Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

So I found a pattern I’ve had for ages—“Little Bits: Fallen Leaves” by Cindi Edgerton (2001) for paper piecing tessellating leaves.  It’s a beautiful pattern and includes tissue paper patterns for each of the 25 leaves in the piece.  It’s one of those patterns that’s been sitting in my stash too long.

I’ve had a fascination with tessellating patterns for awhile now.  I think they’re so interesting.  So when I found this particular pattern, I had to give it a try.  Instead of the tissue paper patterns included in the pattern envelope, I chose to copy the patterns onto “Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper” using my printer/copier.  The foundation paper has the consistency of newsprint–it’s easy to remove, yet stable enough to hold up when piecing.

The first step is to find 25 different scraps of fabric and cut them into squares, rectangles and triangles.  No problem…

Each leaf pattern has different numbers on it—which makes it a “no brainer” once you create the master chart (see below).  The first number printed on the pattern piece is the order for paper piecing (1 to 2; 2 to 3; etc), and the second number is the fabric (1/8 = first piece with #8 fabric from your chart).

So…you need to do a paste-up board numbering each of your different fabrics from 1-25, plus a border “B” fabric (see above).  Then you’re ready to start…


Grab a square of fabric that corresponds with the second number on the pattern after 1/# (I’m working on 1/8–so I grabbed fabric #8).  Place it on the  to back of the paper piecing pattern (this is the only time the fabric is placed right side up).  I like to use a dab of glue stick to keep it in place.

Then flip the paper pattern over, fold the paper back on the first fold line and trim the fabric to about 1/4” from the line with your ruler…

Go to the chart to find your next fabric number—in this case it’s a triangle (fabric #13…2/13)

And place that fabric on the trimmed line, right sides together (from now on every piece will be face down).  You can add a pin to keep in in place, but after awhile you won’t even need to.

Then “flip” the paper over and sew right on the line (using a smaller stitch—like a 2.0)…between 1 & 2.

Flip and finger press the fabric in place.  Then grab the next triangle (in this case it’s fabric #7)…

…and do the same thing.  Fold the paper to trim the next seam, flip and add the triangle to the seam you just trimmed (right sides together).

And sew on the line…then repeat the process…

…flip, finger press, flip, fold on the line, trim fabric, add the next fabric rst, flip and sew on the line, etc.

Here’s the smaller rectangle being added.

Until you’ve sewed all the pieces and your block is done.

Then square up your block by trimming on the outside line (be sure to cut on the outer line—not the seam line).

Put the blocks up on your design wall, join blocks into rows…

And then rows into the center of your quilt.

Here’s the back…don’t remove the paper until you’re all done adding the borders.

I love the way the pattern showed you how to sew the leftover triangles into 3-dimensional triangles that make the leaves “float” into the inner border.  Don’t you?  Now all that’s left is to get material for the outer border.  Then I can remove the paper and quilt it into a wall hanging or table topper.

Paper piecing takes a bit longer to do, but I think the results are worth the extra time.  It was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

Have you ever done a tessellating quilt?  Or paper piecing?  If so, post a photo!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts


3 thoughts on “Tessellating Leaves Paper Piecing

  1. something got me started looking at tessellating leaves quilt patterns, and love your idea
    of paper piecing…from all the patterns I looked at…but where do I find these paper sheets..
    I live in Montreal, Que. Canada…quilt shops have disappeared over the past 30 yrs
    and the fabric store that carries some quilting cotton, does not carry paper piecing sheets
    heck no idea what I was talking about..so please can I order from you, or can you
    recommend an on line shop

    Ninon Anderson


  2. Hi Ninon–here’s a link for the pattern, which includes the design printed on paper piecing tissue: http://www.averyspecialcollection.com/shop/little_bits/page1.htm
    or just “google” Fallen Leaves by Cindi Edgerton
    You should be able to find a shop with the piecing paper by googling “Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper” (my favorite) or “paper piecing foundation paper”. I’ve also used newsprint paper (art or craft supply store) which I’ve drawn the pattern onto. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s