Applique Flowers for Friday

Applique Flowers for Friday

Tags: applique, applique stitching, flower, fusible applique, quilt block, quilt pattern

I've always loved to create flowers in applique techniques and so way back in 2013 I started creating a new applique flower block every Friday. This adventure continued every week of the entire year thus amounting to 52 different flower blocks. Since then, I've added several more and my plan this year is to do add even more.

My very first block was pansies and so the journey began. I have always loved pansies but for some reason never used them to make a quilt.

Whenever possible I take my own photos to work from. It is often easier this way because then I can get exactly the right image I want.... the right shapes for the leaves, the petals, and even the stems... and of course, I can zoom in on the detail. It also avoids any copyright issues when using your own photos too.

I capture photos wherever I can. I took the following photos of pansies in my mother's garden. 

photo of a purple and yellow pansy
photo of red pansies in a garden

I love the colors of these flowers, so bright and vibrant.

photo of a purple pansy in a tub

From the photos, I can sketch the applique shapes. I simplify the edges a little. You do not want it too complex. Then once I have the general outline I darken it with a Sharpie pen. This makes the lines visible on the back of the paper so I don't have to reverse it when it comes to tracing it onto the fusible webbing.

The photos also inspire me in choosing the right fabrics. I've collected some from my stash to work with. You notice I mostly use batiks, but sometimes I add in prints too.

fabrics selected to make applique pansies

Drawings and fabric for my three applique pansies

Next, I transfer the pieces onto fusible, extending the edges of the pieces underneath to make the fabrics overlap. This is so the background has no chance of showing through. Remember, the pieces need to be reversed when using fusible webbing.

templates of the small pansy

Templates for the first pansy

I arranged the first flower onto the background fabric in numeric order and pressed it in place.

small pansy cut out of fabric

My first applique pansy

Then I add a little stitching to the center for extra detail. The actual applique stitching is yet to be done and usually I'd do this first but I couldn't help myself, I just needed to see how this would look. Besides, it is always good to practice to audition your work while designing.

small applique pansy with some central stitching added

Add a few lines of stitching added to center of pansy

Now it's time to make the other two pansies. Here's what they look like.

three applique pansy flowers in different colors

Three pansy flower heads

I used a 10" background square for my pansies, adding some leaves and stems to finish them off. I really think this could make a great border around a quilt or be enlarged to make a bed runner. Hmmm... that gives me an idea!

applique pansies with leaves and stems added

applique is pressed on to background square

So now that I have cut out and pressed all the sections, it's time to start stitching. First I need to select a variety of threads that will work with my fabrics. I select threads that are close to the fabric colors as well as darker threads.

a selection of threads auditioned to stitch the pansies

threads are auditioned on appliques

My favorite stitching is free motion. Mainly because it is so free with few restrictions. No corners to turn, you can stitch sideways, front and back, without even turning the block. It makes stitching fast and easy to maneuver around the block.

I stitched around all edges twice. I do this because it prevents fraying. The first stitching which is just in from the edge holds the applique shape in place. The second stitching holds the raw edge flat with the background. There is very little distance between the two.

first stitching added to the red applique pansy - not outlined

edges are stitched

After the edging is stitched, I can add the highlights. I added some black to the center of the yellow and purple pansy. I added yellow highlights around the bottom petal on the red pansy (you can see this in the above photo) and added extra stitching to enhance the purple pansy. I also edged the purple pansy with the dark thread which really made the petals stand out better so I decided that the red pansy needed that too.

applique pansy outlined to give definition to the petals

petals are outlined

The outlining really made a difference!

Here's my finish block.

applique pansy quilt block finished - pattern available

my applique pansy block - the first of many flowers

Now for the exciting news. I have made this pattern with all templates available on my website. It is available for just a few dollars. You can find it here Individual Pansy pattern and my whole series of flowers on my website too. BOW flowers

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