders first. Beginners—don't be tempted to measure your quilt along its outer edges, because it is likely skewed a bit. Borders are an opportunity to square up the quilt before the finishing steps. (Border Instructions)
    6. Cut outer borders from 5" wide strips of the red/burnt orange panel reserved for the border. Apply side borders first.
    7. Press the quilt.
    8. Mark the top for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing and quilt. Finish by applying the binding.