Year of the Stitch: Flowers!

Today it is 11 below Fahrenheit in my garden. But inside it is warm and cozy and I dream of summer and flowers.

The rooftop garden on my Whimsy Lane quilt hosts a variety of pinks or dianthus flowers (a genus of about 34 species in the family Caryophyllaceae). Not only are my pinks pink but the edges are cut with a pinking blade making them pinked pinks.

The skinny stems are decorated with straight stitches placed across each one. Don’t you love how the size 12 Peas in a Pod thread stripes add a little whimsy to the flower stems?

Flower petal shapes are stitched with a size 8 Lettuce thread. It takes 3 types of embroidery stitches to finish each pink petal: the stem stitch around the yellow dot, the back stitch around the petal edges, and the fly stitch for the pinked edges. Add an orange French knot to the center of each flower and call the pinks a distant cousin of the Caryophyllaceae family.

Accidental Design?

Your next quilt composition can begin with a simple design trigger like this bias-fused collage of light blue and purple fabric. It has so many possibilities! Creating artwork from design triggers is common practice if you are an improviser. I call this method of making art accidental design.

Being an accidental artist is the topic for my current online class with Quilter’s Affair. Students create design triggers after building several fused collages. Then they use their scraps and collages to develop compositions based on those design prompts. Here’s what became of my design trigger. In keeping with my quest for the perfect vase, I created this striped vase for skinny flowers placed on an orange doily.

Queen Poppy: Binding

Just a few more steps and your Queen Poppy quilt is complete.

Thank you so much for joining me in making this little fused art quilt. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And if you want to share a photo of your Queen Poppy with me, please email me at laura at

(If you need to catch up, please visit the Queen Poppy Stitch Along page to create your quilt.)

Step #10

  • Machine quilt the quilt using a titanium or chrome coated embroidery needle and free-motion stitching. (Please note that this step is optional. It is not necessary to machine quilt the piece.)
  • To add free-motion stitching, drop the feed dogs on the machine and guide the needle around all the organic shapes in the design while moving the quilt.
  • Add a hanging sleeve across the top part of the quilt if desired.
  • You did it! Please send me a photo of your artwork. I’d love to see it. Send to: laura at