Quilt top reveal: Maple Leaf Log Cabin
For years I wanted to combine the maple leaf and log cabin blocks and I had a basket full of fat quarters to do it with. But it took a back seat to other projects until I took at log cabin class by Marti Michell when my guild, the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild, brought her in to lecture and teach earlier this year.
I made up four maple leaf blocks ahead of time and brought the entire basket with to class. My only requirement was I use the bright fall colors for the leaves and the brown, greens and creams for the log cabin strips.
Marti’s instructions made piecing the blocks fast and easy. Her method has you cut strips for four log cabin blocks at one time. Since you’re cutting to size and laying everything out to piece, it makes sense to also piece the four blocks right then and there. In just a few hours time you have four completed blocks, a visible sign of progress that kept me going on this quilt.
It is very motivating to be able to finish a dozen blocks in a weekend instead of first piecing all the triangles for the maple leaves, then sewing all the maple leaves together, then sewing the first strip to all the side of the maple leaves. You see how that could get old and you’d loose interest in the quilt? I love piecing blocks in sets of four so much, I’ve carried it over to the next quilt I’m working on.
Once the blocks were together, there was the matter of laying out the quilt. There are so many patterns you can chose from for a log cabin layout. Having one light and one dark side of the block can make for some very interesting arrangements.
I chose the barn raising setting for my quilt, in which the light and dark sides of the blocks are arranged so they appear to form diamonds extending out from the center of the quilt. Since I was also careful to make sure the maple leaves all pointed in the same direction on every block, that also means the leaves look like they are falling in circles going in opposite directions depending on which ring of the diamond you’re looking at.
Then came the final border treatment. Originally I planned to make 80 or so more maple leaves for the final border, I even had all the fabric cut. But by the time I got the king sized center pieced I ran out of steam and decided to go for a border that resembled the log cabin blocks. There are three borders, each attached in a log cabin fashion. That still took quite a while to accomplish, you’re basically attaching 12, 100-inch borders, but it was less intense than making 80 more maple leaves and I love the results.
If you love this pattern, it is available for download. Just click here or on the photo and you can download it and start your own maple leaf log cabin. There are instructions for multiple sizes, so you don’t have to make this behemoth, a couch throw is just fine.