Congratulate yourself! Yesterday you did a lot of work! Applique can take time but the effect is wonderful. The quality of your applique is bound to be beautiful when using Banyan Batiks Floral Boxes.
Today we add some quilting to the background and prepare the ‘quiltlet’ for binding and hanging sleeve which I’ll get to tomorrow.
Press the quilt well and thread your machine with a color to match your background, in my case white.
Set the sewing machine at a slightly larger stitch length for machine quilting. If you usually have your stitches at 2.4, bring them up to 3.0.
Starting in the middle center at the edge of the background fabric where it meets the batting, back stitch or lock stitch (depending on your machine) then stitch a few inches, stop, rotate the quilt 45 degrees and stitch a few more inches in a straight line, repeat. You will be making an overlapping squares pattern.
I always use a walking foot or an even feed food for straight line quilting. This helps to avoid any bumps or ripples and if you don’t already have one, I would recommend purchasing one from your sewing machine dealer.
This simple pattern will allow you to get into the spaces between the flowers and fill the rest of your background. Always work from the middle out because although you have secured the entire quilt with the applique stitches, ripples can still happen.
Once you’re happy with the amount of quilting it’s time to trim the quilt to size. The pattern is for a 24″ square but this is a general size and depending on how you placed your appliques, there’s wiggle room. It’s good that I left that room as my design ended up closer to 25″ than the 24″!
Using a 6″ x 24″ ruler decide how much to leave on the outside of the design when trimming the quilt. The picture below shows where you can line up the ruler on the outside edge of the applique, in this case at 3″, and then trim on the black line. Do the same to the top and the bottom of the design to keep the entire piece square.
Always trim less than more, you can cut more away but you cannot add fabric after you have cut it!
Finally, stay stitch the edge of the quilt. I find this is a good idea for smaller quilts that you hang as it helps stabilize the edge and reduce any waviness that might happen.
I think you’ll agree that Banyan Batiks Floral Boxes add a fresh, modern feel to your quilt art!
Tomorrow we bind and add a hanging sleeve to display the lovely May Flowers wallhanging!
This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Making May Flowers wallhanging bloom with heirloom applique stitches
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