Autumn Leaf Quilt Block, continued...

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

by Julie Baird

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.

Our Autumn Leaf quilt block tutorial continues with piecing the point of our leaf, adding a stem and final block assembly.

On this page you'll find instructions to:

  • No time to finish it now? Simply Pin It for later!

Leaf all your worries behind, let's get this block finished!

Paper Pieced Tippecanoe  (Corner Unit or Leaf Tip)

Make 1

Autumn Leaf, corner Tippecanoe unit

Always cut with the printed side of the template facing up, you'll be using the solid lines. The sides that meet at 90 degree angles are placed on the straight of grain. Your block will have stable edges that don't stretch.

With your leaf fabric pretty side up, lay the cone shaped T.1 template, printed side up on the fabric. I used bits of Scotch Brand Magic Tape® to hold it in place and minimize slippage. It pulls right off without leaving a residue.

Just don't iron it—it'll melt.

Remember to remove it from your leftover fabric after cutting.

Use tape to hold the template in place on your fabric.Since this photo was originally taken, I've now added identification numbers (this template is T.1) and grainline arrows to the templates.

Lay the 1/4" line of your ruler on the solid black line and cut, repeating for each side. You'll cut through the tape until there's nothing left holding it in place.

Repeat for the T.2 and T.2r (the 'r' stands for 'reverse') templates. You can cut each patch out individually with the template printed side up on the right side of your fabric selection.

Or you can cut two patches at a time—just be sure to fold your fabric so either right-sides or wrong-sides are together. Then cut.  You'll have two patches the mirror-image of each other...exactly what we need! Again, remember to cut with the 1/4" line of your ruler directly on top of the solid black line so that the patches are the right size.

Position the 1/4Cutting through two layers of fabric, RST, to get mirror image patches. Again, edges that create a corner are placed on the straigt of grain. The arrow points to the 1/4" mark on the ruler.

Otherwise, remember it's always fabric, pretty side up. Template printing side up.

Draw two placement lines a 1/4" past the long edges of T.1 right on your pattern.

With a dab of Elmer's Glue Stick, adhere the wrong side of patch T.1 to the unprinted side of the pattern.

Position T.1 using the drawn guidelinesDrawing guidelines makes placement fast, easy and accurate.

With RST position a T.2 on the T.1. T.2 is over-sized so you do have some wiggle room.

Stitch on the line between T.1 and T.2Start and stop your stitching past the outside edge of the block (black arrow)


Repeat for T.2r. A surefire way to accurately position the T.2 patches is to have the 'valley' of their overlap (black arrow) approximately a 1/4" from the edge.

Positioning Patch T.2

Press. Trim the unit to size.

Lay out the remaining pieced #1/#2/#4 with this corner.

Stitch #1/#2/#4 to the leaf tip

Stitch with RST, pressing afterwards with SAs to the corner unit.

Step 4: Assemble the Autumn Leaf quilt block

Lay out the two halves of the Autumn Leaf block.

Join the 2 sections

With RST, stitch the two halves together. If you need to, pin. Since I chose to press some of my SAs open, pins came in handy.

After pressing, our pieced Autumn Leaf quilt block looks like this from the front...

The piecing for our Autumn Leaf quilt block is done.

Leaves need stems...

...and our Autumn Leaf quilt block is no different.

For my block, I will stitch the stem by hand using a stem stitch and embroidery floss after I've decided how to set my block.

Here's a quick tutorial on the stem stitch by my friend, Carol Leather.

So why wait to do the stem?

This block looks great in any direction, and I expect to draw the stems differently depending on the blocks' orientation in my quilt.

What about if you'd prefer to piece your stems?

I've got you covered! :D

Piecing a Stem Unit

Autumn leaf quilt block, pieced stem unit

Below is a cutting chart.

SUBSTITUTE THESE PATCHES for the #5 in the cutting chart on the first page.

The connector corners method to used to make the unit. While it does take a bit of extra fabric, but there's no funky patches to deal with. No extra trimming.

Besides, you get some nice sized bonus half square triangle out of the corners.

a Stem for the
Autumn Leaf Quilt Block
Finished Block Size
Fabric Qty 5” 10” 15”
5.1 Leaf 1 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” 4-1/2” x 4-1/2” 6-1/2” x 6-1/2”
5.2 Background 2 2-1/4” x 2-1/4” 4-1/4” x 4-1/4” 6-1/4” x 6-1/4”
Maximum unfinished size of bonus HST 1-1/2” 3-1/2” 5-1/2”
Maximum finished size of bonus HST 1” 3” 5”

To make our step unit, draw a diagonal line with a pencil on the back of these two additional squares.

With RST, align the edges of #5.2 with the corner of #5.1. Stitch from end to end along the line.

Sewing one stem seamSewing on the line for one side of your stem

Stitch again 1/2" away from your first stitches to create one bonus HST.

Sewing a bonus HSTStitching the bonus HST

Cut with scissors between the lines of stitching. Press the #5 unit.

Repeat these steps for the opposite corner.


This is your 'new' #5 with a stitched stem and the two bonus HST.

Completed stem and 2 bonus HSTsCompleted stem unit top with two bonus HST bottom

Just substitute this pieced unit in for the solid #5 square in the instructions to make an Autumn Leaf quilt block with a pieced stem.

For even more blocks to make...

These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas. 

Can you see the library sticker on the spine of Jinny Beyer's book? Yep. I check this copy out of our local library every few months for research.

Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite quilt block resource!

Can you tell?

It's in color.

It's got a ton of blocks.

What's not to love?

Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.

This book is no longer in print.

If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on

UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020. 

However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.

BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.

It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.

In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.

UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.

This is terrific news.

Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.

Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.


Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.

And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!

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