Blooming Weeds

Materials

  • One fat quarter of cream fabric for the background
  • 50cm of green patterned fabric for the border and back
  • 25cm square of Stitch ‘n’ Tear
  • Small pieces of lilac fabric for the flowers
  • Scrap of green fabric (25 x 15cm) for the leaves
  • Freezer paper
  • 40cm (15in) square of wadding
  • 40cm (15in) square of calico
  • Thread to match fabrics

Finished Size

14in (35cm)

Skill Level

Advanced

You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Blooming Weeds

The Method

  1. Enlarge the pattern as specified and trace onto the Stitch ‘n’ Tear and pin onto the WS of a 9 1⁄2in square of background fabric (cream).
  2. Lay a piece of green fabric on the RS covering the area of the leaves and pin in position.
  3. Drop the feed dogs on your machine and using a short stitch free machine around the lines of the leaves from the back following the pattern on the Stitch ‘n’ Tear.
  4. On the RS use small scissors to cut away the extra leaf fabric as close to the stitches as possible.
  5. Satin stitch over the straight stitch lines using a narrow stitch width. It may help to practise first by drawing the leaf shapes on some scrap fabric and sewing as if it were the cushion cover. This practise will help you decide where to leave the needle down when turning corners. You can stitch a mitre at the narrow points by reducing the stitch width gradually and then increasing it again.
  6. Trace the petals and buds onto the non-waxed side of the freezer paper and cut them out without a seam allowance. If you don’t have freezer paper use the outer wrapping from copier paper instead – a copy shop will give you some if you ask nicely.
  7. Iron the paper patterns wax side down onto the RS of your chosen flower fabrics; try and use the pattern in the fabric to suggest the petals. Cut out adding a scant 1⁄4in seam allowance.
  8. Peel off the paper carefully and place on the reverse of the flowers without turning the paper over so that the waxed side is now uppermost. Use the tip of the iron to press the seam allowances onto the waxed side of the paper.

Completing the flower

  1. Place each petal and bud in the correct position on the front of the fabric; if you hold it up to the light you should see your markings on the reverse.
  2. Sew the petals and buds in position either by hand using a small stitch with a matching thread or by machine using a blind hemstitch and monofilament thread as Judith used here.
  3. Remove the paper by cutting a slit in the back of the fabric and peeling it away. Make sepals on the buds using the same method as for the leaves above.
  4. Start the stems by drawing lightly on the RS one line in the middle of the stem position. Again if you hold the work up to the light you should be able to see the lines; alternatively draw by eye using the photo for guidance.
  5. Using a twin needle (remember to take your 1⁄4in foot off first!) and green thread, stitch, keeping the line in the middle of the foot, which will create two lines for the outside edges of the stems.
  6. Change back to a single needle and satin stitch the stems using the lines for guidance. Using a bright cream thread, satin stitch the centre of the flower to cover the ends of the petals.
Flower Design
Flower Design

Borders and Finishing

  1. Use the template to cut four freezer paper patterns and iron these onto the RS of the background fabric. Cut out with 1⁄4in seam allowances on the curved edges.
  2. Remove and reverse the paper as before and iron the seam allowances onto the waxed side of the paper. Don’t press over the straight edges, as these are seam allowances.
  3. Cut two strips 3 x 9 1⁄2in and two strips 3 x 14 1⁄2in from your border fabric. Mark the centre of the border with a small crease and apply the fabrics as in step 2 of Completing the Flower above.
  4. Cut away the border fabric from behind the pale shapes and attach the borders to the centre block.
  5. Place wadding and a calico backing behind the panel and quilt as desired. Judith has quilted a meander pattern on the cream fabrics and added definition to the leaves and flowers.
  6. Make up into a cushion using your favourite method

First published in Popular Patchwork April 2005