February 4, 2013

Four more, and a Stem Tutorial

Four more Autumn Leaf blocks finished.  I want to thank everyone for the nice comments on yesterday's post.  A couple of people wanted to know how I'd done my stems.  The answer is applique!  I've never done appliqué, before, but I'm willing to share my technique.

The first thing I did was get some of Heat n Bond; there're two kinds, get this one, so you'll be able to stitch.

I also noodled around the internet and found an English language PDF for this quilt, Maple Leaf Quilt from France.  It's from Cindy Carter, and I highly recommend it, with two exceptions.  I had to "improve" on the template for the point at the center of the leaf, see below.

I'm making two blocks at a time, that's working for me, color-wise; so I cut out two of the stem pieces, and found a scrap large enough to accommodate two stems.

I then cut a piece of the Heat n Bond, the same size.

Remove the templates, and position the Heat n Bond, on the wrong side of your fabric, with the nubby side facing the wrong side of the fabric.  Cover with a pressing cloth, and follow the directions on the package to bond the two pieces together.

Position the stem pattern pieces on the fabric - cut out the stems.  Position on the 5.5" x 5.5" background squares.  This is the other change I made to the tutorial, I appliquéd the stem before joining the quilt block.  (The tutorial calls for appliquéing, after assembly.  I wanted the top portion of the stem to be part of the seam.  I hope that makes sense.)

Set your machine for a very small, narrow zig zag, not as small as a satin stitch, but pretty small.

Be sure to change your pressure-foot, so you can see what's going on, as you stitch.

Just keep going, and going until you have all four sides of the stem appliqued to the background fabric.

This is all the block pieces positioned before assembly.  You can see that after they're sewn together, there's a lot of truing-up involved.  After adding the outer pieces the blocks are trued-up, again.

I sure hope this all made sense.

May your bobbins always be full,


  1. Beautiful! I love your color choices! Thanks for showing how you made the stem, it made sense to me!

  2. Thanks!! I was wondering how you got the stem buried… Great tutorial!

  3. Very cute blocks. The quilt is going to be lovely.

  4. Thanks for this, it all makes wonderful sense. Funny how everyone wanted to know about that stem.

  5. What precision piecing and appliquéing! Beautiful!


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