Spring officially arrives Wednesday, and it’s time for flowers. Quilts with flowers!
There are so many ways to make flower quilts. Simply using a floral fabric can get the job done, but that’s just the start of it. So let’s survey some of the other options, shall we? Today we’ll showcase three approaches to making quilts with flowers.
1. In Another Season of Beautiful Blooms and Artful Appliqué II, you just might find your perfect flower-appliqué pattern.
2. Not in the mood to appliqué your flowers? Quilt by number instead with spectacular patterns from Melinda Bula.
3. Ready for something fun and dimensional? We’ll learn from Sharon K Baker how to make ruched flowers.
But first we have to fess up. While it’s true that spring is (nearly) here and flowers are blooming outside, what really got us thinking floral was Virginia and her "Portland Roses" quilt. One of our able accountants and an accomplished quilter, Virginia made a stunning quilt for her son and daughter-in-law, to commemorate their wedding. The happy couple asked for red, and they asked for roses. While she’d never made any rose quilts before, Virginia obliged—with a king-size quilt. Talk about a loving mother! Aren’t those roses fabulous? She appliquéd all the motifs by hand and then hand quilted the king-size quilt to boot. (While we don’t have an exact pattern to share, Virginia says she pulled the bud motifs from Mimi Dietrich books and some of the flower templates from A Dozen Roses.)
Heirloom roses for an heirloom quilt? How appropriate! (For another amazing rose quilt, be sure to check out Melinda Bula’s quilt-by-number stunner later in this post.)
1. Appliquéd Flowers
Did Virginia’s roses whet your appetite for more floral appliqué? Whether you’re looking for a rose quilt or a lily quilt, a pillow or a wall hanging, expert appliquérs Susan Taylor Propst and Jane Townswick have crafted a gorgeous array of floral appliqué patterns to choose from. (And you can get the patterns shown below in books that are 40% off this week only.)
Pillows and wall hangings from Another Season of Beautiful Blooms
Flower blocks from Artful Appliqué II
2. Quilt-by-Number Flowers
How do you quilt by number? Pretty much the same way you paint by number. Following a simple color chart, you place colors as directed in Melinda Bula’s painterly patterns. And because you use fusible web, it’s easy to get your pieces positioned just right. You can learn more about how the process works here.
Quilt-by-number blossoms from Cutting-Garden Quilts.
3. Dimensional Flowers
For wilt-proof blooms in the form of a mini quilt, start with a few simple folding and gathering techniques. In More Fabulous Flowers, Sharon K Baker uses a variety of easy methods to make fun, textural floral quilts. Let’s hear from Sharon how you can use ruching to stitch petals of your own.
"Marigolds" from More Fabulous Flowers
How to make ruched flowers
Adapted from More Fabulous Flowers by Sharon K Baker
You can form a wide range of flowers by hand stitching patterns onto a strip of fabric. The shape of the pattern affects the shape of the petal. The number of petals depends on the number of pattern repeats and the length of your strip.
1. Fold a strip of fabric in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together.
2. Choose one of the stitching patterns shown below or improvise your own.
3. Thread a hand-sewing needle with a double strand of thread that matches your fabric.
4. As a general rule, begin stitching at the raw edges of your strips (although where you start stitching may depend on the look you’re trying to achieve). sew a running stitch through both layers toward the fold, and then stitch back toward the raw edges. Continue the pattern along the length of the strip.
5. When you’re done stitching, pull the ends of the thread to gather, or ruche, the strip. The strip will curl around on itself. Adjust the gathers until you have a nice shape for the flower. Don’t knot the thread yet. With a second needle threaded with a single strand of matching thread, whipstitch the raw edges together at the beginning (center) of the spiral. Continue stitching along the raw edges of the strip, adjusting the gathers until you have all the "petals" joined. Knot both threads when you are pleased with the look of your flower.
Thanks for the how-to, Sharon! Making ruched flowers sounds like fun. For more inspiration, check out Sharon’s charming mini quilts below.
Mini quilts from More Fabulous Flowers
What’s your favorite way to quilt a flower garden? Tell us about it in the comments!