In my previous post, Tickled Pink, I mentioned the flower-shaped quilt pattern I created using my walking foot. I like the challenge of creating patterns with my walking foot that go beyond straight grid quilting and wanted to share one of those patterns with you. I hope you find this free template useful in creating your own personal quilts and quilted gifts. (Please note that it is free and intended to stay that way so I ask that it not be resold or used on items made for profit.) A step-by-step tutorial follows so read on for some tips on using the template.
The baby quilt I used this pattern on was about 44″ x 44″. Sewing the flower pattern requires lots of turning and rotating the quilt. Because of that fact, I would recommend this template for use on smaller projects that can be rotated and turned under the throat of your sewing machine. The free template offered here is 8″ x 8″.
1.Download the PDF then do one of the following: A) Print out the pattern onto the thinnest paper possible. You will be sewing through the paper and thick paper is hard to remove without stressing your stitches. B) Print out the pattern, cut along both center lines to isolate a fourth of the overall design. Cut the flower out of the design leaving the outside area. Use this a template and trace the design onto your project using your favorite removable marking method. C) Print out the pattern then trace it onto tracing paper. (This is the method I used in this tutorial.) or D) Print out the pattern and cover the back of it with washable chalk. Use pressure to transfer the chalk lines onto your project. I would suggest doing this before making you quilt sandwich. This might work best with dark fabrics.
2. Make your quilt sandwich. I started by baste-pinning my sandwich in the corners where the largest flower petals would be. I then pinned through all the layers including my tracing paper pattern placing the pins inside the small petals. The pins in the corners were then “transferred” to the top inside the large petals.
3. I started sewing the flower from the center. Start by anchoring your stitches. I used some tiny stitches and did a small back-stitch in the center. You could also use a knot stitch if your machine has one. Proceed with a small stitch length set at optimal tension. Sew out along one of the large flower petals until you reach the tip. Note: the small stitch length (2.00 or smaller) will make it easier to remove the paper when your done and cause less stress to your stitches in that removal process. Do some tests with the paper your template will be on to see what stitch length works best. If you are not sewing through the paper, a larger stitch length would be fine.
4. Each time you come to the tip of a petal, pivot your project while leaving the needle in place and raising the presser foot. I also used a knot stitch at the tip of each petal before proceeding back toward the center. Once you return to the center, follow on through onto the next large petal – just like a figure eight.
5. After the large petals were done, I moved on to the smaller ones. Note: any time you need to pivot your project after finishing one “figure eight” and preparing for the next, keep your needle down to anchor the project while you lift the presser foot and pivot.
8. When you return to the center of your flower after completing the last petal, anchor your stitches as you did at the beginning. Next remove the paper from your finished piece. This can be a messy process that takes some time. Hopefully you did some tests before beginning so that you know what to expect when you get here. Hold your finger over the stitches and “sacrifice” the paper if necessary to keep from pulling your stitches loose. If some do become loose, they can often be “massaged” or coaxed back into place.