Using Applique patterns to make quilting designs

Posted by Ruth on 16 May 2013 | 2 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


Today I want to show you how to make a quilting design from a single motif or applique designs as you see in my art quilt Summer Reflections.

Summer Reflections

The leaves you can see in this quilt can make some really nice designs that can enhance your quilt. If you have a pattern with single applique shapes, this works great. As an example I will use the leaf shape in Summer Reflections.

The first thing I do is draw the applique shape onto freezer paper. I can then cut it out and press it (shiny side down) anywhere on my quilt. I pressed mine onto the center of a block.

Freezer paper leaf

Instead of freezer paper, you can use Avery labels. With the Avery labels, you just peel off the backing to expose the sticky adhesive, then press that onto your quilt with your hand (not the iron). Like freezer paper, these can be used over and over many times.

Using your free-motion skills, stitch around the freezer paper template. Once complete, the freezer paper can be peeled off and stuck down in another location. I usually make several templates to work with.

Peel off the Freezer Paper

Now you have a beautifully quilted leaf with no markings on your quilt top.

Quilted Leaf

If you want a continuous edging, you could link the leaves together with simple curves. I added a loop to mine just to fill in the area and make the arch a little smaller.

Leaves connected by loops

Or another idea is to vary the size of the leaves and then connect the tips together to make it continuous. For this design, I quilted along one side of all the leaves first (I used several templates) and then went back along the other side. By doing this, I didn't have to stop and start.

Continuous leaves

After connecting all the leaves, you might like to echo the lines to make the leaves really stand up. I'm sure you can come up with other ideas too. Perhaps you'll make some suggestions below.


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  • Thank you so much for such a great idea to do some leaves. That is brilliant !!

    Posted by Johanna, 14/01/2019 3:57pm (4 years ago)

  • Am ordering this n will make with a few ideas of my own.

    Posted by Mary hawco, 08/03/2014 10:47am (9 years ago)

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