Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Process

Our quilt guild is having another block exchange! Remember the last one with the pumpkin blocks? This time, we are going with a spring quilt with flower blocks. After browsing the internet for ideas, I finally settled on a paper piecing pattern.  I made a sample, then bought some fabric and got started.  After making the second block, it quickly became apparent that I was never going to get through 17 blocks by April.

After more searching I settled on a machine applique block that would work with the fabric that I had already bought. Just thought I would share the process.

First I traced all of the flowers and leaves out on fusible web, ironed it onto the fabric and cut them all out. 51 leaves, 51 yellow flowers and 68 orange flowers.  I did all the cutting out watching movies with the family.

After ironing on stabilizer, I traced out the stem and the flower placement with a friction pen.  Have you seen those?  They are really cool, once you iron the fabric, the pen marks disappear.
Next, I used a straight stitch on my sewing machine and followed the stem line. I went over the line four times to get the right thickness.  The fabric puckers a little, but once you iron it, it flattens out.
Be sure to place all of the flowers on the block before you do the ironing.  It only took one time of ironing before I placed the flowers to realize that once ironed, all of the placement markings disappeared :)
Finally I used a button hole stitch to outline the leaves and flowers.  All of my blocks have the stems sewn on and the flowers and leaves attached.
 Now to finish all of the button hole stitching. Not to mention 17 coordinating 9 patches. It's a labor of love.


  1. Do you prewash your fabric before cutting? I was always taught to but recently a retired home-ec teacher, who now works at the craft/clothing store told me that todays cotton fabrics don't require preshrinking....?? What is your opinion?

  2. Wow...that is talent. How beautiful!! It does look very time consuming, but worth it!

  3. I love your block; it really makes you feel that spring is just around the corner.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Thanks ladies - you are too sweet:)

    As far as washing fabrics before I use them, I swing both ways :)

    For the most part, I do not wash my fabrics first.

    The only time I wash fabric first is when sewing clothing or if I am mixing fabrics. For example flannel and regular cotton, or when mixing in vintage prints. If you are going to wash your fabric, just be sure to wash all of the fabric going into the quilt and the quilt back. Don't wash the batting, and be sure to separate or label your scraps as washed.