Welcome back! It’s Week #2 of our Splendor QuiltAlong and it’s time to start appliquéing our small flower petal blocks!
Also, just a friendly reminder! If you want to join with other quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun! Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!
On to Week #2 of Splendor!
I do love to do fusible machine appliqué – it is so fast and fun and you can use a variety of stitches like the zigzag, buttonhole (or also known as the blanket) or decorative stitches to embellish and texturize your shapes. Remember there are no quilt police lurking so experiment and have fun!
Also, if you’d like a video – you can view Week #2’s companion video tutorial right here!
But first things first….
Arrange Your Background Blocks for Value and Pattern Placement —
1. You should have precut your background fabrics in Week #1 – if not, please find the cutting directions in page 1 of the Splendor pattern and do so before proceeding.
2. Assuming you are using (12) 1/3 yard cuts or a variety of scraps for your background, refer to Page 2 in the pattern for the diagram, and arrange the background units on your design board or floor making sure you have evenly balanced the value and pattern placement (if there are patterns in the fabrics) across the quilt top. Do not stitch the units together yet.
Once satisfied, be sure to snap a photo of your arrangement for future use and then remove from your design board or floor the (12) background blocks that will have the small flowers on them. Here’s my background units arranged on my design board.
Prepare your Small Flower Petal Shapes —
You’ll be cutting out (12) sets of the small flower shapes. (If you are following along and making the Mini Splendor pattern with us, you’ll make (6) sets of small flower shapes).
1. First, gather the pattern page (included in the Splendor pattern) and following the directions on your adhesive fusible web, trace (12) complete sets of the small flower petal shapes on the smooth side of the fusible web. Use a #2 pencil for tracing.
Rough cut these shapes out at least 1/4″ beyond the drawn line.
Again, I like to use the adhesive fusible web Heat ‘n Bond Lite.
2. Next select your small flower fabrics for your first block, and fuse the shapes onto the wrong side of those fabrics.
Cut the shapes out neatly on the drawn line and be as exact as possible. Use a sharp pair of scissors for this step.
3. Continue on and create (12) sets of small flower shapes. (Again, if you are following along and making the Mini Splendor pattern with us, you’ll make (6) small flowers).
As a sidenote, if you own a desktop cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut, you can scan the applique patterns into your machine. First back each of your fabric pieces with fusible web and then laser cut the shapes. This will require extra fabric, a tacky cutting mat for your machine, alot of patience and some time for experimentation to get your machine to work ‘just right’.
4. Once you have all (12) sets of small flower shapes cut out, you are ready to appliqué.
What did Linda do?
I want to share what I did on my Splendor quilt for the small flower blocks – I chose to use the new Tula Pink True Colors 10″ stack.
1. First I decided on (12) different colors for each of the smaller flowers and from there, I chose (3) 10″ squares to be grouped together to make each of the (12) colorways to create the flower petals. Here are the 10″ square fabrics I chose to use for my yellow/orange colored flower:
Now I’ll share my little formula below for which flower shapes I cut from each of the three fabrics to create variety and movement across ta single flower block. I could have used just one fabric for each small flower block but sometimes that can make a quilt stagnate: so the my motto is more fabrics = more movement and more texture which =’s way more interesting quilt!
My Formula — Notice on the master pattern page that each of the petals on the small flower are numbered #1-#8 plus the center so that really makes (9) pieces for each small flower block. So again since I am using (3) fabrics for each small flower block, I’ll cut three petals from each fabric BUT I want to make sure that the fabrics are alternating from petal to petal so here is my formula – feel free to copy this if you’d like 🙂
Fabric #1 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #1, #4, #7
Fabric #2 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #2, #5, #8
Fabric #3 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #3, #6 & Center
You can really see the texture, value and movement you get across the quilt top by simply combining a few fabrics of the same colorway for each smaller flower block.
Fuse (or Iron) Your Small Flower Petals to Your Background Squares —
1. Before fusing your small flower petals to the background squares, create an overlay sheet to assist you in placing each of the (8) petals plus the center in exactly the right place before finally ironing them to the background block. Trace the small flower exactly as it appears on your pattern page including the numbers.
Although this is an easy pattern shape, without the overlay you might place the petal shapes slightly askew which will throw off the look of this little fab flower! This can be simply a piece of tracing paper or a nonfusible dressmaking interfacing like Pattern-Ease.
2. Taking your first background block and first set of small flower shapes, peel the release paper off the backside of each shape and iron the shapes into place using your overlay sheet to assist you in the exact placement.
3. Also place a piece of stitching stabilizer (like Sulky Totally Stable Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer) on the WRONG side of the Small Flower Petal Block. The stabilizer will help to “stabilize” your stitching especially if you are using a zigzag, satin stitch or decorative titch around each of your shapes.
Any digitized embroidery machine stabilizer will work for this purpose, but my favorite is the Sulky Totally Stable Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer pictured below.
Let the block cool after ironing and then get ready for some fun machine appliqué.
Machine Appliqué Around the Petal Shapes —
1. Set your machine up for appliqué stitching by changing your presser foot to an open toe foot and choosing some fabulous matching thread for your first flower fabrics.
2. Set your machine to your desired appliqué stitch. I usually like to choose the Zig Zag and set my Bernina to stitch width 2.5-3.0 and stitch length to just below 1.0 .
Test, test, test before you begin. Once satisfied, applique stitch around each of the petals and the center on your first small flower block. If you need additional reference for setting your machine up for appliqué and appliqué, please view my video from our Wonky Piecing and Easy Appliqué- Week #4 QuiltAlong here.
3. Repeat these steps above until you have created and appliquéd the (12) small flower blocks (you can also save some of these for Week #3 if you run out of time this week). Once stitching is complete, be sure to tear away the stabilizer from the backside and lightly press each block.
That’s it for Week #2!! Next week – Week #3: we’ll be appliquéing the Large Flower Shapes onto the Center background blocks – woohoo!
Until then, please be sure to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions. Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.
Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~ happy and bright quilting always! L&C xxoo