Turn the tables on a vintage tablecloth. Use it as your appliqué foundation! Then learn to do freezer-paper appliqué to add the sunflower motifs with our easy-to-follow instructions.
Download this Project

Quilt designer: Terry Clothier Thompson

From American Patchwork & Quilting, August 2006


  • 50x60" preprinted tone-on-tone tablecloth (If you don't wish to use a vintage tablecloth as your applique foundation, cut and piece 2-7/8 yards of gold print into a 50x60" rectangle for your foundation.)
  • 1/3 yard brown plaid (flower center appliques)
  • 1 yard total of assorted solid yellow (petal appliques)
  • 1 yard green stripe (stem and leaf appliques)
  • 1/2 yard green print (binding)
  • 3-1/8 yards backing fabric
  • 55x64" batting
  • Freezer paper
  • Fabric glue stick

Finished quilt: 49x58"

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

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the order that follows. Click on "Download this Project" to download the full-size patterns. Fussy-cut stem strips and leaf (E, F) applique pieces as needed to orient the stripes as desired.

Designer Terry Clothier Thompson uses a freezer-paper method on the fabric's wrong side for machine appliqueing. The instructions that follow are for this technique. (Patterns are provided for this method; if you're using another method, reverse patterns using a lightbox or sunny window.)

2. Using a hot, dry iron, press freezer-paper shapes, shiny sides down, onto the designated fabrics' wrong side; let cool. Cut out each shape, adding a 3/16" seam allowance to all edges. Cut seam allowances slightly narrower at tips of leaves, and clip inner curves as necessary.

3. On each applique shape, run a glue stick along seam allowance wrong side, then finger-press seam allowance to back of freezer paper; let dry.

From brown plaid, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A
  • 8 of Pattern C

From assorted yellow solids, cut:

  • 12 of Pattern B
  • 63 of Pattern D

From green stripe, cut:

  • 1 -- 2-1/2x42" strip
  • 4 -- 1-1/2x42" strips
  • 15 of Pattern E
  • 4 of Pattern F

From green print, cut:

  • 6 -- 2-1/2x42" binding strips

Prepare Stem Appliqués

1. Turn under and press 1/4" along long edges of the green stripe 2-1/2x42" strip and each green stripe 1-1/2x42" strip.

2. Cut the Step 1 narrow green stripe 42"-long strips to make:

  • 2--18-1/2" long stem appliques
  • 3--17-1/2"-long stem appliques
  • 1--16-1/2"-long stem applique
  • 2--11-1/2"-long stem appliques

Appliqué Quilt Top

1. Fold the tablecloth in half in both directions. Lightly finger-press folds to create applique placement guidelines; unfold.

2. Referring to Applique Placement Diagram, lay out stem appliques on the foundation. Lay out remaining applique pieces, tucking stem ends beneath flower centers and leaf ends beneath stems; baste in place.


3. Using threads that match applique pieces and working from bottom layer to top, machine-applique pieces to foundation to make quilt top.

4. Soak quilt top in cold water to remove glue. (If your foundation is gold print fabric rather than a tablecloth, avoid washing completed quilt top, which can cause fraying.) Trim excess foundation fabric from behind appliques, leaving 1/4" seam allowances. Peel away freezer paper and discard. Use dry towel to remove excess water, then air-dry; press quilt top from wrong side.

5. With appliqued design centered, trim quilt top to measure 49x58" including seam allowances.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing.

2. Quilt as desired. Machine-quilter Rosie Mayhew outline-quilted every tone-on-tone motif on the tablecloth foundation (see Quilting Diagram). She echo-quilted in all the flower petals, stitched a wavy line on each stem, and stitched freehand vein designs on all the leaves.


3. Use green print binding strips to bind quilt.