FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

How to coordinate color-soaked batiks to make fanciful fall foliage


Yesterday on QUILTsocial, we created a quilted canvas to showcase some fanciful fall foliage in color-soaked batiks.
Today, let’s get started on creating the fabulous leaves that will be a focal point on our Autumn Harmony quilted sampler.


string pieces wait to be stitched
Stacks of green strips come together in a string piecing symphony of color.


Begin by cutting 2″ wide strips from various green batik scraps. These should be at least 10″ long.
I cut about 80 strips from the scraps I’d scrounged from my quilting buddies. You can take a more design-oriented approach, but I kind of enjoyed the randomness of it all.
There was some order to it, honest. When I cut strips from one fabric, I grouped them all together in the same pile. I found it easier to have the scraps grouped when I began putting the leaves together.


stacks of green batik strips
Group the strips together to make it easier to mix up the colors when string piecing the leaves.


strip of green fabric in centre of muslin
Start by placing one green strip at a bit of an angle in the center of a muslin rectangle.


finger pressing the second strip to make the leaves
Sew another strip onto the first one, and use a finger pressing tool to make it as flat as possible.


String-piecing method for each leaf:
Cut eight pieces of thin quilter’s muslin, 9″ wide by 13″ long.
Start at the center of the muslin rectangle, placing a scrap right side up and a slight angle.
Pin into place.
Place a the next strip on top of the pinned one, right sides together, making the raw edges align as best you can.
Use a short stitch length and sew through the fabric and muslin, using a ¼”  seam.
Finger press  the seam allowance, using the handy finger presser. Add the next strip, continuing until the muslin is covered.
You’ll be doing eight string-pieced rectangles.

Press the finished rectangles on the top (right side) of the fabric with a generous spray of Flatter. It smells heavenly, and will provide a smooth surface for tomorrow’s project — the fabulous fall foliage on the Autumn Harmony quilted sampler.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Autumn Harmony within a Log Cabin quilted sampler

Go to part 3: How to make needle turn applique easier

Nancy Devine is a self-confessed craft-crazed blogger. She is a regular contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, one of the administrators for The Craft Café, a Facebook page devoted to the international sharing of the creative life, and a curator of an impressive collection of fabrics, notions and seam rippers. In her spare time, she wrangles dust bunnies and writes a blog called Nancy Dee Needleworks. Understandably, her house is a mess.


  1. Cindy

    Love the variety of greens.

  2. Very beautiful colours! Have a lovely day ♥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.