Dreaming of Flight Quilt + Scrappy Bits Appliqué

on August 16 | in Books, Quilting, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 84 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

Shannon Brinkley from Bottle Tree shares her best tips for appliqué with eight modern quilt projects in her new book, Scrappy Bits Appliqué: Fast & Easy Fusible Quilts 8 Projects Foolproof Technique.

Use your favorite scraps and quick, raw-edge sewing to create a collage of color and impact. To give you a better look at Shannon’s quilting process and skill as an instructor she shares how to make a pieced quilt background below; there are instructions and a template to add an appliqué animal using a solid piece of fabric. If you want to learn how to make the animal scrappy (like this elephant below), grab a copy of Scrappy Bits Appliqué!

We also have a giveaway of Scrappy Bits Appliqué (hard copy for a U.S. address, eBook if the winner is outside of the U.S.). Tell us about appliqué… Do you love it? Have you always wanted to try it? Do you have favorite tips or techniques? Have you made a favorite project with appliqué? Have you tried scrappy appliqué? Your comment enters you to win.

Here’s Shannon’s book trailer, a schedule for the book tour plus Shannon’s quilt project below. Let us know if you make your own Dreaming of Flight quilt!

8/12 – C&T Publishing Blog
8/13 – Pellon
8/14 – I’m a Ginger Monkey
8/15 – Quilter’s Newsletter Blog
8/17 – Casey York
8/18 – Generation Q
8/20 – Going Home to Roost
8/21 – Bottle Tree

I’m excited to share with you my Dreaming of Flight quilt. In my book, Scrappy Bits Appliqué, I teach my fast/easy techniques for raw-edge applique. The bird on this quilt, lost in thoughts of flight, is made from dozens of fabric scraps, collaged together to make a really interesting and unique texture. In this tutorial you will learn how to piece the background, and apply a solid applique bird to your quilt top. Check out my book to learn how to make him scrappy!

Dreaming of Flight Quilt

Finished Size: 56” x 70”


  • 11 15½” squares in various shades of black and gray
  • 2¼ yds white fabric
  • 4 yds fabric for backing
  • 62” x 76” batting
  • ½ yd fabric for binding
  • ½ yd fabric for bird applique
  • 1 yd lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Chalk or other marking utensil that will not bleed if steamed
  • Thread to match the applique fabric
  • Glue stick
  • Dreaming of Flight PDF template, printed

For the background cut:

  • 5 15½” squares in white
  • 20 7¾” white squares

Lindsey Conner made a great half square triangle (HST) tutorial for Sew Mama Sew that I used for this quilt. She shows you how to make eight HSTs at a time, so these blocks were a breeze to make.

Use Lindsey’s tut to make 60 HSTs (40 using one gray 15½” square and one white 15½” square, and 20 using two gray 15½” squares). You will have four extra gray/gray HSTs. Trim the HSTs to 7½” each.

Lay out the HST and white squares according to the diagram below. Pay attention to the value of your grays, and distribute lights and darks evenly.

Piece blocks together to finish your background.

Applique Bird:
Lay your Dreaming of Flight PDF template (taped together) on your table with the fusible interfacing (rough side up) laid on top. Using the chalk, trace the bird onto the interfacing.

Set template aside, with the rough side of the interfacing up, lay the applique fabric (right side up) on top. Press according to the interfacing manufacturer’s instructions.

Cut out the bird along the chalk line.

Place the bird on the background in the desired spot, and pin in place. Be sure all wrinkles are well smoothed out.

Using a satin stitch, embroider around the raw edge of the bird. Draw the legs onto the background with the chalk. Using the same satin stitch, stitch along the line to form the legs.

Cut out an eye for your bird and, using a glue stick, adhere it to the desired spot. Satin stitch around the eye. I decreased the stitch width for this.

Finish your quilt as desired.

I wanted the white sections to stand out, so I quilted a jagged pattern into the gray sections,
and only outlined the white. In the bird, I quilted a feather-like pattern.
This arrow decorative stitch was a lot of fun to use to finish the binding.

This fun, playful print was perfect for the backing.
I got it at Ikea years ago, and it’s been waiting for just the right quilt top!

To learn more about my book and see more quilts, visit my website or watch the trailer for Scrappy Bits Appliqué above!

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84 Responses to Dreaming of Flight Quilt + Scrappy Bits Appliqué

  1. Erin says:

    I just purchased the ebook on B&N — Its awesome! so many cute ideas and the author includes yardage and layout instructions for crib/wallhanging – king sizes.

  2. Nancy C. says:

    Have tried applique and would love to do projects from this book! Thanks.

  3. Sue H says:

    I love all forms of applique …. needle-turn, fusible, invisible machine, button-hole, freezer paper, you name it!

  4. Lizzie says:

    I learned raw edge applique with a satin stitch at my mother’s elbow when she sewed potholders and baby bibs for our family business. The fabric is almost completely enclosed. Since I started sewing myself, I’ve tried letting the stitch be looser, or even with a straight r deco stitch. Fun! But it takes time and you can’t hurry it….

  5. Emily C says:

    I love working with applique. The shapes are fun and I love the blanket stitch edging of applique. I have not tried scrappy applique yet.

  6. […] really loved the pattern of the second one [the bird would be replaced by the "Q"] and I really like the preppy, understated fabrics of the […]

  7. Mina says:

    I would really love to learn this technique. It looks like it can make such fun quilts!

  8. Laura says:

    I like appliqué but it does take time. The techniques I use are freezer paper and glue sticks. Also on occasion I baste around shapes to help hold the shape while I appliqué. Thank you for the contest.

  9. Amy F. says:

    I have appliquéd before and really enjoy it.
    This book looks amazing! Can’t wait to check it out.

  10. Karen Propes says:

    Thanks for sharing, i love how the bird really brings out the quilt. I want to try applique but haven’t done it yet. I want to try this project. I can imagine making a quilt with an appliqued castle in the back and a appliqued princess near the front. My Granddaughter would love it so much.

  11. Megan says:

    I’ve done one applique project. I enjoyed it, I should do more.

  12. Alli says:

    I really like raw-edge applique! 🙂

  13. Kim M says:

    I’ve actually never made an applique quilt before (a lot of them feel too traditional for my tastes) but these quilts are incredible and really inspire me to try some applique!

  14. Pam says:

    I love doing applique because it’s beautiful, because hand sewing is soothing, because it uses scraps, and because it’s portable. My applique tip is to always have a small project in the car or in your purse, because it’s amazing what one can accomplish with a few minutes here and there! Thanks for the chance to win this delightful book!

  15. Nesta says:

    Scrappy Appliquè sounds wonderful. Would love to learn more about it. I tried hand appliquè for a charity quilt and loved it!

  16. Lori Morton says:

    Am just learning to do Applique…am slooow at it right now too. lol Soooo…anything that states “Foolproof Technique” is definitely talking about me! Would looove to have this book!

    Love the Bird quilt too!! & the backing is AWESOME!!!!!

  17. Laura says:

    I’ve never done applique but I’m eager to try it out, and I love that this book shows how to use up very small bits!

  18. I love the phrase “fool proof technique”. Right up my alley!

  19. Connie Douty says:

    I am really “in” to applique. You pattern with the big yellow bird is what I want to do. Always my scrappy applique was with small pieces but larger designs really thrill me. Hope I win. Tonight I am cutting out the bird in a bright yellow scrappy piece I sewed together yesterday.

  20. Ramona says:

    I love applique. I designed a two sided applique quilt for my friends little guy and it came out so cute. I would love to learn this technique. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial.

  21. Ashton McClelland says:

    Hi! Thanks for the chance at a giveaway! I love appliqué but unfortunately have never tried an appliqué quilt. Would love to try one out though. <3

  22. Jinger says:

    I really want to learn applique!

  23. Debra Kay Neiman says:

    I just love applique, teaching myself. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  24. S. I. says:

    I have done applique a few times on bibs and tea towels, but I would love to learn more. I can hardly bear to throw away scraps for thinking “i could make a little bird or dragonfly with this sometime…Or use it in a quiet book..” But I have a small house. I should be careful.

  25. Margaret Schindler says:

    I am teaching myself applique and I have fell in love with every type that I have tried. This is one method I havent tried. Would love to have that book

  26. Lee says:

    I am new to applique and have done only a few small projects! I would love to make one of these fun quilts! I love scrappy anything!

  27. Chris says:

    This is a new technique to me but I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial. I can’t wait to see the book.

  28. Linda E says:

    Very cute bird! I have done some appliqué, but it scares me every time. I love the idea of the scrappy appliqué and just might give it a try.

  29. Nancy says:

    Thanks for sharing the great tutorial. I usually do raw edge appliqué, but sometimes do the freezer paper method if I care that the edges aren’t raw.

  30. Michelle says:

    I love appliqué. I do a lot of needle-turn and raw edge appliqué. I want to try scrappy appliqué next!

  31. Emily W says:

    I haven’t done much applique on quilts before – mostly just on t-shirts, which is easier because you don’t need to worry about the knit fabric fraying.

  32. Karen A says:

    I’ve done a few different types of applique. I especially like fusible and raw edge, so this technique would work well for me.

  33. Jessie Hansen says:

    I’m more of a reverse applique kind of person, but I would love to see more about her scrappy process.

  34. Karen says:

    I have tried raw edge applique and “invisible machine” applique. I am still pretty intimidated by it. By the way, in the instructions for the quilt, all the cutting directions are for white squares, no grey. We can probably figure it out, but thought you should know.

  35. Allison Sews says:

    Thanks for the project – I haven’t really tried applique yet but I’ve seen a lot of great projects from this book that I’d like to try!

  36. Pamela Reim says:

    Applique is a favorite…and I have tubs of scraps so sign me up! Thanks.

  37. Quilting Tangent says:

    I have never done applique. The scrappy look of this book caught my eye, looks like an interesting technique.

  38. Cait says:

    I’ve only tried a bit of appliqué – a monogram on a baby quilt. It turned out okay. I would love to figure out how to make my appliqués look more professional.

  39. Jodi says:

    I have very little experience with appliqué, this book looks fun and I definitely would like a closer look.

  40. Jess says:

    Always wanted to (my mother did gorgeous applique when I was little) but never have done it.

  41. Judy says:

    I have done machine applique in the past and really enjoyed it. I would enjoy working on some applique projects again and would also like to learn hand applique.

  42. HeatherK says:

    I enjoy applique, but am certainly a novice. I love the advent calendar I made from a tutorial her at Sew Mama Sew–it was my first attempt at applique and it turned out great. I enjoy hand applique, too, but don’t do much of either … unless a specific project calls for it.

  43. Allison C says:

    I did it a lot when I first started quilting, but haven’t since. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s about time I tried it again!

  44. Heather J says:

    I do love appliqué and there are many techniques if have used, depending on the look I am trying to achieve. For machine appliqué, I prefer the blind hem stitch and for hand I prefer back basting.

  45. Beth T. says:

    Recently, at Quilt! Knit! Stitch!, I learned a new (to me) reverse applique technique. I plan to use it to make silhouettes of our dogs.

  46. MarjoryW says:

    I like doing machine applique, especially raw edge with a small buttonhole stitch.

  47. Denise says:

    Applique? Sort of a love/hate relationship with it. I love the outcome, but feel quite incompetent at producing it. I’ve taken two hand applique classes over the years, but just don’t feel I have a great handle on the process. Maybe it’s time to consider the raw-edge technique.

  48. Debbie says:

    This applique technique look so interesting. A great way to really enhance your applique shape.

  49. Applikaye says:

    I love to applique. I have never used this technique but can’t wait to try.

  50. barbara woods says:

    Always wanted to learn, thanks

  51. Carmen N says:

    Applique is something I’ve wanted to try but I’m not brave enough as a beginner.

  52. Janet says:

    I’ve never tried applique. Haven’t been confident about how the edges would hold after washing. Thanks for the chance to win the book! I’m sure it would give me the ideas I need to tackle this ;c)

  53. Sarah J. says:

    I have done a few things with applique, but it is a technique I would love to practice more! I love the quilt designs you shared- they are so beautiful! Thanks for the chance to win!

  54. Kathy Luehrs says:

    I love applique – my total favorite

  55. Linda L. says:

    I think applique is a great way to add an accent to a project. It can be subtle or give the item a “pop”. I haven’t tried scrappy applique yet – it does look easier than I thought it was so I may give it a shot.

  56. LecClier Kelly says:

    I’ve done applique before, but not on a quilt! I love the Dreaming of Flight pattern, definitely want to get my hands on The Scrappy Bits Applique book!

  57. Looks like seem thing I might like to try.

  58. This is great. I have only done a few appliqué and I love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  59. pAULA says:

    I’ve tried applique a few times before, but sooo need to improve my skilss! This book would be great for it!

  60. Susan says:

    I have only done a little bit of applique. It wasn’t anything complicated and was appliqued by hand sewing it down on the fabric.

  61. Kathleen Fraser says:

    I cannot wait to see Scrappy Bits in person! It looks wonderful. What a clever and creative author Shannon Brinkley is plus a great teacher with the step by step instructions! I love it all.

  62. Tabitha Keener says:

    I’ve tried applique once before and made some lollipops for a quilt I made. I love how applique looks so I will keep working at it until I’m good at it. I could definitely use a lot more help in learning more about applique, so I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  63. Bronwen says:

    Have always admired and wanted to try appliqué but somehow it always seemed to hard! Think once you get started it’s probably not as hard as you think!!

  64. ritainalaska says:

    love applique, love scraps! have made lots of applique quilty things, but haven’t pieced my scraps together to cut them up again for more applique. so … would love to win this book and see the rest of the tree on the cover. love trees!

  65. I’ve done a little appliqué, but have never tried the scrappy method. It looks really fun!

  66. Susan P says:

    Wow…What an intriguing process…Would love to win…I have not done a lot of applique

  67. carol c says:

    I want to hand applique, but am afriad of it. I dont think too much of my own abilities, and everyone at bee has a diffferent way, that I have not found comfortable for me. Thanks for the chance

  68. Danielle says:

    Good timing! I just started my first applique project. I’d love to win the book, goodness knows I’ve got lots of scraps.

  69. Madelyn says:

    I’ve wanted to make something with an appliqué! Always been a little intimidated with the idea but it seems doable 🙂

  70. eva says:

    I love applique. I often make foxes out of felt and applique them on cotton fabrics. Felt is great if you are an applique beginner- it is very forgiving. My favourite is satin stitch applique, but I am really tempted to try the raw edge look for my next project. Love the elephant on the quilt.

  71. Jolien says:

    I love the personal touch applique can give. Never tried it with wonder-under or something like that, I usually just pin and hope it’ll work out ok. Templates are always super helpful though. 🙂

    Thanks for the chance!

  72. Delaine says:

    I love to appliqué, thanks!

  73. Anita Amodeo says:

    I love scrappy…looks like a great book!! Thanks.

  74. Lisa Marie says:

    I like applique and have tried many techniques, but nothing as creative as this! I think piecing plus a bit of applique is a perfect combination — the applique makes it extra special, but making a quilt that’s primarily pieced means it doesn’t have to take forever.

  75. Anne Marie says:

    I am new to applique and would really love to try it-this book would be perfect.

  76. I have never tried the scrappy appliqué technique, but I would love to try it!

  77. BillieBee says:

    What fun…..freedom in scraps.

  78. Anita says:

    Scrappy appliqué is one of my favorite techniques, and I do it as often as I can!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  79. Molly says:

    I have only done appliqué once and was surprised how easy it was! I will definitely be using that technique in future quilt projects.

  80. Jess Z says:

    I love applique! I’d love this book! Thanks for hosting!

  81. lynda h says:

    fun book – several projects that I would do – have played with applique and like the scrappy patchwork look of several of these

  82. Christine B says:

    I’m entering for my daughter. She just made an appliqué of a golden retriever on an outfit for my soon-to-be grandson.

  83. Deborah says:

    I did a little bit of applique years ago, but wasn’t very pleased with how it went – maybe I should give it another go as this looks do-able.

  84. Nupur says:

    I do love applique- it is like painting with fabric. My first applique project was a bunting quilt with scraps of colorful fabric. Fun! Thanks for the quilt pattern; I’ll have to make this one for sure.

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