Turn a scrappy Maple Leaf block into a contemporary pillow. Fabrics are from the Authentic, Etc. collection by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics.
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Inspired by Modern Maple from designer Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts

Quilt tester: Jan Ragaller


  • 1⁄2 yard total assorted green prints (pillow top)
  • 3⁄8 yard each white print and black-and-green print (pillow top)
  • 1⁄4 yard black print (pillow top)
  • 7⁄8 yard olive green print (pillow back)
  • 25"-square pillow form

Finished pillow: 25" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted green prints, cut:

  • 4--4-3⁄8" squares
  • 16--4" squares

From white print, cut:

  • 1--7-1⁄2" square
  • 2--5-1⁄2" squares
  • 4--4-3⁄8" squares
  • 4--4" squares

From black print, cut:

  • 1--7-1⁄2" square

From black-and-green print, cut:

  • 2--2-1⁄4 × 25" border strips
  • 2--2-1⁄4 × 21-1⁄2" border strips

From olive green print, cut:

  • 2--15 × 25" backing rectangles

Assemble Pillow Top

1.    Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each assorted green print 4-3⁄8" square and white print 5-1⁄2" square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)

2.    Layer a marked assorted green print 4-3⁄8" square atop a white print 4-3⁄8" square. Sew together with two seams, stitching 1⁄4" on each side of drawn line (Diagram 1).


3.    Cut apart on drawn line and press open to make two triangle-squares (Diagram 1). Each triangle-square should be 4" square including seam allowances.

4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make eight triangle-squares total.

5.    Align a marked white print 5-1⁄2" square with one corner of black print 7-1⁄2" square (Diagram 2; note direction of drawn line). Sew on marked line. Trim seam allowance to 1⁄4"; press open attached triangle. Add a second marked white print 5-1⁄2" square to opposite corner to make stem unit. The unit still should be 7-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


6.    Referring to Diagram 3, lay out white print 7-1⁄2" square, triangle-squares, assorted green print 4" squares, white print 4" squares, and stem unit in six horizontal rows. Sew together triangle-squares and white print 4" squares in rows.


7.    Join top two rows, and add white print 7-1⁄2" square to right-hand edge (Diagram 3). Sew together bottom two rows, and add stem unit to left-hand edge. Join all rows to make a block. The block should be 21-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

8.    Referring to Pillow Assembly Diagram, sew black-and-green print 2-1⁄4 ×21-1⁄2" strips to opposite edges of pillow center. Add black-and-green print 2-1⁄4×25" strips to remaining edges to make pillow top. Press all seams toward strips. The pillow top should be 25" square including seam allowances.


Finish Pillow

1.    Turn one long edge of each olive green print 15×25" rectangle under 1⁄4"; press. Turn same long edges under 1⁄4" again; press. Topstitch folded edges to hem.

2.     Referring to Pillow Back Assembly Diagram, overlap hemmed edges of olive green print rectangles about 4" to make a 25" square. Stitch across overlap to make pillow back.


3.     Layer pillow top and pillow back with right sides together. Stitch all edges to make pillow cover. Turn right side out through opening in pillow back; press. Insert 25"-square pillow form to complete pillow.