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Generic Leaf

Down load the pattern

Let's look at this pattern and see what we can learn from its design before we start sewing.
  • Edge-of-block corners are identified.
  • It is to be constructed in two sections that will then be sewn together. The section edges to be sewn together are identified with small symbols. (Note: These are just identifiers and are not intended to be used as exact match points.)
  • There are no parallel lines in the sections that shape the leaves. If you wish to modify the size/angle/shape of a leaf, avoid creating a parallel line if you can. Remember, you don't have to sew on my lines.
  • Possible "background" patches are shaded, but, as you know, leaves may be seen against either light or dark backgrounds and a light leaf may be seen against one that is shadowed, so the shading is simply a matter of identifying the way I originally visualized the coloring for this block. The color and values used for leaves and/or background may vary across a single block.
  • There is also no particular magic to the number and/or size of "leaves" in this block. You are now both artist and designer, so feel free to make any changes that you wish.
You can piece this pattern from the back in the usual paper piecing method, or you can use my sew-from-the-front approach. Either will work, but the directions assume you are working from the front (printed) side of the pattern.

For those of you who need them, the directions are essentially the same as for the random rose, but with one difference. To make these patterns fit on your 8 1/2" by 11" paper, I have drawn them with 1/4" seam allowances. On blocks like these however, I like to make it with at least a 1/2" seam allowance around the outside edges only. I usually add this extra 1/4" on the outer edges of the pattern as I cut the sections out before doing any piecing.

This allows for minor errors in piecing, but more importantly, for me, it means that when I am ready to trim this block to exactly 4 1/2" by 9 1/2", I can trim everything at a slight angle or nearer one edge than another if I wish. This allows me to take advantage of any neat pattern or color thing that happens near the edges (or eliminate something I don't care for). It also lets me vary the angle of the block slightly, which, I think, makes the overall pattern of a garden quilt more interesting.


So, just as you did with the random rose, start by covering Patch 1 (on the printed side of the pattern), leaving a generous seam allowance (half inch on outer edges.) Turn the paper over, fold back on the marked seam lines and trim the fabric to 1/4" along that line. Use your strip of fabric to add Patch 2 along the edge of Patch 1. Press, flip and press again.

Because of the angles at which the patches are added, you will need to be extra careful that the next patch will actually cover the area it is intended for and will have the necessary seam allowances. Until you have learned to estimate this, you can always check it by placing a pin in the seam line, then flipping the fabric into its position. You can hold it up to the light, if necessary, to be sure the seam allowance will be generous. It is always quicker--and easier--to check than to take out a seam.

Sewing the Sections Together

Repeat this process until both paper sections are covered. Trim the edges to 1/4" along the seam lines that will be sewn together. (Leave the outer edges uneven for now.) Place the sections with fabric right sides together. Use a pin to position each end of these seam lines (as marked