Sew and Tell Baby French Roses #3 – Top Done!

I am finally starting to feel like I’m having more personal time to sew. Perhaps I’m being more efficient, or maybe I’m just not getting distracted by things that waste my time.

Whatever the reason, I am loving it. I was able to finish up my French Rosebuds quilt top this week and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. French Roses kits are available using these exact same fabrics. You can see my progress and read my previous post here.

French Rose Buds Top

French Rose Buds Quilt Top 36″ x 43.5″

French Rose Buds Pattern

French Rose Buds Pattern

I changed a few things from the original French Rosebuds pattern to make it a little more sassy.

First of all, I chose pastel Kona Solids for a fresh, modern look. I also widened the frames and borders.

The pattern calls for the frames around each block to be the same color as the roses. I thought that by switching up the colors, it looks a little more lively.

Finally, I added small 9-patch blocks in the border corners to give it a little more pizzaz. This actually made the borders easier to sew, too.

Whenever you make a quilt from a pattern or a kit, you can still change it up and make it your own!


Seam Roller

During construction, I pressed all of my seams open.

My new favorite tool, a wooden seam roller came in handy for this task.

I rolled each seam first to open the seams.

Then I went back and pressed each seam with a hot dry iron from both the back and the front to keep them open and flat.

This nifty tool is really nothing more than a wooden wallpaper roller. I originally bought it for paper piecing but use it now for all of my “finger pressing.”


Now I am excited to baste this puppy and start quilting!

Rosebuds Detail I’m thinking I want to stitch a small filler around the roses and then quilt the white sashing with pebbles – sort of mimicking a path or stone wall surrounding the roses.

Then I think I’ll free-motion quilt some sort of floral motif in the outer borders. When I took Angela Walter‘s FMQ class at QuiltCon, she showed us how she quilts her free-form feathers and flowers. So I’ll practice on some scraps first and see what I can come up with.

Angela Walters at QuiltCon

Angela Walters at QuiltCon

Angela Walters' Flower Quilting

Angela Walters’ Flower Quilting

Now it’s back to work so I can earn a little more free time sewing this weekend!


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Sew and Tell – Baby French Roses 2 and National Quilting Day

For National Quilting Month, Worldwide Quilting Day and just plain old weekend fun, I’m working on my applique quilt below. I hope to get the top completed this weekend. I also finished sewing all the the blocks for my Hugs ‘n Kisses Quilt Along.

There’s nothing better than a nice quiet day of sewing!

In my recent blog post about slowing down and enjoying the process, someone made the comment that we all need to stop and smell the roses. So far, I am savoring every delicious step of making my pretty rose buds quilt! You can read about French Roses #1 here.

French Rose Buds Pieces

French Rose Buds Pieces

I’m calling it Baby French Roses since it’s the baby sized version of the original French Roses pattern. I was on a roll this week and finished all of the rose blocks using soft edge applique techniques. This method is contemporary and quick, allowing me to enjoy the process. I stitched down all 4 blocks of one color per day, over 3 days, and never felt rushed.

Stitching the Leaves

Stitching the Leaves

First Petal

First Petal

Using the knee-lift on my Bernina was especially helpful so I could leave my hands free to turn the blocks as needed, sometimes after just one or two stitches. I also like to use an open toe foot so I can see exactly where I’m going.

Pre-wound Bobbins

Pre-wound Bobbins

I matched my threads to the fabric colors and paid attention to details like pulling the loose threads to the back of the blocks and tying them off.

That way you can’t see my starts and stops on the front of the blocks.

I used an assortment of pre-wound bobbin thread colors to match. It didn’t take much thread to applique each block.

Trimming the Roses

Trimming the Roses

I trimmed the excess fabric underneath each rose patch as I went so there would not be too much bulk underneath each flower. Using curved tip scissors helped me avoid poking through the top fabric while I cut.

20130315_french_rose_block_single

I really like how the flowers have texture, each made from 4 layers of the same solid fabric in pastels. They will fray up nicely when I wash the finished quilt.  Now it’s time to play around with block placement. I’ll blog again next week when I finish the top.

French Rose Buds

French Rose Buds

If you’d like to make a quilt like mine, I have a few more French Rose Buds kits left. Or you can purchase the French Roses pattern (original or baby size) and make it your own. 🙂

Applique Rose Blocks

Applique Rose Blocks

To read my post about starting this project last week click here.

My goal is to make every day a Quilting Day!

Christa’s Sew and Tell – Baby French Roses #1

My sister just adopted this sweet baby girl a few weeks ago and you know what that means –
I get to make her a baby quilt! (That’s my daughter holding her new baby cousin.)

Jenna with cousin Katelyn

Jenna with cousin Katelyn

Ever since I put together some French Rose Buds quilt kits, I have been looking for an excuse to make one myself and now I get to! I created the kit completely from Kona Solids to give it a clean, fresh appeal. This quilt will go in the baby’s room.

French Rose Buds Kit

French Rose Buds Kit

The kit includes one of Heather French’s fabulous French Rose Buds patterns, a smaller version of her original French Roses. Read my French Roses Quilt blog posts here and here to see the variations I’ve made from the larger sized pattern.

French Rose Petals

Tracing and cutting the petals was fun!

I spent a glorious day cutting out all of the fabric for the quilt. I’m making mine slightly larger by increasing the width on a couple of the sashes. I may use some of the leftover scraps to extend the borders, too.

French Rose Buds Pieces

All Pieces Cut and Ready to Sew

The rose appliques are all cut and ready to stitch down.  I’ll be sure to blog about my work-in-progress. This is going to be fun!

French Rose Bud Blocks

French Rose Buds Blocks