English Country Garden


  • 50cm of background fabric
  • 50cm of backing fabric
  • 50cm of wadding
  • Scraps of coloured fabrics for flowers, leaves and stem (you need a piece 10 x 5in for the basket)
  • Matching stranded embroidery thread

Finished Size

14 x 40in (36 x 102cm)

Skill Level


Getting Started

  1. Cut a strip 15 x 42in across the width of the background fabric. This will be trimmed after the appliqué is in position.
  2. Mark the position of the stem down the centre of the fabric and then mark the position of the basket.
  3. Join sufficient 1in bias strips to give a total length of 30in. Fold in the two long edges to the middle, WS together, and press well to give a bias strip. (You can buy bias makers to make this job quicker.)
  4. Appliqué the stem in position on the background fabric: if you want the leaves to be under the stem at any point remember to leave a small space unstitched to tuck the leaf into later.
  5. Trace the basket template, draw round the template onto the WS of the fabric and flip the template to make the full basket shape. Cut out 1⁄4in larger all round. Press under the excess fabric to the WS and appliqué in position at the bottom of the flower stem.Making the handles and finishing the bag
English Country Garden

The Flowers

  1. Using English piecing, construct the flowers using the templates given. You will need one of the smallest size flowers and two each of the others. Remove the papers but press well to keep the outer edges in position. Using spray starch will help keep them firm.
  2. Appliqué the flowers in position; you can choose whether to have them overlapping the stem as shown in the photo or just touching as shown in Figure 1, or use a combination of the two styles.
  3. Prepare eight leaves by tracing the template and cutting out as before. Appliqué in position between the flowers – the lower leaves can overlap the basket for added interest.

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Place the backing fabric RS down and smooth the wadding on top. Place the finished appliqué on top making sure that it is centrally placed.
  2. With two strands of embroidery thread, outline the flowers in stem stitch through all three layers. 3
  3. Outline the leaves as above and add veins if wished.
  4. Make some binding from the remaining background fabric or from a contrast fabric and use to bind your quilt.
  5. Attach a sleeve or two decorative hanging loops. And don’t forget to add a label on the reverse.
Position of flower and leaf
Figure 1: Position of flower and leaf

Other Ideas

  • It is possible to enlarge the design to make a larger wallhanging or a bed topper by placing three baskets evenly on a length of fabric 50 x 40in and then adding a contrast border and 1⁄2in binding. A bed topper is ideal for covering just the foot of the bed and it gets less wear than a whole quilt
  • You can add embellishments to the flower centres such as French knots or other decorative stitches
  • There is no particular reason why this hanging is the width it is; if you want to make it smaller you could either have less of a border around the appliqué or make the flowers a little smaller. A shorter version could be made too
  • For a table runner, why not make the design symmetrical with larger flowers in the centre that get smaller towards the edges and exclude the basket.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 13 Number 7 - July 2005