The Maple Leaf Quilting Block
The Maple Leaf quilt block is made a couple different ways. One way is more frugal in that it takes less time, so that is the one this page will show you how to do.
As you can see from the grids on the left, the maple leaf block is a 9 patch. It uses half square triangles and squares.
The only tricky patch is the square with the stem. Some people appliqué the stem, so that it is slightly rounded. Appliqué is beautiful, but not for this site. See Cheater Quilts and Panels to see the look of a curved stem.
Here is the way the stem was made in the top right square above.
First a square was cut the same dimensions as the other squares in the grid. Let's assume we are using simple measurements, and that are the squares in the block are made to finish at 2 inches.
The means the square would be cut at 2 1/2 inches raw. Cut it out of the leaf or stem fabric.
Now you are going to need a couple squares of the background fabric. You are going to use the same technique as the snowball quilt block. You are putting a couple of smaller squares on opposite corners of the block, sewing across them diagonally, and then pulling them back to reveal the stem.
The white portion in the above square represents the squares that have been sewn to the fabric on the diagonal line, and then folded back, leaving the fabric underneath exposed. The black area is the stem.
You need to make your small squares smaller than the square underneath so that some fabric will show for the stem.
You can make the stem as wide or narrow as you want. If you want it narrow, like at the top of the page, cut the squares about 2 3/4 inches raw. If you want the stem wider, cut them smaller.
Be sure that when you do your half square triangles that you have the 1/4 inch of fabric beyond the points of the maple leaves so you don't cut them off when you sew this block to another piece of fabric.
There are two places in the block that need 1/4 inch piecing distance. In the picture at the top of the page you can see it on the top of the bottom right block. There is also a matching area at the top on the left.
One way the maple leaf block is often arranged is in groups of four, with the stems pointing towards the middle.
Have some fun with this frugal block. Make it scrappy. Change out the center squares, put in different fabrics for the leaves, or make the stem unique.