Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life. ~Ryan Blair

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Flower Patch

March 2015.... Waiting for Spring 

Are you ready for the next block in this Pieced Strings Series for 2015...! 

I had some time to reflect on what designs I'd try; and have had opportunity to made up a few. So there is no waiting for another month to pass, before sharing the next one with you. 

Therefore, here's my flower inspired block for MARCHFor anyone that has downloaded the block: "Oh.. Lollipop!" or seen it on my blog will recognize its shape. You'll be able to use this same template piece to create the main flowers. The pattern with all the templates should be available in a few days, after this entry has been posted.

Plus, I am tired of looking out the window at fields of snow; and flowers are always so uplifting, aren't they? So let's make some flowers.... 


Instructions for preparing the blocks using narrow fabric strings, are shown in these projects, available on my Craftsy page:

Please note: I will not be repeating the instructions to make this block in detail, here on the blog, as these will be available for free download, to compliment this series.  (Find the links on the right-hand column of this blog.)



I have chosen my yellow block to embellish for my second quilt block in this series. This color theme fits the longer, more sunnier days of the end of winter, perfect for the month of MARCH.




To keep the strings from shifting too much, in the process of making the block, I added the batting layer to the wrong side of the top fabric piece. 

By using straight lines of stitching, both layers are held in place without the use of safety pins or temporary adhesive spray. Pins can be used if desired. On this block, I stitched a series of three squares near the center of the block.

You will also note, that the batting layer was made from scrap pieces of batting. The best stitch to join these scraps is the three-step zigzag stitch, it does not pull the pieces together to create a ridge like a regular zigzag stitch does. (The three-step stitch makes three stitches for each part of the zigzag.) The regular zigzag stitch doesn't affect the batting negatively; however, it does make both pieces join neater if you can use the three-step zigzag stitch. You can see the difference in the photo above. 


Next step, is to prepare the templates for the applique design. The templates will be available in the pattern, as soon as it is ready on my Craftsy page. However, you may begin by making the pieced block and using the flower shape from the "OH.. LOLLIPOP!! block.

To create the flower patch block, use the flower design and embellish it with either a fabric center or some fancy and colorful buttons.


One thing about appliqued flowers that may be time consuming; or perhaps frustrating, is the process of working with long, narrow strips of fabric. They can be tedious to prepare and cut out; as well as, sometimes they just don't stitch down as perfectly, as one would like. (Although, that may be either because the fabric frays too easily or the fusible web hasn't adhered properly to the fabric.)

Therefore, here's an option for you, to try in this design. Instead of using fabric, create the stems using rat tail satin cord (2 mm cord shown below) and stitch it down with a zigzag stitch. It's very quick and the cut ends are covered with the flower at the top and the leaves at the bottom. (You may use ribbon or yarns if you don't have satin cord, as shown.)


To fill in the background with more color and help balance out the design, let's use a special placement of brightly colored leaves. 

Another note... do not worry too much about where the stems are placed; as in my layout, I had only one stem in the center and this was not covered with leaves. Therefore, I added the two small flowers at the center of this area. These came from my applique leftovers, from a previous project. The pattern will provide these flowers for you. Or you may add more leaves, if desired.  



I love buttons; however, and in this case, I decided to use fabric centers for the flowers. And once, I had chosen the dark brown for the flower centers that matched the color of the stems, I knew that was what I wanted to use.


My small flowers, at the bottom of the design were leftovers from another project, and this is also another way to add uniqueness to a project. 

The larger leaves and white flowers were cut from pieced fabric strings; and these certainly add extra dimension to the design. 

Have fun joining fabrics together to get some very unexpected results; as sometimes it is colors that one wouldn't think go well together; that actually look beautiful in a finished applique design. And using fabric strips is a great way to use up your scrap fabrics and create pretty quilt blocks.

My block posted here will not be finished with a binding, as I wish to consider combining several of these blocks into larger projects. And share this will you at a later date.


Beginning with this block, I will only be stitching together the top and batting layers. Later I will show you how to add sashing to join these blocks; and how to prepare it to add the backing layer. This can be finished as is; or I may consider adding a unique border.

Enjoy this project... and find the pattern soon at my Craftsy store page, where all applique templates will be included. FLOWER PATCH will be available to download for free for the month of March 2015

Although this means that the previous month's block: Chocolate Hearts will no longer be available for free. All templates will be available together in one pattern, once the series has run its course. Each new block will replace the previous one until all blocks have been posted. 

Happy piecing...

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