I don’t know about you, but there’s something about winter that makes me long for the bright colors and vibrancy of flowers, whether they’re growing out of the ground or printed on fabric. It could be that the promise of spring is just around the corner, and flowers are such a pretty, happy reminder of new growth and the new palette that comes with the changing of the seasons. As a quilter, florals are among my favorite motifs and I love incorporating them into all kinds of projects. Let’s look at a few different ways to use floral prints!
One of my favorite projects I’ve designed is a simple patchwork piece that packs a lot of punch, thanks to careful selection of fabrics. I probably have made about a dozen variations of this pattern throughout the years; it makes a great gift and always looks good, in any color combination. The Forever Flowers quilted pillowcase uses fussy cutting and basic piecing techniques to make a pretty vase full of flowers. Part 1 of the video series walk you through best practices for fabric selection and gets the project started.
Part 2 guides you through arranging the patches and sewing the whole thing together. I’ve made this as a pillowcase and a wall hanging and it’s lovely either way.
But there’s more than one way to use a fussy cut flower! It’s similar in concept to my design, but the techniques are different and the end result is so stunning and so impressive! Karen Charles uses fussy cut applique flowers to make a gorgeous, way more realistic looking vase of flowers. It’s got tons of style, dimension and it’s so pretty! Multiple techniques go into making this lovely piece of art, and she’ll walk you through every step so you can make your own.
How about a fun way to add flowers to just about any quilt project? June Mellinger shows you how to make cool dimensional flowers to patchwork, for an extra dose of flower power and style. I think these are just so beautiful, and the technique is really clever! If you like to make quilted accessories or wall quilts for display, these would look so great on those kinds of projects.
What if you want to make your own floral fabrics? I can show you how! What if your kids like to draw pictures and you want to transfer the drawings to fabric? You totally can! This technique obviously can be used to draw just about anything, not just flowers, but it’s fun, easy, and the design possibilities are virtually infinite! Use simple supplies like sharpie markers, paper, rubbing alcohol and plain fabric to make fast fun fabrics that are one-of-a-kind.
There’s even more ways to get your floral fix – we’ve got some really pretty quilt kits that feature floral prints of all stripes ☺. The nice thing about kits is if you like the way the quilt looks in the picture, you can make one exactly like that! Everything you need is included. Among my favorites is the Wildflower Garden kit, featuring the lush prints from A Wildflower Meadow collection by Jackie Robinson for Benartex Fabrics. I think the combination of print and pattern in this one is really clever, and the Irish Chain effect is so cool. You can find it here.
Another one I really like is the Water Garden kit, which uses panels and prints from the new Artisan Spirit collection from Northcott Fabrics. I love using panels in all kinds of ways, and this one is great because it will come together so quickly! It reminds me of Monet paintings, so soft and serene. Look for it here.
Sunflowers are always appealing; there’s something about the combination of color and shape that just makes me smile. I like the Starring Sunflowers kit a lot; the Here Comes the Sun collection from Benartex Fabrics and the series of borders has a lot to do with its attractiveness, in my opinion. It’s such a good look, and I kind of want to learn how to make that inner border so I can try it on other designs too. See what I mean?
If you prefer a more contemporary look, the Rise and Shine kit is a really great option. I love how the Winding Ways Blocks look when they’re sewn together, you get that illusion of circles super-imposed on the pieced blocks and it’s so impressive! The monochromatic palette really pops with that burst of bright gold, so the Poppies in Bloom collection by Patrick Lose fabrics was a nice choice for this pattern. Check it out!
Of course, it’s helpful to keep in mind that if you’re as excited about floral prints as I am, you can go ahead and use them in just about any quilt pattern you come across. They always add such a nice touch to patchwork, I think, since with so many large-scale and small-scale and every scale in between print options, you can achieve whatever effect you like. Don’t wait until spring to get flowers in your life, go ahead and start now!