Use Machine Embroidery Flowers to Plant a Flower Garden on Your Quilt

Mar 18, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Marjorie Busby

Do you have a green thumb? If you do, I’m sure you love springtime and the beautiful flowers and plants that are everywhere—and likely in your own yard. But, if you’re like me and don’t have a green thumb at all, you can still plant some beautiful flowers on a quilt. I'm Marjorie Busby from Blue Feather Quilt Studio and today’s blog post is all about machine embroidery flowers and how I turned some “orphan” flower blocks into a very pretty quilt top in a single weekend.  

These embroidery blocks were sample and test blocks that were made when I digitized the embroidery set that includes the Flower Bunch, Round Flower, and Stems and Leaves With the embroidered blocks, a Riley Blake print, and other coordinates from my stash, it was time to plant this garden/quilt.  



The machine embroidery set that I used has stems and flowers that are tall and require a 6” x 8” machine embroidery hoop. It also includes the stems and flowers that can be stitched separately in a 5” x 7” hoop allowing you to create any size flowers you like. The flowers and stems can be stacked so that you can make designs like this Ribbon Wall Hanging which can be found on the AccuQuilt website. 



When planning this quilt, my goal was a quilt that could be made in a weekend and a setting that enhanced the beautiful flower machine embroidery blocks. Because of the height of the flowers, the blocks were stitched on point. For this quilt I decided to add a border around each block. Working with my Electric Quilt software, it was easy enough to create a layout. And the Riley Blake print was so pretty that additional borders were added to include more of that fabric. The quilt measures 65" x 82" finished. The final design looked like this:


Flower Garden Quilt 65 x 82"


Assemble Quilt Blocks:

For each block you will need :

  • A block that has machine embroidery. I used a 9" finished embroidery block (9-1/2" unfinished)
  • Border strips for a 9" finished block: 2 strips  9-1/2" x 2" and 2 strips 12-1/2" x 2"

The GO! Strip Cutter-2" was used to cut the block borders. To cut the borders, cut across the width of fabric the length of the strip you need. For this block I cut a 9-1/2" strip across the width of the fabric. Then that strip was fanfolded across the 2" strip die and cut. You can see a photo below of the fabric fanfolded across the strip die. The same process was repeated to make the 12-1/2" x 2" strips. You can also cut long strips and cut them down to size, but it is easier for me to cut them as shown.



The chart below shows the measurements needed to make bordered blocks from machine embroidery blocks. This will be helpful anytime you have machine embroidered blocks. 


Measurements for Cutting Block Borders
Finished block size Unfinished embroidery block size without borders Strip 1 Measurement Strip 2 Measurement
9" block 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" 6-1/2" x 2" 9-1/2" x 2"
11" block 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" 8-1/2" x 2" 11-1/2" x 2"
12" block 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" 9-1/2" x 2" 12-1/2" x 2"


Assemble the quilt blocks:

The block border strips are sewn onto the quilt block as shown in this photo below. For the quilt shown, half the blocks were made with one color and half the blocks were made with a second color. 



Make the setting triangles:

When the embroidery quilt blocks are complete with borders, you will need setting or side triangles to complete the rows. Setting or side triangles are made by cutting a larger square of fabric and then cutting it diagonally two times to create four triangles. Borders are then added to these triangles to complete them for this quilt top. By cutting the triangles in this manner, you will have the straight grain of fabric all the way around your quilt. This is helpful to keep your quilt top "squared."



Make the Corner Triangles:

To create the corner triangles, you will take a square in the size specified in the chart, cut it across diagonally one time and sew a strip onto the long side (hypotenuse) of the triangle. Press to the dark and trim the ends of the strip to complete the triangle.


Finished Block Size Square Size for Setting Triangle Strip 1 for Setting Triangle Strip 2 for Setting Triangle Square Size for Corner Triangle Strip Size for Corner Triangle
9" finished block from 6" embroidery block 9-3/4" square 9-7/8" x 2" 8-3/8" x 2" 5-1/8" square 10-1/4" x 2"
11" finished block from 8" embroidery block 12-5/8" square 11-7/8" x 2" 10-3/8" x 2" 6-5/8" square 11-1/4" x 2"
12" finished block from 9" embroidery block 14" square 12-7/8" x 2" 11-3/8" x 2" 7-1/4" square 13-1/4" x 2"


Finish your quilt:

Stitch the blocks together into rows using the setting triangles. Stitch the rows together and add the corner triangles last. Add borders as desired. Quilt and bind.

Enjoy your quilt--I know I'll enjoy mine--and now I have a beautiful flower garden without getting my hands dirty ;)




Topics: GO! Product Tutorials

Marjorie Busby

Written by Marjorie Busby


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