Four Nations Part Two


Note: For making this block only

  • One fat eighth pink batik for rose
  • One fat eighth green batik for foliage
  • One fat quarter white for centre panel
  • 20cm (1⁄4yd) purple for inner border
  • 20cm (1⁄4yd) dark green for outer border
  • 50cm square (20in square) backing fabric
  • 50cm square (20in square) wadding
  • 20cm (1⁄4yd) binding fabric
  • Fusible web
  • Embroidery threads
  • Template sheet
  • Placement sheet

Finished Size

Approx 46 x 46cm (18 x 18in)

Skill Level


Welcome to Part Two of our Four Nations series. This month is the turn of England: the rose design can either be made up as a cushion, a small wall hanging or as part of our Four Nations quilt. The block is machine appliquéd: machine embroidery can be used to give the rose form and texture. This month's block has not been finished as shown in the picture. To see a finished block refer to Part One and check the instructions on quilt-as-you-go below

If you wish to make your blocks up into the Four Nations quilt, we suggest you purchase extra fabric to complete your quilt depending on your required finished size. For example, you may wish to add further blocks of the Four Nations designs to make a single or double quilt, which would make lovely gift!


  1. From the white fabric, cut a 10 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2in square.
  2. From the purple fabric, cut two strips 2 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2in and two strips 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2in.
  3. From the dark green fabric, cut two strips 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2in and two strips 2 1⁄2 x 18 1⁄2in.
  4. If you are making individual quilts, cut two 2in strips across the width of the binding fabric and set aside.


Following the instructions for machine appliqué, begin to assemble your rose as shown in Figs 1a–e. Note: Take care with the orientation of the petals: begin with section 4, then 3, 2 and 1. Building the rose up in sections gives better definition to the finished flower and a more authentic looking rose.

Handy hint Using a clear machine foot when doing applique work makes it easier to see where you are going. Using a machine embroidery thread for stitching around your applique shapes gives a lovely finish to your work.


  1. Using the templates provided on the pattern sheet, trace the motifs onto the paper side of the fusible web and cut out roughly. Make sure you mark the fusible web clearly as the fabric is rather dark, making it difficult to see your markings.
  2. Press (warm setting) the rough side of the fusible shapes onto the wrong side of the appropriate fabrics. Cut out all the shapes neatly.
  3. Remove the paper backing and place the motifs onto the white square and press in place.
  4. Place the stabiliser onto the wrong side of the block and pin at the corners.
  5. Set your sewing machine for a narrow satin stitch or a small zigzag stitch. Pat used a stitch length of 0.5 and a width of 1.5 or 2, but refer to your own machine’s user guide. Ensure that you use embroidery thread on top and polyester or bobbin-fill in the bobbin.
  6. Slowly embroider around the motifs. If you turn your work gently, your stitching will be more accurate. When stitching points, stop stitching, with the needle down if you have that facility on your machine, at the outside edge of the shape. Lift the presser foot and re-align your fabric, then continue stitching. Use the guidemark on the centre of the presser foot to ensure the stitching is half on the applique shape and half on the background fabric.
  7. Tear away the stabiliser and press the block on the wrong side on top of a folded towel or pad using a spray of starch.
  8. Turn and lightly press from the right side if you like a very flat block.
  9. Referring to the placement guide on the pattern sheet, fuse the rose motifs to the white fabric in the following order: rose petals; stalk; leaves.


  1. Stitch the 2 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2in purple borders to the top and bottom of the appliqued block. Press the seam outwards. Stitch the 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2in purple borders to the sides of the appliqued block; press.
  2. Stitch the 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2in dark green borders to the top and bottom of the centre panel; press. Stitch the 2 1⁄2 x 18 1⁄2in dark green borders to the sides of the centre panel; press.


Handy hint If you want to make the blocks up into a quilt using the quilt-as-you-go method, when quilting make sure you leave at least 1⁄4in unquilted all round the edges of the block and omit the binding stage. We will include instructions for making the quilt up in Part Four.

  1. Layer the quilt by placing the backing fabric wrong side up on a clean flat surface, followed by the wadding and then the quilt top, centrally and right side up. The backing and wadding are slightly larger than the quilt top. Secure the quilt sandwich with a grid of tacking stitches or quilters' pins placed at regular intervals.
  2. Hand or machine quilt as desired to complement the rose petals.
  3. To bind the quilt, trim the excess backing and wadding level with the quilt top edges. Take the binding strips and join at right angles; press the seam open to reduce bulk. Trim the ears and fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Match the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges of the quilt and sew in place, folding a mitre at each corner. Fold the binding over to the back of the quilt and neatly slipstitch in place by hand

First published in Popular Patchwork February 2009