Jul 03 11

New Quilt Being Born

I’ve started working on a new quilt, and the block above is the first block. Actually, it’s not quite finished…there are 2 more things that I’ll add later on, but it’s close to being done. A block like this looks like it would be hard to place things exactly where you want them, but I’ll show you my tricks for fusible applique blocks like this one. It all boils down to a couple of registration lines. To begin, iron your block flat and make 2 diagonal marks, from each corner to the opposite corner, like this:

Eventually, I’m going to start fusing shapes in place, so it’s really important to carefully choose your marking tool. What I use in this situation is a soap sliver from the shower (white Dove soap, specifically), and I sharpen the edges with a vegetable peeler that I keep in my sewing room. (I learned that tip from my friend, Mary Stori, and it really makes the soap sliver a more precise marking tool.) I’m deliberately using soap, because when my iron touches it, (that’s unavoidable in fusible applique), the marks will go “poof” and disappear! Anyway, the intersection of the 2 lines is the center of the block, so we begin by fusing that center flower right in the dead center:

Next up, we place the 4 flower stems, aligning them right over the marked lines. Once satisfied with their placement, I fuse those babies as well:

From there, I added the red tulips on the 2 sides of the block and fused them in place:

…and then I added the pink tulips to the empty stems. When I am using flowers made of multiple pieces like this, I pre-fuse the flowers together on a teflon applique pressing sheet; this makes it easy to move applique pieces around on my block easily. Notice that all the soap lines are gone in this next shot, just because I touched them with my iron when I fused the tulips in place:

Now I’m ready to place my feather pairs, but I need some new registration lines for these. For this, I make 4 new soap marks. Each of these 4 lines marks the center of one block side:

I simply line up my feather pairs so they “face off” across my marked registration lines, and fuse those feathers in place:

…and the block is nearly complete!


  1. Claire Pereira Says:

    Wow! This is one big fancy block!

  2. Wilma Says:

    Love this one also, I’ve got to get going and see if I can do this.

  3. Leslie Says:

    Lovely, and exciting! I love ‘quilts being born!’

  4. SewCalGal Says:

    Better than a sonogram. Love it. I can see your beautiful FMQ making it even more spectacular.


  5. Debbie St. Germain Says:

    I just love the color combinations and the dyed fabrics, it is stunning.


  6. Pam Says:

    Wow, I love it. How big is that square? I would love to try this one.

  7. Debbie Says:

    Amazing quilt block. Did you use a die for the tulip and the stems? Thanks for all the inspiration.

  8. Alice Says:

    Patsy, what a wonderful block, and superb instructions. I have always enjoyed when you blog how you create something. You truly are an inspiration.


  9. Brita Says:

    Gorgeous! I have never heard of using soap for marking for applique, and that it will disappear with heat. Makes sense, though, and obviously works. Eager to see what it looks like when you’ve done your stitching magic!

  10. Roberta Says:

    Wow! What a beautiful block. I’ve heard of using soap for marking lines, but I’ve never tried it. I will now. This will be a gorgeous quilt, for sure.

  11. Kelly Jackson Says:

    Patsy that is one beautiful newborn. Congrats…does she have a name :)


  12. Val Warren Says:

    Have you thought of making a free block of the month quilt if the if fabric purchased or sold as a
    some other sites do this

  13. Patti V Says:

    I am interested in your dying racks. Are they home made? Are the surfaces solid or netting?