Autumn Leaf

You will need:

  • A selection of 5 or 6 leaf coloured fabrics (scraps are ideal)
  • 1 x 12” square of calico or other cotton fabric for background
  • 1 x 8” square fusible web
  • A selection of complementary threads e.g. Janome Embroidery thread
  • 1 x 12” square of quilters wadding (optional)

Download a PDF of the Autumn Leaf


  1. Cut approximately 20 rectangular strips from the leaf fabrics. These should be at least 6” long but can be any width from 1” to 21⁄2”. Vary the width and number of strips cut from each fabric.
  2. Select a leaf template and trace onto the back of the fusible web.
  3. Cut roughly around the drawn leaf (approximately 1⁄2” from the outline).

Making the Leaf:

  1. Stitch together the rectangular strips to create 2 pieces of striped fabric (Photo 1).
  2. Place the two fabric face to face (Photo 2).
  3. Place a ruler across the strips so that it is angled at approximately 15 to 20 degrees from the vertical.
  4. Following this line cut through both strips at the same time.
  5. Using a 1⁄4” to 1⁄2” seam allowance (approximate is fine) sew the two pieces together, there is no need to worry about whether or not the strips match. (Photo 3).
  6. Open out the seam allowances and press (Photo 4).
  7. Place the bonded leaf shape onto wrong side of your pieced leaf. Align the leaf seam with the centre of the template. Iron as instructed by fusible web instructions (Photo 5).
  8. Accurately cut around bonded leaf (Photo 6).
  9. Apply to calico as per fusible web instructions.

Decorating your Leaf

Have fun decorating your leaf. A few ideas to get you started:

  • Use decorative two sided stitches to stitch along all seam lines.
  • Use a single sided stitch (e.g. small blanket stitch or fine zig-zag stitch) to edge the leaf.
  • Use a thin satin stitch for a stem. Alternatively you could use a fine zig-zag stitch.

I used a variety of embroidery, quilting and heirloom stitches (Photo 7) for my leaf.


How you complete your sample is a matter of personal preference. I chose to sandwich
my appliquéd leaf using quilt wadding and a calico backing. I then quilted this by stitching around the leaf using a neutral thread and subsequently echoed this using a multi-coloured quilting thread. Finally I stitched a gridded background. The grid was marked out using a ruler and quilter’s masking tape. If available, use the Janome AcuFeed or walking foot for the quilting as this will help to ensure that the fabric layers do not slip.

Why not make your finished sample into a small cushion or simply bind to make a small quiltlette?