Creative articles about quilting

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 15: Palm Leaf

Andrea from Quiltmanufaktur and author for the German BERNINA blog is your guide for this fantastic quilt-along over the next 12 months. Together, you will sew classic patchwork blocks and combine them into a sampler. The completed quilt will be traditional, yet modern! The next part has been written and we are delighted that you join this quilt project.

It’s great to see you again! The 15th block of the Old Block Quilt-Along that I’m going to show you today is the “Palm Leaf” patchwork block.

The “Palm Leaf” block was published in this form by the “Ladies Art Company” in 1922. It was then published by other block designers between 1929 and 1935 under other names such as “Palm”, “The Palm” and “The Palms”. Nancy Cabot issued it under the name “Hosanna” and said the following about it: “‘The Book of Common Prayer’, revered by our religious Colonial ancestors, provided the inspiration for this quilt’s name.” (Source: More about Nancy)

Elsewhere it says: “This block, which closely resembles a palm leaf, is named Hosanna, which is a reference back to biblical times. Shortly before Jesus was crucified, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds spread palm leaves out in front of him like a carpet and shouted ‘Hosanna’ (an expression of adoration which literally means, ‘Lord, save us!’). The story is often re-enacted at Easter (Palm Sunday) as a remembrance.” (Source:

(Source: Pinterest:

We are sewing the “Palm Leaf” patchwork block

The block is 12″ large (12.5″ including the seam allowance), but is made up of 4 individual 6″ blocks. In my layout, it therefore appears as both a 6″ block and a 12″ block.

There are both foundation paper piecing templates and pattern templates for this block. I would recommend the FPP technique for a more precise result.

Download the patchwork templates

For cutting out, I have created three PDF documents to download:

  • The first is a coloring sheet. This allows you to try out colors and designs for this block to see what they look like.
  • On the second PDF you will find the templates for the foundation paper piecing
  • and on the third you will find the pattern templates.

On the PDFs with the FPP templates and the pattern templates, I have put a control square with a side length of 1 inch so that you can check whether your printout of the templates is the right size. It is important to set your print options to “Actual size”.

Here are the downloads:

“Palm Leaf” coloring sheet

“Palm Leaf” FPP templates

“Palm Leaf” pattern templates

Cutting out the pattern pieces

You’ll need to print out the sheets the right number of times depending on which size and which technique you’re using. For a block measuring 12″, you’ll need to print out the relevant PDF 4 times. For a 6″ block, only one printout is required.

Sewing the “Palm Leaf” patchwork block

Sewing with the aid of the FPP templates is self-explanatory, so I have only provided pictures of sewing using pattern templates here. If you want to work like this, please remember to use spray starch. Due to the large number of diagonal lines, if you don’t, it’s likely that the fabric will become distorted, resulting in an undulating block where the points don’t meet up properly.

As usual, lay out the pattern pieces according to their position in the block.

When joining them together, it is advisable to start each successive panel seam in the opposite direction to the one before, otherwise the block will fan out. As soon as you have finished sewing the two diagonal halves…

…you can sew them together down the middle. I worked with pins here to ensure the points met up.

The 6″ block is now finished. Do that four times and you’ll get a beautiful large 12″ block. This is what mine looks like:

To see other examples of this block, you can search for its various names. You’re sure to find some really nice variations!

I just played around and put this block in a larger layout. I really like this ‘lively’ pattern and I can imagine it would look amazing made from scraps! What do you think?

Or maybe like this? By turning the blocks and using different colors, it creates a completely different visual impression!

Now I’m really excited to see your work! Are you going to make the block in both sizes and if so, will they be as different in color as my two? I look forward to finding out…

As always, it would be great if you shared your blocks with us all! You can post them here on the BERNINA blog in the Community area – there are now an amazing number of great results for this quilt-along. It is a feast for the eyes to look at all the brilliant creations. It’s also a fantastic source of inspiration if you’re unsure about a block!

There are also an amazing number of fantastic blocks for you to admire on Facebook and Instagram! If you have accounts and want to share your blocks there, please don’t forget to use the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler. This ensures that all the blocks are together in one place and are visible.

New here?

Have you only just discovered the quilt-along? No problem! You can join at any time. Registration is not required, and you can win a BERNINA 570 QE! All the posts will remain permanently available:

In the first post, which was the invitation to participate in the quilt-along, you will find the important initial information about our joint project:

Old Block Quilt-Along – who’s in?

You can find the rest of the blocks from the quilt-along that have already been published here:

Old Block Quilt-Along – overview of all the posts

I’m glad you’re taking part and I hope to see more wonderful pictures of your blocks!

See you soon for the next block,

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