Tessellated Leaf Block Tutorial
Block Tutorials

Tessellated Leaves {Block Tutorial}

When I was trying to come up with inspiration and a pattern for the Tessellated Leaves quilt, I started by looking at M.C. Escher’s artwork. I quickly realized that what I was going to be able to create based on Escher’s work was a tessellated pattern of some kind. I found many examples of Escher-style tessellations and corresponding online tessellation design tools, but I wanted to stick to a theme or style that is also found in Escher’s art. After much searching and thinking, I settled on a tessellated maple leaf pattern. I liked this choice because there are a lot of trees in some of his work (such as during his Italian Period). I also found several Tessellated Leaf quilts online, and while I did not find a pattern, I knew it was one I would be able to create. So, without further preamble, I want to share a simple tutorial to create a 2-color version of a Tessellated Leaf block. The block will be 12.5-inches square unfinished, and 12-inches square when finished.

Tessellated Leaf Block Tutorial

Tessellated Leaf Block Tutorial

Cutting Instructions

  1. “White” Fabric
    • (2) 4.5-inch squares
    • (6) 2.5-inch squares
    • (4) 3.25-inch squares
  2. “Black” Fabric
    • (2) 4.5-inch squares
    • (6) 2.5-inch squares
    • (4) 3.25-inch squares

Piecing Instructions

The only piecing that needs to happen before block construction and assembly is the creation of (8) 2.5-inch Half Square Triangles using the (4) 3.25-inch “white” fabric squares and (4) 3.25-inch “black” fabric squares. I like to make HSTs two at a time using over-sized starting squares of fabric, but if you have another favorite method, please feel free to use it to make (8) 2.5-inch HSTs.

Place (1) “white” fabric square and (1) “black” fabric square together with right sides together with the “white” fabric (or lightest fabric) on top. On the wrong side of the “white” fabric, mark one diagonal line from corner to corner.

Mark Diagonal

Mark Diagonal

Sew a quarter inch seam allowance on either side of the diagonal line.

Sew Quarter Inch Seam Allowances

Sew Quarter Inch Seam Allowances

I like to iron the blocks to set my seams at this point, and then I cut the fabric into 2 triangles along the marked diagonal line.

Cut Apart Along Diagonal

Cut Apart Along Diagonal

Gently press your HST blocks open (I like to press my seams open) and then trim to the final 2.5-inch square size. I recommend and use the 6.5″ Square Creative Grid ruler to trim my HSTs to size.

2 Trimmed 2.5-inch HSTs

2 Trimmed 2.5-inch HSTs

Block Assembly

I recommend to start out by laying all the 4.5-inch and 2.5-inch square pieces to create your block out in a loose grid pattern on a flat surface (like your cutting mat) near your sewing machine. The initial layout should look something like this:

Block Layout

Block Layout

Assemble one quarter of the block at a time. Starting with the lower left quarter, sew the (3) 2.5-inch blocks along the bottom together to create a 2.5-inch tall by 6.5-inch long block, and the (2) remaining 2.5-inch blocks together to create a 2.5-inch wide by 4.5-inch long block. Press open the seams.

Lower Left Quarter - Assembly Step 1

Lower Left Quarter – Assembly Step 1

Next, sew the sew the 2.5-inch wide by 4.5-inch long block to the 4.5-inch square. Press open the seam.

Lower Left Quarter - Assembly Step 2

Lower Left Quarter – Assembly Step 2

Finally, sew the 2.5-inch tall by 6.5-inch long block to the 4.5-inch tall by 6.5-inch wide block. Press open the seam.

Lower Left Quarter - Assembly Step 3

Lower Left Quarter – Assembly Step 3

Repeat the process for the remaining three quarters.

Assembled Quarters

Assembled Quarters

Sew the top left quarter to the lower left quarter and the top right quarter to the lower right quarter. Press open the seams.

Assembled Halves

Assembled Halves

Finally, sew the two halves together and press open the seam.

Assembled Block

Assembled Block

The block will be 12.5-inches square unfinished. Trim as necessary.

19 thoughts on “Tessellated Leaves {Block Tutorial}

  1. Oh, thank you for the clear instructions! This would be wonderful in any color combination!

  2. PT in SC says:

    Excellent tutorial, thank you! I love the colors in your quilt.

  3. Liz Scott says:

    I love this design! I had already figured out the maths by looking at your first block. I particularly like the gradation of green to red that you are working with, which feels just like the change of seasons. Can’t wait to see your quilt.

  4. Beth S. says:

    I’ve never heard of or even seen this type of quilt (or at least not that I remember and I’m pretty sure I would remember something this cool), and I was wondering where your inspiration came from. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and for the tutorial!

  5. Ruth says:

    Looks so complicated as first and then you see how it’s done – love this way to make a quilt. Thanks for the links!

  6. Liz says:

    Nice tutorial! I love the graphics you used, everything is so clear! The graphic nature of the black and white block is making me think of a “modern” modern maples quilt!

  7. Jasmine says:

    My mom was making one of these years ago (probably 17), but then there was a mishap with her fabric and the dog. So seeing your quilt brings back lots of memories. And this is a great tutorial.

  8. gsyanne63 says:

    Great tutorial, thank you this is definatly one I will try in the future. Quilty hugs

  9. Awesome tutorial! I can’t wait to see this quilt finished up – its looking so good already!!

  10. This is a saleable pattern idea, I think. I haven’t seen another the same.

  11. Cheryl says:

    Very nice tutorial, great pictures!

  12. 2nana50 says:

    Love the new pattern Tessellated Leaves, I wanted to enter the selvage contest, but for some reason I didn’t get my email on time. Love your work, and am looking forward to making my own Tessellated Leaves quilt! Thanks!

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. This is easier than it looks. Well, for other people anyway. Once you started talking about 2.5″ half square triangles, that’s when the quilting gods start laughing at me. The smaller the dimensions, the worse I am, but knowing that is half the battle. Sorry for the ramble. Great tutorial. :)

  14. sally says:

    It’s amazing what you can create with hsts! Great pattern, and I’ve just been having a browse through Escher’s work, wonderful inspiration for quilting.

  15. Great tutorial! I am going to have to make this block soon!

  16. Vera says:

    Great tut. I actually haven’t realized it’s just HSTs until you showed the picture.

  17. Esther says:

    I have been looking for instructions on how to make this beautiful quilt pattern. Thank you so much for making it available to us quilters. Will start making mine today. Thank you, thank you.

  18. Pamela Freeman says:

    Any estimates on yardages? As in how much fabric it takes in each color to make a piece, let’s say 3 feet by 3 feet?

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)