An ice cream sundae appliqué makes a scrumptious topping for an apron.
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Designer: Tina Lewis


  • 1⁄2 yard blue dot (block, binding)
  • 1 yard pink print (block, facing, apron skirt)
  • 9x12" piece green print (block, dish base appliqué)
  • 4x7" piece yellow dot (topping appliqué)
  • 3x5" piece white tone-on-tone (whipped cream appliqué)
  • 3" square red tone-on-tone (cherry appliqué)
  • Embroidery floss: red
  • Freezer paper

Finished apron: 20x28" (without ties)

Finished block: 10" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for the patterns.

When making templates of patterns A and B, page 6, be sure to transfer dots marked on patterns to templates, then to fabric pieces. The dots are matching points and are necessary when joining pieces. Mark or clip center of curved edges on A and B pieces.

To use freezer paper for cutting applique shapes C–F, complete the following steps.

1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1⁄2" between tracings. Cut out freezer-paper shapes roughly 1⁄4" outside the traced lines. Note: The C dish base has both curved appliquéd edges and a straight edge where a 1⁄4" seam allowance has already been added for sewing into the waistline. Add a 1⁄4" seam allowance only to the curved edges.

2. Using a hot dry iron, press freezer-paper shapes, shiny sides down, onto right sides of designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines and peel off freezer paper. (Note: Leave freezer paper on F cherry.)

From blue dot, cut:

  • Enough 2"-wide bias strips to total 220" in length
  • 2 of Pattern A

From pink print, cut:

  • 18-1⁄4x28" rectangle
  • 2 each of patterns A, B, and G
  • 1 of Pattern H

From green print, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern B
  • 1 of Pattern C

From yellow dot, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern D

From white tone-on-tone, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern E

From red tone-on-tone, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern F

Assemble Block

1. Layer a blue dot A piece atop a pink print B piece; match center marks on curved edges (Diagram 1).


2. Using slender pins and picking up only a few threads at a time, pin at center, then through matching points at each end; pin generously in between (Diagram 2).


3. Sew together pieces, removing each pin just before your needle reaches it, to make an ice cream unit (Diagram 3). Clip the B piece seam allowance as necessary. (Note: Some quilters prefer not to clip curved seams. Instead, they use a longer stitch length and sew slowly, which helps ease fabric layers together.) Press seam toward B piece. The unit should be 5-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


4. Repeat steps 1–3 to make a matching ice cream unit.

5. Using pink print A pieces and green print B pieces, repeat steps 1–3 to make two matching dish units (Diagram 4).


6. Referring to Diagram 5, sew together ice cream units and dish units in pairs. Press seam open. Join pairs to make a block. Press seam open. The block should be 10-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.


Applique Block

1. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, arrange green print C base, yellow dot D topping, and white tone-on-tone E whipped cream on block. Pin or baste in place. Note: Align bottom edge of C base with edge of block; do not appliqué this edge. This 1⁄4" seam allowance will be sewn into waistline seam.


2. Working from bottom layer to top and using threads in colors that match fabrics, appliqué each piece to block, turning edges under with your needle as you work. (Note: You do not need to turn under edges that will be overlapped by other pieces. To prevent the yellow dot D topping from showing through the white tone-on-tone E whipped cream, trim away part of the yellow dot seam allowance.)

3. Using a small running stitch, sew 1⁄8" from edge of red tone-on-tone F cherry. Gather around freezer-paper circle and press lightly. Release stitches enough to remove freezer-paper circle, then gather them again and tie off.

To make a running stitch, pull your threaded needle up at A (Running Stitch Diagram) and insert it back into fabric at B, 1⁄8" away from A. Pull your needle up 1⁄8" away from B, and continue in same manner.


4. Place prepared red tone-on-tone F cherry on top of appliquéd sundae on block. Appliqué in place as before.

5. Place appliquéd block right side down on a soft surface, such as a folded towel (to prevent flattening appliqués), and press.

6. Using two strands of red embroidery floss and referring to photo, stem-stitch dimple and stem on cherry, ending stem with a French knot.

To stem-stitch, pull your threaded needle up at A (Stem Stitch Diagram), then insert it back into fabric at B, about 3⁄8" away from A. Holding floss out of the way, bring your needle back up at C and pull floss so it lies flat against fabric. Pull gently with equal tautness after each stitch. Continue in same manner, holding floss out of way on same side of stitching every time.


To make a French knot, bring your threaded needle up at A (French Knot Diagram). Wrap the floss around the needle two or three times without twisting it. Insert tip of needle into the fabric at B, about 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push the wraps down the needle to meet the fabric, then pull the needle and floss through the fabric slowly and smoothly.


Make Apron Bib

Aligning bottom edges, sew a pink print G piece to each side of appliquéd block to make apron bib (Diagram 6). Press seams away from block.


Make Apron Skirt

1. Place pink print 18-1⁄4x28" rectangle right side up on work surface. Referring to Diagram 7, mark center of long edges and 6-5⁄8" in from short edges.


2. Using Corner Cutting Pattern, mark cutting lines on bottom corners of pink print rectangle (Diagram 8). Machine-baste a scant 1⁄8" inside marked cutting lines. Trim on cutting lines.


3. Sew a running stitch between 6-5⁄8" marks on top edge of pink print rectangle (Diagram 8). Pull thread to gather rectangle to 20" wide (Diagram 9). Tie off thread. Distribute gathers evenly to make apron skirt.


Assemble Apron

1. Aligning raw edges, pin apron bib and apron skirt right sides together; match center mark on skirt with seam line on appliquéd block and baste (Diagram 10).


2. Pin right side of pink print H bib facing to wrong side of skirt along waistline with Step 1 seam allowance between bib and facing (Diagram 11). Sew together through all layers. Press seam toward bib.


3. Fold facing over bib, enclosing seam allowance; press. Pin facing to bib, matching center fold on facing with seam line on appliquéd block (Diagram 12). Trim bib to match facing along side edges.


Finish Apron

1. Using diagonal seams, sew together blue dot 2"-wide bias strips to make a 220"-long strip. For the single-fold binding, which designer Tina Lewis prefers, don't fold binding strip in half. Before stitching binding to wrong side of apron, turn under a long raw edge 1⁄2".

2. Referring to photo, bind top edge of apron bib, trimming binding even with raw edges. Bind side and bottom edges of apron skirt, again trimming binding even with raw edges and easing slightly around curves. Then bind side edges of apron bib, extending binding about 24" beyond top edge for neck ties and 29" beyond bottom edge for waist ties. Fold each tie end under 1⁄4", and hand-stitch closed to complete apron.