William Morris in Applique

Putting a block together for needle turn applique, quilts, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy

I am prepping my first block to get started on the “Fantasy Floral” quilt  from Michelle Hills book.  It is an interesting pattern.  I will be working on this quilt off and on all year I am sure.  Instead of the machine buttonhole stitch that she uses I will be doing needle turn applique – because of this I might reshape some pieces here and there to make it easier to applique in place.

What I do first is to  trace out the pattern pieces to freezer paper – press on to the right side of the fabric and then what I do is draw around the shape with a chalk pencil  – that line is my turn under line.


I position each piece on my block which is cut one inch larger than what the pattern calls for — that is just so I can square up better when I am done.  This block only has six pieces to it.  I use Roxanne Glue Baste It and put tiny drops of glue on the back of each piece to hold it in place.  By gluing instead of pinning I have no pins in the way to grab my thread and tangle it up. This glue washing out.


Carefully take the freezer paper templates off of the cloth – I do this after I glue baste but you can take it off before you glue baste – keeping it on gives a more stable feel to it as you lay it in place I think.  I also save my pattern until I am done with the block in case I need to redo a piece I already have the pattern.


Before I put my pieces on the block I have pressed my block in 4ths – on point in this case – that lets me put things evenly to applique.  I do not make an overlay as some people do using a piece of plastic with the complete block drawn out on it – I eye ball it looking at the pattern and use the diagonal guide line on a large square ruler to help decide if the block is laid out right.  I decided this was close enough to what I wanted.  If you mess up too much you can gently tug pieces back up to reposition – I check several times as I put pieces in place also so I rarely have to reposition.  This ruler is a quarter inch larger than what the block will be trimmed to – 12 1/4 inches.


I have everything cut out from my background fabric and put in a storage box with a note telling me what I have.  I was lucky and from this fabric I have 1 1/2 yards extra – I had not bought this fabric with anything in mind to make – I will save the extra in case of a mess up – the binding is already cut and in the box also.  One never knows if there is a scissor accident that is too great to fix and if I need to remake a block I have plenty of left over fabric.


I also print out a photo of the quilt and put it in the box although I do have the book too of course.  By placing a photo in the storage box it just reminds me what project is in the box – sometimes I have too many projects going–I have had up to 4 project boxes going at one time – right now it is just two so that is not too bad.


Do you organize a project something like this?

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18 comments… add one
  • Debbie Jan 26, 2013

    Great tutorial…I haven’t used the glue…I like how you do the dots. I must give it a try.
    Debbie recently posted…Water LiliesMy Profile

  • Teri Dingler Jan 26, 2013

    I do organize project by box- I had four of those boxes before Christmas! I only have two now! This will be another beautiful quilt when done!
    Teri Dingler recently posted…And the latest winner is…..My Profile

  • Archiethewonderdog Jan 26, 2013

    I like my projects in boxes, too! (I have a ‘thing’ for boxes!) I can’t wait to see this project develop, the colours are wonderful!
    Archiethewonderdog recently posted…I’ve finished faffing…I think!My Profile

  • Cindy Jan 26, 2013

    Thank you for the pictorial tut. You look to be quite organized. I understand – I’m the same way.
    Cindy recently posted…A Little Charming & WinnersMy Profile

  • Kim Jan 26, 2013

    I use boxes sorta like that one, or I use ziplock bags, in totes, or I use three ring binder with sheet protectors and small ziplocks. So I organize a variety of ways depending on the project and how long term it is.
    Kim recently posted…Slow Stitching SundayMy Profile

  • Emily Jan 26, 2013

    I don’t use boxes but maybe I should 🙂 Mine just end up in piles or baskets. My longest standing UFO had a box, but thankfully I just crossed that 11 year project off this January.

    Thanks for the details about how you start this needle turned applique project. I’m interested in trying needle turn applique and this helps know how to get things set up. Will you describe how you do the needle turned part too?
    Emily recently posted…Cotton vs. WoolMy Profile

  • Melanie Goad Jan 26, 2013

    I love William Morris SO much. I’m excited to see this quilt as it progresses. It’s going to be gorgeous.
    Melanie Goad recently posted…Cornish PastiesMy Profile

  • Robin Jan 26, 2013

    I don’t use boxes for my projects but I do use baskets. I was taught needle turn applique this past summer and love it. Now to take the next step and try out your methods with the glue basting and freezer paper.

  • Rita Larson Jan 26, 2013

    I have always been afraid to use glue.. You have no problems when you start to hand quilt? Maybe I will try this on my next appilque..A William Morris is on my bucket list.. I have my eye on a childs quilt in the book that I have(may be the same one you have) just in case I have a great grandchild while I can still quilt.

  • Gina Jan 26, 2013

    I organize my projects similar to your method. Sometimes I use ziploc bags or those plastic bins that strawberries and other fruit come in. I usually use the fruit bins for intermediate steps when piecing. I love glue but need to be careful about getting it too close to my needle turn edges.
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  • Janet Jan 26, 2013

    Do you press the applique after you glue baste it?

  • CJ Tinkle Jan 26, 2013

    Oh this is going to be lovely! I adore the colors you’ve picked here!
    CJ Tinkle recently posted…First two rows done…My Profile

  • Karen Jan 26, 2013

    Janet – no I do not heat press – you might be thinking of fusibles – the glue is nothing like that.
    I like the boxes for storage as with these blocks you can lay them flat in them.

  • Doreen Jan 26, 2013

    I will gather fabrics together and put them in a zip closure bag with a copy/photo of the project (maybe a copy of the instructions, too) and the location of the original (magazine name/date/issue, etc). I don’t really do this too often but I have one ready to go…..a hunting themed graduation quilt for a grandson for this June. Will be starting this one in Feb., probably. Great post, clear instructions……hugs……
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  • Miriam Jan 26, 2013

    I have been wanting to make one of Michele’s William Morris projects for ages, but I am not confident with my skills at buttonhole stitch on the machine. I am really glad you decided to applique by needleturn…..thank you for the great idea!
    Miriam recently posted…Keeping busy. New projects and WIP.My Profile

  • Astrid Jan 26, 2013

    Great tutorial. One day I will definitely try it out. (I say that all the time!) It’s a lovely quilt with lots of work.
    Astrid recently posted…Weekend projects…My Profile

  • Elaine Jan 27, 2013

    I like the idea of the boxes, I use baskets to keep the book, fabrics etc together.
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  • Donna T Jan 27, 2013

    This is going to be a beautiful quilt! Looking forward to watching your progress! You are so inspiring Karen!

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