Materials: Folk Flower Quilt, available in our shop batting & backing. (The Folk Flower Quilt Kit is a combination of AMH's Mod Corsage Fat Quarter stack & 7 yards of her Skipping Stones fabric for background, and 2 yards of solid fuchsia for border and binding.)
Finished Size: Approximately 89" x 105" (notes on smaller options below
Inspiration: This block is simplistic in its design but I was thrilled to play it out in an intense, luscious collection of watercolor-toned florals, against a soft background. The change from light to dark in the background shades was another chance to ket the bright flowers play hide and seek against the neutrals instead of each block having the exact same level of contrast.
Process: My Folk Flower Block Class available at Creativebug is a really good intro to machine applique which is much simpler to tackle than you might think. While I love using the pretty blanket style stitch on my Janome machines, even a zigzag stitch would be charming for this pattern. The full size quilt as featured required that I make 50 blocks- yes that is a TON. But it was broken up nicely by designing the rings of background shades changing from center out and auditioning each little flower head and leaf set was fun. The cutting and prep required for the machine applique sort of cancel each other out in terms of fiddle-y-ness.
Notes on going from Block to Quilt: The finished block is 12" sewn (12.5" cut) which is set on point in this arrangement. The order that the background fabrics take from center out is as follows: Observations, Coloring Garden, Coreopsis, Eucalyptus and Overachiever. For the outer, fuchsia borders I created a new template that is a half of a 12.5" square (cut on the diagonal) for a right triangle piece. I added a 1/4" seam allowance on the angled edge. The template for the four corners takes the previous triangle template, cuts it in half again, adding a seam allowance back to the cut edge.... again making a right triangle but half the size. Once your arrangement is decided, sewing the blocks together happens in rows, but on an angle.
Notes on Sizing Down: I love how HUGE (89" x 105") this quilt is, but maybe you need something smaller. Just taking off one of the concentric rows of changing background colors, sorta throws off the overall design, so I instead did a little figuring on scaling down so that the smaller quilts can keep the same arrangement and design. Here ya go pal:
-A second option that would yield a quilt closer to 72" x 89" would be to shrink your flower & leaf templates to about 85%, and change your background square to be cut at 10.5"
-A third option that would yield a quilt closer to 64" x 79" would be to shrink your flower & leaf templates to about 75%, and change your background square to be cut at 9.25"
In both of the above scenarios, I think that leaving the stem cut at 1" wide (yielding 1/2") will still look great. And if you've gotten the kit (which we only sell in one size) you'll just have more or less fabric leftover depending on which size you make. There are really so many variations and beautiful things you can do with this block, and we would love to see yours!
Happy Sewing! xoxo, Anna Maria