Saturday 1 July 2017

Secret Garden: Part 6, How I Made the Block

--UPDATE-- The pattern block outline page has been updated due to a scanning error that made it a % too small. Please ensure you are checking your block against the updated pattern block page. The template unit page has NOT been effected. The pattern update was sent out an hour after release and the pattern page is clearly marked as updated. 

This means that if you started making your block according to the templates, they are accurate, but when you come to check them against the page, they would appear too large. This is because the pattern block page you need to check them against is a % too small. Please make sure you have downloaded the updated pattern. 

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone, gremlins in the system :( 

This month the suspense is really building up, but you know - that's half the pleasure of a mystery, isn't it?! This block frames the centre equally at 4 points and is a perfect opportunity to use up the scraps from your applique blocks or new harmonious tones. Whatever you decide, don't overthink it, just enjoy it as the spot of beauty it is.
Here's how I made mine. 
Fabrics were easy for me in this block because I'm working within a single range (and phew, has that saved me some hours in deliberation!). These fabrics all work with each other and I added a pink for the bud from my stash.
I traced my shapes from the pattern without seam allowance onto wash away fusible. You can also use freezer paper if you want to.
As always, I mark all my pieces to help me reconstruct everything when ready
these are my pink buds above
and background segments below
When it's time to cut my shapes from the fabric, I add a seam allowance and then turn edge the allowance using glue and set the pieces aside until ready to construct the pattern. I use Elmer's Glue for turning the seams. 

I do this because Elmer's Glue is a starch that washes out easily. Or at least I thought it was, someone has corrected me with the info that apparently Elmer's is in fact, not a starch. Whatever, I still love it. Although, if I'd known that before I probably wouldn't have started using it, but now that it's a part of my tool kit, I have to say that I don't care that it's not a starch, I really like it and it has always performed perfectly for me. I don't think I'll stop using it anytime soon, unless they change the formula. 
Now it's time to start constructing the applique of the block. 
For this stage I use droplets of basting glue. 
As I arrange the shapes, I pin them against the pattern block. I make sure each shape is neat and accurately placed. I use pins and constantly wiggle the shapes into line. 
Like this
(ignore my personal marking on the pattern)
the buds, back and front
building up the applique, step by step
this is the finnicky part because you have to check and double check 
as you introduce every single new shape. 

This block is actually a geometric shape and it's impossible for mere mortals to have perfectly geometric applique, so don't stress, just keep as much to the lines as you can and keep wiggling the applique until it looks neat.
once the pinned position is double checked, I keep it in place with basting glue and continue building
this is the final applique step before I centre the applique onto the background
and here's my applique flipped. Phew!
It takes care and concentration and there's really no substitute for the time and attention you need to get it right. But what can I say? It's worth it!
To position my applique centre to the background, I each diagonal corner as a placement guide
pay special attention to the overlap between the bud leaf and background leaf so that they cross neatly
Like so
Make 4 x blocks and set aside
This quilt is growing in beauty and I can't wait to share the next reveal with you on August 1st.

This post related to the Applique Mystery BOM Secret Garden. 

Read more below if you're interested in taking part. It's not too late, start anytime.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 

Welcome to this wonderful Mystery BOM 

This very special applique Mystery BOM has launched!

Will you join me on this adventure?
The journey started February 1st, 2017
You can join right now
Digital pattern downloads are instant!
Join now and receive ALL downloads so far!
The BOM runs for 12 months
The pattern will be emailed to you directly each month
The finished quilt size is 80 x 80 inches


  1. You are so talented, Esther! Thank you for being so generous with your creations and explanations. I learnt a lot by just looking at and reading your blog above. Continued blessings to your gifted hands! Ita ☘

  2. That's a brilliant tutorial, thank you Esther! Where do you start the applique stitching?

  3. Esther, this such a beautiful block and I can't wait to start it! I am using a directional background and I wonder if you can reassure me that these are not set on point. I have just enough background so I don't want to waste any. Thanks, Dianne.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Dianne, these blocks ARE set on point.

    2. Thank you so much for letting me know. Now I can proceed.


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