Flower Blocks

Posted by on 5 November 2019 | 0 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


This week instead of hoops I'm going to use canvas blocks. You can do the same thing with stretcher bars if you prefer. The biggest thing with these is to allow enough background fabric to go around the sides and over at least a good inch onto the back. Anything smaller and you will need to add additional fabric as I did with my pepper block.

framed pepper

Framed Pepper quilt with border

The problem with this is it can be hard to get the sides even as you need to stretch it over the canvas.... 

flower blocks uneven corner matching

left side is unevenly matched, right side is perfect

Actually, with borders, it can be difficult to get the entire picture centered so if you can avoid borders too.

With a large enough background fabric, you can eliminate both these problems.

Since I was using some of my sample blocks from my BOM program Spring Life, I was not prepared for needing a larger background. To accommodate my shortage, I added some corner triangles. At least the seams wouldn't show on the front, only the sides. However, the extra bulk would make it a little more challenging to fold around the corners.

I used a couple of flowers from my Hibiscus Flower design block, one is blanket stitch appliqued...

flower block blanket stitch with dark outline

blanket stitch applique hibiscus

and the other soft-edge appliqued...

flower block freehand edged closeup

closeup of soft-edge appliqued hibiscus

Both techniques I teach in my BOM program!

I decided some words at the top of my block would fill out the rectangular shape. Words in a straight line would do however I liked the idea of them being curved over the flower shape. To get the words evenly spaced I just computer software - a technique I will be including in my advanced computer software workshop that I'm currently working on. (If you'd like to register an interest in this workshop, please do so by visiting this page)

So here is my applique block with words written on using a black fabric pen (you could also embroider these too). You can also see where I had to add triangle pieces to make my block large enough.

flower blocks ready to mount

Block ready to mount

I positioned the block underneath and you can see that my seams will just fall over the corner points. I must add here that the nice thing about using a canvas block over stretcher bars is you have something to pin into. This allows you to constantly check the front to see that it is correctly positioned. 

So to get started, lay your fabric block upside down on a flat surface. Place the canvas block centered on top. Use pins to slightly stretch the fabric around the canvas block. Check the front after you have four pins added - one on each side. If it looks centered, you can staple them in place or continue to add more pins before adding any staples. You can read full details about this procedure in one of my earlier posts "Personal Unique Gifts You Can Make Easily" if you need to but here are a few photos to show how I fold the corners neatly.

flower block corner folded1

Corner folding step 1

flower block corner folded2

Corner folding step 2

flower block corner stapled

Corner stapled to secure

I added a black ribbon around the edges to cover up the seams where I needed to add extra background fabric and tied a bow at the top. I made a rather nice addition!

flower block finishing bow

black ribbon finishes off block

I used 6" x 4" canvas blocks but you can use any size. Making a series of three would be an exceptional gift.

flower blocks finish

Happy Quilting!

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