Leaves…not Appliqued either

I signed up for this quilt class which featured a quilt where the star was a simple leaf.  I really like the  finished quilt so I decided it was the class for me.  However I did not realize at the time that the leaves were not appliqued on, but actually inset.

Here is how I did it.

1. First thing you have to do is cut your pieces of green into rectangles, for example 7 X 13″.  Once they are cut you want to stack them into piles of 8 pieces each, making a deck of fabric.  Then making 6 cuts into each deck, so you have spliced the deck.  You should have 7 pieces, cut into a variety of shapes, but you need to make sure that they are no smaller than 1″ at the bottom or the top.

2. Mix the decks up so that you have 7 different fabrics that if sewn together will form a rectangle.  Once you have all of your rectangles you sew them together to make a GIANT STRATA

This is a picture of 3 stratas that I have done.

3. Using a piece of freezer paper, draw a square onto it and divide the square in half (not directly in half, but on a slight angle).  Then place the leaf shape along the line so that the leaf is divided.  Then using a FAT HIGHLIGHTER trace around the leaf shape.  Use a FAT HIGHLIGHTER because it is about 1/4″ that way you make your seam allowance.  Then Cut out the leaf and save it for another day.

4. On another piece of freezer paper draw a line and on that line draw another leaf that will fit into the shape of the square.  Using once again your FAT HIGHLIGHTER outline your leaf so that it has the seam allowance.

5. Now you need to iron/press the square pieces onto your fabric to cut out your background

As you can see I cut my background pieces into squares, at least 2″ bigger around then my freezer paper square.

In the middle iron/press the freezer paper onto the background fabric.


Next you need to cut out the inner leaf.  You won’t be using it at all in this project so you can cut it out how you need.

Leaf removed

Finished Background square….ready for the next step.

6.  We now have to cut out pieces for our leaves.  I liked this part because it allows you to make the call about what the leaf would look like.

As you can see I drew arrows on my leaf so that I knew which way to place the on the fabric.  That way when I put the leaves together the fabric doesn’t all go in the same direction.

Then once again ironing/pressing the freezer paper on and cutting them out


7.  Now to sew.  Once you have placed your leaves onto your background fabric you need to sew them together.  When sewing the leaf piece onto the left side of the back ground you need to start from the top of the background, leaving a little bit of the leaf hanging over the edge.  RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER

As you move around the leaf you need to go slowly and you might find that it is helpful to drop your needle, lift the presser foot and adjust the fabric so the edges match.

You will also find that the left side is a little easier to maneuver than the right side.

When doing the right side of the leaf you will need to start from the bottom of the background. RST

Once you are finished press the seam towards the leaves so that they appear to pop off the background.

Now you need to trim the leaves and background so you have a straight edge.

This is before trimming

To create a stem you take a piece of red (or whatever color you want for your stem) and a small piece of your background faric and sew them together either on and angle or straight as the one above shows.

Then you place the stem one the left side on the fabric with right sides together and sew from the the top of the stem to the bottom.  Here comes more trimming though from the top of the leaf to the bottom of the background so you have a nice angle.  Then press open.

8. Next and almost at the end, pin the right leaf to the left leaf, RST, and sew from the top to the bottom and then press.

TADA, Done!  There is your leaf block.



Filed under Quilting, Sewing

8 responses to “Leaves…not Appliqued either

  1. Nathan

    It seems like a lot of work, but it looks really neat when you are done.

  2. WOW that is sure good practice in insetting those curves, how did you like it? A bit trying but I’m sure it turned out easier then you thought 🙂 Nice job!!


    • Jen

      I really liked the insetting curves. It was nerve racking for sure but I love the end so much that the fussyness made it worth it and once the groove came along no problem.

  3. This is beautiful! The finished project will be worth the effort, I’m sure!

  4. Very nice! How large are your leaves? I would imagine larger would be much easier to sew than small ones. Will look forward to seeing your quilt.

    • Jen

      Thank you for leaving a comment and stopping by. There are two sets of sizes. The bigger block background measured 12″, while the freezer paper square is 10″. The finished block is 10.5″.

      The smaller was a 9″ square, with a 7″ freezer paper. The finished block is 7.5″

      I’ll keep you posted on the finished quilts.

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