It’s becoming that time of year when the leaves change colour, the wooly hats go on and the pumpkin spiced lattes appear. Autumn (Fall) is my favourite season for all these reasons and it really sparks my creativity too. Although the shades around us are becoming a bit more muted there are still gorgeous pops of rich colours which I love.
But an autumn project doesn’t always have to have an autumn theme. There are lots of ways to get that Fall vibe in a more subtle way. My favourites are:
- seasonal colours like golds, rusty reds, browns and deep oranges
- a dark background can give a “cooler” feel to a project
- warm textures from fabrics like flannel, brushed cotton and tweed
I love using heavier, textured fabrics like tweed but you need to tread carefully if you decide to use these in a patchwork project. They are usually thicker than regular quilting cotton and often have a more open weave too; both of these characteristics make these fabrics harder to press and they can “shift” more when sewing.
Maple Crisp Project
This maple leaf block could be used for all sorts of different projects; cushion, tote bag front, small wall hanging, add a few together for a table runner, or add lots together for a quilt.
I’m using charcoal from the background fabric and four rust/deep gold prints for the main prints including a brushed cotton for that extra cosy, autumnal feel (literally!).
2 ½” squares : main prints (4 of each print)
2 ½” squares : background fabric (12)
2 7/8″ squares : background fabric (4)
3 3/8″ squares : main prints (2 of each print)
3 3/8″ squares : background fabric (8)
4″ x 1″ strips : main prints (1 of each print)
6 ½” x 2″ strips : background fabric (2)
14″ x 2″ strips : background fabric (1)
The four main units are made in the same way.
Choose one main print and make one unit as follows:
Make the half square triangles (HSTs):
1. Pair a main print and a background fabric 3 3/8” square, right sides together. Draw a diagonal line on the reverse of one square.
2. Sew 1/4“ either side of the drawn line then cut along the drawn line.
3. Press the HSTs open and trim each one to 2½” square.
4. Repeat to make four HSTs per block.
Make the leaf stem:
1. Take a background fabric 2 7/8″ square and cut it in half diagonally.
2. Match the diagonal edge from one background fabric triangle with the long edge of a main print 4″ x 1″ strip, right sides together. Sew 1/4“ from the edge and press open.
3. Repeat on the other long edge of the main print and press open.
4. Trim to 2½” square.
Arrange one main unit:
1. Take the four HSTs and one stem unit from the above steps, along with one background 2 ½” square and three main print 2 ½” squares.
2. Arrange into three rows using the diagram below as a guide.
3. Sew each row together first, then sew the three rows together to complete the leaf block.
Repeat steps one to three using the other main prints.
You should now have four leaf blocks, each with a different main print.
Complete the full block:
1. Take the four leaf blocks along with two background fabric 6 ½” x 2″ strips and one background fabric
14″ x 2″ strip.
2. Using the diagrams below as a guide for placement, sew two leaf blocks to the two long edges on one background fabric 6 ½” x 2″ strip.
3. Repeat with the other two leaf blocks and the remaining background fabric 6 ½” x 2″ strip.
4. Finally sew the two leaf rows from the above steps to the long edges of background fabric
14″ x 2″ strip.
Now decide what you would like to do with your Maple Crisp block! It could be used for all sorts of different projects; cushion, tote bag front, small wall hanging, add a few together for a table runner, or add lots together for a quilt.