Using fusible applique to make an art quilt

Dabbling in art quilting

I love looking through magazines and going to quilt shows to see new and innovative quilting designs and lately I’ve been drawn more and more to art quilts. The techniques used can be so different and the results just amazing! I’ve tried some surface design using shiva paintsticks, inktense pencils and Tsukineko inks and have shared some of my experiences on my own blog. But I’ve also done a lot of fusible applique designs too so I decided to try using fusible applique to make an art quilt using these great fabrics from Northcott.

material list

If you would like to sew along with me to make your own version of my project, below are the fabric materials you’ll need for a quilt that will measure 41″ x 49″:

  • 9 fat quarters of gold/yellow fabrics:
    • Sandscapes #20474M-58, #20475M-58
    • Artisan Shimmer #20254M-580, #20254M-54, #20254M-52, #20255M-59
    • Toscana #9020-51, #9020-52, #9020-520
  • 6 fat quarters of green fabrics:
    • Sandscapes #20476M-72, #20475M-72
    • Artisan Shimmer #20426M-73, #20258M-73, #20255M-72
    • Toscana #9020-780
  • 2 fat quarters of brown fabrics:
    • Artisan Shimmer #20258M-990, #20259M-990
  • Background fabric – 39″
  • Fusible web such as Wonder Under – 2.2yds
  • Backing 50″ x 60″
  • Batting 50″ x 60″

Tracing out the fusible applique petals

I figured I would probably have five large flowers on my background, so I got to work tracing out flower petals on the Wonder-Under. I drew out five slightly different sized petals to start and traced them each 9 times since I had nine different gold/yellow fabrics. The centers of the five flowers would be the two brown fabrics that I had received.

Here’s the template for the flower petals:

(click on the image to download a PDF of the pattern)

To make the tracing easier, I cut the Wonder-Under into pieces that were each 9” x 9”. Then I could trace the five petals onto each piece and then iron that whole piece onto the back of the fabric.

Squares of fusible web

It was pretty easy tracing and I didn’t worry too much about following the lines exactly. After all, the sunflowers that grow in nature don’t have petals that are all exactly the same size/shape. After tracing all nine sets of petals I was hoping I would have enough, but was thinking that I may need to make more.

Tracing the leaf shapes

Petal shapes ready to iron to the fabrics

The next step was to fuse the Wonder-Under to the backs of each of the gold fabrics. The Wonder-Under directions say to use a dry, hot iron and to press for 5-8 seconds. Make sure to read the manufacturers directions on whatever fusible web you decide to use.

Petal shapes fused to the gold fabrics

Once the fusible web is fused to the back of each fabric, the next step is to cut all of the shapes. This is a great job to do while you’re watching TV – just make sure you have a garbage can beside you.

I used one of my plastic dollar store bins to store all the pieces as I cut. These bins are GREAT for sewing rooms. I have at least 10 of them in my studio and I use them all the time for different tasks such as storing all the fabrics/pattern/special rulers needed for different projects.

A basket of flower petals

Lots and lots of sunflower petals

After cutting out all of my petals, I slowly began to realize that I need to make MANY more so I decided to repeat the whole process and make another set from each of the fabrics. This way I can probably make one very large flower and at least two smaller ones.

So if you need me – I’ll be tracing my templates and making more sunflower petals in order to use fusible applique to make my art quilt.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  Using photos for quilting inspiration

Go to part 3:  Why use a silicone pressing sheet for fusible applique

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1 comment

Christy June 24, 2023 - 10:30 am
This quilt is lovely and I am trying to make it as a quest book for a wedding. I am wondering how to best set it up for quests to sign the petals. Any input would be appreciated.
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