Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World shows you how to make this easy, springtime Posy. It’s a quick and satisfying project, and would be a great way to jump into appliqué for the first time. Learn about Wendi’s work in her introduction and visit Shiny Happy World for lots of video tutorials and more.
In this project I share a pattern for a very simple flower. The fun is in choosing just the right fabric for the pieces, and in joining the blocks together for larger projects.
The technique I’m demonstrating here is a very easy machine applique technique that gives durable, soft, machine-washable results. I use this method for all my applique quilts. If you’ve never done machine applique before and want to see the process in action you can watch this video.
- One 10 1/2 inch square of green background fabric
- Scraps of fabric for the flower and the stem
- Posy Pattern
- Freezer paper
- Basic sewing tools
Make the Flower Pieces
Step 1: Download and print the pattern. Trace the reverse of the two flower template pieces onto a piece of freezer paper. I like to tape the pattern face down in a window and trace onto the paper side of the freezer paper.
Step 2: Fuse the pieces to the back of scraps of fabric with a hot iron. Cut around the shapes leaving 1/4″ – 1/2″ inch seam allowance. You don’t have to be fussy about this.
Step 3: Fold the raw edges over the freezer paper and press in place. Leave the bottom edge of the top band of the flower unfolded. It will tuck behind the cup of the flower when you assemble the parts.
Most cotton fabric will press nicely around the freezer paper with a little steam. If your fabric isn’t cooperating, try hitting it with a little spray starch.
Make the Stem
You can use the same method to make the stem, but it’s a skinny little bit to press. I like to use this method instead.
Step 1: Cut a strip of fabric 1 1/2″ wide and 5″ long. That’s longer than it needs to be, but it will give you room to play when you lay out the block.
Step 2: Fold the strip in half the long way, with wrong sides together. Sew up the long edge using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 3: Press the seam allowance open, so it’s running down the center of the back of the strip.
See how pretty the finished stem looks? Easy peasy.
Assemble the Block
Step 1: Layer the pieces on your 10 1/2″ square. The band at the top of the flower and the stem should both tuck under the cup of the flower. That leaves all raw edges neatly tucked away. Let the stem hang off the block as much as you need. You can cut off the excess later.
You can pin all the pieces in place, but I like to use painter’s tape. It keeps all the applique pieces nice and flat, but still secure.
Step 2: Sew the pieces in place using the stitch of your choice, pulling off the bits of tape as you get to them, just like pins. I like to use the blanket stitch I have on my machine, but before I had that I used blind hem stitch. That most closely mimics the look of needle turn applique. Press everything and let it cool flat on the ironing board.
You have a finished block! Now the fun really starts. What will you do with it? Make more, of course!
I think a super-simple block like this really shines when you put a mass of them together, like planting a huge swath of identical flowers in your garden. Play around with different fabrics! I used a lot of stripes in mine, positioned to look like stamens and pistils in the top bands of the flower. I love the scalloped horizontal stripes in the red, white and pink flower. Have fun with them and add details to the simple shapes with your fabric choices! Then, when you have enough blocks…
… Join enough of them together to run the length of your table in a pretty runner or sew together a small stack to make a wall hanging.
Or join a whole bunch of them together to make a full-sized quilt.
Of course, if you really want to make just one block you can make a pretty pillow with it. Frame it with some strips of fabric, adding size until it’s just right for a pillow cover.
Me? I’m going to design eleven more flowers and make enough blocks of each of them to sew them up into a twin-sized quilt. A fun, pollen-free springtime flower activity for me and a pretty summer quilt for my daughter.