Autumn Leaves

Materials

Based on 115cm fabric or fat quarters at least 18x22in and fat eighths at least 9x22in

  • 1⁄2m of autumnal fabric for the main background
  • 1 fat 1⁄4 of a fairly plain fabric for the appliqué background
  • Scraps of fabric for the acorns and leaves
  • 20cm of Bondaweb (or a similar product)
  • 4 fat 1⁄8s of each of green, dark gold, red and brown fabrics for the stars
  • 1 fat 1⁄4 of light gold fabric for the stars and inner border
  • 1⁄2m of autumnal fabric (outer border / binding)
  • 1m of wadding 
  • 1m of backing fabric
  • Matching threads

Where to buy

Market stalls and traditional fabric shops are a good source of unusual fabrics.

Finished Size

30in (76cm) square

Skill Level

Intermediate

Central appliqué

  1. From the plainish fat quarter cut a 13 1⁄4in square. From the background fabric, cut four 4 3⁄4in squares and mark the diagonals (either with pencil on the wrong side or with a crease).
  2. Place the smaller squares on the corners of the large plain square, stitch across the diagonals, trim the excess fabric away and press back the triangle to make a central octagon for the appliqué (Figure 1).
  3. Trace six leaves and acorns from the template onto the paper side of the Bondaweb. Cut them out roughly and iron onto the wrong sides of the appropriate leaf and acorn fabrics. Cut them out carefully and iron into place on the plain octagon. Satin stitch around each shape using matching threads.
Figure 1: Sewing the central octagon
Figure 1: Sewing the central octagon

TIP! If you prefer you can appliqué the leaves and acorns by hand. In this case add a 1⁄4in seam allowance when you cut the shapes out.

Star Block Border

  1. Decide on the fabric order for the star blocks. Chris has used a green centre, a dark yellow for the star and a paler yellow, red and brown for the outer triangles. (The fabric placement appears more random as one of the fabrics is a largish print.)
  2. Cut a 1 1⁄2in strip from the green fabric and cut this into sixteen 1 1⁄2in squares for the central squares.
  3. From each star fat eighth or quarter cut four 1 7⁄8in strips across the width of the fabric (you may get away with three strips depending on the size accuracy). Cut into 32 squares and then in half into triangles. Each star block requires four triangles of each of four colours.
  4. Following Figure 2, sew the sixteen star blocks. The finished block size is 3in.
  5. From the autumn background fabric cut three 3in strips. Cut these into 32 squares and then in two to make 64 half square triangles. Sew the triangles to the sides of the star blocks (Figure 3).
  6. Sew the star blocks into two strips of three and two strips of five. Sew the three-block strip to the top and bottom of the central square matching the raw edges. Sew the strips of five to the sides (Figure 4).
Figure 2: Sewing the star blocks
Figure 2: Sewing the star blocks
Figure 3: Enlarging the star blocks
Figure 3: Enlarging the star blocks

Final borders

Figure 4: The completed central panel
Figure 4: The completed central panel
  1. From the paler gold fabric cut four 1in strips. Measure the quilt across the centre and cut two of the strips to this length. Sew these strips to the top and bottom of the quilt, matching the raw edges and the centres.
  2. Measure the quilt down the centre. Cut the remaining two strips this length (they should be just long enough) and stitch them in the same way to the sides of the quilt.
  3. Cut four 4 1⁄4in strips from the remaining 1⁄2m of autumn border fabric. Measure the quilt across the centre as before and cut two of the strips this length. Sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt. (Figure 5). Measure down the centre, cut the remaining two strips this length and stitch them to the sides.
Figure 5: The completed quilt top
Figure 5: The completed quilt top

Completing the quilt

  1. Make a sandwich with the wadding and backing fabric and tack or pin the three layers together in a grid pattern. Quilt by hand or machine and echo the block shapes or fabric design.
  2. Finally add a double binding - cut four 2 1⁄2in strips from a suitable fabric, fold in half lengthways and stitch to the sides of the quilt. Fold to the back and slip stitch in place and repeat with the top and bottom edges.

OPTION If you re-scale the star blocks and central octagon block to a finished size of 6in, you could sew an alternative quilt design. The oak leaf appliqué could be used as a quilting design on each octagon block.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 9 Number 6 - September 2001