Capture new spring blooms in this freezer-paper-applique table topper. A subtle pieced foundation provides the perfect backdrop for the machine-appliqued flower design.

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Designer: Kim Diehl

Materials

• 5⁄8 yard beige print (blocks)

• 1-1⁄2 yards cream print (blocks)

• 1⁄2 yard green print (stem and leaf appliqués)

• 9×22" piece (fat eighth) black print (flower center appliqués)

• 1-1⁄4 yards red print (flower appliqués, border, binding)

• 2-5⁄8 yards backing fabric

• 47" square batting

• Clear monofilament thread

• Freezer paper

• Fabric glue stick

Finished quilt: 40-1⁄2" square

Finished block: 8" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. The instructions that follow use a freezer-paper method to prepare pieces for machine appliqué. (Patterns are provided for this technique; if you're using another method, reverse patterns using a light box or sunny window.) Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces.



1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. With a pencil, trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions. Cut out freezer-paper shapes on drawn lines.

2. Place a small amount of glue stick on dull side of freezer-paper shapes; position shapes on wrong sides of designated fabrics, leaving 1⁄2" between shapes. Cut out each shape, adding a 3⁄16" seam allowance to all edges. Clip seam allowances of curves as necessary, stopping a thread or two away from freezer paper. Clip inner points right to the paper edge.

3. Beginning on a gently curved edge, use tip of hot, dry iron to press seam allowance of each shape over edge onto shiny side of freezer paper; let cool.

From beige print, cut:

• 64-2-1⁄2" squares

• 128-1-1⁄2" squares

From cream print, cut:

• 16-6-1⁄2" squares

• 64-1-1⁄2 ×4-1⁄2" rectangles

• 64-1-1⁄2 ×3-1⁄2" rectangles

From green print, cut:

• 1-18" square, cutting it into enough 1-1⁄4"-wide bias strips to total 168" in length for stem appliqués

• 32 of Pattern E

• 12 of Pattern D

From black print, cut:

• 17 of Pattern C

From red print, cut:

• 5-2-1⁄2 ×42" binding strips

• 2-4-1⁄2 ×40-1⁄2" border strips

• 2-4-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" border strips

• 12 of Pattern B

• 4 of Pattern A

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Assemble Appliqué Foundation Blocks

1. Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each beige print 2-1⁄2" and 1-1⁄2" square.

2. Align a marked beige print 2-1⁄2" square in one corner of a cream print 6-1⁄2" square (Diagram 1; note direction of drawn line). Sew on drawn line; trim excess, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowance. Press open attached triangle. Press seam toward beige triangle.

3. Align a marked beige print 2-1⁄2" square in each remaining corner and sew as before (Diagram 2; note direction of drawn lines). Trim and press as before to make a Snowball unit. The Snowball unit should be 6-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 16 Snowball units total.

5. Align a marked beige print 1-1⁄2" square on one end of a cream print 1-1⁄2 ×3-1⁄2" rectangle (Diagram 3; note direction of drawn line). Stitch on drawn line; trim excess, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowance. Press open attached triangle to make a pieced A rectangle. Press seam toward beige triangle. Repeat to make 32 A rectangles total.

6. Referring to Diagram 4, repeat Step 5 to make 32 B rectangles total (each will be a mirror image of A rectangle).

7. Sew together A and B rectangles to make a short Flying Geese unit (Diagram 5). Press seam toward A rectangle. The short Flying Geese unit should be 1-1⁄2 ×6-1⁄2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make 32 short Flying Geese units total.

8. Using marked beige print 1-1⁄2" squares and cream print 1-1⁄2 ×4-1⁄2" rectangles, repeat steps 5 through 7 to make 32 long Flying Geese units. The long Flying Geese units should be 1-1⁄2 ×8-1⁄2" including seam allowances.

9. Join short Flying Geese units to opposite edges of a Snowball unit. Press seams toward Flying Geese units (Diagram 6). Add long Flying Geese units to remaining edges to make an appliqué foundation block. Press seams toward Flying Geese units. The block should be 8-1⁄2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make 16 appliqué foundation blocks total.

Assemble Quilt Center

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out appliqué foundation blocks in four rows.

2. Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams in one direction. Quilt center should be 32-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

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Prepare Stem Appliqués

1. Using diagonal seams, piece green print 1-1⁄4"-wide bias strips into a 168"-long strip.

2. Fold green print 168"-long strip in half lengthwise with wrong side inside; press. Stitch a scant 1⁄4" from long edges (Diagram 7). Refold strip, centering seam in back; press.

3. Cut prepared green print strip into:

• 8-14"-long stems

• 4-11"-long stems

• 4-3"-long stems

Appliqué Quilt Center

1. Set up sewing machine with monofilament thread in needle and neutral thread in bobbin. Use a tiny zigzag stitch, so left-hand stitch is 2 to 3 threads inside appliqué edge and right-hand stitch is in background fabric, right next to appliqué edge.

2. Fold quilt center in half horizontally, then vertically, to find center; mark center with a pencil.

3. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, arrange stems on quilt center. Tuck under ends as needed. When you are pleased with the arrangement, glue-baste in place.

4. Working from the bottom layer to the top, zigzag-stitch stems in place.

5. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out four A flowers, 12 B flowers, 16 C flower centers, 12 D calyxes, and 28 E leaves on quilt center. Baste in place.

6. Again, working from bottom layer to top, machine-zigzag-stitch appliqués in place. To remove freezer-paper shapes, trim away excess foundation block from behind, leaving a 1⁄4" seam allowance. With your fingertip, loosen freezer paper and gently peel freezer paper away.

7. Repeat Step 6 to machine-appliqué one C flower center and four E leaves to make appliquéd quilt center.

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Add Border

Sew red print 4-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Press seams toward border. Sew 4-1⁄2 ×40-1⁄2" border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press as before.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Machine-quilter Celeste Freiberg stitched an overall teardrop motif across the quilt center. A meandering feathered cable adds texture to the border. Using a cream-color thread, designer Kim Diehl hand-quilted outline stitches on the flower appliqués.

3. Bind with red print binding strips.

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