Tips for Floral Quilt Projects

Spring is here and many of us are celebrating the Easter holiday. It’s a time of regrowth and renewal. Maybe you’ve started to plant your garden.

Or, maybe you prefer to do your “gardening” in the sewing room: cutting floral fabrics, piecing rows of color, and “fencing” your quilt projects with borders and binding.

Well, consider this your seed catalog, and we’re planting quilting inspiration with tips for garden quilts.

zinnia quilt
Summer color explodes in this Zinnia Bouquet Quilt featuring fusible backed applique shapes. Design by Melinda Bula Designs.

Applique Bouquets – Fusing Tips

Populate your quilt projects with posies, using fabric appliques. Fusible makes applique easy.

garden applique quilt project
This Flowers for Ewe Kit comes with pre-fused applique cutouts.

If you’ve never fused fabric before, here are some tips:

1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Every brand and type of fusible works a little differently, so be sure to follow the package directions noting whether to use a dry iron, how long to apply it, etc.

2. If you’re using a paper-backed fusible, the rough side is the side with the glue. Lay the rough side onto the back of your fabric.

3. Cover the fusible with a piece of the release paper that comes with your fusible, or use a piece of baking parchment. This will protect your iron from the glue.

4. Don’t over-fuse; the excessive heat will cause the glue to harden and make the fabric stiff.

5. After the fusible has cooled, use a rotary cutter to trim off any excess fabric that hasn’t been covered with fusible. This way, you won’t end up with any partially fused piece of fabric.

6. Especially on light-colored fabrics, it can be hard to tell which side has the fused glue. To check, place your cut piece of fused fabric between a folded piece of release paper or parchment and tack lightly in one spot with a hot iron. The side the parchment sticks to has the glue.

A Fresh Look – Coordinating Fabrics

table runner quilt project
Easy Breezy Herb Table Runner

Fresh herbs add flavor to your food, so why not freshen up your kitchen or dining room with a table runner?

Need help arranging the fabrics for your garden-themed table topper? One way is to choose a floral feature fabric and pull coordinating fabrics out of the colors in that print.

Or, let us do the work for you, and choose a palette of colors and prints from our Medleys or Collections.

A Medley like Estate Gardens makes a perfectly coordinated array of florals and greenery.

The Garden Days collection mixes small floral prints with bee skeps, bunnies and bird houses.

Then there are kits. Kits put everything together for you–just pick one you like and start stitching.

This Easy Breezy Herb Runner Kit (shown) uses subtle lavender, white, and green fabrics from the Thyme and Friends line for Maywood Studio. It’s easy to make, because the kit comes with template-cut pieces you top-stitch in place through batting and backing. There’s an Easy Breezy Herb pattern, too.

Sew Your Seeds – Stitch a Floral Quilting Pattern

blueberry free-motion quilting motif
One of 52 free-motion filler motifs by Susan Brubaker Knapp.

Whether you choose a simple vine stitch or a more complex free-motion motif like this blueberry design by Susan Brubaker Knapp, you can use quilting stitches to enhance your garden-themed design.

‘Organic’ stitching tips:

  • See those fancy stitch motifs on your machine? Choose one like a chain of daisies or a meandering vine and add it to your quilt border.
  • Choose a free-motion filler stitch of a flower, clover, leaf, etc., and turn “empty” spaces on your quilt into garden patches.
  • Use your free-motion foot to outline large floral fabric motifs to make them stand out.
  • Not confident in your free-motion skills? Use pre-printed paper or a quilting stencil to transfer a pattern onto your quilt for continuous line quilting.
  • To mimic nature, choose a variegated thread.

Now, we expect those garden-themed quilt projects to spring up like daisies!

Be sure to show us your handiwork by tagging your projects on social media with #myKQ.

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About kqstaff

We here at Keepsake Quilting are dedicated to bringing you all the fabrics, notions, tools, and kits you love—plus expert advice on how to use them to make beautiful quilts, table toppers, wall hangings, accessories, and more. We enjoy quilting just as much as you do, so we’re always up for fun contests, events, and ways to live the quilting lifestyle. As we observe our 30th anniversary, we hope you will join the discussion and celebrate with us!

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